Well, it’s quite a bit nicer

A much more streamlined look for FtB. Quite nice, I think. Now we just need to keep filling it with worthwhile content. Thanks to all the viewers and readers who keep us on our toes.


  1. Corwyn111 says

    Looks nice, especially the adjustable width columns. I miss the wordpress etc. icons at the top allowing one to log in, and the recent posts, from other blogs on FTB.

  2. Curt Cameron says

    Please continue to use the default sanserif font for the TAE sub-site, and don’t again change to Times Roman or whatever that was. It was harder to read.

  3. says

    Yes. I think it’s quite fair as a non-technical user to lodge a complaint that the user-friendly interface before had features that worked better. Or have I misread your comment ?

  4. Frank G Turner says

    Hey did you hear that head lice apparently have religion?
    They need your head for worship. That’s where they find temples. (Soft rimshot)

  5. Frank G. Turner says

    So would this be the place to talk about #876 since there does not seem to be a board for that?
    Hey I tried to post a joke and it did not work. Here goes:
    Did you know that head lice have religion? That is why they need your head for worship.
    They need the temples.
    (Hopefully there is not an objection to corny jokes in here.

  6. Narf says

    Ah, there’s your joke, Frank. You probably made a typo, when you re-entered your name and e-mail address, since those got dumped with the site change. That will trigger the moderation, if those don’t match up with what’s on record in the previous approval of your comments.

    Looks like one of the mods just went through the approval queue.

  7. Narf says

    Looks like the tiering is off, replaced by a series of lines to indicate a step back down in the tiers, which is difficult to interpret. I’m sure that at least one of the mods is fiddling with it and restoring things to the previous functionality. We’ll probably see a cleanup sometime this weekend.

  8. NG Carter says

    I’ve been following Pharyngula since 2007. When PZ came over here I followed and over the years found a few other blogs I was interested in at some times, scanning past those that had no interest to me and clicking on others. No more… I choose my reading based on the subjects that interest me, not on the name of the blog. So I will make a permalink to freethoughts/pharyngula only which means this new (admittedly nice looking) interface will no longer get serendipitous clicks from me. I guess I can thank the new look for saving me a few hours a week. I simply don’t have time to scroll through and read pages of post titles that I have no interest in. In addition, some people do a good job of writing post titles and others don’t. I will continue logging in to watch Atheist Experience on Sundays.

  9. Zaphod says

    I work as a web developer and have been focusing on responsive web design these past few weeks at work. Nice to see FTB has gone all responsive, now I don’t have to zoom in on my phone anymore! And it’s also amusing to me to see another example of a site using Font-Awesome for their icons too. Perhaps now when I get caught at work reading the blog I can chalk it up to “research”

  10. Narf says

    Is there a way to get the nesting back, though? This is going to make it a pain in the ass to follow the in-depth conversations that we often get going on here.

  11. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Bug Report:
    * Each blog used to have a set of its own static pages linked at the top (AXP’s “How to call or visit the show”, Pharyngula’s “Commenting Rules”, LousyCanuck’s “Mock The Movie”, etc).
    With this design, their links are missing. Only the global ones are present: “Advertise”, “Privacy Policy”, “Tech Issues”, “FTB Shop”. Some blogs have a widget on the side that also happen to link to those pages, but not all do.
    * The “Last 20 Comments” widget, as seen on LousyCanuck, is a wall of text – no gaps or separators the way the “RecentPosts/Comments/Archives” widget here has. Same with Pharyngula’s “Recent Comments”.
    * The “Sponsored From Around the Web” ad has five squares. When the browser window is resized, one or more will wrap, adding a row of mostly empty space. Maybe scale or let em’ run off to the right? (without stretching comment width)
    * Below articles, there’s a wrapping row: Author, Date, Categories, Comment Count. The width of categories can vary quite a bit. Maybe move it to after the Comment Count or give it its own row?
    * LousyCanuck used to have special MRA blockquoting (archive.org mirror). Some time before the switch, the comment-composing text area started filtering out the blockquote tag’s class=”…” attribute (no further comments could do it). As of the switch, all the pre-existing comments lost their Ferengi heads!

  12. blue says

    I’m shocked, I like it. Usually I boycott sites for weeks when they change their design. I never went backto Slate.com.

  13. Frank G. Turner says

    So I have not had a chance to watch the 877 episode yet (so I guess the 876 bog was just skipped huh?).
    I was having some thoughts though that I wanted to post (I may post this elsewhere too).
    I began imagining how one could prove to me that God exists, that the whole of nature not only has a separate sentience, but that this sentience was omnipotent and omniscient despite the contradiction herein. I began to think of this as someone asked me if I would consider Jesus raising from the dead as proof of God,
    Well I started to think that a being raising from the dead would not really convince me that the being was an omniscient being, merely that the being was a very powerful being capable of raising from the dead. I would certainly have more respect for that being. So perhaps it could appear out of no where and prove to me that it was omniscient. Of course if a being did appear to me out of nothing and read my mind and I had also witnessed it rise form the dead it still would not prove omniscience, merely that the being had the power to raise from the dead and appear out of no where and could read my mind. A lesser being could hypothetically do all of those things and still not be omniscient but trick me into doing so. So that being could read my mind and let me know that the being could do that and read the mind of someone else in the room and tell me what they were thinking. Then I thought, the being might be able to do all that in an attempt to prove that it was omniscient yet still not be omniscient. So the being could start reading the minds of others and fusing my mind with their temporarily so I knew that the thoughts were legitimate. Yet a lesser being could do all that….
    Hopefully you see where this is going. No matter how big and encompassing the being and its powers get it could still be a lesser being that could do all of those things to fool me into thinking that it was omniscient when it really wasn’t. It was one step less than omniscient. That’s where I realized that no matter how much it showed to me that demonstrated omniscience I would always have a doubt and it would know that. How could it blame me for using my mind?
    Then I thought, well it could fuse my mind with its own, basically making me God for a moment and I would know what everyone was thinking and what was going on everywhere in the universe. Which is sort of the Buddhist principle of being one with everything, basically being one with God.
    So perhaps the only way to prove God is to BE God. Of course an omnipotent being, if it exists, could just plant the belief in my brain if it wished, but isn’t that what it basically did already? If it exists didn’t it basically plant the doubt and NON belief into my head?
    It’s kind of weird because I thought, it is sort of like the Kalam argument of infinite regression just applied to omniscience. Its an infinite increase argument but it works AGAINST the existence of a God instead of in favor of it.
    Has anyone ever thought of this before?

  14. Narf says

    It’s certainly an issue, and at some point, you would have to fall back on the authority of the being making the claim. You would have to have a demonstration of the benevolence of the being … the super-advanced nature of its moral system … its constant demonstration of it treating its followers well, using its omniscience to advise them in their decision-making …

    You still wouldn’t really know, but at a certain point, you could probably say, “Okay, even if this being is magnifying its status a bit, it’s close enough for all practical purposes.”

    Basically, it’s doable, but we would have to have a reality completely different from what we actually have in the world. When you come right down to it, when Christians ask me what they could do to prove that their concept of God is real, I sometimes have to admit that there’s nothing they could do to convince me, because their concept of God is so completely fucked, when you try to line it up with the reality we see around us.

  15. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Sometimes, I say: In principle, it’s possible, but it’s akin to demonstrating that I’m Truman in The Truman Show. It’s pretty unlikely to happen, because X, Y, and Z.

  16. johnwolforth says

    Ya know, I’m really trying hard to only something positive when I comment on something like a web design change. Or if I’m not happy, just not say anything.

  17. Frank G. Turner says

    @Narf and Enlightenment_Liberal
    You still wouldn’t really know, but at a certain point, you could probably say, “Okay, even if this being is magnifying its status a bit, it’s close enough for all practical purposes.”
    Which is basically what I was getting to, I could believe tentatively that the being was God under the right conditions, but by applying the scientific method I would STILL be open to the possibility that this was not the case. Unfortunately for those who can’t see how to apply that type of thinking and believe that everything is a binary dichotomy, the slightest indication of doubt is complete doubt (i.e.: our discussion about Martin Luther basically being OCD) and the need for an unattainable “guarantee” (i.e.: the “solo fides” argument).
    I think it was Socrates (correct me on this if I am wrong) who said, “it takes a man of strong character to be opened to the possibility of being wrong about something that he believes passionately.”
    because their concept of God is so completely fucked, when you try to line it up with the reality we see around us.

    Sometimes, I say: In principle, it’s possible, but it’s akin to demonstrating that I’m Truman in The Truman Show. It’s pretty unlikely to happen, because X, Y, and Z.

    In retrospect, given that I am recovering from Xtianity (some liberal minded Xtians are actually helping with that, Unitarians are very nice without insisting that you believe a certain way to be among them), the way many Xtians worship God, their God seems more like the director character in The Truman Show combined with the ancient Greek and Roman deities, just all clumped together into a single deity. Its like, the conclusion they reached when it came to Gods, particularly in number, is different, but the method of worship is the same. A fellow agnostic recently told me that organized religion has too strong of a capacity to become tribal in nature and I see his point. (And based on the above reasoning I am definitely tipping closer to 7 on the Dawkins scale, I considered myself a 4.2 before and I am getting closer to 5 now). Maybe someday Xtianity will go the way of the Greek and Roman mythos.

  18. says

    Not related to any of this, but I saw the History Detectives : Special Investigations episode you were in about the servant girl killings. When it started I said, “Is that Martin Wagner?” And, lo and behold, it was! Congratulations on being another part of people learning stuff. 🙂