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I think it is starting to happen already. A few too many jokey comments appearing, puns and the like.


I agree but I find that they are pretty quickly downvoted and therefore greyed out, or sit as a parent only comment without any discussion.


HN is protected a bit better with its karma requirements. But I feel like recently I've been getting way more upvotes than I feel I "deserve" for some comments, which scares me a bit.


It's easy to get massive upvotes on anything that jibes with the HN groupthink. It can also be instructive to "troll" with anything that the groupthink will be appalled by no matter how true or rational it may be. That's the surest way to compensate for undeserved karma.


I love the joke comments and puns. It makes me sad when they are down voted.


Me too, but there is a place and time for everything.

I believe allowing them would open a floodgate and start a race for reputation.


There is already a race for reputation, it's just for who is the smartest know it all nerd.


People have been saying this for almost as long as Hacker News has existed.


So it's like Mad Magazine and was 'at its best' when you first started reading/using it?


Good analogy! And like Saturday Night Live as well, I've heard.


I started reading it in the 80s, and think that the best content was from the 60s and 70s, and took an objective drop when they started to include advertising (as does anything when you start slapping advertising on it).


HN takes itself too seriously. This site isn't brimming with intellectuals having significant, deep discussions. It's a bunch of hackers, nerds, and interested people who aren't either of those things kibbitzing about things (sometimes only marginally) related to technology. I find the resistance to even a little humor to be hilarious (and embarrassing, for them).


I don't particularly think of HN as lacking humor. There is an extreme attitude against puns, jokes and such which I think is well deserved, since the conversation devolves into who can be most creative with them.

And I kinda disagree with your assertion that this site lacks intellectuals. There seem to be intellectuals from very diverse backgrounds (doctors, lawyers, even farmers). Sure, the discussion may not be as intellectual as, say, r/AskHistorians, but its still more intellectual than most other forums.


There's tons of humourous comments these days. When I first started here (well after the name change), if there was even a hint of comic intent in your comment, it'd be pounded deep into the gray, never mind anything like the comments you see now that are terminated with /s. I even used to have a screed against the extreme humourlessness of the site in my profile. In those days, the only way you could get away with making a lighthearted comment was to be a 'name' (like pg or other prominent users).


I don't think the site lacks intellectuals. I think it isn't brimming with them. And I also disagree that it's more intellectual than most other forums. Some, perhaps. Generally though HN tends to think too highly of its own intelligence and the intellectual qualities of the conversations.


The fact that you are being downvoted for sharing your opinion is quite funny.


what bothers me the most is: people downvoting an opinion that differs from their own. In a contrived example, if someone says jobs was nothing without wozniak, I dont think a person should be downvoted for voicing their opinion.


HN in general will tolerate dissent, if you can provide good argumentation.

Sure there's groupthink in HN as in any other forum, but HN is more open to different ideas than any other forum that I have known since the days of Usenet in late 1980s.


Yes, I came to realise that when it comes (among other subjects) to 'tech' criticism, it easier to have an open discussion with various points of view on HN than on my generic national subreddit. That takes the biscuit!

I just wish someone could come up with a new Usenet (<rant>instead of a dozen of open-source copies of damn Twitter</rant>). Something that doesn't depend on a company or a couple of individuals. In similar vein to what happens for the Twitter copies I ranted about, but for long, threaded discussions in Reddit/HN/Usenet style. Oh, and Reddit lacks proper hierarchies, so the discovery of subreddits is pretty bad. So, yes, more like Usenet.


What is wrong with the "old" Usenet? It's still there, there is only a need for a decent web gateway and some tutorials on how to run nntp servers.


Good point. Never had thought of that.



And this too: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=658683

But then see these, which seem to acknowledge downvote to disagree is a problem:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1057338

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2403716


In that sense why not go to a "stars" system? It requires more cognitive overhead, but I think HN members can handle it.


Because people only ever vote 1 star or 5 stars. 3 at a push for neutral. They map to up, down and no vote so may as well just be that


> I find the resistance to even a little humor to be hilarious

There is no resistance to humour. Funny comments get upvotes.

There is a resistance to unfunny comments, and most attempts at humour are just bad.


> This site isn't brimming with intellectuals having significant, deep discussions

If you stomp out humour you can pretend it's exactly that.


Hacker News has its niche that's only interesting to so many people. Which is good, I hope it would never be inundated too much by people making lower-effort posts or just looking to be entertained.




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