EDIT: Sorry if this came off as snarky, but it wasn't intended that way.
I like to think of it as being in a bar with a whole bunch of super smart, interesting people. Sometimes I've got nothing to add or I simply don't get it, but its consistently interesting, and occasionally unexpected and brilliant.
Heck, there was an article about butterflies the other day, it was pretty damn good, and something I'd never have read otherwise. For me at least that is HN - nerdy stuff with occasional flashes of brilliance.