Small text doesn't mitigate excessive length September 21, 2004 11:29 PM   Subscribe

Small text doesn't mitigate excessive length, karl. It exacerbates it, by making ALL THAT harder to read. What? Are you trying to make less work for those of us who will scroll past it? If you want to be read, leave your Iraq links + editorializing legible and stop pretending they don't take up as much space as they do.
posted by scarabic to Etiquette/Policy at 11:29 PM (46 comments total)

I'm not asking karl to leave. I'm not asking karl to stop. I'm just asking karl to stop making me go blind because he feels guilty about the length of his posts.
posted by scarabic at 11:30 PM on September 21, 2004


I agree. Not on the long posts, but on the small text.
posted by Hildago at 11:56 PM on September 21, 2004


I'm running 1152 x 864 on a 17" monitor and I don't have any problems reading the text. What are you running, like 1800?!
posted by The God Complex at 12:19 AM on September 22, 2004


In addition, I really like small text and I find his posts visually appealing. To each his own.
posted by The God Complex at 12:20 AM on September 22, 2004


Fanaticals who are trying to change the world have no editor.

The uni bomber, manson, y2karl, better tapping out manifestos under the light of a single bulb than actually out in public.

Count your blessings.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 12:39 AM on September 22, 2004


I find the massive blocks of small text unreadable also, although I note that that's because of my font size choice in my user settings.

But I can't be arsed going into my settings to change it temporarily for y2karl's posts, and Matt's choices for the stylesheets means that IE (or, in my case, Maxthon) doesn't play nice with CTRL-scroll for resizing, so I just tend to skip the cut-and-pastes.

Ah well, my loss.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:52 AM on September 22, 2004


He links to everything he pastes, you know.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:18 AM on September 22, 2004


Which kinda militates against the idea that it's sensible to paste so much text inline, doesn't it?

Not that I care much either way, I hasten to add.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:45 AM on September 22, 2004


From The Pissant Chronicles, chapter four-hundred-and-forty-one, The Recrudescence:.

"My ass is so tight that when I fart, only dogs can hear it," warned Wing Commander Lucien Colon.
posted by Opus Dark at 2:27 AM on September 22, 2004


Just do what I do for extreme verbosity. Read the underlined text in the links (you did change your MeFi setup to underline links, right?). Then it only takes about 2 seconds to realize it's not worth clicking on. So much easier that way.

FYI, that gives you:

"Iraq: The Bungled Transition. Iraq: How bad can things get?--The Making of a Mess. Far graver than Vietnam ... a Classic guerrilla war forming in Iraq .... Enemy With Many Faces. Calling It Like It Is, ... onion farm ... US-backed armies firing blanks..."

Which, actually, is pretty much the entire interesting part of the post. So much easier that way.
posted by shepd at 2:58 AM on September 22, 2004


I have to say, y2karl's 'link to an article then paste the damn article below the link' style really does annoy me. If we wanted to read the article, we'd click the link.
posted by reklaw at 4:03 AM on September 22, 2004


but it's the fact that most people don't click on the articles that makes y2k post important parts of it right below. He's learned from experience, and i find it helpful.
posted by amberglow at 5:25 AM on September 22, 2004


I have a more general complaint about the use of small text. If I wanted to read text that damned small, I'd set my normal fonts on the page to be that small (you know, since we have that ability). But I don't want to read text that small, as it is much more difficult to read. This applies to y2karl's front page polemics, but it also applies to things like this answer in the recent ask.me opera thread, which was probably fascinating and useful, but which I could only bring myself to read half of because I couldn't be bothered leaning in close to see what it said for that long. The same poster had a full sized text post earlier in the thread, and I read that all the way through and found it interesting.

If your post is long, make it more readable, not less. Stand behind the posts you make enough to give them full respect, if they're not worth that, they're not worth posting.

Also, on preview, to reply to amberglow's comment, I'd think if he wants to provide an executive summary without cluttering up the front page, a full sized more inside/first comment is probably a much better option. Though, I also think that doing things that encourage people to not read the links before they engage in heated debate about their content is undesireable as a whole.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:44 AM on September 22, 2004


He's learned from experience, and i find it helpful.

This isn't a fucking classroom. We're all adults here and if we care to click the link, we will. I certainly don't need to be told what is important and what isn't. Unlike you or karl, I trust my judgment to ascertain the important facts of a specific topic.

And BTW, he gets away with it because he can. As I've said before, I truly appreciate his brevity. The fact that he's only posting once every week or two is greatly appreciated, because all of his research is found in one place. But to purposefully clutter my viewing experience is rather annoying. As scarabic points out, I can't "just scroll past it" because those inline texts occasionally get stuck on my browser. If you want to go nuts with formatting, at the very least, do it inside the thread. At best, do it on your own blog.
posted by BlueTrain at 5:49 AM on September 22, 2004


I find it pleasant. Like half the calories! I'll read two!!

Seriously, I find his posts interesting, and it's helpful to me to visually differentiate his comments from copied text. I'd rather read a smaller font than a block of italic.
posted by Feisty at 6:36 AM on September 22, 2004


I fucking hate that shade of blue; it doesn't look right on my monitor. Change it immediately to serve my needs.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:41 AM on September 22, 2004


Fanaticals who are trying to change the world have no editor.

How can you not mention Anne Rice?
posted by onlyconnect at 7:20 AM on September 22, 2004


I ragged on y2karl consistently when he was putting paragraph breaks in these FPPs. I still think he could do with more "more inside" application, but the current style is a big improvement, so I'm not gonna complain.

And I realize it was probably meant as hyperbole, reklaw, but he doesn't paste the whole article - not that I've ever seen, anyway. He excerpts more of it than most of us probably would, but as often as not the points are complex enough that it's a fairer picture of the piece than a one-sentence or one-phrase excerpt could give.

I also have my screen at a pretty high resolution and have no problem reading the text (IE6/NT). YMMV.
posted by soyjoy at 7:47 AM on September 22, 2004


What do you think about this look? It's nothing fancy of course. But it's more "me" and I intend you use it from now on as my own little personal Mefi-Format. I don't care if you don't like it. Does anyone have a problem reading this (not that it matters)?
posted by Witty at 8:52 AM on September 22, 2004


Is it supposed to look blurry?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:09 AM on September 22, 2004


I think Witty's onto something.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:19 AM on September 22, 2004


Yes... it's artsy.
posted by Witty at 9:19 AM on September 22, 2004


.
posted by mischief at 9:54 AM on September 22, 2004


jacquilynne (warning: small font ahead):

WTF? If you have issue with small font size overriding your desire for illumination, it's very simple: CUT & PASTE and then stick it into WORD and read it in your 72++ TNR font. Okay? It's really quite simple...Or you could stop complaining when someone is trying to elucidate? I'm not getting paid for the time/effort I put into AskMe, you know. If you want to pay me per word, I’ll customize the font size to tailor your preferences.

To explain myself, I was being considerate because I didn't want to hoard space on the page with my lengthy, verbose recommendations. It doesn't come natural to me to posture as an expert in anything. However, I thought it more important to help out the poster with something I knew about, rather than spare my own embarrassment/shyness/apprehension to opinionate. Since when is it protocol to scorn altruism and thoughtfulness? Do you want me to apologize because you couldn't get through my comments? Would you think it appropriate to lambaste a publishing house if a book was circulated in small font? Maybe it's time to get new glasses, honey.
posted by naxosaxur at 10:11 AM on September 22, 2004


Simple Solution(tm) to this asinine argument:
Internet Explorer: View -> Text Size -> Largest
Firefox: Ctrl +
Opera: Download Firefox or IE and join the rest of the real world.
Now can we get back to arguing over which consonants are appropriate to use when creating a front page post? Because, I have some issues with the letter "d"...
posted by SweetJesus at 11:02 AM on September 22, 2004


I just wish that, given all the trouble y2karl puts into his posts, that I found them interesting enough to read instead of feeling like he's that guy at the meeting who has the podium, I'm talking now! please, this is very important and I find myself getting sleepy. And they're schematically all the same, convenient for instant sleep-inducement, not so much for piquing interest about something buried in there that might be worth reading. Oh, and three-quarters of them are Iraq war updates. Oh, yeah, and the outrage! outrage! tone. Way too much sleeve-tugging.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:02 AM on September 22, 2004


Ctrl+.
Ctrl-.

Life is too short, people.
posted by ChasFile at 11:04 AM on September 22, 2004


Even the people who support his posts don't really read them either (completely)... they're just on "his side" and pretend that they just love 'em to death.
posted by Witty at 11:11 AM on September 22, 2004


I don't think I like scarabic anymore.
posted by Shane at 11:14 AM on September 22, 2004


"I just wish that, given all the trouble y2karl puts into his posts, that I found them interesting enough to read"

Me too.

Uh oh!
posted by mischief at 11:53 AM on September 22, 2004


it's the fact that most people don't click on the articles that makes y2k post important parts of it right below.

I thought this place was for linking to stuff, not publishing our own digest/analysis of other sites. If you're not clicking the links, the post would appear not to be working. And considering how much OUTRAGE! OUTRAGE! karl tosses into his little essays (Dirty Harry quotes fer fuck's sake) I think his value as an "analyst" is questionable.

Anyway, I assure you all I still fart quite audibly. But karl begs to be edited.
posted by scarabic at 12:00 PM on September 22, 2004


While I'm sure we've butted heads many times in the past (I really don't keep track), I must say scarabic, you're one of the more sensible contributors around here. I enjoy reading what you have to say.
posted by Witty at 12:12 PM on September 22, 2004


Witty, this is amazing, but... you're actually being witty! Please keep posting this way. I love it!
posted by soyjoy at 12:33 PM on September 22, 2004


Can you hear me now?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2004


Opera:
Increase zoom % by steps of 10. 0 (zero)
Decrease zoom % by steps of 10. 9 (nine)
Restore zoom to 100%. 6 (six)

Or just hold down CTRL and use the scroll wheel/touchpad.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:37 PM on September 22, 2004


"just hold down CTRL and use the scroll wheel/touchpad"

I never knew this, and wow! You can make the text completely disappear!
posted by mischief at 4:46 PM on September 22, 2004


We don't like y2karl's cut-and-paste wallpaper, because we know he is able to compose concise, well-crafted posts, chock full of juicy links, and has done so frequently in the past. Something about his political posts makes him go all flabby in the brain, and start loading the front page with what is "small print" in both the literal and figurtive sense: It is not really meant to be read, it is simply a presence, a formality, a kind of virtual sit-in to protest the war and the Bush administration. There's no effort to make these posts provocative, tantalizing or piquant so you'll want click through on the links. They are simply grim-visaged pronouncements, delivered in a droning, caucus voice, daring you to be so thoughtless and frivolous and heedless of the emergency we all face, as to not dutifully read every word. Fortunately, for his cultural posts, he is able to get jolly again.
posted by Faze at 4:57 PM on September 22, 2004


You people will whine about anything, won't you?
posted by solistrato at 4:59 PM on September 22, 2004


I'd rather large chunks of text were blockquoted, but I don't have a huge preference either way. Including the text probably does make sense. I rarely click through to supporting links, so if [you think] it's important enough to reference, it's important enough to include in-line.
posted by willnot at 5:34 PM on September 22, 2004


naxosaxur, hell no, I don't want you to apologize. I want you to realize that your comments are valuable, useful information to people. That you are an expert on what you're posting about, or at very least more knowledgeable than the person that's asking about it. That you shouldn't feel the need to punish your own words by making them small, and difficult for people to read, thus negating some of their inherent usefulness. Be proud of what you've contributed to the discussion, don't shy away!
posted by jacquilynne at 7:09 PM on September 22, 2004


fish: the new pants
posted by quonsar at 10:31 PM on September 22, 2004


Eh? Why you say that?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 AM on September 23, 2004


soy: the other white fish.
posted by soyjoy at 9:35 AM on September 23, 2004


I'm running 1152 x 864 on a 17" monitor and I don't have any problems reading the text. What are you running, like 1800?!

Yes.

but it's the fact that most people don't click on the articles that makes y2k post important parts of it right below.

That's it, amberglow...the next time you don't click on something I post, I'm sending the lads over to your house to give you a swirlie.
posted by rushmc at 9:20 PM on September 23, 2004


Maybe it would be better if he included the text in title tags instead?
*ducks*
posted by dg at 9:44 PM on September 23, 2004


Leave the swirlies alone
posted by kamylyon at 11:47 PM on September 23, 2004


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