Quintessence of the Loon

Background to the site

My name is , and I created this web site on 23 December, 1998, as acknowledgment of one of the greatest pieces of madness or weirdness I had ever come across on the World Wide Web. Sometimes even I think I am making this stuff up.

Selection rules
To be selected to appear here, a web site must meet certain criteria:

  • The site must represent detachment from reality or a glorious obsession by the site owner. Both of these together is even better. Ideally, the site should represent the views of an identified person or group.
  • Nobody can volunteer their own site for listing here, although anyone is welcome to .
  • I don't list parody or joke sites (although it is inevitable that I will get caught out some day). While it can be argued that all of these sites are jokes and nobody could believe this stuff, that's not the point.
  • I may list the occasional hoax site. The difference between a parody and a hoax is that a parody is meant to be a joke, whereas a hoax is just meant to deceive. An example of a hoax is the Wingmakers site featured in September 1999.
  • There is a quality standard. Sites must be literate and look like some effort has gone into making them. This rule will be broken if necessary.
  • This is essentially about having fun, so, no matter how funny or stupid they might appear, it is unlikely that I will be linking to sites run by paedophiles, holocaust revisionists, any-colour supremacists, anti-vaccinationists or other dangerous people. Generally, something that makes me laugh might get in, but if it just makes me angry or sad it won't. (Those sites may make it into The Millenium Project, however.)
  • Following on from the previous rule, I am pretty tolerant and not easily offended, and I am not in the censorship business. Linking to a site does not mean that I approve of or agree with that site's contents. I am poking fun at these people, after all. If you don't like what you see, tell the site owner - there is little I can do.

Email republication policy
The policy here is to reproduce any critical emails sent to any email address associated with me or this site, and also to reproduce any critical discussion of me or my activities which I see or become aware of on mailing lists, Usenet newsgroups or any other outlets in any form of media. The solution is simple for anyone who does not want to see their words published here - be quiet.

A note about the word "quintessence".
In a first-year university essay, I was mildly critical of some loon who said that "rape is the quintessential element of every woman's experience and informs her every waking moment" or some such nonsense. The marker told me that I did not understand the "finer elements of the word 'quintessential'", thereby qualifying herself for the Loon Hall of Fame. (Some would say that the term "feminist loon" is a tautology. I am reminded of another of these creatures who told me that "logic is a patriarchal construct and has no place in women's experience".) After this episode, I attempted to use the word "quintessence" or one of its derivatives in every piece of work I submitted for the rest of my undergraduate career. This was no doubt bemusing to the statisticians, psychologists, linguists and philosophers who had to read the stuff.

Quintessence of the LoonAnybody is welcome to link to this site from theirs, although for obvious reasons I can't offer to link back. You can use the button at the right of the screen if you want, but please download the graphic to your own site and please only link to the main page. Owners of featured sites can freely acknowledge the honour of selection and are invited and encouraged to link to this site even if they have nasty things to say about it or me.

"Master in Lunacy"
Everywhere you look on the 'net you see links to people called "webmaster" or "sitemaster" or "somethingelsemaster". New South Wales, which is the state I live in in Australia, once had an official public position called "Master in Lunacy" and the holder of this title had responsibility for the care, feeding and welfare of those who were not competent to manage their own affairs. I have always loved the title and it seemed appropriate to use it here.

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Copyright © 1998 - Peter Bowditch