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No politics please, we're hackers, too busy to improve the world (jacquesmattheij.com)
420 points by Xylakant on June 2, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 274 comments



Hackers don't bother with politics because they understand that it's the people who change the world and not the politicians. Politicians' job is to get re-elected, everything else is irrelevant.


Agreed, but not entirely - people in position of power do have a theoretical opportunity to make some meaningful change, but they seldom make use of it (often exactly because they focus on being re-elected).

The way I phrase it is usually this: if you want to change the world, politics is waste of time. It's one of the least efficient ways of helping, because you'll end up stuck in constant battles over trivia, status and, well, office politics. By the time you wind up in position of actual power, you'll likely be up to your ears with various deals, and you won't be really helping society anymore.

(Corollary: I don't buy that the higher up you go, the more power you have. Looking at the dynamics of political parties, it's very rare someone will let you achieve position of power if you've not proven again and again to be open for deals and preserving status quo. My current belief is that usually, the higher you go, the less actual agency you have.)


Politicians are people, they definitely are changing the world and affecting people's lives. If you care about your society, the world in general, then it is relevant.


I think the question isn't whether it's relevant, but whether it's an efficient way of doing things.


Efficient or not, politics does change the world (both for the better and worse), so it'd be foolish not to at least pay attention.


True. The problem is - most of the political public sphere is just noise. To the point that e.g. following regular media sources is just a waste of time (and risks infecting the brain with lies).

Being efficiently engaged in local or global politics has little to do with discussing e.g. the latest media blunder of a politician, or whatever promise they made that probably won't happen anyway.


Showing no interest in politics is like having no self-preservation instinct. You, as a hacker might hope that your work will change the world someday, while the politicians are busy changing the world to their liking right now. So it is better to keep an eye on them.


You guys, what would be the crucial ingredient in "socdem" vs. "libdem" diff that makes you so angry when someone compares it to "angular" vs. "react" diff?


You're downvoted because you're exactly right. People on here generally can't handle inconvenient truths that include themselves. Never trust a person who can't rend their garments.

> This generation

No. Resoundingly NO! These smug clowns can't speak for anything and anyone. They're not even a generation, just farts in the wind. Even just 1% of the people paying attention outweigh them easily, and at any rate, the world belongs to those who genuinely care about it. Period, anyone who disagrees can come fight me. Think less "no child left behind" and more "Noah's Ark"; they had their chance, they made their choice, let's not be held hostage by them. At the very least, let them queue after those who are not ungrateful.


We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14469497 and marked it off-topic.


> Period, anyone who disagrees can come fight me.

Can I flag you? Yes? Oh, there's the link. I just flagged you.

You see, this is why some of us want less politics on HN. Because every political topic inevitably turns into people doing the thing you're doing here - assuming that those who have different views than you are "smug clowns", instead of trying to figure out why their views differ from yours.


> Can I flag you? Yes? Oh, there's the link. I just flagged you.

And you are holding speeches about tolerance??

How tolerant about different views are you? Or are you just misusing your power?

So much about the "tolerance of the self assigned tolerance watchers".


HN rules are: full tolerance for differing opinions. No tolerance for low-quality or uncivil posting.


I fear, you are right.

Every time, I speak out for the truth on HN, I am down voted continuously, only half-hearted tech-blabla is suffered here.

What adds up hat HN: Any discussion about important future stuff is instantly penalized by the system here. I really regret to have registered at all.

Just doing geek-stuff and enjoying the live as techie is just to hollow for me. It really makes me sad.


> Every time, I speak out for the truth on HN, I am down voted continuously, only half-hearted tech-blabla is suffered here.

Not every. Be precise. I checked.

> Any discussion about important future stuff is instantly penalized by the system here.

I disagree. Just browse the front page history if you don't believe me. There's plenty of discussions about important future stuff that's hanging on the front page every week. It's just that we have a strong quality expectation here, both in terms of posted articles and the discussions they generate.

> I really regret to have registered at all.

  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
> Just doing geek-stuff and enjoying the live as techie is just to hollow for me. It really makes me sad.

And I agree. It's hollow for me too. Personally however, I find politics to be one of the least effective and least efficient way of contributing to betterment of the world. Many people on HN disagree with me about that. But either way, lots of people are interested in things outside the tech sphere. It's just that when people are interesting in changing things, they're interesting in actually changing things - and not being sidetracked by ego-based flamewars.


And I guess, you are just plainly the smartest person in the world.

At least, you paint nice pictures.


> And I guess, you are just plainly the smartest person in the world.

Aww, blush <3.

;).


[flagged]


We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14470251 and marked it off-topic.


Let me get that straight. You consider yourself a pro-active Nazi?


Please don't feed trolls.


That HN flag's this post but not some VC B.S. about company valuations is ironic. Can we call a moritorium on posts entirely about finance and money as well as posts like this one here about politics?


Hackers have nothing to do with politics.

Just as much as whistleblowing and exposing fraud, espionage, or illegal activities has nothing to do with journalism and transparency. Let alone politics.

In general, software has nothing to do with anything but software itself. Take encryption: it has nothing to do with privacy, which has nothing to do with with surveillance which has nothing to do with politics.

Also - Startups also have nothing to do with the economy; Automation and design has nothing to do with the industry.

And while we're at it: Science has nothing to do with politics. That's why politicians ignore climatologists, physicists and biologists.


FeelsBadMan, I got it though ;)


It's like conventional currency vs cryptocurrency. If you couple the two, given enough market size for each, volatility couples as well. No need to go through the meanders of algorithms or blockchains.

(Coincidently, cryptocurrencies are just another target for some hackers with deep consequences for any economy that trusts them.)

Some things cannot be ignored, or seen as independent. They are stuck together since their conception.




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