Tuesday, February 27, 2007
a bunch a chickens, how y'all clickin:

More than one friend of mine, and one ex-girlfriend in particular, has been driven to agitation by the way I read things online. That is: I'm a compulsive highlighter. In order to puncture a text, I need to drag my touchpad mouse over to what I'm reading, click deeply and drag a gray bar of pure clarity over each grapheme as it reveals itself to me. Then, and only then, can I make sense of the world.

The New York Times is out to deny me my way of understanding. As you may have noticed, sometime over the last week, nytimes.com has equipped its text with an insidious function to pop open a dictionary window and define a word as a reader highlights it. All of a sudden I embrace, in blinding fury, the arguments against David Foster Wallace's aggressive digressioning.

Kriston Capps, valiantly, is coming to the defense of a tactile mode of reading. His Free Clicking campaign is that most important of crusades: the insistence on the dignities of civilization against the small erosions of vulgarity. Join him.
--Spencer Ackerman
Yet another reason to not use PC's and or Firefox! Safari & OmniWeb 4 evah!
Blogger Damir | 10:38 PM

YES! I have exactly the same problem.
Blogger Aaron the Devourer | 7:05 AM

I "screensift" as well, and the new Times feature is killing me. I highlight text all the time, though I don't think it has anything to do with comprehension -- I've never understood why so much web design treats text as if it's ink on paper. The computer monitor is a totally different medium than newsprint, and picking out dark bits from a glowing mass of white is bad for the eyes. Highlighting the text keeps me from going blurry-eyed, and I'm finding that it's a hard habit to break when I'm on the Times website.

Anyhow. Glad it's not just me.
Blogger breasonable | 8:49 AM

Don't know what you are talking about. I can quite happily highlight text as though cutting and no pop-ups both on IE7 and Firefox
Blogger blowback | 7:59 PM

I see what you mean but my anti-virus software/Google Toolbar blocks pop-ups so I have to hold Ctrl to show the nytimes pop-ups.
Blogger blowback | 8:08 PM