Disagree. Reading posts that have those incredibly busy backgrounds and fancy atypical fonts via CSS coding is already difficult enough. I guarantee nobody is going to stick to 'subtle patterns'. Or you could go use spacehey and install a eyestrain-ing theme, they do have those available.
if the folks running cohost are the ones in charge of determining which ones they host or not, wouldn't that be a non-issue? they could simply only host subtle patterns
cohost should host some textures and patterns that can be used for chost backgrounds so we could just do like `background: url("https://[backgrounds].cohost.org/pattern5.jpg");` or whatever. just put every toptal subtle pattern in a folder on a subdomain or whatever. would be cool, i think!