James posted a link to this New Yorker Article about Hacker News from 2019 in the IndieWeb chat a little earlier, and it encapsulates a lot of the way I think about the site, especially this bit:

“…They’re people who are convinced that they are too special for rules, and too smart for education. They don’t regard themselves as inhabiting the world the way other people do; they’re secret royalty, detached from society’s expectations and unfailingly outraged when faced with normal consequences for bad decisions. Society, and especially economics, is a logic puzzle where you just have to find the right set of loopholes to win the game. Rules are made to be slipped past, never stopping to consider why someone might have made those rules to start with. Silicon Valley has an ethics problem, and ‘Hacker’ ‘News’ is where it’s easiest to see.”

Like just about any site that allows people to contribute their thoughts—reading through the commentary can be soul-sucking at times; there’s a constant undertone of everyone wanting to prove that they’re smarter than everyone else, combined with a faux hyper-rational-libertarian bent (which I already have feelings about) that can, at times, lean uncomfortably close to misogyny and racism. Anyone who provides any kind of humanist opinion is almost invariably labeled a “SJW”, or social justice warrior, which is apparently A Bad Thing.

I generally like the types of links that are posted to HN, even if many of them are about technical topics that I don’t fully understand, but it can get both exhausting and exasperating at times.

Cam Pegg @campegg