I can see where the author is coming from, but I've found many designers have been overcompensating recently. 16px is probably ideal on a 768px+ screen width, because that closely approximates 12 point printed text (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/07/16-pixels-body-copy-anything-less-costly-mistake/).
Unfortunately, the author himself has bumped his type up to 20px, which more closely replicates a large print book intended for those with vision impairments. There's a reason why not all works in print have huge type, and it's not just because paper costs money! For those with "regular" vision, bumping text size up past a certain point (probably 16px) doesn't improve readability… in fact, it actually makes reading a chore as the eye is required to cover more "ground".
I actually now find myself having to use Safari Reader on Signal vs Noise and A List Apart in order to decrease the type size in order to read it more easily. It's great that we're thinking about how to improve readability, but I'd suggest simply bumping up type as large as it can go (and removing sidebars to do so) isn't the best solution.
I feel like we have the opposite problem these days. Every single blog has enormous type and I always feel like I have to reduce the size in order to have a good reading experience.
I mean have you seen the newest A List Apart design? It's huge!
Agreed. I'd rather have read a post asking for tiny type.
My personal evolution in web typography, in the direction of larger type, came after reading Trent Walton's Fluid Type article: http://trentwalton.com/2012/06/19/fluid-type/
He reminds us that line-lengths should be 45-75 characters http://www.webtypography.net/Rhythm_and_Proportion/Horizontal_Motion/2.1.2/.
Having your site be responsive means, in part, big text on a big screen, and readable text on mobile. When you look at how users are using add-ons like readability, safari reader, instapaper, etc. there is obviously demand for a better reading experience, and what these services provide is basically bigger better type.
Super-long lines (I'm looking at you Wikipedia) make content nearly unreadable on modern displays, and as designers we should be striving to do better.
Smaller type, guys? Really?
No trouble reading these comments :)
Couldn't have said it better myself!