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The author is certainly bringing her own expectations about HN's common biases and attitudes into play, but some of those biases and attitudes are on slightly ironic display in this discussion, aren't they? For instance, there's a clear subtext -- sometimes open text -- of "this author knows nothing about the HN culture!", basically dismissing the opening where she mentions how she learned about Hacker News originally from her coworkers at the tech startup she'd moved to San Francisco to join. The bias of "I expected the moderators to be a couple of middle-aged white guys" doesn't come from her lack of knowledge of this industry and the HN crowd, it comes from her immersion in it. Also, the moderators are in fact a couple of middle-aged white guys.

It's true that HN readers are not the intended audience for this -- she's writing for the large set of people who have little to no idea what Hacker News is. But the story she's telling in the article is not "here's how cool HN is," nor is it "here's how terrible HN is." It's a story of how HN reflects the tech culture in Silicon Valley and beyond, how politics and our current culture war intersect with the tech sector whether or not we like it, how declaring a space to be non-political has become an implicitly political statement. And I think in that light, it's a pretty good article.

(And dang, I think getting a third moderator in who's non-white and/or non-male might not be a bad thing -- regardless of their level of balding.)




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