Meta-meta-meta-review of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

With the recent launch of Mountain Lion, we were once again treated to a novella-sized OS X review from John Siracusa.1 Many of us anticipate these Siracusian epics more than we do the software upgrade itself.

This year, Marco Arment joined in with an awesome meta-review2, which inevitably led Will Hains to post his own meta-meta-review.

You see where I’m going with this.


Will’s meta-meta-review is either one, two, or six words long. This ambiguity stems from the five distinct yet adjacent characters of its quantitative portion. While automated word counting puts the total at six words, common sense dictates no more than two.

Ambiguity notwithstanding, Will’s post is about 1% as long as Marco’s meta-review. This is in line with the 2% precedent set by Marco, who wrote 586 words compared to Siracusa’s 25,935.

My own meta-meta-meta-review, extrapolating these ratios to increasingly self-referential depths, should have been limited to a single character. But I would never leave a one-star review.


In accordance with the Daring Fireball Edict of 2004, this linked-list post has its URL pointing directly to Marco’s meta-review.

The canonical permalink ends with a partial word (“mounta”). However, this blemish is only noteworthy compared to the elegant permalink for his last meta post.


Several weeks ago, Will gave his blog a beautiful new design. The understated style meshes nicely with such a concise post, making it among the most visually stunning meta-meta-reviews I’ve seen.


These nested reviews from Will, Marco, and Siracusa exemplify the web at its delightful and geeky best. Whether I have enhanced or muddied the delight is a judgment for any meta-meta-meta-meta-reviews that I pray are never written.

  1. To those who consider Mountain Lion reviews an obsolete topic, let me explain that I wholeheartedly endorse the following sentiment from Ben Brooks:

    If my article or review won’t be as helpful in seven days as it is today, then
    it’s not worth posting at any point.

    But someone who needs to be convinced probably isn’t reading this footnote. 

  2. Marco’s meta-review appears to be based on an embargoed pre-release draft of
    Siracusa’s review, since their timestamps are merely six minutes apart. However,
    according to sources who have proven accurate in the past, the only differences
    between these drafts were in the choice of Journey screenshots