ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Danger Safely Outside the Danger Zone —

The refreshing cascade of new faces to the weblog over the last week have reminded me of all the ways online communication enables us to not just interact, but hate remotely.

I had forgotten, I guess, how easy it is for people to take a few quick glances at some data and shove their two-line thesis out the door. Or to then proceed to make even more conclusions based on this thesis. And then, how easily it is for this quarter-baked half-thesis to become an addendum to the original data, as if, you know, they deserved it.

Every time I think about changing the retro-yet-lively white-on-black color scheme the weblog has, I get one of these high-popularity commentaries that includes people saying how much their eyes hurt, or I’m an incompetent webmaster, or that they couldn’t finish reading, and my natural reaction is to leave it so. Suddenly, it’s not a point of discussion, but a warning that one of my weblog entries has broken a tad wide and the tourists have arrived.

I like nothing more than to browse people who have no idea who or what the hell I am, what I’ve done, what I’m doing, or any other data points, and then just make all these great conclusions about me. It’s refreshing. They’re neither friend nor foe. They’re just observers, as so much of this medium turns us into.

On the other hand, objectivity never means that you’re necessarily informed, just that you’re lacking direct hanging-with-me biases. So that comes into the mix as well.

I don’t write this weblog to garner hits, otherwise I’d apparently goatse random people all the time, write incendiary text about others’ works, and offer free PDFs forever. I’ll stick with what’s on my mind, and what’s on my mind is this: it’s a pretty big world out there, and while we may think that piloting our amazing browser-mobile over the web’s landscape makes us experts about it, it really doesn’t.

Here’s to unexpected and unexplored terrain.

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  1. dc0de says:


    I appreciate your writing style, and please, for the love of all things geeky, DON’T change your page….

  2. dc0de says:


    I appreciate your writing style, and please, for the love of all things geeky, DON’T change your page….

  3. Shii says:

    Black-on-white saves electrons on CRTs. Please, think of the electrons…

  4. Shii says:

    White-on-black saves electrons on CRTs. Please, think of the electrons…

  5. Ingvar says:

    The design is fine as-is. It’s refreshingly free from things jumping around in the periphery, strange JavaScript that re-mangles the page as you scroll and other things like that. It still seems to have the occasional back-dating of posts, but it may be that I didn’t check yesterday.

  6. phuzz says:

    Personally, the colour scheme does hurt my eyes, especially when I back move to a ‘normal’ page and get blinded, so mainly I read the entries inside an rss reader in whatever font/colour scheme I feel like.
    But then I think, if I’m going to complain I should at least knock up a black on white css scheme and offer it as an alternative, just never got round to it yet…

  7. Dezro says:

    Meh, if a dude really cares they can use Stylish or something.

    The only problem I have with your site is that the articles in the RSS feed look like a big run-on sentence, ’cause they’re stripped of HTML. But I can live with that.