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

How is this germane to hacking and/or startups?

PS, voting me down won't make the article any more on-topic, and it doesn't matter anyway, I have oodles of this karma shit, and if I have to burn it pointing out the reddit-bait, so be it.

from: http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.

I think this would fit under intellectual curiosity, but who's to judge.

Voting up political articles because of "intellectual curiousity" is a cop-out, and you'll get reddit if you go there.

This is very clearly one of those articles that people vote up because they like the message and it gets them fired up, rather than because they didn't know these things (unless of course they happen to reside under a rock).

I find it ironic that on an article about excessive punishment, your comment has been massively down-voted.

Even though I disagree with you, personally I think you raised a reasonable point.

No he didn't. The community does not owe him an explanation for what they like and dislike. Also, reading this same question in many threads becomes a bit annoying.

This article and any other article is on here because someone submitted it and rather than be ignored like countless of other articles, it was actually liked and attracted more than one hundred comments and more than that votes.

  The community does not owe him an explanation
Howeverm, merely posing a question, even with a suggested answer, is not a demand for an explanation. davidw doesn't make me feel like he thinks anyone here owes him an explanation.

  Also, reading this same question in many threads becomes a
  bit annoying.
Which is an argument I agree with. On the other hand, the question is valid and warrants some discussion. Perhaps we need a meta-HN, where davidw could start a topic and we could discuss his actual question.

Legislation is a kind of procedural code, compiled and interpreted by various governmental organizations (courts, agencies, etc.). Rather an abstraction to be sure, but 'if X then Y, else Z' is the sort of logical proposition which underlies both programming and lawmaking, and parsing the resulting code is the sort of intellectual task that hackers enjoy.

Fair question. Maybe not directly relevant, but I think the article highlights the challenges for business owners and managers who may find themselves subject to criminal prosecution without ever having had any intent to commit a crime.

That applies to pretty much anyone who resides in the US.

Some idiot cops recently threatened to arrest me for touching a bent pole on the street. I was examining it when they rolled up and then threatened to jail me for destruction of public property. It seems that they view abuse as a job perk.

It sounds like they were probably right to make an enquiry as to whether you'd committed wilful damage to public property. Perhaps their tone was out or maybe you were over defensive about a simple enquiry WRT the perpetrator of an apparent crime?

In full consideration, genuine question, would you rather cops simply drove by when witnessing people with damaged public property in hand or would you rather they stopped and made some sort of enquiry?

It's not a genuine question. You've already assumed your obvious conclusion by turning "threatened to arrest" into "make an enquiry". Those are not the same, and anyone with the slightest professionalism can easily do the one without the other.

Nope, because they apparently threatened to arrest you as a shortcut to making a more tempered enquiry. If you agree they should have stopped you then it's simply a question of their manner and attitude, if not then it's something else - hence the question.

Did they arrest you, what crime did they claim they were arresting you for? How did you avoid being arrested if they said that is what they were doing? Either they arrested you or didn't, if they didn't they were making an enquiry.

Yes, perhaps they hedged their bets and thought that you might be scared off damaging public property if you had perpetrated the offence by the apparent threat of arrest.

Uhhh, no.

I was hanging out by a damaged pole when they demanded identification and threatened to arrest me for destruction of public property. They could have

a) used some critical thinking and realized that there was no way I could have damaged said pole


b) been polite, and adopted an "you and us vs. whoever damaged the pole" perspective instead of "us vs. you".

In summary then a policeman was a bit rude to you.

No. The point is that the policemen (plural) actually had real power over me and their threat was actionable. For example, if you're rude to me, I could never ever care, but they actually have guns and the power to jail me, so long as it's "their word vs. mine."

Well, it looks like the article made foreigners think they're going to be incarcerated if they set foot on US soil, and there are a lot of immigrants in the startup community.

You can always find a connection if you use your imagination.

> You can always find a connection if you use your imagination.

That game is called "6 degrees of hacker news".

At least 197 hacker-news people have found it interesting, for some reason. Just flag it if you don't like it.

I guess we've all submitted things that are seemingly irrelevant to startups and hacking from time time.

It is an interesting article; that's not really the point. The problem is that this sort of "rabble rousing" article about politics or economics begets more articles just like it. At first they're likely to be good ones, but then they start attracting more and more junky ones, and more users who come for the politics, and so on and so forth.

Luckily, so far, this site hasn't gone that far downhill - pg and company have mostly been vigilant about letting too many of these through.

Very likely. But it is the point in relation to "Anything that good hackers would find interesting".

The problem with that statement is that it ought to read "Anything that good hackers would find interesting, but that wouldn't be so interesting to the general public", or something along those lines. There are plenty of things I find interesting that other hackers find interesting, as well as zillions of people who care nothing for code or startups. Most likely, they aren't appropriate for this site.

I really think the guidelines cover it quite well. The creator of this site is known to express himself clearly. The next sentence is "That includes more than hacking and startups."

Anyway, I still think most of us are guilty of posting content that is not clearly appropriate, but it's amazing how it sometimes strikes a nerve. Just flag it.

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