I thought these two were related:
I’ve learned that the web has countless ways to say “no,” or to say “meh.” It has fewer ways to say “yes.” Readability looks like a way to say “yes” to people doing hard work—whether they’re journalists, essay and fiction writers, publishers, editors, fact-checkers, illustrators, photographers, proofreaders, circulation specialists—or the people who write the checks. The web needs more “yes.”
My persistent frustration with most web design is that it doesn’t give me what I want or, for that matter, what the site seems to want to give.
Google ads, tag clouds, and excessive hyperlinks litter the page, forcing type smaller and smaller just so it can “fit above the fold.” Or, worse, the tl;dr Tumblr crowd who present us with nothing but acontextual photos and clever sentences from the first paragraphs of The New Yorker articles in large, bold, sans-serif type.
Fuck the fold. And fuck tl;dr. I like scrolling, I like long reads, and I like large (enough) type.
In case you missed it:
- Kevin Kelly on the seeming inevitability of free Kindles, via kottke.
- Profile of Heather Armstrong of Dooce in the New York Times. Blogging is truly a different enterprise than it was ten years ago.
- I haven’t had a chance to watch the 50 greatest opening sequences of all-time, but I want to.
- Slate’s Farhad Manjoo calls Thunderbolt “the most amazing locomotive,” and not in a thoroughly sincere way. For what it’s worth, high-speed rail is a pretty appealing form of transit in Europe and Asia, and I for one wish it were more widely deployed throughout the States.
- The question isn’t whether or not to support post-production of Urbanized on Kickstarter, it’s whether to fork over the extra $25 for the Blu-Ray version of the box set to come.
- I haven’t read it yet, but God, isn’t this headline amazing? What Happens in Vagueness Stays in Vagueness (by Clark Whelton).
Recent viewing: I can’t more strongly recommend The 39 Steps, which we watched as part of the AFI Silver Theater’s Hitchcock Retrospective. Occasionally slapstick and often disorienting, the whole show is elliptical but rich, especially so for a sub-90 minute feature film.
I also recommend Inside Job. Though the tone gets pushy and the filmmakers do an uneven job of keeping all the facts in order, they are to be credited for getting at the deeper systematic causes of the 2008 financial crisis with an unusually strong indictment of higher education institutions – and perhaps it only seems strong because it is merely present.
Oh, and I have a working television at my residence for the first time in almost six years. What’s everyone doing for Oscar night?