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September 5, 1999:

People do write in occasionally, Surprisingly enough, most of it is kind of complimentary. I did get something kind of mean spirited from Jorn Barger, the editor of Robot Wisdom, though, in retrospect, his letter and my response seemed kind of funny. For the record, even though I didn't like the tone of his rebuke, I have tried to make some changes. So Enjoy.

Dear Phil,

Okay, I will go out of my way to clue you in-- DON'T YOU DARE COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS ADVICE:

- your reviews don't even link to the stuff they're reviewing

- they're printed in offensively oversized fonts

- the link-descriptions are inadequate

Please don't spam me any more until you fix all three of these.

Also, your overlong subjectline above is yet more idiotic cluelessness.

Sincerely, your pal Jorn. (Ed note: I added the "Dear" and "Pal" parts.)

Dear Jorn,

Well, f__ you too jorn.

By the way, since we're both having some fun here.

--Your layout is amateurish.

--Your logo looks as if it was designed by a 6 year old. I at least have the excuse of working a full time job, plus I'm doing two websites.

--I really don't care that much about Jennicam. And Joyce is primarily unreadable, pretentious garbage. I quit after the Dubliners.

--I'll change my fonts as soon as you change your long scrolls.

However, I will be happy to keep your link on my page because there are occasionally some things I see that I don't see anywhere else. If that's all right with you, that is.

I will also take your name off my list.

One other thing, some of the magazine stories are not online yet. That means you have to go to the f__ing store and buy the magazines. There is a daily meme section where you can directly access online stories. I assume that you're so angry about the fonts that you never clicked it on.

August 8th, 1999:

Hi. So its been about a month or two and I'm getting the sense of this new forum. I can't say it's Nirvana. In fact, like life itself, you sort of get back what you put into it. So, I'm going to make a few changes. One, I'm going to attach a ratings system for magazines. Your standard One through Five stars.

I'm also thinking about adding a section of classifieds. I figure it would help drive readers and traffic. So stay tuned. We want to get better.

Hey, we figure we can't get any worse.

By the way here's the rating system explained.

    Five Stars: The best that the popular science press has to offer. The best of the early Wireds, or to put it in more general terms, the early Spy magazines, the early Mother Jones, so forth. Also, when the issue is entirely readable. Where the entire issue just can't be put down.

    Four Stars: Pretty good, but not perfect. Some stories are great, others aren't. The Sciences usually falls into this category.

   Three: Your usual uninspired stuff. Where its clear its been written by committee and where its clear that writers are being held to some conservative and uninteresting house view. Think of your usually boring issues of Time and Newsweek.Popular Science sets the standard for three stars. Often quite professional, but uninspired and passionless.

    Two: Just awful dreck. Looks unprofessional, bad writing. No passionate or inspired writing. I guess Hustler would be the marquee player here.

    One: Worse than just awful dreck. Untrue. Biased. If Drudge had a magazine, then this is how I would rank it. Controlled by the rabid right wing, advertisers or others who constantly strangle original point of view. The Stephen Glass New Republics step to mind. And Hustler.