OM’s own blog rebirth, and the personal platform.

Om Malik is also redesigning his blog… and reinvesting in the medium of blogging:

The redesign is not just visual. Instead, it reflects my desire to rekindle my love for the only form of writing that makes sense to me: blogging. …

… it allows me to fully capture what is going on in my mind (which, as you may have noticed, can be very random).

Much of what constituted blogging in the early days has now become commonplace on the social web. However, what has not been replicated is the ability to create a map of one’s thoughts. Social feeds spread those thoughts in the proverbial wind. A blog gives you a window into one’s thinking as it evolves.

The rebirth of ComicsPundit is not so much about journaling the evolution of my thoughts, but more about collecting those thoughts into one common platform that I control, that isn’t buried in tons of other noise, or liable to disappear from the internet without a trace. Though I’m sure there will be some introspection into changes to my thinking as time goes on, and especially as I repost items from the past two plus decades.

Using Twitter to share thoughts and ideas, and listen to others will still be part of my online life. But if I have something to add to the conversation, I’ll be making sure it comes back to this site or originates here.

Social media is too ephemeral: here today, gone tomorrow. It is a means of distributing those thoughts to a broader audience, but

ComicsPundit Rebirth: The Fonts

Nate Piekos of Blambot
Nate Piekos of Blambot®

For many years I’ve taken advantage of web fonts to help make ComicsPundit a unique experience.

Long before TypeKit or other similar services came around to allow individuals to tap into their servers to host webfonts, I sought to host fonts on my own server.

But one cannot legally take a font off your desktop computer and embed it online. The font designers have rights, and that means paying for web font licenses, or at the minimum asking for permission.

Ten years ago very first font I hosted on this site was from Nate Piekos company, Blambot Comic Fonts & Lettering. It was Mighty Zeo 2.0, it was a free font for desktop use, and I inquired if he’d permit me to use it on my website.

He graciously let me do so, upon the condition of having a prominent banner promoting Blambot, something I would have done out of gratitude even if he hadn’t asked.


Pardon the reboot… Rebirth? is undergoing a "Rebirth" aka Under Construction

Since I started having a personal blog, It was an annual or biennial thing to undergo a whole redesign of the website, often changing platforms in the process.

Usually this resulted in me doing more design work than writing.

But, for about a half a decade or more I’d been steady in holding to one design and platform

I still didn’t get much writing in, as evidenced by the last post being two years ago!!!

Now much of that is due to spending more time with twitter than anything. But for a variety of reasons, I want to use the blog more, and the previous system made it more difficult than I’d like.

So I’ve once again returned to a self-hosted WordPress site, and I’m tweaking a theme to make the design uniquely my own. There are several reasons for this choice. Some are practical. Some are philosophical. I’ll explain them here and there as I get to each topic.

And that “I’ll get to it in another post” idea is one of the things I’m trying to do here, keep things short so I can just post more efficiently and not worry about covering everything at once before being ready to “go to press”.

(classical reference in logo)

Civility [no-bullshit]: Penn Jillette

As the frustration with Trump boils with many accross the country, a touch of perspective is needed lest the outrage defeat the purpose of opposing Trump’s agenda.

But how to communicate that to those who have gone so far as to brand all opponents (and sometimes those who aren’t oppesed enough for their tastes) as “evil”? How does one demonstrate that showing compassion for Muslim refugees and others who may fall victim of Trump’s policies is consistent with not demonizing Trump and his supporters?

I think Penn Jillette does the job as well as anyone can in his latest podcast, Penn’s Sunday School: There’s No Such Thing As Evil.

Direct link to the mp3 file. Begin at 26:42.

Warning: by 44:35, he’ll be done making his point and start to make references to jokes made earlier in the podcast that… well, they’ll make no sense and may come accross as disgusting without having heard the earlier part of the podcast. So given that, you may want to listen from the start.

(It’ll probably still be disgusting, but it will be funny with context)


August 27, 2019:

I’ve added a title to what had just been a title-less post. The “Civility [non-bullshit]” portion is a little bit inspired by Penn & Teller’s documentary series Bullshit, but mostly by an ongoing series of posts by Ann Althouse about the disingenuous use of calls for civility that are actually politically motivated calls for people to shut up, which she posts under the tag “Civility Bullshit”.

In my attempts to highlight genuine attempts at promoting peaceful coexistence among political rivals, I’ll be tagging such posts “Civility, No Bullshit”

Quote of the Day

from Scott Shackford at Reason Magazine

So what I would recommend to anybody calling for an alliance between libertarians and the left (regardless of whichever side is making the call) is not look at Trump as some particularly remarkably bad outlier and anomaly (though he is certainly giving every sign he’s going to be remarkably bad), but as an expression of the constantly present dangers of authority that cares only about the “right” outcomes and nothing about legal foundations and limits to power based on defenses of human liberty and civil rights.

(please do read the whole article)

Any alliance between liberals and libertarians against Trump, cannot be predicated only upon resisting Trump alone. At a minimum, must be based in limiting the powers of the presidency, and preserving due process under the law.

Anything less is asking libertarians to accept an imperial presidency, so long as it’s a Democrat one. No sale.

Quote of the day:

…from Glenn Reynolds:

…normally when one has lost the Executive and Legislative branches to the other party is not the time to call for government censorship of political speech on vague and mutable grounds.

Democrats have been advocating more and more power to government without giving thought to how that power would be used in the wrong hands.

It seems some Democrats, in spite of the results of the election, still aren’t thinking in those terms.

Hot tip from a Libertarian: Treat your rivals the same way you want to be treated BY your rivals.


Ketchup and the Two-Party Problem

A defense of third-party politics.

Seth Godin
Seth Godin: ketchup enthusiast & political choice detractor

Seth Godin wrote about third parties in a blog post “Ketchup and the third-party problem“. He says that those of us supporting third parties or their candidates are doomed to failure, and miss our chance to really influence the political field.

Needless to say, I find the arguement lacking, and merely a more passive aggressive method of saying that we should all vote for Hillary because otherwise we’ll be doomed with Trump. I’ve snarked about it on Twitter. But I feel this deserves a bit more detailed of a rebuttal.


The new Ghostbusters: I liked it so much…

…that I wrote over fifteen hundred words about theories about wether it was really a reboot or not.

Be warned there are SPOILERS!!!

But also NO POLITICS!!!

(You’re welcome, though I may get into that in a later post)

 You've heard how the new Ghostbusters got together. Now you're going to hear... The REST of the story.
You’ve heard how the new Ghostbusters got together. Now you’re going to hear… The REST of the story.

The 2016 movie Ghostbusters is not a reboot. It’s a continuation of the previous two films, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.

Here’s the proof:


A non-fiction comic that’s an insult to comics.

Apple is currently holding their annual World-Wide Developer Conference in San Fancisco. As part of this, Apple has released a new version of the guidelines that developers have to follow to submit apps to their various app stores.

These text of these guidelines are available on Apple’s developer website. But it also is available as a comic book, by Motion Books, a motion comic company with apps on various platforms.

If you want the comic, you can find a link to the PDF here. However, I’d advise against wasting the bandwidth on downloading it.

 In the App Review Guidelines Comic Book, this Pokemon-like fight has nothing to do with the captions or
In the App Review Guidelines Comic Book, this Pokemon-like fight has nothing to do with the captions or “dialog”, not even as an extended metaphor. The art does nothing to help the reader understand the concepts in the text.

This “comic” is pointless. It’s merely superimposing the App Store guidelines over visuals that have nothing to do with the App Store, or anything in the common with the text at all. It’s comic art that may actually be used elsewhere in the service of an actual story somewhere else in the world, as each section of the guidlines is in a different art style and story genre (none of which are non-fiction).

Compare with Google’s 2008 comic that introduced the Chrome web browser to the world, and the technologies within. It was a good book that illustrated the concepts behind the Chrome browser, written and drawn by Scott McCloud, well known in the comics world for his other non-fiction comics on understanding the visual grammar and structure of comic books, most notably “Understanding Comics”.

 In this sample from Scott McCloud's Google Chrome comic, the visuals serve the narrative of explaining the nature and benefits of sandboxing in Google Chrome.
In this sample from Scott McCloud’s Google Chrome comic, the visuals serve the narrative of explaining the nature and benefits of sandboxing in Google Chrome.

The App Review Guidlines comic is a pointless non-sequitur that does nothing to improve understanding or knowledge of the App Store Review guidelines over the text itself.

It’s like listening to the legal disclaimers for a drug ad while an action movie scene plays on screen. Two things that have nothing to do with one another.

Since it was created by Motion Books, a motion comic company with apps on various platforms, I imagine it was meant as a means of promoting themselves. They failed in my eyes as this shows them to have no creativity or communication skills at all, if this comic is any indication.

It’s insulting to the audience, and to those who have actually produced real non-fiction comics. I’m stunned that Apple agreed to put it on their developer site.

via iMore