The most obnoxious blogger in the world

by on August 7, 2008 at 7:21 am in Web/Tech | Permalink

I read many blogs but there is only one — of the two or three hundred I have sampled — which I find truly obnoxious.  I find the content obnoxious and I find the style obnoxious and I find the blogger obnoxious.  By the way, I don’t think it is a blog which has ever said anything negative about me, at least not that I’m aware of.  And it’s not a blog on the blogroll or a blog I have, as far as I can remember, linked to.   

I never read it regularly in the first place, but I don’t think I can stand to read this blog any more ever again.  Even so, I try to spin theories of how one blog and one blog only can have achieved such a special place in my mind.  It’s not a blog that covers special or unique topics, relative to the other blogs I read and link to.  Is the world not a continuum?

If you are a blogger you can know that the chance I find you obnoxious is very slim indeed.  But not zero.

Or maybe you all think that I just don’t read enough blogs.

1 Happy Rotter August 7, 2008 at 7:58 am

It’s about me, isn’t it? I knew this song was about me, didn’t I?

2 Matthew C. August 7, 2008 at 8:04 am


3 Matthew C. August 7, 2008 at 8:23 am

Alternate guesses: Yudkowsky, Moldbug, Sailor, Razib, Reynolds?

4 Cabalamat August 7, 2008 at 8:26 am

I’m guessing Adam Yoshida.

5 Santiago H. August 7, 2008 at 8:31 am

My two cents: Brad DeLong grasping reality with his two hands…

6 Anonny August 7, 2008 at 8:40 am
7 Milam Command August 7, 2008 at 8:44 am

Kim du Toit?

8 person August 7, 2008 at 8:45 am

if not perezhilton…

9 Tyler Cowen August 7, 2008 at 8:54 am

People, you need to play Sherlock Holmes! For one thing, Roissy has criticized me on his blog for another he doesn’t cover typical topics, compared to the other blogs I read.

10 josh August 7, 2008 at 9:16 am

Can we ask questions?

11 chug August 7, 2008 at 9:30 am

Is it Tyrone and his secret blog?

Tyler, this post definitely needed a “By the way, here’s a ….” And not to flying puffins. How about to
a list of the most obnoxious celebrities

12 eugene August 7, 2008 at 9:40 am

Perhaps one of the gawker blogs?

13 k August 7, 2008 at 9:45 am

Does Drudge Report count as a blog? That is obnoxious. It’s hard on the eyes and I’m still surprised people read it. I don’t get it.

14 Felix August 7, 2008 at 9:47 am


Tyler, please elaborate. If you’ve linked to me more than once, are the chances that you find me obnoxious still non-zero?

15 Tyler Cowen August 7, 2008 at 9:51 am

Felix, you are wonderful not obnoxious and that is p = 1. The interesting thing about this experiment is that none of you have guessed the person.

16 Dave August 7, 2008 at 10:08 am

Maybe Maddox is just too high brow for you…

17 Brian M August 7, 2008 at 10:17 am

I am thinking it may be Atrios/Eschatonblog.

18 K. August 7, 2008 at 10:19 am

Brian Leiter?

19 Noah Yetter August 7, 2008 at 10:36 am

Here is Tyler’s post with everything that’s not a variation of the word “blog” removed:

blogs blogger blog blog blogroll blog blog blog blog blog blogs blogger blogs.

(inspiration credit to xkcd:

Anyway it’s not Roissy because 1) Tyler linked to him and 2) he said something negative about Tyler (iirc).

20 mickslam August 7, 2008 at 10:49 am

I think – SN maybe?

21 mk August 7, 2008 at 11:05 am

Atrios is a good guess.

My meta-guess is that if it is Atrios, Tyler will wait for about 10 more posts to be made and then issue a statement that “the blogger has been mentioned.”

However, I am not sure whether the published existence of this prediction changes its validity.

22 steven August 7, 2008 at 11:11 am

Retracted, it fails the “said anything negative” criterion.

23 Dave C August 7, 2008 at 11:17 am

It’s not Atrios. Tyler linked to him just a few posts earlier.

24 Jack August 7, 2008 at 11:24 am

I find many blogs very, very obnoxious, and I’m sure my sample isn’t any larger than Tyler’s.

25 someguy August 7, 2008 at 11:28 am

Duncan Black is obnoxious but he is also smart and funny plus Tyler just linked to Atrios like yesterday.

After a little looking it also looks liked he has linked to Angrybear.

He has linked to and been attacked by Leiter. Also same as for Duncan Black.

Posner in on the blog roll.

Now if only we could google sites Tyler Cowen has not linked to.

26 Rice August 7, 2008 at 11:36 am

My guess is Mencius Moldbug.

27 Jason Malloy August 7, 2008 at 11:37 am

This post is obnoxious. It’s a ridiculous exercise; Technorati tracks approximately 113 million blogs, and you want people to guess*. It’s also rather jerkish to goad your readers into insulting tons of people. Many who are probably readers as well.

* Still he gave like two clues that would exclude absolutely anyone and no one is even using those, e.g. Atrios, roissy…

28 josh August 7, 2008 at 11:42 am

Steve Sailer is also linked. Tyler also mentioned tagging him about his ipod, so I doubt he finds him obnoxious.

How about Little Green Footballs?

29 Dave August 7, 2008 at 11:52 am
30 anon August 7, 2008 at 11:58 am

How is the blog obnoxious?

There’s little chance that we’ll guess the name, so please tell us.

31 Kevin Donoghue August 7, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Was it his obituary of Solzhenitsyn that finally got to you?

32 Roland Stephen August 7, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Micky Kaus

33 Roland Stephen August 7, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Micky Kaus

34 Roland Stephen August 7, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Micky Kaus

35 Rhys Southan August 7, 2008 at 12:32 pm

This blog entry is a Rorschach Test.

36 SheetWise August 7, 2008 at 12:42 pm

It’s got to be Do The Dishes First.

That’s a real piece of work. The ultimate insult is to compare any blog to Do The Dishes First.

37 Jack August 7, 2008 at 12:53 pm

David Warsh at Economic Principals, although it is not a blog (?).

38 Ken Houghton August 7, 2008 at 1:07 pm

If Tyler Cowen found Economic Principals obnoxious, it would show that he’s in the wrong profession. Which is not an assumption we can make and be credible.

Santiago H.’s guess fails, since Dr. DeLong is on the blogroll (as himself).

Also, since it’s not a specialist blog, that rules out the Fire Joe Morgan/Sports Economist crowd.

The implication from the post is that the tone has changed for the worst recently, which rules out Dr. Duncan Black.

And it would be a pity if he’s given up on Amygdala.

39 Greg August 7, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Sounds like the Lew Rockwell Blog…

40 chris cella August 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm

OK SERIOUSLY… Come on Tyler this is not fair… Why do this? Just come out and say it, or at least give some clues!

41 Tom August 7, 2008 at 1:39 pm


42 Person August 7, 2008 at 1:48 pm

I nominate myself. I mean, take a look at this post alone. Look at how it combines all the elements:

-Claiming to have the shortest and best libertarian case for IP.
-Trivializing the biggest objection to it.
-Claiming to be too good for journals, that they would be “ungrateful” for not accepting his submissions.
-Claiming not to have heard any decent arguments against it.
-Making wild accusations about people, while pretending to leave them nameless, then backhandedly naming them.
-The title of the blog, claiming that he “sets everything straight”.

43 Macneil August 7, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I agree with (all five of!) Roland’s posts. It’s Micky Kaus.

44 Shylurk August 7, 2008 at 2:08 pm


45 caltuffy August 7, 2008 at 2:09 pm

One of those troll guys in the NY Times article? Like Jason Fortuny?

46 Mike August 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm

I think the key to this puzzle is: which blogger commonly titles posts “the most x, y, in the world” or something along those lines, and then ? I don’t know…
blog blog blog.

47 fire megan mcardle August 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm

I doubt Tyler is upset with us. We’re very complementary of his hair.

48 NC Almirall August 7, 2008 at 2:38 pm

After eliminating the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth — it’s pretty improbable, but doesn’t Marginal Revolution fit the description?

Besides, Tyler seems too nice a guy to write something so harsh about anyone but himself.

49 Yancey Ward August 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm


Tyler has linked to himself on more than one occasion.

50 trasjr7 August 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Tucker Max? It’s pretty difficult to stoop lower.

51 Rich August 7, 2008 at 4:09 pm


Do you think that Steve Piraino was serious or just bluffing when he said:

“That was clever how you did that. Read it again people.”

52 david August 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Does Olbermann have a blog yet? Anything by that sub-human lowlife would qualify as most obnoxious.

53 Jim Rockwell August 7, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Rich – Maybe… not sure! What is the clue that we are missing?

The entry is certainly written strangely… Is there a secret in the way it is written?

54 Sohaib August 7, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Tucker Max?

55 Sohaib August 7, 2008 at 4:49 pm


56 Rich August 7, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Jim: is it a coincidence that Tyler has just posted something on quantum mechanics?

Or is it perhaps a red herring?

Or is it coincidence?

(BTW, I don’t think it’s EconLog, for many reasons, but among them the fact that Tyler refers to the blog author in the singular…)

57 Rich August 7, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Michael: that’s why I keep thinking there must be a dead giveaway buried somewhere… I mean, he can’t possibly be asking us to just guess what he might find obnoxious. There’s something deeper going on.

58 Rich August 7, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Well, maybe I’m just being Fooled by Randomness. But you do see the term arising in the context of “discrete and continuum quantum gravity,” for example.

Yeah, I know, probably too much of a reach… but who knows, maybe someone else can make sense of it…

59 Pope on Dope August 7, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I’m guessing that it is a certain blog that I can’t name here because I agreed to keep it a secret in exchange for the URL.

Sorry if someone already guessed this; I’m not infallible you know.

60 Taylor August 7, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Come on!!!!! Tell us who issssssssss!! Jeez. This is not cool!

61 londenio August 7, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Maybe the key word is not “continuum” but “obnoxious”.

One archaic meaning of obnoxious is “deserving of censure”

62 MW August 7, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Maybe Tyler has been reading Ahmadinejad’s Blog.

63 joel w August 7, 2008 at 6:08 pm

maybe the keyword is *indeed*? “If you are a blogger you can know that the chance I find you obnoxious is very slim indeed.”

I’m going w/ Instapundit.

64 guesser August 7, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Is the world not a continuum?

I was tempted to suggest it’s the author who recently and famously suggested that, contrary to popular understanding, the world is flat. AFAIK, he doesn’t have a blog, though.

65 jim rockwell August 7, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Well I don’t think its his secret blog because I believe someone already mentioned that before his comment…

Tyler also said “The interesting thing about this experiment is that none of you have guessed the person”

If that is interesting, then it sort of confirms that there must be a clue hidden somewhere in the entry… If it were just some obscure blogger, then he would expect that nobody would guess the person, and that would not be interesting…

66 josh August 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Sullivan has been linked.

The problem with instapundit, is that the blogger hardly ever contributes any original content. This doesn’t exclude him from being obnoxious, but Tyler says the content is obnoxious. The content of instapundit is from a pretty large variety of sources. It can’t all be obnoxious.

67 Rich August 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm

“I find the content obnoxious and I find the style obnoxious and I find the blogger obnoxious.”

This suggests that Tyler knows the blogger somehow, either personally or because the blogger is a public figure. Otherwise how would Tyler know that he found the blogger him/herself obnoxious, as distinct from the blogger’s content or style?

68 Joseph Weisenthal August 7, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I think Instapundit is a solid guess.

69 Swimmy August 7, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Any obnoxious blogger you can pick I can pick better.

(Tyler, if you read anything from this link, including the comments, I guarantee you’ll have another entry on your list.)

70 Swimmy August 7, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Wait, I can even top that. Mayhaps Tyler has visited The World According To Bob? He is a libertarian of sorts who thinks rape is equivalent to “getting laid.” And he writes in third person.

71 Lord August 7, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Perhaps Carpe Diem

72 john August 7, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Or maybe that was Protien

73 john August 7, 2008 at 8:20 pm

And, of course, that would be Cowen, not Cowan.

/slinks out/

74 tillerman August 7, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Although I’d be surprised if any of my guesses is significant enough to merit this kind of official notice of its noxiousness…

(and, personally, Rachel Lucas entertains me)

75 meter August 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Googling “most obnoxious blogger” yields this list. Some good candidates in there, but looks like Perez Hilton “wins” by a landslide:

76 Anonymous August 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

I doubt Tucker Max, he has linked Ryan Holiday several times and although they are different people, I am hard pressed to feel someone would like Ryan Holiday but then call out one of his superiors as obnoxious. I could be wrong though.

77 Scientific August 7, 2008 at 10:14 pm

What’s obnoxious is posting something like this and not having the balls to name names.

78 Dylan August 7, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Christ, people, it’s Glenn Greenwald. Have you READ him? And remember his little Megan McArdle spat that would have brought him to Tyler’s attention?

79 MNPundit August 7, 2008 at 10:51 pm

I would have to guess Glenn (who it seems has not had a day of happiness in the last 3 years) or Atrios which while he has guests is largely solo. The day he is not blase (I have seen him be not-blase once in 6 years!) is the day I find him readable again.

80 Rick Ellensberg August 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Greenwald? Dylan, you’ve got to be kidding me.

Everyone knows that Greenwald’s book has been on the N.Y. Times Best Seller List for 6 weeks now or more. He is a graduate of a top 5 law school and worked at the most prestigious law firm in the country. In 9 months, he’s managed to become one of the most cited and heavily-trafficked bloggers on the internets. His posts have led to front page news articles and are read by U.S. Senators during Senate hearings.

How could anyone find him obnoxious? The only one obnoxious here is YOU.

Good DAY sir!

81 Chris August 7, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Eric Alterman’s Altercation blog? I get the feeling that Tyler doesn’t care for 1,000 percent certitude; there is no topic on which Alterman isn’t absolutely sure he’s right and everyone else isn’t just wrong but an ass; and Alterman is prominent enough that Tyler might have run into him in a green room somewhere.

82 Devin McCullen August 8, 2008 at 12:16 am

Even so, I try to spin theories

Deadspin? Especially now that Will Leitch is gone?

83 Jim Rockwell August 8, 2008 at 12:19 am

I call BS on the part of a lot of other commentators here!

For one, what does Steve Johnson mean when he says its obvious? I mean, the answer is a blogger. Its not a famous book or movie or something. I only know a handful of bloggers as is. So no answer is going to strike me as “obvious”

And why the tricks? why not just come out and say who you think it is, and we’ll just whether its obvious or not.

Remember, unless Dr. Cowen made a mistake, the answer is NOT this blog OR his secret blog. Those have been ruled out.

There have been two types of comments here: people who are unsure, yet give educated guesses, and people who claim to be certain of the answer, yet provide only vague and ambiguous hints.

Again, the answer is a BLOGGER… I can’t think of a single blogger that would be an obvious answer here, and I’m pretty sure I’ve gone through every blogger that I know. So I either don’t know the blogger, or its not that ‘obvious’

Steve – What about the second paragraph lends itself so clearly to a given blogger? One that writes on the kind of topics that Tyler typically links to?

84 Jim Rockwell August 8, 2008 at 12:36 am

Yah, or, we could all try and pool our efforts to find the answer… But it appears that the only people who know the answer are intentionally not sharing it.

Again, this is not like a simple puzzle, where the answer could be obvious to anyone who looks hard enough. The answer obviously requires some level of knowledge about other bloggers. So, its worthwhile to ask, how much do we have to know about other bloggers to answer this question? Maybe the answer seems obvious to other people, only because they are acquainted with this particular blogger.

It is not this blog, or the secret blog.

85 Mike August 8, 2008 at 2:23 am

What a pathetic and narcissistic post by Tyler Cowen. Looks like he wanted to boost the clicks and the comments and you all fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

86 Scott August 8, 2008 at 3:34 am

PZ myers after the cracker thing

87 Jim Rockwell August 8, 2008 at 6:59 am

Yah, I think Cowen should just state it already. Otherwise it strikes me as a rather cowardly and self-serving post. and I am a huge fan of TC and Marginal Revolution. A rare miss.

88 tgb1000 August 8, 2008 at 8:25 am

I know and the rest of you don’t! Ha!

89 Phoebe August 8, 2008 at 8:46 am

No Quarter! How do I claim my prize?

90 Tony August 8, 2008 at 9:13 am

How obnoxious is it to play “I’ve got a secret”? Whomever it is you have in mind, I think he is playing for second…

91 Michael August 8, 2008 at 10:14 am

Taylor Marsh.


92 R Brun August 8, 2008 at 10:34 am

Talk about obnoxious! I think there’s a little projection going on here…

93 Marcus Better August 8, 2008 at 10:45 am

Vox Day at Vox Populi, for sure

94 Jesse August 8, 2008 at 10:47 am

I got it. Daily Kos. Tell me I’m wrong?

95 Matt August 8, 2008 at 11:32 am
96 themightypuck August 8, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Art DeVany.

97 john August 8, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Wow Richard/Schiller1979, cutting edge it is. I got a paper cut reading your “VPOTUS stands for vice president of the United States”. You can get into a lot of trouble saying things like that.

Obnoxious? Probably. Boring? …

98 C Norris August 8, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Surely Larry Johnson’s verbal diarrhea is the epitome of obnoxious?

99 anon/portly August 8, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Why do commenters think he should name the blogger (if he/she exists)? That would be kind of impolite. I think it is kind of interesting if for him one particular blog has provoked this reaction, as for me the world is a continuum, in this regard.

I’m surprised more didn’t guess Andrew Sullivan, since at least along one continuum, excitability (as Kaus puts it) or degree of temporary attachment to their positions, Sullivan and Cowen seem to be at opposite extremes. But guessing people like Sullivan or Kaus that people conventionally find obnoxious seems dubious to me. I would think that anyone reading MR for any length of time would realize that the underlying cause for finding another blog particularly obnoxious is unlikely to be obvious. Most people’s criterion for a guess seems to be “here’s a blogger I find obnoxious.” I don’t think you’re going to get from A to B that way. I think a more fruitful criterion would be, “here’s a blogger I can’t decide whether they’re obnoxious or not.” The first blogger I would guess using this criterion would be Lileks. (This does yield a sort of Borders vs. Target opposition that I like, so it’s probably a horrible guess).

The obvious answer is that it’s a blog called any more, since he says he doesn’t think he can “stand to read this blog any more ever again.”

100 Jeff August 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

If the issue is a single-author blog, my guess would be The Daily Dish. Sullivan has grown progressively more hateful to anyone who says anything other than “Obama is Jesus”, so when you add that to his Obama man-crush, his barely concealed meaness about McCain’s age, and his months of whinning about his possible deportation, I’d say the writing was referring to the execrable Daily Dish.

101 Richard August 8, 2008 at 3:09 pm

OK, John, maybe I exaggerated slightly. There might be one or two among the 113 million blogs that are more controversial than mine.

102 a guess August 8, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Has he ever linked to thegspot / Kathy G’s blog? Even when all the Monopsony fighting was going down, I don’t remember a link/comment? It is an all purpose blog that gets around lately. She is also critical of Megan Mcardle, who is a friend of Tyler’s?

103 alwsdad August 8, 2008 at 5:21 pm

I’ll guess this is a meta-exercise of some sort. If nothing else, we’ve learned that the hate from this blog’s commenters flies in all different directions. So on that level, it’s been an interesting read. Dr. Cowen is no doubt far too polite to ever attack a named individual in this way.

104 tillerman August 8, 2008 at 6:31 pm

rortybomb, i call 1st on the kathy g / g spot nomination.

105 Kim Scarborough August 8, 2008 at 11:58 pm

I’m thinking this post is some kind of word game–like an acrostic or an anagram or some such. The phrasing is just so odd, it’s really like he’s making it conform to the requirements of a puzzle. Steve has probably figured it out, and I’m guessing that his last post uses the same “code” as Tyler’s entry.

106 Anonymous August 9, 2008 at 1:15 am

the gawdawful

107 Fried Wire August 9, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Oh purrrrrrrrrr-lease be me! I’m not on the blogroll and I pride myself on being an obnoxious piece of shit.

108 TML August 10, 2008 at 9:42 pm

spencer ackermann, obviously

109 Jim Rockwell August 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm

OK – maybe its tyler’s secret blog, @

110 Barkley Rosser August 12, 2008 at 2:14 am

And, yes, at least one of them is a fairly major blogger, not named so far by anybody, and excruciatingly obnoxious.

111 Anonymous August 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm

You are successful enough that you have no excuse other than junior high trauma.

Psychoanalyzing from afar. Sheesh.

Spungen: Do you know who is the world’s most obnoxious blogger?

112 Spungen August 20, 2008 at 1:30 am

Oh my god, I can’t believe Roissy actually responded! And at such length! On a comment I made two days after the post! Shouldn’t he be out getting laid or something, instead of talking about Alexa ratings, whatever those are?

Dr. Cowan, if you bother to read comments down this far, this Neil Strauss article may help explain Roissy and the many (many many) other bloggers out there like him:

“Those who manage to earn the respect of their peers through online postings or real-world prowess can make money writing ebooks or running workshops. This has given birth to a seduction industry in America marketed almost entirely through online newsgroups and mailing lists. Some have turned it into a full-time career with six-figure incomes, others into a lucrative sideline allowing them to collect a few thousand dollars here and there.”

In light of that, can you blame an obnoxious schmo for trying to play the game?

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