It might be different for Quora given that their CEO and SLT will be remote.
But I still believe that whenever you have an office you are creating a community of employees who will have a different relationship to those who are working remotely.
Inherent system dynamics in the mirror are larger than they appear.
Fully concur. Senior leadership needs to lead by example, whether it be remote work, taking paternity leave, or using a healthy amount of vacation. As some have pointed out, remote work as some companies has the potential to become the new "Unlimited Vacation"-- i.e. technically the policy but employees worried about advancement are unlikely to take advantage.
Props to Quora leadership for leading by example.
I was having dinner with a friend of mine who is a senior manager at a well-known SV company that has "unlimited vacation." He was telling me that the CEO absolutely sets an example of taking unplugged vacations. In fact, he told me that they had a PR person a while back who just couldn't deal with the CEO being out of pocket for an extended time to the point where they just quit.
Now it would be great to know, in what aspects a leading person can act in certain ways, that I can copy while doing my job. It also needs to be things, that I don't already do. That would be even more constructive criticism.
You got a point though, and I will think about what those things could be, that someone in a leading position does, that I could copy as behaviors, that are ethically good and also good for the job.
My first question after someone mentions unlimited vacation is "how much vacation did the boss use last year?". If it's less than 4 weeks, I would view that company as being dishonest about their vacation policy.
The same thing applies to the number of hours worked. I value work-life balance and so if my boss is working 60 hours a week, I will know that company is not for me, because the boss would view me and my insistence on working 40 hours or less as uncommitted to company goals.
We strongly encourage employees to keep discussions in 'public' slack rooms rather than private messages. This can be noisy but allows for inclusivity. Team members are free to choose which channels to join and are encouraged configure alerting to manage the noise. Only takes a few minutes to set up.
Performance needs to be measured by work output rather than time in the office, but companies should be doing that regardless.
Face-to-face on-boarding and intros to the team are preferable so we would fly in new-hires wherever possible for the first couple weeks. Beneficial but not required.
As someone who is mostly remote, I never had too much of a problem with hybrid meetings. People in a conference room are pretty respectful that there are people on the phone in my experience. That said, the current situation where everyone is dialing in individually is something of a meeting upgrade overall. People have also gotten better at collaboratively edited agendas etc. not that they were bad to start with.
Seems pretty extreme to require everyone to dial-in even if they are present in the office.
Btw, I'm also a big fan of remote working, but no matter how good your communication skills are, you're left behind on the longer term within an hybrid team. You just can't build all these relationships with smalltalk etc. that's another problem
Even with over 500 employees, the lack of a career ladder as such meant there's little to gain by being the loudest in the room or trying to work the room. Perhaps that's also an ingredient - it might be easier to minimise others' egos when you're also in the room?
That's also one reason why many people on autistic spectrum prefer video conferences over physical meeting - responses have to be given more explicit.
In think the opinions of a lot of people here are shaped by small companies where everyone is on a floor or two of a building. At global companies, the reality is that people are pretty distributed and you have late night and early morning phone calls.
West Coast to Europe is tough for day-to-day synchronous communications. We don't have many people on the West Coast and are pretty much East Coast-centric (and Europe to a lesser degree). And that coordination works fairly well.
The single most important thing is that everyone has the option. You don't really need to sell the office to make it work, but that everyone from the CEO to even (perhaps surprisingly, the front of house team) has the same freedom to work from wherever suits.
If no competitive edge is present, it is wasted spending that could be redirected into more fruitful efforts: growing R&D, etc.
Personally, I don't see this as a big problem. I never considered being promoted the way up in the (admittedly, just a few) companies I worked in. Mostly because I don't feel like working at the same place for a long time and because switching jobs will most likely give you a better pay too.
Obviously, this is coming from someone in his mid twenties that has only worked in 2 places and then went freelance and mostly remote for businesses in The Netherlands. So maybe people do disagree at other places.
Does the office team ever turn into second class citizens?
If you are not invited to the VIP zoom meeting you are also second class no matter where you are
What's an SLT?
Which makes it sound like a bad thing. I would turn that around and say that remote work changes the relationship an employee has with their family and neighbourhood.
Now what sounds better? I think it’s time we revived our relationships outside of work and started building communities to live in, not just to work in.
In several organizations, there are a range of middle management layers who only do communications and lights on work. These people will be laid off in as little as a year when their positions start becoming obsolete. Really once the brokers get separated from party the culling will be ruthless. To me the biggest opposition will come from middle management layers. The obvious reason cited will be 'collaboration','productivity' etc, but the real reason will be saving their own jobs.
There is also an added problem of work being easily shipped out to foreign lands. Outsourcing is likely to increase and that will invite more backlash. New hire onboarding is one more area of problem, mostly because of the absence of face to face initial assistance in getting onboard. This is true for big companies given the range of in house systems and tech some one needs to be aware of before starting to contribute.
Lastly, I feel even at individual levels this will effect us all bad. Most programmers are bad at exercise and sitting at home will only amplify unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits. I expect such people will get worse off over time, obesity and diseases will increase. Absence of peer pressure/influence on skill gaining is one area I suspect will suffer in the absence of an office.
> We have initially designated 9am to 3pm Pacific Time as “coordination hours” where most employees will be expected to be available for meetings and impromptu communication, regardless of where they are located. This maps to 6am to 12pm in Hawaii, 12pm to 6pm Eastern Time, 5pm to 11pm in the UK, and 6pm to 12am across most of Europe
I know that I wouldn't work for them from Europe if those were the conditions.
It's reasonable to have a set time when you can ensure that everybody will be together, so that you have at least some overlap for synchronous communication every day. But one or two hours seems appropriate, rather than six.
Even within the US, there are workers who want to work shift like 10-6, or even 12-8, without seeming entirely out of touch with the staff. It's good to mix such people into your team: it means you get some kind of coverage later in the day for people working late, emergencies, etc.
Moreover when I work, I work, so if the sun is already down I'm ok with it; when it's up I can do all the active parts of my day that are more enjoyable during the day.
Still, it's not perfect. I don't think it would be that big of a deal for social life, because most events happen during the weekend anyway, but you'd still be expected to not be available for anything. Hopefully this is just the first phase for Quora, and they'll realize at some point that the whole point of working remote is that everything is asynchronous and synchronous is the exception
If the working hours are presented up front and agreed upon by all, I don’t see why this is any more problematic than any other shift work. There are a lot of programmers out there who are naturally night owls and would prefer those hours anyway.
Having direct experience with this, I can say that it’s not only not a problem, it’s a bonus for many. Including people with children.
Let the people decide what’s best for themselves and choose jobs accordingly. Don’t shame companies who don’t fit your own personal ideals of working hours.
I was actually having a conversation with someone I know in the UK about this a while back. His feeling was that it was a something of an advantage for a company that wants both a large US and a European presence to be East Coast-based for this reason.
Or anywhere east of Chicago roughly (a large chunk of US/Canada is in Eastern time).
Even Chicago (Central Time) isn't too bad.
It starts getting iffy with Pacific and Mountain Time zones and CET.
It's not "my" ideal - I don't set school hours. In fact, unsociable hours are defined in law, for many, many reasons.
Quora's approach is shortsighted and, in my opinion, fundamentally ageist towards their European workers - and I say that as someone who definitely prefers to work afternoons.
You don’t have to work there. You don’t have to work those hours. But please don’t shame a company for creating an opportunity for the people who voluntarily prefer those hours.
The alternative isn’t that Quora is forced to let European employees work their own schedules while everyone else has to follow the rules. The alternative is that Quora simply decides not to hire in Europe.
Well then, so much for competition for best talent and all that jazz. I'm sure Quora's competitors will be happy to pick up the slack.
> Trust me, there is demand for programming jobs that work night-owl hours.
That is not the point. There is demand for night-time-guard jobs too. That doesn't mean it's a particularly appealing job, or that night-time guards are the best guards, or that regular guards won't be pissed off when you tell them from now on it's night-time shifts only, or that society as a whole is happy to have all these night-time guards around.
This seems like it would be good for the younger children and then invert once they started attending school.
My point is that as a general model, it fails hard here.
And those employees aren’t technically employed by US companies. They’re employed by Irish companies that are owned by US companies.
The vast majority of US tech companies are not multinationals and aren’t going to consider incorporating overseas to hire anyone.
The obvious point is that enough people in EU have children/families to make these hours a huge burden if not outright unworkable.
Of course, policies like "no cross-continent teams" or "no meetings whatsoever" would be even better - but that's an even bigger corporate re-organisation.
Actually the real “oldies” are paying for their kid’s college tuition now.
Nope. Most of Europe has minimum wage regulations, and especially tech workers have the freedom to walk whenever they choose and go to competition.
That's what regulators do: they regulate stuff. That "stuff" includes – in particular in many European countries – employee working hours.
Another surprise for you: work is not supposed to be indentured servitude anymore.
The toughest is when you need to include folks from SF, London and HK . There's just no good overlap. Either you rotate the suffering or you get disgruntled employees.
One solution is to decide which timezone is most important to you, and then restricting hiring +/- 6 hours from that timezone. Or split up synchronous meetings to two different sessions for two different sides of the world (this might lead to content bifurcation but may work in some instances).
It's a serious quality of life issue that employers ignore or downplay at their peril -- by not respecting timezones, employers are signaling they don't care. Employees on the short end of the stick with respect to timezone feel unimportant and excluded (first hand knowledge of this), especially if it's imposed from above without consultation.
Even small timezone differences are annoying -- I'm in Central Time and people in Eastern Time keep scheduling meetings around my lunchtime. The only way to get around this is to add fake calendar items around lunch time to block off that time.
This is completely ridiculous and means abandoning any kind of family or social life. It also means they probably only hire young, single people with no kids. Based on this, they sound like a seriously insensitive and diversity-hostile company.
I worked at a company that did this. It actually attracted a lot of parents who wanted to spend mornings with their kids while their spouse was at work, rather than send them off to childcare.
Just because it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it won’t be ideal for someone else. Always good to have options.
So if you're working 5-11 pm you're only going to see your kids at breakfast at best (if they don't skip it because they're late). You're also not going to have dinner together as a family, which, to me, would be unacceptable.
There is no system that would satisfy everyone. You wouldn't work for them but pretty sure many other people wouldn't find it a burden.
In this modern day the concept of working only during the daylight is slowly disappear. In most big city, night time can still pretty lively.
So a 9-3 PT window is pretty reasonable for that region, especially if they're transitioning from offices where you were expected to be at a desk.
It's absolutely true that the work window is unpalatable much east of Nova Scotia, but they also don't have any people IN those zones now.
OTOH, being able to move to Ireland (e.g.) and keep your job -- albeit with super weird hours -- is pretty neat.
But then, there are plenty of managers who really see a lot of value in spontaneous face-to-face interactions, or even planned ones, because so much communication happens just in body language alone. So I expect to see a rebound as the next generation of ambitious managers decide there is a competitive edge in an all-local team.
Fuck open plan.
I really wish people would get it through their damned thick skulls that their heads are not the same as my head. And my head is not the same as her head. And her head is not the same as their head.
We all need our own accomidations. Some people like open plan, some people hate it. Some people thrive in an office environment, some people thrive at home.
These things arent mutually exlcusive. Someone isnt wrong. You can have both things be true.
Yes, in the real world you cant cater to everything everyone demands, but that also doesnt follow that you should just give up and cater only to the lowest common denominator - what some schlep in middle management thinks they know about productivity and psychology.
My yearly salary could build a comfortable home for a family of 4 every single year in some of the cheaper places in this country, I'm pretty sure my company laptop at several of my employers has retailed > $4000, yet 4 feet of desk space and a chair that seemed to have lived a hard life on the streets has been my most common accommodation. Surely an office and a parking space for every employee isn't an impossibility. And if it is then you can't afford to be in the market you're trying to operate in.
I can guarantee that I would have been a happier more productive employee if I were given a private space, near colleagues but by default separated from them away from home.
Growing up on hundreds of acres where the nearest human was often more than a mile away, having the experience of daily being obligated to board public transit for 90 minutes and then spend 8 hours in an open office in the middle of a downtown area was subtly but deeply unsettling. Being constantly so far away from the ability to have any private space or space which was mine in any way, and worse the only way to get to a space which was was by being jostled on a packed train for up to two hours was simply bad for my mental health.
You yourself are yet another proof of this - you changed whatever rural environment you had to go into cramped office with very high salary. Clearly, the money was more important to you than vast open plains and remoteness. Most folks work this way.
You ask for private space near colleagues - that's a premium anywhere. I presume you don't mean tiny cubicle but actual quiet room. Almost nobody has these in corporate environment for various reasons, certainly not regular employees.
My last company tried to end their practice of providing plastic spoons in the break area. Probably spent more money in wages to write the email than it costs to buy a box of spoons that'll last the better part of a year. That one actually got people riled up enough to complain, because it was both inconvenient and incredibly petty. We were just going to buy a box of spoons from Webstaurant Store and expense it. LOL. Silly managers trying to impress their own managers by saving every penny.
During the pandemic I have been working from home for three months. Mostly it has worked pretty well. However, I do think you miss some aspects of collaboration when you do. I hardly ever see anybody touch on this. Probably because many people see getting rid of the commute as such a big plus. I sympathise with that view.
But I tried to touch on what I think we lose here: https://henrikwarne.com/2020/06/09/working-from-home-cons-an...
The place I'm at now has six-foot bench seating for everyone below VP. The dividers between rows aren't even tall enough to block your vision when you're sitting. It's a terrible arrangement, very noisy.
Oh no i did it again, somebody stop me.
Fuck, I really hope I am out of software by then. Ambitious managers are the worst
Imagine a small town with no cars or roads. The community has lots of events to socialize you with your neighbors. Lots of traditions and festivals. Some communities may look like Brooklyn—row houses, except just grass and trees lining the blocks. Maybe another community would have a quirkier layout, with maze-like walking paths between apartment buildings.
(Or at least this is what I was told when I was a contractor for them in the mid-00s in Europe, wondering why they avoided getting a single building in Manchester city centre and spread over two separate locations in the surrounding suburbs instead.)
Also see this great South Park clip for an analogy: https://youtu.be/a3ezyTXFgYM
What I said was that if small communities spring up around places where remote workers converge, that is a good thing. It doesn't defeat the purpose of remote work.
The fact that people want to go remote and distributed and then maybe start up these things called ‘offices’ is analogous to quasi anarchist hippies at festivals that want to move off the grid and let a new society flourish organically. Ultimately we end up in the same place.
- Employee picks the location, so it's likely far more convenient for them
- Because employee has freedom to pick their work location, they have far more freedom to pick where they live
- Because employees have freedom to pick their work locations, all of a sudden "work location" is a competitive market, everywhere, and multiple options appear vying to fulfil different preferences (how quiet should they be? are pets allowed? do you want sharp & suited & professional, or lively with events every night, or chilled and friendly, or...?)
- Employee doesn't need to change their commute or desk or _anything_ when they change jobs
- 'Office' social life independent of your colleagues: you meet a wider range of people, and you separate work relationships from those friendships
- Less presenteeism, because it's harder for people to tell when you're present (not impossible, but it pushes in the right direction)
Pneumatic tubes (not sarcastic)? What about when someone needs a new mattress?
But that's why I brought up mattresses.
They are also hiring a Head of Remote role to manage all of this:
My first thought when I saw the headline was this is really just about self-preservation and runway extension. Most companies who pivot to a remote first approach are not going to be doing it for altruistic reasons - like being good for their employee health - they're gonna do it merely because it saves money.
Maybe 1 in 3 of the answers you see are just paid ads. They read like utterly normal answers, but work in a reference for why X is the best product to item #4 on their top 5 travel hacks list.
Remote companies have a significant hiring advantage. As long as the number of remote options was small, competing on talent with remote companies wasn't an issue. But things are clearly changing and non-remote companies will soon feel the pressure and unless they can pay significantly above market (like FAANG companies) they will have no choice but to allow fully remote work so they can compete.
Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft will probably not move to fully remote anytime soon (they all have amazing and very expensive campuses and some business lines that cannot move remote). However, they can pay above market rate and have offices in so many places so in a way they are already hybrid. Not to mention, like all of tech, they are much more flexible about WFH than used to be and I know a few people there who have been fully remote even before covid.
I know of some VR companies that do all their meetings in VR, whether its their own, or in a game.
But I bought a Quest when it first came out, and used it for about a week before shelving it.
Wearing it for longer than 10-15 minutes is physically difficult. Dizziness, nausea, headache.
This is a common issue people have with VR. Also unsure if it’s a fixable problem. Until then, I cant imagine it seriously used to facilitate remote work.
In the case of the Quest, it has several issues:
1. Hand tracking - using cameras on the headset means it's easy to occlude your hands leading to un-tracked areas
2. Compute Power - You need a really powerful GPU to get the most out of even relatively complex scenes. I have a GTX 1080ti and will probably upgrade to a 3080ti when these are released later this year. It's not overkill. The Quest was at first standalone. Unless you're strapping a large power supply and a GPU to your head you're not getting the power you really need.
2. It operates at 72 Hz - Research that companies like Valve have done (they've been working on this stuff a lot) has shown that refresh rates are a huge component in the sense of realism felt, and importantly sickness. The Oculus DK2 was 75Hz (ISTR). The Vive was 90Hz because it turns out people het less sick at 90. The Index is 120Hz with an experimental 144Hz mode, because the higher you push it the less people get sick, and at the very high resolutions people feel more "attachment" to the scenes they see. 72Hz is woeful.
3. Head tracking - The inside-out tracking method the Quest uses is (anecdotally, from user reports over time on reddit) inferior to the lighthouse style outside-in tracking of the Index. Knowing where your head is is very important to not making people feel ill, so better tracking here is critical.
Points 2-3 there are critical for your comfort, and the Quest just doesn't do VR justice. Sure, some people handle it fine, and the "real" equipment (and Index and a PC powerful enough to drive it) are substantially more expensive, but it would be unfair to bucket all VR after an experience with only the Quest.
Don't get me wrong, Quest is suited for completely different games than Index but for titles like Beat Saber and Superhot it's the perfect hardware and they are also the kind of games that will bring VR to the masses. Also of course the fact that you can just put it on and start playing without any setup whatsoever.
Subjectively I disagree with "Hand tracking" and "Head tracking" (you have duplicate bullet points for 2). I haven't noticed inside-out tracking being inferior at all when comparing. It works much better than I ever would have expected.
I also think talking about feeling ill being something common is doing VR a disservice. It used to be a common problem most people experienced but not anymore. I'm not saying people can't get ill or feel dizzy nowadays but the problem is not in the same ballpark as before. However, if people do experience the same even on the Quest they should definitely try the Valve Index before dismissing VR completely.
I'm planning on getting a Valve Index myself soon so I'm not a fanboy.
Research (mostly by Valve I think) has shown that the higher the framerate the less the incidence of sickness. 72Hz just isn't enough.
Regarding 10-15 minutes max I use mine for 1-2 hours at a time on most days and only stop because I get physically exhausted playing Beat Saber.
If you're not a perfect touch typist then it's difficult to take notes or edit a shared document while wearing a VR headset.
The most productive way to use VR in such a context (remote work I assume) would be to work normally for a bit, thrash around in beat saber for 30 minutes to burn some calories (Mind and Body etc.) have lunch and get back to work.
While my 2 years working at a startup in my mid-20s where we would sleep at the office and worked 24/7 did end up producing some of my closest friendships and a relationship with the company and the CEO that is strong to this day, my last few years working at a fully distributed company has also been really social.
We build friendships, we gossip, we argue, we share interesting tidbits about our lives - I don't feel like the social component is lost. It is usually not as strong as when you have to see the other person every day but it is more than enough for most purposes.
Our company also does meetups 3-4 times a year where we all fly to locations like Bali, Mexico, Iceland, US..etc. and spend a week socializing and working together. Remote work does not mean that you are basically a freelancer contracting for a company, there are ways to build strong enough social connections.
Heh, I disagree. I work remote and I go to work to do work and get a paycheck. The office has only helped to whiteboard or do some interviews, but other than that I avoid it
Does anyone know if any other companies have made a permanent switch to remote like this during the pandemic?
I dunno. Here’s why I think it will and will not happen.
My company has been up to 50% remote in the past six years (way earlier when we were smaller) and have gone fully remote since shelter-in-place.
We have a really well established remote culture, so it was pretty easy. We’ve had people join in remote roles who found that they were not able to work well in that way.
I think it takes a confluence of the company culture, the individual, and the management’s willingness to do new and different work to accommodate a remote work culture.
This will not be broad, and some who try it will fail miserably, others will discover new inefficiencies and problems they’ll sink a lot of time into trying to solve.
A bulk of the population will go back to their normal day-to-day, and as long as the rest of the world isn’t adjusting, I think it’s unlikely for such a dramatically different work style to take hold outside of a few niche areas.
I would love to be proven wrong though, as I really dislike living in the Bay Area, and I’ve become a lot more comfortable working and managing fully remotely over the past four months.
Related: My company is fully remote until 2021 - and we’re actively considering what to do after that. I am pretty convinced I will be moving forward with assuming my own team will be fully remote (support and services) if they want to, and I plan to only visit the office for important company/management meetings, but we’ll see what happens after the economy crashes completely.
Most people don't use Uber/Lyft for their daily commute (yes, no doubt some on HN do). It can't make economic sense compared to driving yourself.
Like, there are people making a full time living asking questions on Quora.
But not many really make a living by asking questions, I don't think the pay is good enough.
It degrades over time, partly from simple reversion to the mean, partly because a number of topics have simply been talked to death. That's why they started paying people to ask questions. There's still good new content in a lot of areas, such as history and language, that are very broad and deep. But topics like physics and mathematics are largely moribund, because there's only so much that can be talked about at the roughly high-school level that most people can follow.
So it does look increasingly like Yahoo Answers, but there's still good content if you know where to look. It earned a very good reputation early and that high rep still has some carryover.
When a company needs to generate fake content pretending to be real questions from real users.
Would you spend an hour writing a really thorough answer to a question if the person who asked the question got paid to ask it, and never reads any of the responses?
I get that it links to a SPA. But this seems intentional.
Even to India? What about time zone differences, and will you pay the same amount as in USD?
Having said that if you audited any of the FANGS US employees you would find discrimination on grounds of Sex, Disability and Race (and I suspect Caste )
For the entrepreneurs out there: Everything doesn't have to be social. Sometimes you can build a business around great, curated content and it can be beautiful.
Examples? I can't actually think of a curated content business that has no social features. Social is textual gold. People love interacting with other people.
Certainly not an information content business. Perhaps curated physical products.
Quality was very high in general. Today it has become a shadow of itself with generic questions and answer that are just marketing plugs.
It makes me a bit sad because it was unique and there still is nothing like it in my opinion.
I literally never want to see results from Quora, ExpertsExchange and a bunch of other grotty spam dens with low quality user generated content.
I don't get why Google is not doing this. If I could block these sites, I'd get much more value out of Google, and it would be sticky value - because over the years I would have added hundreds of sites to that list, and I wouldn't want to transfer that over to some other search engine.
Some nice extras would include:
- blocking sites for e.g. 12 months only
- sharing black lists
- being able to search without the blacklist applying
Think they might have taken action because it's not been as bad lately and the results haven't been as spammed but it rendered image search close to unusable for almost a year.
Really think Google should invest more in being able to trace data back to it's source. Pintrest is all just data scraped from elsewhere, point me to where it's scraping from now the 400px wide image from Pintrests cache.
But seems pretty stale now with lots of lead gen answers.
They claim huge traffic numbers which could be possible given the pretty good Google placements.
I don't really get it.
They also don't have the luxury of treating it like a hobby business, which is why they've been focused on quantity over quality for years now. They have to scale up the concept massively or find another business.
In contrast WikiHow is an example of a successful knowledge service that is operated with more of a focus on quality and less on quantity. They're not owned by venture capital firms and don't have to seek an exit or try to force growth at any cost. It's a route Quora could have taken if it weren't for the VC firms, now they have no choice. Their former competitor, eHow, took the paid spam content route and got destroyed for it.
Yahoo Answers might be similar, sure, but that's not a positive comparison.
The second is a matter of opinion, and whether you're looking at the average content or the best content. There is great content on Quora but the average question/answer is of course absolute dogshit.
I actually can't imagine any kind of reading medium that's worse. There's chunks of text interlaced with a bunch of visual noise, random images, links to separate threads which are huge images and bigger than the surrounding text.
Please just stop.
I know there's a user called foone that has gotten posted to HN enough times that they explained why they use twitter to make posts instead of writing a blog (they have adhd, and they find it easier to write on twitter). Which is reasonable since there's an empathical justification. And I've read other twitter threads in the past, which were fine.
Usually, people just write out a paragraph but broken over multiple tweets. This is the first time that I've seen someone try and link other videos/posts/images which is somehow so much worse.
90% of links, have some kind of: "doesn't work on my mobile... format sucks, i don't like the colors, etc... etc.." comment.
It is pure infantile/juvenile bikesheding and distracting from the point of the conversation/link that has nothing to do with formatting.
I worded it more concretely: "Please don't complain about website formatting, back-button breakage, and similar annoyances [etc]" I find that giving concrete examples and inviting the mind to generalize them works better than giving an abstract rule and inviting the mind to instantiate it. I learned this trick from spreadsheet development.
I was about to complain bitterly that the guidelines are now too long and there isn't a single one that can be taken out...but then I saw one that could be taken out, and I took it out. That was "Please submit the canonical URL. Avoid link shorteners." It's covered by "Please submit the original source." We added it a few years ago to try to convey that link shorteners are banned on HN, but it can be pushed out of the constitution and down into case law. It's the ones that aren't derivable from other guidelines that are hard to remove.
The list still feels too long to me. The longer it gets, the less people will take in, and I really want to avoid the mistake of accruing a big list of rules over time. They've grown like tree rings (and about as slowly) as we've learned about what feedback helps regulate the system. But the longer the list becomes, the more it starts to feel like a bureaucratic artifact rather than, let's say, a philosophical one, and that is out of sync with the intended spirit. https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...
That comment has sparked a larger subthread specifically about Twitter as a medium, rather than the content of the post. This specific subthread is so popular, it's near the top of the page every time I refresh this post. So we could say it stifles discussion, also because people are prone to voting up a comment like that despite the fact that it's not really relevant to the post.
The key text is: @threadreaderapp unroll
If you reply to a Tweet thread with that, it'll unroll it and create a link like that.
I recently read HG Wells’s Island of Dr Moreau; the protagonist describes one of Moreau’s creatures, who specialized in Big Think: big-worded, incoherent rambling intended to confuse and impress in equal parts. The argot of Twitter, in other words.