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Satirical Summaries of Hacker News (n-gate.com)
626 points by yumaikas on Mar 1, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 138 comments

I stumbled across this site from one of those "/g/ acts like HN" threads a few months ago and it's quite funny. I think my favorite summaries so far are:

The Muskonauts figured out why their shit exploded. Hackernews, literally all of whom are actual rocket scientists, wonders if unit tests could have helped.

Russia addresses their worst nuclear contamination problem by putting a shed on it. Hackernews trades photos of the devastation and bitches about people getting paid money to work on the shed.

An astronaut has passed away. He retired from NASA in 1976, since which time humanity has been phoning it in with this whole space-travel scene. Half of Hackernews recognizes this as the massive failure it is; the other half seizes the opportunity to virtue-signal about all the other problems nobody's fixing.

>A blogspammer posts an amazing finding: immigrants hang out with other immigrants. Hackernews is frantic to post about how uninterested they are in stupid things like sports and music, and how that lack of interest hasn't stopped them from making friends with other hipsters.

> Russia addresses their worst nuclear contamination problem by putting a shed on it.

Ukraine would like a word with you.

That's Ukraine's problem now, not Russia's :)

The rest of the world helped pay for the shed, so it became all of our problems.

> literally all of whom are actual rocket scientists

This is patently false. Some of us are actual brain surgeons!

Brain surgery: it isn't Rocket science.

Caught me! Great sketch

Surprised I didn't see this one:

"Some people Instagram their food. On Hackernews, foodie cred is earned by bragging about what you don't eat. Sugar. Bread. Dairy. Meat. Caffeine. All of these are linked by science to early stroke, heart attack, cancer, and/or obesity. In addition, to live a long healthy life you need to tend to the bacteria living in your intestine like a Sea Monkey colony -- and don't forget to meditate frequently. I bet you can figure out where all this is headed -- and yes, when a very scientific study was published indicating eating nothing at all gave you regenerative superpowers, the Hackernews dietary virtue-signalers lost their collective mind."

Can't find that quote anywhere, can you link it?

isnt that bitwizes original loosly based on the nutritional threads on hacker news such as [1] and [2]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13155504

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13686671

Ah thought it was one of the summary satires from the website. Nevermind :)

I rarely post. Have been laughing nonstop for the past 10 minutes.

Right on point: Hackernews resumes a previous thread, wherein they admonish each other never to 'roll your own crypto', but rolling your own public-facing internet service, database backend, programming language, kernel, messaging protocol, orbital launcher, autonomous war robot, or legal document is completely fine.

Yeah this one hit home a bit too close.

This is fantastic. To the author: Don't stop summarizing these because this will be my new source of Hacker News posts and if you stop, I'll be living in a vacuum.

DDOS From IoT Cameras ... Hackernews is a very experienced IT professional and has predicted this. They hold up Google products as models to follow. It is not clear why. Hackernews believes Cloudflare will solve all their problems. Cloudflare agrees this is likely, please click here to apply for a job figuring out how.


Google Analytics silently notes which citizens have been contaminated with toxins inimical to surveillance capitalism.


A user is unironically directed to Reddit for reliable information about illicit pharmaceuticals.


Upgrade Your SSH Keys ... Nobody has useful input, but a least one user is coherent enough to win Crypto Buzzward Bingo. Nobody upgrades their SSH keys.


a Hackernews with 'hacker' in his username admits defeat before the inconquerable task of installing three packages.

I was one of the mad fools who did upgrade keys after reading the "Upgrade Your SSH Keys" article.

Eclipse git checkins stopped working immediately after going to a 4K RSA key size. I should have seen it coming.

Eclipse broke for me when I stopped using RSA altogether.

Does that make me a hipster because I stopped using <4096 RSA keys like 5+ years ago, and quit using RSA on hosts that support better keys?

Oh, God. I'm pretty much dying here from reading this. Some of it feels too true, but the best is just too witty not to laugh at.

I'm not sure if it's intentional, but it's raising questions once again in me about how useful the comments in aggregator sites like this end up being. Comments are almost always made by the 10% of people whose barrier to commenting is the lowest and judged and voted on by just the average hackernews reader. Assuming knowledgeable comments even happen, what gets upvoted is what seems reasonable or just pleasing to the average hackernews reader, not what is actually representative of the best available knowledge.

And, as hackernews gets bigger and bigger, the average user becomes more and more like the average internet user in general and the contributions become more and more like if you just talked to a group average person, not experts. If I wanted that kind of knowledge I'd just go talk to people in my daily life, listen to some rumors, etc.

I often suspect that hackernews exists partly because of the idea that conversations and comment sections like this are going to happen anyways and spew ill-formed opinions regardless and ycombinator figured they should at least have a finger in the place where they happen if nothing else.

This is amazing.

"The Rust Evangelism Strikeforce" is particularly brilliant.

I'm still breathing a sigh of relief that it's no longer the Haskell Evangelism Strikeforce. People can preach Rust all they like, but Haskell scared me.

They aren't that dissimilar. Both promote ambitious languages in which lofty ideals somewhat get in the way of convenience, practicality and available brain capacity. Both consist, for the most part, of disturbingly enthusiastic but generally friendly disciples. They want you to believe, to suffer meaningfully, to achieve one-ness with the borrow checker, to be (or Maybe) The Monad.

They're not, say, supercilious lispers who have guarded the bucket of unvarnished truth since 1958 or rubyists promising a path to happiness in this life (and also something about monkeys).

"supercilious lispers" - I wish I could disagree because I love the language(s). Why is that?! What mechanism forces lispers in recluse from the world?

Oof, it was intended entirely as a joke but if you want an overly simplistic theory: an ancient language which provided profound insights into the nature of computation and programming but without a modern, maintained, free, useful and cross-platform implementation. Adherents are justifiably proud of the former and hair-trigger defensive about the latter. This doesn't exactly attract new adherents.

It's the easy accessibility of macros, without any cultural aversion to their overuse.

Any truly-large Lisp codebase ends up as an entire Lisp-derivative language. (If not in truth, then in practice: once you've created and employed enough macros in a given project, you've forced anyone who wants to contribute to said project to "learn" the project as if it were its own language anyway.) This effectively isolates the project by the same degree as having been written in an entirely-novel language.

This effectively isolates the project by the same degree as having been written in an entirely-novel language.

Not any more than the special vocabulary of a project consisting of functions. Or of classes in an object framework.

If I see (foo x y z), and do not know what foo is, I have no idea what happens, regardless of whether foo is a macro or a function. If I know it's a function, then I know that x, y and z are expressions reduced to values; they are not analyzed as syntax. However, that is far from a complete understanding; I still don't know what foo does.

If foo must be a function (I may not use macros), then I have to figure out a way to package everything into the values that x, y and z denote so that foo can do whatever it does. That will likely be harder to understand than a macro.

Anyway, Lisp macros can be expanded. If you think some macro is hard to understand, then invoke macroexpand on the quoted form; see if you like that better. That's what you would have to write if you didn't have the macro.

Just because macros are not allowed doesn't mean that everything is magically understandable and that you don't have to spend weeks, months or even years learning the structure of the code and its vocabulary.

Code without macros still extends the language.

When we define a function, we are extending a language; just like we extend a natural language when we invent a new noun or verb.

It's interesting you're arguing over macros when the (joke) theme was 'why lispers are jerks'.

Surely not because you thought it had anything remotely resembling a chance of being taken seriously in industry?

Haskell is used in finance

RPG, FORTRAN and Cobol are used in finance

It has its niches, just like everything else. It was never going to take over the world.

It's the sort of language that'd be great as a partial-coverage DSL in a "patchwork" sort of language, though—like how C has asm{} blocks, or how Rust has unsafe{} blocks.

I'd like to, for example, write code in an actor language, where the state and message-passing was handled in an Erlang-y way (tagged tuples, message sending as a primitive, every process has an untyped inbox), but then the "body" of each process, between the IO parts, was Haskell or another parametrically-typed ML. You wouldn't even need any concept of an IO monad: all the side-effects would occur "outside" the haskell{} block.

I was a bit surprised that Go didn't receive equal treatment. Then I noticed that this page is brought to us by some Plan 9 fanboy site generator and wisdom was bestowed unto me.

Go is too accessible for really prime-grade snobbery. Any competent engineer from the Algol-based tradition of imperative languages will be able to make Go work. There just isn't anything there difficult enough to keep out the riffraff.

This would have been a much better submission if it were hosted on my experimental port of Wordpress written in Rust, instead of legacy html on Werk...

No need to port WordPress to Rust. Didn't you hear that WordPress runs on C# now? Just port the CLR to Rust and you'll get WordPress-on-Rust for free!

Didn't you hear that WordPress runs on C# now?

I just threw my computer out a window reading this. An invoice is on the way to your mailbox :P

Turns out Wordpress only runs on .NET because C# was rejiggered to be a superset of PHP.

Somehow, I don't doubt that.

I've got a bridge to sell you. Plenty of Rust.

oh hang on (what's that Mike?)

Sorry, Built with Rust.


Humour is generally downvoted on HN, because us programmers (mostly) take things too literally. But, seriously, tech really is the biggest laugh because we take each generation of software, language, platforms so seriously, completely ignoring the fact that we are just glorified typists trying to find patterns where none might exist even without having the necessary background to do so.

> Humour is generally downvoted on HN, because us programmers (mostly) take things too literally.

No, humor is generally downvoted on HN because most of it is lazy, and no one wants HN to turn into another Reddit. Lazy humor is a Reddit staple, and there's already far too much Reddit around as it is. Good humor tends to fare reasonably well, and considerable allowance is made for attempts which fail to be funny but still show effort - otherwise, I doubt I'd get away with doggerel in rhyming couplets [1] and similar such excesses.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13546379

I keep seeing this refrain "we don't want to turn HN into reddit because of low effort jokes"

I also see some pretty good, very nuanced jokes (the kind you chuckle about at first, then the second level of the joke hits and you chuckle a little harder) getting voted down heavily as well.

Dunno if I can buy the "most of it is lazy" line here.

While there may be some clever jokes out there, the more it becomes acceptable to post jokes, the more people will post jokes in their own, often good intentioned, effort to contribute humor to the site. Unfortunately, they're not all going to be clever.

This comment chain is now sufficiently deep for next week's summary to be something like "A Hackernews finds n-gate.com, despite its inability to use a computer. Frantic discussion ensues from their mother's basements on whether humor should or should not be allowed in the post-enlightenment, intelligista society they are all building. One Hackernews wonders whether a joke's ability to work harder than other jokes gives it a worthier position in such a society. Other Hackernews try to create humor from first principles."

Well of course they're all not going to be knee-slappers, humor is subjective. So what's the answer to this? Is there one? Should there be one?

We're just going to downvote jokes-even if one is made completely within context of discussion? Even if it's an absurdist take on a topic that actually manages to get a laugh-while also / potentially bringing up a valid point?

I'm not asking to argue this with you specifically, I'm just kind of curious in general where that line is drawn with the community.

I think as you observed above that the HN community as a whole tends to downvote even good jokes because it wants to ensure that the number of jokes doesn't increase, that HN remains for the most part more serious and substantial. As you mentioned, humor is subjective, and many people realize this. It's tough to litigate which jokes should be downvoted: was this one bad enough to warrant a downvote? It's arguably easier from a practical perspective to downvote all (or a majority) of jokes.

One thing to keep in mind is that if there's good humor in a comment that has good substantive content as well, it's likely not a bad thing and won't be downvoted. It's comments that are posted for (mostly) humor value alone that I think many in the community are trying to avoid.

Edit to add:

I want to be clear that I'm not anti-humor in general. I do highly value having a place where more serious discussion can be had. And I'm glad HN tends to be that kind of place. There are other places in the world (some of them even on the internet :) where more jovial times can be had.

I maintain the firm position that humor can in-and-of-itself contain substantive points.

But alas, I'm fighting windmills here-this is a subject I've discussed in other threads; I understand the want for the community to remain at a certain level. "Jokes"/"Humor" however seem like boogeymen/scapegoats to that end; at least in my opinion.

Edit: Caught your edit here-

One thing to keep in mind is that if there's good human in a comment that has good substantive content as well, it's likely not a bad thing and won't be downvoted.

One would think. I've definitely observed the exact opposite with a frequency that's hard to put aside as 'outlier'. But I get your point.

> We're just going to downvote jokes

So far it seems that humour that makes an effort or that is funny doesn't get downvoted and might get upvotes; other humour is ignored or downvoted.

I think jokes get one or two downvotes, just enough to turn them grey, and then people stop downvoting. But maybe I'm wrong about that.

The problem is really with how comments get ranked. Reddit comment threads annoy (some) people because "easy" jokes float to the top, when what (those) people really wanted to see is direct, charitable engagement with the parent post/comment.

Also, a joke subthread can often have a sort of "gravitational force" that engages people in replying to it such that they never end up contributing to the "real" discussion happening below it, because they never make it there. This effect gets worse the earlier in the comments the joke appears. (This also happens with political tangent-subthreads, but nobody likes those.)

I think (these) people would not be made nearly as upset by jokes if they didn't "interrupt" the flow of conversation by appearing first in comment-subthread-ranking. I'm not sure how that could be done without manual moderation, though; people will always want to reward jokes with points, because jokes do have genuine utility to their consumers. They just can choke out the production of more serious worthwhile sibling contributions.

Downvoted, because you didn't try to write anything funny.


Harsh but fair.

I find it strangely pleasant that one of my comments was (apparently) called out in a summary, for it means that I have truly been absorbed into the HN hivemind.

I guess it's finally time for me to learn Rust.

Indeed. Jag är inte sjuk, bara svensk.

Pure gold all around. My favorite bit:

"the Rust Evangelism Strikeforce stages a sortie, but meets resistance."

Indeed! Lost my ~~~~ on this one, 01/26:

> 1.1B Taxi Rides on Kdb+/q and 4 Xeon Phi CPUs

An internet posts a resume-building exercise with no practical value or interesting results or useful methodology. Hackernews debates the relative merits of software designed to execute bad programs as quickly as possible. The Rust Evangelism Strikeforce makes a tactical decision not to get involved, since people are talking about fast code.

In accordance with federal law, I must dutifully inform the author that there are at least five Mozilla employees working on Rust, thank-you-very-much.

There is another community devoted to make fun of sites like Hacker News, that I found by accident: https://www.reddit.com/r/programmingcirclejerk/

Satirical Summaries hasn't noticed my favorite yet! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13750778

Well, that one didn't get enough votes to become a top story. Not that the NSA isn't above using the backdoor they probably have installed on HN to reverse enough upvotes to keep it from getting so big that people noticed it and began intentionally altering their behavior patterns to skew the dossiers the NSA is building.

Reminds me of amazing http://webcomicname.com/ and http://todaysgamingdrama.tumblr.com/ (abandoned)

I wish some day there will be AI-generated summaries like these for news and stories.

I'm really impressed by both this and people's responses here. Perhaps the common notion that HN has no sense of humor is an oversimplification ;)

This is brilliant. Thank you so much and do not stop writing :) any way to follow this on RSS?

It would be so meta if you summarized this post.

I'd subscribe to this if it was a newsletter! OP where do I sign up?

I'm writing an NaaS in Idris as we speak.

I was looking for a newsletter as well.

> any way to follow this on RSS?

The page has both RSS and Atom feeds. View source is your friend.

They forgot "Billionaire Has Opinion."

Or "Corporate personhood confirmed as company develops the ability to want".

Every time some article has a headline in the format "$company wants to $verb_phrase", Paul Graham huffs a kitten.

I didn't see anybody swooning over Elon Musk on this page. Is that passé now?

Scroll down to "The end of the level playing field" on 2/06/17.

It's more bitter than funny. Yet... the bitterness itself is funny.

It's actually great sense of humor, but too cynical and dismissal of other people effort. There's nothing wrong with pointing out occasional HN hive-mind tendencies, but his summaries of FOSDEM talks paint a different picture. He seems to get real kicks of belittling people's years of work.

hey I don't see deep learning anywhere, that's not the hackernews I know

This is great! Hacker News was ripe for disruption.

Well looks like I'm done with hacker news, I have found a better news source.

Could have been quite a bit better if whoever hadn't had to call everyone idiot.

Now, poking fun at HN culture and feeling of self-importance however that is funny IMO.

Reminds me of funroll-loops (Gentoo is Rice), love it.

https://www.scribd.com/document/337471737/Proof-of-the-Riema... VERY important! before further reading, look at the author

This reminds me of segfault.org and some of the great satirical riffs on typical Slashdot stories.

Please, people, let's push this to the top weekly posts just for the sheer pleasure of watching this thing go full meta!

This is awesome, but the RSS/Atom feed seems broken (I get unescaped HTML source inside it). Using Feedly+Reeder.

'Only the truth is funny.'

Please tell me these are algorithmic satirical summaries...? And the source is on Github. :)

That would seriously be an AI milestone that makes AlphaGo look like 'Hello world'.

Yeh. Now that is a worthy project. Must learn Rust to implement it in character, however

No, they are a spot-on criticism of everything that's wrong with Hacker News, subtly delivered through sattire.

In Rust

Per Federal law.

Is it sort of meta joke that nobody has duped this link yet?

Are these generated by an algorithm or not?

I doubt it. It looks too well written. If it's an algorithm I'd be seriously impressed.

Oh my goodness, I love this.

seems to be same guy as sciops.net, one kurt h maier

so what.

I wonder if the Founder of n-gate has thought about scaling the site with the help of deep neural networks and increasing profitability with blockhain!

Does it use convolutional recursive space invariant artificial deep neural networks?

Yes, implemented in Rust.

Except that we don't really have time to implement it because we're too busy posting to the resulting Rust vs. Golang foodfight.

And this Gopher would rather build stuff than argue about Rust.

I'm looking forward for the summary of this post.

> Microsoft posts a low-quality video attempting to get Hackernews to boot Windows on their Macs so they can have bad implementations of modern Linux tools instead of the bad implementations of outdated Linux tools that ship with MacO's.

Satire is funnier when it's accurate. "bad implementations of modern Linux tools" is incorrect here because the tools are the same binaries that come with Ubuntu.

If only we had basic income so everybody could be paid to produce content like this.

The summaries look like generated by markov chain algorithms.

You need some training articles, and then it generates such sentences.


I've seen what comes out of a markov chain, and can assure you that it would not be nearly this funny, or on point. These are definitely the work of a human.

Don't forget that @horse_ebooks was a human as well.

This is truly the most awesome thing ever.

Faintly facetious: sarcasm-satire seems a very earnestly US spectacle.

Now read the first letters of each word.

Now go do something useful.


You have an extra 's'.

Kurt, I mean, you are ,occasionally, a funny chap, but I get the impression you are too cynical to even breathe damn it breathe! *commences CPR on n-gate

edit: spellin

I'm so excited an anonymous and angry member of the tech community is having such success at acting like everyone else is dumb and they are smart. This novel format is not at all tedious chest-beating that is then retroactively "satire" because snark verging on feral rage is fantastic. To whomever started the rumor that it's yet another didn't-and-never-will member of the community here should be ashamed of themselves. This is art.

I especiky like how they meticulously avoid the majority of social issues to really drill down on the arbitrary tech decisions. That's how you know it's true satire and time we'll spent.

HN links to satirical website poking fun at HN. Some HN users find the summaries to be quite humorous. One HN user, in true HN virtue signaling fashion, takes the opportunity to be outraged that the satire doesn't adequately address broader social issues and is therefore a waste of time.


Serious question, while I know the term "virtue signaling" is somewhat contentious, I've never heard any critiques of it in terms of racist code talk so I'm unsure what you're getting at.

I'm not up to date on the whole Pewdiepie thing, aside from the general impression I get of him being an ass and now rightfully suffering the consequences of his actions, and if paying non-English speakers to hold up Nazi propaganda is indeed viewed as satire by the broader Youtube community, than I would agree that is unfortunate, and pretty unfunny to boot.

Regarding reddit gold, I've had a reddit account for a few years now but the only subs I subscribe to are r/welding, r/cableporn, and r/machinists. I have earned exactly zero reddit gold so far, perhaps I'm not as witty as I think?

My apologies to you if my previous comment was unfunny or out of bounds. It was an attempt on my part to lightheartedly poke fun of HN users who tend to take things overly seriously. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have commented at all.

Now that the cats out of the bag though, as a biracial non-white immigrant to the US who grew up well below the poverty line, I find it somewhat funny to be accused of being a closet racist by a poster, whom from what I can gather, seems to be a rather rich privileged white dude living in SV. It's almost like the satire writes itself. I'd probably level the term "virtue signaling" against what's going on here, but, I don't again want to be accused of being a racist by some random white dude.

My initial reaction to this was "Pewdiepie is involved in some kind of racism thing? Hadn't heard of that." So I switch over to the YouTube app in my TV and search his name. The first result is "Is Pewdiepie a racist?" with him photoshopped to look like Hitler or something. Well, it's confirmed now.

I wish South Park had done more research on him two seasons ago before making him their season finale and spending the last two seasons on an anti-Trump campaign. How can they BOTH be Hitler?

This -ism shit is how people try to take you down. Uber was fawned over by HN for taking down the lame taxi organizations. Remember? Taxis are bad they have medallions and control the market. Uber the underdog fighting the man. Want to take Uber out? Give them an -ism. CEO talks to Donald Trump? Ew bad he has isms. Someone said sexism? Every single post about Uber 5 times a day is anti-Uber now.

Edit: https://youtu.be/JLNSiFrS3n4

This lampoons all of this better than I can and it's the actual video I reference at the beginning of my comment.

Pewdiepie paid two people who can't speak english to hold up signs saying, "Kill all jews" and dance around. When confronted with this, he decided to call this satire and his art. Then Disney cut him off, and suddenly he was quite contrite, but it was too late. I'm sure he'll have to live with the millions he didn't spend on fancy cars as a buffer while he finds new revenue streams.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back really. It's just accepted that you can make fun of trans people or affect crazy accents or the like on youtube.

> This -ism shit is how people try to take you down. Uber was fawned over by HN for taking down the lame taxi organizations. Remember? Taxis are bad they have medallions and control the market. Uber the underdog fighting the man. Want to take Uber out? Give them an -ism. CEO talks to Donald Trump? Ew bad he has isms. Someone said sexism? Every single post about Uber 5 times a day is anti-Uber now.

Beeeecause not only are their business practices pretty shady in terms of how they treat the drivers, but also their work environment sounds like a misogynistic dystopia mixed with a high school popularity contest for who can be the broest bro?

I had a friend who went to Uber. She quit and told me a pretty similar story, and that was as year ago. This was a story waiting for a woman sufficiently brave to break it. As for the other stuff, Lyft is backed by Thiel and somehow they're managing to shut the hell up and move people around, so evidently there is a way to chart a course here.

Pewdiepie couldn't make up his mind really, in his arguments. Was this art, and thus kind of a political? Or was it just his trying to make fun for the lulz on teh intarwebz?

(IMHO: He's just fooling around in front of a cam, but whoopsi, he has the largest following on youtube so he is accidentally a political figure too.)

> Now that the cats out of the bag though, as a biracial non-white immigrant to the US who grew up well below the poverty line, I find it somewhat funny to be accused of being a closet racist by a poster, whom from what I can gather, seems to be a rather rich privileged white dude living in SV.

If you know enough to know where I am then you know enough to know that misgendering me is a way to pick a much bigger fight. Coincidentally in your protestations of innocence to the massive cultural warfare taking place around you (despite coincidentally adopting its tone & rhetoric) you just so happen to leave that in. How unfortunate that I only put it in 2/3 of my online bios. I have corrected this oversight.

So maybe it's all a nice big misunderstanding or maybe one of us is a troll. It'll be better either way if we stop talking.

Regarding misgendering you, that was truly not my intention. I spoke too hastily and while I took a cursory look at the links in your profile, and have seen your handle around HN, and for the record I generally find myself in agreement with you on many issues but this shouldn't matter one way or the other, I had no knowledge of this part of your life.

Just to be absolutely clear here, it was not my intention to misgender you or to otherwise use that as ammunition in our disagreement here. I find such tactics to be incredibly dehumanizing and despite our disagreement here you certainly don't deserve such an attack. Regardless of my ignorance of your situation, and ignorance is no excuse here, I apologize for my prior comment.

I appreciate that, thank you.

I am sorry that I jumped to conclusions. By coincidence it so happens you used a pair of keyprhases that are part of a very large social debate. Please be aware that saying, "Virtue Signaling" to someone who does a lot of conversations about these issues, you will probably see them steel for hostility.

But I maintain my position: I dislike this site. I dislike making fun of obvious novices. And I freely admit in my past I am guilty of this very behavior, as so many of us have been. My opposition is in part because I want to see fewer people do the same bad things I did when I was young. It makes the environment hostile. It makes the cost of failure socially high, and it makes it seem like failure and incremental refinement is not actually the standard for tech and startups, and I think neither is true.

I am also sorry we got off on the wrong foot. I hope we can speak again on better terms.

I appreciate your response as well. I don't participate much in social media aside from HN, and while the term "virtue signaling" has a very specific meaning and use case for me, I'm probably ignorant on how its used in the broader culture wars. I can imagine that it can be wielded as a dismissal of any concerns people may have. Again, looking back at my "joke", I can understand why you took offense seeing as this is an issue you care deeply about that probably gets dismissed as virtue signaling.

I still maintain the site in question is quite funny, at least to me, and I do this as someone who's life can probably most accurately be described as a series of really bad circumstances and poor decisions that have led to some pretty spectacular and sometimes shameful failures. I don't generally like the concept of finding joy in putting down others but at the same time I can find some relief in a bit of self deprecation, which to me is what the site represents. And again, this comes from someone who would probably be considered an abject failure by the vast majority of the readership here. You seem to have a different view of the site, and while I disagree with it, I can certainly understand and respect why you feel that way.

My apologies as well for the earlier tone. I'm sure the next time we speak will indeed be on better terms.

You're not on trial for referring to someone as a dude. It's an old as dirt tactic to put you on the defensive.

Really? I tweeted about a week ago about the change publicly, and I've been getting a lot of anonymous shit for it. I've been out about being fluid for awhile now, but I was waiting on the pronoun shift in a larger public sense for when I wasn't managing a large organization. I knew they'd stress more about getting it wrong than I would about them getting it right.

I forgot to update my G+ profile (that's where YT gets its data, and I really don't pay much attention to that). So Mr. No_just_no has a fair point, but I'm not relishing opening up the door to further bullshit there.

That said, the "they" is a compromise pronoun for me because I know that something more descriptive will just meet with _even more pushback_.


> I think you're probably not used to the extra estrogen then.

This reads like a personal attack—a cheap, low, and shocking one to see on HN. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt because your comment history doesn't show anything else like it, but it's an obviously bannable offense, so please don't do it again.

The world would probably be a better place if people did care a little bit more about things in general.

Whether they do or don't, should or shouldn't, that's one pretty nasty way to say that people don't care about an issue.

(Yes, yes this directly feeds into the concept of what "virtue signalling" is. However, the relevant part is that I don't believe that direct insults of this type belong on HN.)

Nobody here cares except the people who you demand care. So you changed your sex. Okay. It's not the actual topic and no one here really gives a shit.

You've posted about it more than I have, now.

It's mostly comments like this that made me stop wanting to contribute in a meaningful way a few years back. This thread shows there's a capacity for the community to laugh at itself. We need that. Whatever your beef is, please find a different outlet for it.

Is writing snarky, content-free annotation websites making fun of people who need help here "laughing at ourselves?"

This n-gate author is just another person in tech who things "this is wrong" is more valuable than "this is more correct." In the same vein as "shit HN says", it's just taking cheap shots. It's the tech equivalent of watching Dr. Phil and going, "Gosh at least that's not my life." It's the kind of mentality that claps when Linus Torvalds cusses someone out for reminding him he made his own bed with SHA1.

I did stop contributing here for years was the utter frustration at how casual and horrifying things uttered were protected as "discourse" but any counter to them was "being uncivil." But ultimately I stay because I genuinely like to help people with tech and like to tell people who bring Reddit in here to go back to that crappy smugfest (or perhaps head to less orange pastures).

Is writing snarky, content-free annotation websites making fun of people who need help here "laughing at ourselves?"

The tone of the annotations, while styled as snark, have a playfulness that neutralises any potential malice.

If I noticed that I was seeing bitterness in everything, I might stop criticising for a while and start asking questions of myself.

I don't mind the occasional potshot, but if it's not coupled with constructive criticism, I think over time it festers.

It's weird that you make this comment, yet spend so much time flinging shit yourself.

Good thing you didn't get into politics instead of tech. Thick skin is required over there.

I'm not sure that's still true considering the present administration.

Right! He breaks so many conventions, even that one. Interesting.

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