Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

This article was written hastily, and I don’t want to further improve it. You’re lucky I wrote it.

I feel so privileged to read this random guy's blog, and it's terrific that he eschews inflating his ego so well.




As an hobbyist blogger, I can perfectly empathise with why the author wrote that. People love to crap all over a blogger who dares to post his thoughts on a private blog, without first subjecting it to PhD-thesis-level scrutiny. This really gets on my nerves for the same reasons that engineers get pissed off when they decide to open source a pet project and suddenly start getting "URGENT ASAP" feature requests from entitled users.

The author is taking the time to post his thoughts on a private blog. If you're not happy with the level of rigor, then don't read it, don't share it, and don't believe it. But no, the author has no responsibility to provide you with a comprehensive list of citations and references.


> "If you're not happy with the level of rigor, then don't read it, don't share it, and don't believe it."

What I don't like about that attitude is that it suggests that the blogpost should be excused from criticism of its rigor. But any assertion and opinion by anyone can and should be considered open to criticism.

> "But no, the author has no responsibility to provide you with a comprehensive list of citations and references."

Of course he is not responsible. But if someone expects or wants people to be convinced of their argument, then prefacing with his rude dismissal does not help.

A better way than "This article was written hastily, and I don’t want to further improve it. You’re lucky I wrote it." without the unnecessary rudeness and ego boosting could be more along your lines: "This article was written hastily and shouldn't be subject to PhD-thesis-level scrutiny, so I've posted without any expectation that I will improve it or respond to criticism."


> A better way than "This article was written hastily, and I don’t want to further improve it. You’re lucky I wrote it." without the unnecessary rudeness and ego boosting could be more along your lines: "This article was written hastily and shouldn't be subject to PhD-thesis-level scrutiny, so I've posted without any expectation that I will improve it or respond to criticism."

Sounds to me like you agree with the substance of what the author said, and just happen to disagree with the delivery. Keep in mind that different people have different writing styles, and people often post things like what you quoted in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Some people prefer a formal, humble style of writing. Others like a more humorous style, and others yet enjoy a Steven Colbert faux-braggadocious style. It would be unfortunate if we browbeat anyone who dares to inject some quirky humor into their writing.


No, he disagrees with the substance. Faux-braggadocio or humorous is fine! But if you earnestly think that's the writer's style after reading the last half of the first paragraph, seriously ponder why then none of the rest of the article matches that perceived tone.

The author makes a bunch of assertions that range from misinformed to straight-up wrong. There is 0% Steven Colbert-style self awareness. No one is lucky that it exists. When you engage in personal endeavors, do them for their own merits. And especially if you're doing something that no one and nothing is compelling you to, please at least try.


I respectfully disagree with that last part. IMO it's your moral obligation as a distributor of information to, to the best of your ability, ensure its' truth and validity.

I'm not saying it has to be PhD-thesis-level, but if proven wrong you are morally obligated to update the information or remove it. Otherwise you are spreading false knowledge. This doesn't apply to opinions ofc (the bulk of private blogging).

Screw entitled users though, they should fix it themselves :)


Nothing can really be trusted without judgement, and as long it's not claiming to be an authoritative source about a life and death situation, I wouldn't want to put the bar as high as an obligation.

After 20+ years of working in the business and reading ridiculous amounts of articles, and some books, I can quite easily find clear errors or omissions in most everything written about computers and programming, Knuth excluded. If everyone were obliged to update to fix any errors, even only factual, it's likely that much - or even most - of all I've read would never have been posted for me to read in the first place, and I think both the world and I would be poorer for it.

Correctness is important, but so is the ability make judgments of validity, to critique, disseminate, inspire and express ones thoughts, even when they turn out to be wrong.


I stopped posting code from side-projects I was done with, when it started taking on a maintenance life of its own, and getting angry emails. There was a simplicity of the time when you could put a tarball on an FTP server and post the path to the appropriate Usenix group: "Here's a tarball. Have at it. Or don't."



Corollary to Gresham's Law of Tarball Drops.


I can relate too. I once started a blog post with "if you don't like [it], go jump in a lake."

I was envisioning people nit-picking the lack of formality, when it was merely an enthusiastic, from-the-hip post.

A day later I realized that wasn't the best way to start things off with, and toned it down. But I get where he's coming from. And I'm grateful he took the time to write it. It was an interesting read.


My favorite is when somebody makes a blog post "A Great Way to Do X in Unix" and then posts a bash script they wrote.

You can just start the countdown until all the unix greybeards come out and slams them with why it's so wrong and how to do it with some obscure bash feature.


I'd have much more respect for him if he wrote an entire article about this and explaining his position than prefacing an otherwise unrelated article with his frustrations. I'm not lucky he wrote it. From my perspective he wasted his time writing it, because I don't care enough to read past the first paragraph.


The best thing to do as a "hobbyist/private blogger", sth. which I do on-and-off too, is to not have a comment system. Saves so much hussle. If someone cares enough, they can write an e-mail, which you can later publicise if you (and the correspondent) like.


There's such a problem with immaturity in tech. It's frustrating because it creates barriers to learning from others. No self-respecting person is going to want to learn from someone who has a "holier than thou" or "I'm a rockstar" mindset.


> There's such a problem with immaturity in tech. It's frustrating because it creates barriers to learning from others. No self-respecting person is going to want to learn from someone who has a "holier than thou" or "I'm a rockstar" mindset.

You wouldn't consider it to be immature to not do the right thing just because it was communicated in an unpleasant way that a 'self-respecting person' should have disdain for? I'm not talking about this particular article or defending immaturity, - I just don't see how your position is any better; more so it's just as unhumble as the 'rockstar position' since you would apparently be willing to write worse code just to avoid learning from someone that's an asshole.


Contrary to your beliefs, one can have both self-respect and a sense of humor.


It's hard to believe this came from a place of humor after reading the otherwise dry article.


It's your prerogative to follow trends to determine what you find worthy of your time or not, but it's not a good thing to suggest that anyone that tolerates that type of language better than you do or even enjoys it, lacks self respect.

A lot of people find that cockiness funny and find the informality welcoming. And many of those tend to find cold formality, fake humility or lack of self-confidence as signs of something being boring, uninteresting or outright creepy.

EDIT: Comment was edited, original:

  It's hard to believe this came from a place of humor after reading the otherwise dry article. The article was otherwise fairly interesting, but that certainly left a sour taste in my mouth. He's lucky I read past the first paragraph, if it wasn't so prominent on HN I probably wouldn't have bothered listening to anything he had to say.


That's fair. I'll admit that he may be writing to an audience very different than myself.

The edit was because I only ended up scanning what I intended on reading and felt the second part of my criticism overly harsh.


I guarantee you would not find it funny if I called you a cunt. Remember none of the rest of the article even remotely matches the tone of the sentences in question, and the content larges comes from a place of ignorance.


Actually there have been a couple of times when people called me a cunt and it was funny in context. Now granted, whether this article is that kind of context, is a different question.


I want to add this as a comment in all my source files.


I'm notorious for leaving behind gems such as this. For example: https://twitter.com/noahlz/status/767851284930199557


> notorious


Isn't this ironically referencing a lot of Unix development?


What bugged me more was the snippets designed to show how hard it is to write shell scripts. It looked like the author just didn't know enough about their tools:

>How to touch all files in foo (and its subfolders)?

    find foo -print0 | xargs -0 touch
    find foo -exec touch {} \;
I agree with the other commenters who think it's fine to write whatever you like on your own blog, I just feel that it went from interesting historical warts to bagging on legacy systems because they're complicated.


If we take UNIX to mean the POSIX standard, it doesn't work because -print0 is not in POSIX, and neither is -0 for xargs.


it's a joke. Last sentence of the article is

> The provocative tone has been used just to attract your attention.


That's a pity because of that tone I abandoned reading after few sentences and did't go to last sentence.


For good or bad reasons, you made the right choice: the article was full of crap (bad understandings, lack of historical knowledge and just technical knowledge even about current tools versions, bad references, bias, repeating blindly wrong or outdated rants, etc.).

You could also have guessed it when you noticed it was a kid student showing up (and off) with a lengthy critic on the historical evolution of UNIX tools and others OSes and tools that he discovered a couple of years ago, while you possibly were using them and watching them evolve while he was still in his father's bollocks (and some of us (not me) were working on UNIXes while his father was a kid). You know what to expect in this case, especially if you remember having produced the same kind of over-confident and yet uninformed rant in your days :-) (I do :-D )


...and the world continued to spin.

There's irony in people being insulted by arrogant tone and loudly proclaiming they stopped reading something.


I don't think there's anything ironic about dismissing the views of self-important assholes.

It may be that the author is not actually a self-important asshole, but starting an article like that makes it look like he likely is.


Yes, anything funny (even absurdist humor) is predicated on a kernel of truth. Quite odd, then, that the article contains so little well informed opinion and even less humor.


yep, that's where I closed the tab




Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: