Numbered Notes

  1. It’s obviously the greatest food product ever invented, but deep-fried macaroni and cheese on a stick isn’t as tasty as you might expect. The texture compares unfavorably to traditional deep-fried mozarella cheese sticks as well.
  2. Neil Stephenson wants to nucleate a “Metaweb” around his new novel, so he’s started a wiki. It’s either ambitious or pretentious, but it’s probably more pretentious than ambitious (though I haven’t read the book yet – Peter is still hogging it):

    …I don’t think that the Internet, as it currently exists, does a very good job of explaining things to people. […] The problem lies in how these explanations are organized.

    We have been looking for a way to get an explanation system seeded for a long time, and it occurred to us that a set of annotations to my book might be one way to get it started.

    The idea of organizing general knowledge around a novel – any novel – seems rather like my way of arranging bookshelves: it promotes serendipity at best, and disorientation at worst. So as a huge fan of serendipity, I must suppress my dislike of bullshit internet pseudo-librarians and support the effort. Reluctantly.

    But if I had to pick a novel (make that “work of literature”) upon which to crystallize the accumulated wisdom of mankind, it almost certainly would not be Quicksilver (but then, I haven’t read it yet). It might be Sophie’s World. Like any proper nerd I’d be tempted to use The Hitchhiker’s Guide, and like any proper Anglophone, Shakespeare. Then I’d come to my senses and pick out something by Borges… what about all y’all?

    [link via BoingBoing]


  1. ester wrote:

    there’s certainly more straight info to be found in Sophie’s World but reading Sophie’s World is like trying to breathe on the top of a very tall mountain. whereas reading Hitchhiker’s induces gasping not from having too little atmosphere but rather from being hilarious.

  2. des wrote:

    1) It was the most orange taste I’ve experienced without pharmaceutical assistance, actually.
    2) A vanityp a, how charmingly ‘98.
    The guide is already there. The canonical Borges anti-classification pre-emptively undermines any such project (which might be good or bad according to taste). If I really wanted to do this I would probably have to be someone else, but I might still end up going for Gravity’s Rainbow, which has more stuffness in it than any other novel I’ve ever read (with the possible exception of Tristram Shandy, which would make a good back-up).

  3. yami wrote:

    Huh, I thought it tasted much less orange than regular mac’n’cheez, let alone regular mac’n’cheez with a superabundance of cheez powder and no margarine in the fridge.
    And I’d argue that the Borges anti-classification in fact lies at the very heart of any possible vanitypedia, or at least forms part of an orthogonal basis for the space of all such.

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