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I really wish this top level comment could get some traction. People seem to think that because something is important to them, it should be important to the community but that's not how communities work. I for one feel that no amount of discussion of politics on HN is going to meaningfully change or move forward the debate and is unlikely to be instructive to people who have already made up their minds. What I love about HN is that it's mostly rational. People aren't being rational right now in the political world and while I could see an argument being made for enforcing rationality through strong moderation here, I also think an experiment like this provides value.

It would be interesting to know how they will judge the results of this experiment when it concludes.




Removing one of the most intelligent and rational communities from the political debate (albeit temporarily, although I fear that a permanent ban might be considered) will only make the overall political debate even less rational, in addition to taking away a space where technologists can discuss these matters.

I respectfully disagree that discussion of politics on HN cannot "meaningfully change or move forward the debate and is unlikely to be instructive". Indeed, I have witnessed proof that this is not so. I have seen numerous occurrences in comment threads where there has been spirited factual debate which ended up informing both sides. I have seen minds changed. I have experienced my own mind being changed.

I don't deny, of course, that there has been some...less useful discussion, as well. But I feel that overall, it has been positive.


Suggesting that mixing HN and politics will improve HN is like suggesting that mixing wine and poison will improve the poison. The political discussions on HN have been typified by flaming, bullying, groupthink, and appeals to emotion, which tends to ooze out into the less-political topics and damage them too. This site is far better off without them.


I don't know. Even if the flaming and groupthink rhetoric is there, it doesn't mean that there's no one on the other side listening. Maybe they are just spectating and not posting. There is an impact there, but it's not measurable in any conceivable way. That doesn't make it useless though.

I say this as someone whose been that spectator.


> I for one feel that no amount of discussion of politics on HN is going to meaningfully change or move forward the debate and is unlikely to be instructive to people who have already made up their minds.

I feel like healthy political discussion would be a meaningful change. If thoughtful people all abstain from the topic, it will surely get worse. The immediate goal isn't to "win" arguments. It's not to be confused about why someone would disagree. Or even agree! Maybe they do but there's no place to say that.


> It would be interesting to know how they will judge the results of this experiment when it concludes.

Personally, I don't plan to discuss politics any more or less than when this topic was posted, so I guess I'm not part of the experiment.




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