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"If there's one thing I wish I could do to improve HN, it would be to detect this sort of middlebrow dismissal algorithmically.

Unsophisticated people read an article like this and think: Gosh, I better eat honey for breakfast! People a little more sophisticated think: Hey, this is anecdotal evidence! Yeah, we know that. But is that the most interesting thing one can say about this article? Is it not at least a source of ideas for things to investigate further?

The problem with the middlebrow dismissal is that it's a magnet for upvotes. The "U R a fag"s get downvoted and end up at the bottom of the page where they cause little trouble. But this sort of comment rises to the top. Things have now gotten to the stage where I flinch slightly as I click on the "comments" link, bracing myself for the dismissive comment I know will be waiting for me at the top of the page."

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4692598#up_4693920




Could one not argue this comment itself is a middlebrow dismissal? I don't think it makes sense to discredit comments just because they're not positive.


I see where you're coming from, I'm not usually particularly good at farming for upvotes I just commented what was on my mind at the time. I think the solution to this isn't algorithmic, however, it's to say something that is genuinely more interesting than the middle-brow dismissal so that people upvote that instead.





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