Paid Advertisement:

(click to close this window)

Our story begins...

A professional artist's rendering of the situation. Be sure to mouseover and click on all the images on this page, for the full 2004 when Dan Wang and I (Jonathan Wegener) were both residing on campus for the summer. With no classes to occupy our time, we began our experiments in cooking. At the start, we were klutzy and inefficient. But through the painful process of trial and error, we slowly learned the culinary arts. Our skill set grew, as did our stomachs. But another thing grew too: the costs.

Cooking can be expensive, especially with no previous supplies. When Dan and I shopped, I always paid. Why? It wasn't because I'm a nice guy (I am.), or because I have cash to blow (Nope.) or because I'm dashingly handsome (Absolutely.) — it was simply a matter of convenience. I paid for all the groceries expecting to split the costs with Dan at some later point in time. As the costs began to add up and he never offered to repay me, I needed a convenient way to keep track of our rapidly widening economic disparity. Luckily, that fine corporation called Microsoft provided the ideal tool: Notepad. Neither too simple nor too complex, notepad is the perfect scratchpad. In a matter of seconds, I had created my masterpiece: dansdebt.txt. A mere text file, dansdebt.txt contained a comprehensive itemized list of costs associated with our cooking.

As Dan's debt became significant, I confronted my good friend with the itemized list, requesting that he repay me. But Dan was unreceptive and rebellious, responding with numerous attempts to eliminate all records of his debt. He only succeeded once, deleting the entire contents of dansdebt.txt and leaving only the cryptic phrase: "Jon's Eternal Debt to Dan: $2 out of spite." Although the original contents of dansdebt.txt have been lost forever, that phrase remains.

But the debt never disappeared. No, no, no, my friend. Dan's debt continues to grow to this very day! Suspiciously, Dan often finds himself without any money and insists on borrowing from me. Worried about the fast pace of Dan's growing debt, I once calculated a projection of Dan's debt [PDF]. Upon seeing the frightening results, I realized something had to be done. A week later, I unveiled to the world. Initially, the website contained only the graph and the contents of dansdebt.txt. But recently, in another act of defiance, Dan has unveiled, which he has devilishly used to desecrate my website, distort the truth, and disseminate lies. In response, I have further updated this page to refute the arguments presented on that website.

The (dis)contents of dansdebt.txt

Who is this asshole?
Alias: Deadbeat Dan.
Name: Dan Jun Wang.
Age: 21.
Height: Lies.
Weight: Lies++.
Occupation 1: Coercing interviewees into saying exactly what he wants to hear, then broadcasting it to all of NYC.
Occupation 2: Asskisser for various academic departments.
Idol: Flying Tom.
American Idol: Jason Mohaghegh.
Favorite Website:
Favorite Color: (Pittsburgh Steelers) Yellow.
Most Embarrassing Photograph: Dan and Tom, wearing nothing but ties around their neck, with the disturbing caption: "dan>tom (if you know what I mean)."
Frequently spotted... At parties, lecturing strangers on philosophy while gesturing wildly with his hands.
Greatest Accomplishment: Memorizing the entire contents of the Columbia Spectator.
Greatest Fears: That you ignore his advice to "Take it easy." ; The Asian Glow ; The word 'i' in lowercase.
Famous Quote: "Safety!"


Misleading Rhetoric

  • What dan says:
    "Ever since the dawn of human thought, scholars and philosophers alike have sought truth and justice. They soon learned that these two concepts were intricately linked and that the realms of human knowledge and human action were very much the same. So, exploring the boundaries of ethics, while at the same time deepening their understanding of things, they developed specific methodologies for comprehending their realities. It is precisely at this intersection of empirical investigation and ethical analysis that I unveil to the world."
    What dan means:
    "I'm boring."
  • What dan says:
    "...if we had to spend all night checking the dictionary for what the word 'broil' meant, we did..."
    What dan means:
    "I read while Jon cooks."
  • What dan says:
    "I understand that human memory is inherently biased and therefore, flawed when it comes to recounting a sequence of occurrences;"
    What dan means:
    "I can't be trusted."
  • What dan says:
    "I felt, and still believe today, that one should take responsibility for one's own choices; thus, if one wants to cook something, one must be responsible for obtaining all the ingredients."
    What dan means:
    "I'll eat, but I won't pay."
  • What dan says:
    "...for the most part, I paid him back."
    What dan means:
    "I never paid him back."
  • What dan says:
    "Just as I neglected my differences for our friendship to chip in for costs, I ask that Jon, too, in the name of friendship rescind the (inaccurate) record of my so-to-speak, debt."
    What dan means:
    "I'm going to build an entire website complete with falsified testimonials discrediting Jonathan's character and then ask him to relieve me of my debt."

Blatant Lies features a side-by-side comparison of two specialty dishes: Dan's 'Spicy Tofu' and my 'Ziti with Eggplant.' Unfortunately, Dan's calculations are wildly innaccurate and are typical of his shoddy labor. Perhaps you need to learn to use notepad, Dan.

1) First, let's stop comparing apples and oranges. Why compare two of my dishes to Dan's one?! Ignore the pita bread.
2) The price listed for crushed tomatoes is for organic tomatoes. The correct price should read $1.59.
3) There is no oregano. Also, the recipe uses fresh basil, not parsley.

Including these corrections, our ingredients and prices are as follows:
Ziti Pasta (Rozoni, 1 lb., $1.29), Eggplant (Vegetable, 1 lb., $1.99), Crushed Tomatoes (Redpack, 28 oz., $1.59), Fresh Basil (Spice, 1 bunch, $.99).
Total cost: $5.86

Aha! This price is infact lower than the cost for Dan's 'Spicy Tofu,' which comes to $9.24 and, incidentally, fails to include the cost of rice.

Get involved
Please contact Dan Wang and urge him to pay his debt:

Dan Wang
Lerner Box 2764
New York NY 10027-8322

Update #1: Dan Flees Country!
In his latest attempt to escape his debt, Dan has fled the country. Rumor has it that he's wandering around Europe and has plans to settle in Berlin.

Notice that his flight route looked suspiciously like the graph of his rising debt [pdf].

Update #2: Dan pays me back...sort of.
Because he's completely incompetent, Dan forced me to make the plans this past summer for a trip to Madrid. I paid for both the hostel and the plane tickets. After returning to his home in Berlin, he was unwilling/unable to pay me, instead deciding to 'pay me later.'

Dan paid me back today: in Euros.

Thanks Dan.