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Shit HN Says (twitter.com)
240 points by dsirijus on Aug 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 82 comments

EDIT: now it's completely banned, not even on 2nd page.

Aaaand... downgraded from front page by mods.

  India outsourcing back to USA (washingtonpost.com)
  67 points by nightbrawler 3 hours ago | flag | 26 comments
  31.  [first of 2nd page]
  Shit HN Says (twitter.com)
  166 points by dsirijus 3 hours ago | flag | 66 comments

I called this in the first comment, it then reached -4. Oh well.

I was wondering what was with that. It could easily be #1...

These are the same kind of moderator games vs. community Digg played before collapsing into oblivion.

I think you underestimate how many of us simply flag these kinds of submissions, as they are neither intellectually stimulating, nor do they promote interesting discussions. There probably isn't as much "moderation" on HN as you seem to theorize.

I wouldn't have even seen your comment were it not for the 'new comments' page.

No, it's been happening a lot recently. There was a huge thread about it a little while ago. One of the main mods was behind the bans. Also flagging doesn't automatically delete posts, mods do that.

This is very sad, I used to have the highest respect of PG and RTM. But it's dropping like a stone in the water.

I thought that if enough users flag a post, it gets automatically deleted. Also, I thought that accumulated flags harms a posts' score. Has anyone said otherwise?

What I want to know is who's running that account?

I want to buy them a chocolate heart or something. Maybe some bacon.

Shaped as a heart.

    What I want to know is who's running 
    that account?
Technically, Hacker News.

This is fantastic. I followed it immediately. It reminds me of a condensed version of The Daily WTF [1] or perhaps http://bash.org/, but for Hacker News. More amusingly, it seems to have that strange meta property in which this thread itself is sure to generate a few more tweets, much in the same way that no one is quite sure if the real Daily WTF is the post itself or the comments that try to solve the problem in the post.

[1] http://thedailywtf.com/

It's actually not as bad as I expected it to be from the title.

However, the lack of links to sources as well as the obvious limitations of Twitter mean this idea could be executed much better.

Really? You want a shithnsays.com? The beauty of this idea is providing smiles in your Twitter timeline once in a while. Not to execute a cool-lean-webscale-startup.

It doesn't need its own domain, but the Twitter format is so limited, I'm not very likely to visit this again even though it was quite entertaining. Maybe make it a blog instead? It doesn't need its own domain or anything.

> Not to execute a cool-lean-webscale-startup.

Now you're just attacking a straw man, aren't you? :)

"It doesn't need its own domain, but the Twitter format is so limited.."

You're right. This would be so much better on app.net.

You don't use Twitter by visiting individual accounts. Pro-tip: Try the 'follow' feature.

Guess what: not everyone has a Twitter account. Freaky, I know.

And before you tell me how I expect to follow Twitter accounts without one of my own, let me tell you that I follow dozens of blogs without having an account in any of them or their platforms.

"Guess what: not everyone has a Twitter account. Freaky, I know."

I think Twitter is absolutely the right way to go on something like this. Your post is even more peculiar since Twitter supports RSS. [1] Does your reader not support RSS? (Okay, okay, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, since it actually __isn't__ all that obvious that Twitter does support it; I had to Google it myself).

[1] Here's the one for shit_hn_says: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/752430234.rss

Add it to Google Reader and enjoy! You don't need a Twitter account, so your major concern should be alleviated at this point.

I'm not constantly mentioning I don't have a Twitter account. I mentioned it because it's relevant.

Your post is even more peculiar since Twitter supports RSS [2]. Does your blog client not support RSS?

It does, I just wasn't aware that Twitter supported RSS, since nowhere in the page (not even in the source) do they link to it. Can one find its URL without doing arcane magic?

That said, the I do agree that Twitter is a decent place to publish these, although it still has the length limit that prevents them from putting links to the comments.

> I'm not constantly mentioning I don't have a Twitter account. I mentioned it because it's relevant.

Perhaps, but I think my sarcastic tone was warranted, at least before giving a serious answer. You could have said:

"I don't have a Twitter account. How would I follow something like this?"

Instead, you chose the more snarky:

"Guess what: not everyone has a Twitter account. Freaky, I know."

which takes on an almost condescending tone.

Anyway, I've been annoyed myself with the walled garden approach that many of these social sites are taking. Even Facebook has RSS feeds, but it isn't exactly obvious how to get to them. And Twitter seems to be more and more going towards the route of closing off third-party access. But if you're determined enough (and I realize most people won't be; even my finding of the RSS feed was mostly an intellectual exercise), it does appear possible to satisfy your requirements of using your existing Feed system to keep up to date with Twitter posts without having to have a Twitter account.

But like you, I would also have expected that I could simply put the Twitter URL directly into my Reader and have it auto-discover the RSS feed as most proper implementations do. Sadly, this is not the case, and having to somehow know the internals of the Twitter API as a user and not a developer is incredibly convoluted.

Edit: For posterity, I went ahead and removed the snarkiness. Chain broken.

I think my sarcastic tone was warranted, at least before giving a serious answer.

But my post was itself snarky in response to narcan's "Pro-tip". It's a snark chain!

> Can one find its URL without doing arcane magic?


How is this not arcane magic, though? Twitter should have used a meta tag so that the RSS feed would be auto-discovered by any relatively modern RSS client. But their recent actions suggest that their interest is not making it easy to use third-party systems outside of Twitter proper. I think icebraining's point is a legitimate one, because it isn't obvious that RSS exists in the first place.

Typing two words into the worlds most popular website which is used 400 million times per day and reading the answer to the first result returned is pretty much the exact opposite of arcane magic in my book.

I guess I don't understand what you're trying to say then, and I don't want to assume you are trolling, so I'll try again.

Your link [1] referred to a post which specifically said: "Last month, without warning, Facebook and Twitter killed-off access to RSS feeds. With the launch of the new Twitter interface, you could only access RSS feeds on Twitter if you were logged out of your account. Now, it seems you can’t access them at all. [... followed by a work around ...]"

Furthermore, it then goes on to say: "The process doesn’t work in all instances. Google Reader was unable to recognize the RSS feed." But this isn't a true statement, so now the information is actually misleading.

That seems to echo what I've been saying as well. There used to be an obvious way using established practices to access Twitter via RSS that was auto-discoverable by RSS clients and Web browsers. Now there is not. Judging by the number of RSS-related comments generated in this thread alone, it seems like a legitimate gripe, particularly since adding a simple meta tag isn't exactly an onerous burden.

[1] http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2011/06/23/how-to-find-the-rss...

I believe they used to (pre previous design.. so pre 2008ish).

However, I imagine with the advent of the thin-client AJAXification of the entire site, they don't dynamically create meta tags for this purpose (indeed, I'm not even sure if browsers would support this).

You really just made a new HN account only so you could diss me. Protip: Let that sink in for a moment.

Does making a new account make them any less wrong? You really just dismissing something someone said just because they're new? Protip: Let that sink in for a moment.

First off, it's not the content, it's the tone that is deplorable. "narcan" knows this, that's why he created a new account instead of using his regular one. Seriously, look at his profile, it has been created (and rewarded with karma) for just this single polemic post.

At least when I say something unpopular or downright insulting, I still have enough integrity to say it in person instead of through sock puppets - not that I remember ever stooping as low as "narcan" in either form or content, but that's a matter of opinion. Also, when did it become OK to talk like that on HN? It's getting to a point where I don't recognize this place anymore.

But about the content, does it really sound reasonable to you that I don't know how Twitter works? Does it strike you as plausible that my critique about the execution of this idea stems from my inability to understand the follow button?

So wait, you got offended by someone because their post implied that you didn't know how twitter works? That's pretty funny. Also, when did mild animosity get associated with "average 4chan behaviour"? 4chan is not the birthplace or the only place where people are immature on the internet.

So ok, you probably don't have a twitter account. Ok, you're one of those people that prefer RSS feeds for everything and you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. I mean you could use the twitter api and get the rss feed for it (http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_n... would be the one for this particular twitter account) but that's not the reason why you don't like this format.

Apparently the reason you have such reservations for this twitter account is because there's a "lack of context" or "140 chars is too limited". With the lack of context I agree it's a bit of a problem but It's not anything that a simple google search can't find. Plus, in many cases you don't need any context. These quotes can be self contained without knowing when and which thread they were said. These are quotes which are likely to pop up in any HN thread.

As for the "limitations" issue, I don't see the problem. What do you expect? A huge essay on why a quote is silly? As far as I can see, the format that the creator has chosen and has displayed works pretty well. I can't think of anything else that could be added to it or any problems coming from this because of "limitations".

The twitter format doesn't work for you. We see that. That doesn't mean that this is a "poor execution" and that it could be improved. Not everything should be the most perfect execution. Sometimes something as simple as a twitter account works and it's clear that from some of the posts in this thread, that it works fairly well.

I'm not offended, but I'm disappointed by the style and content of the discussion, yes. There is no question that narcan had the intention to insult anonymously without contributing anything.

Sorry, at the time you posted this I had already taken the 4chan reference out because it was bound to be misunderstood. Let me clarify: 4chan has a bad rep, but its quality is rapidly improving. For example, people are there getting more friendly and helpful, whereas HN seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Even childish "gotcha" type responses are now rewarded by HN moderators.

I do have a Twitter account, but as you probably guessed I don't use it that much. I know about the RSS feed, but that does not address my point. In fact, that's where my disappointment comes from. narcan-style responses seem to work in distorting the subject. My criticism was actually about two things: the lack of source links and the 140 character limit.

> These quotes can be self contained without knowing when and which thread they were said.

That's your opinion and a valid one at that. We disagree, but that's why we have discussion threads.

> The twitter format doesn't work for you. We see that. That doesn't mean that this is a "poor execution" and that it could be improved.

I didn't mean to shit all over the idea. It's good. The quotes are well picked. It's not a startup, I didn't mean to launch into a 10 point critique on execution. It could be improved for users like me, it's perfect as it is for users like yourself. And that's all equally OK, the entire thing was blown way out of proportion.

I think you're being a bit sensitive , but if you're truly upset / offended, then I'm sorry.

Btw, this isn't a throw away account, it's just my first comment so it's not as sinister as you're making it out to be.

Why would you, new to a community, open your account with a post that is nothing if not designed to denigrate someone you never met over a position he doesn't hold? If you disagreed with my original point, you could simply have provided a counter point. Instead you chose to berate me needlessly, senselessly and cheaply. I'm not exactly sensitive, but I did choose your comment to illustrate what I believe is going increasingly wrong here on HN.

There should be a higher standard. I'm still operating under the assumption that most of us do not come here to play trollish games of oneupmanship, but instead to exchange ideas and opinions.

Leave that sink alone, all of you.

"Now you're just attacking a straw man, aren't you? :)"

Watch for this on ShitHNSays...

It'd be more difficult to get people to subscribe to a blog. Keeping it light hearted on Twitter is great for a little fun service such as this—of course only for those who are already on Twitter.. :)

That's probably true. Still, I wish they had links.

Or a good understanding of site: in google search.

Like everyone else I would like them to add the post id so people can easily find the source of the quote.

I also think that a distinction should be made between comments that are ridiculous (like Node.js being close to the metal) versus surprising (what one quote claims is true - men actually are over-represented in the top 1% of the population by IQ - of course men also dominate the bottom 1%).

IQ does not equal intelligence, except possibly in the extreme subsets of mental abilities which actually feature on the test. It's not been treated seriously in the scientific community for almost ever. It's almost solely a cargo cult for people who excel at it and want to feel superior.

The scientific debate is much more complex than you give it credit for. Yes, there really are people who believe that IQ, or (to be more sophisticated) g, really has validity. I personally view it as convenient shorthand, but not real. However this is not a universal position. For a take on why it is probably not valid, see http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/523.html.

But whether or not you accept that IQ is meaningful, the following fact remains true. On a wide variety of abilities that we can measure, including most specific mental attributes (working memory, processing speed, etc), males have much higher variability than females. The average gender differences are small, but men are over-represented in both tails. That fact is true both when abilities are measured in isolation, or on a test that aggregates them, like a standard IQ test.

See http://www.edge.org/q2008/q08_10.html#cronin for an example of where this is discussed.

Of course, it's not politically correct to say that there are more guy geniuses than girl geniuses, no matter how convincing the data may be. Saying that there are more male idiots is presumably perfectly okay; people who care about such things generally only care if it's the "minority" (never mind that women are a numerical majority in the US [1]).

Caveats: I don't know how convincing the data is. My point is that the discussion would not change even if the science happened to be completely airtight. Anecdotally, many of the intelligent people I've met over the years have happened to be women, so I'm inclined to believe in equality or even a female-favorable situation for the high tail (but how this is affected by socialization and cultural expectations is a topic for another post).

[1] http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

You are right.

The evidence on that correlation is actually very strong. However in our society there is an effect that goes a long way to hide it. For a number of reasons (including earlier puberty), women have a significant academic advantage in high school. This means that about 60% of people heading to college are women.

So if you're in an environment with lots of young college educated young people, all will be reasonably smart (they had to be to get into college), and you have on average about half-again as many women as men. If you just take this population and look for the top quartile, women are still over-represented relative to men.

What about the smart men that I said existed, where are they? They are everywhere. It turns out that if your IQ is in the top 2%, you have worse odds of finishing high school than if your IQ is median. Lots of smart people make it nowhere near college for various combinations of reasons. If you mostly hang out with college graduates, you might never notice that, for instance, there are some really smart car mechanics out there.

Interesting that it appears to be being run by hand using Buffer (http://bufferapp.com/). From outward appearance at least, not a bot.

How to botify this? The easiest I can think of is to keep polling for the most downvoted comment ... any fancy information retrieval effort is bound to generate false positives.

And oh yes ... I see what you are thinking, HN Hall of Shame - handles with get most downvotes/week ranked in reverse sorted. Reverse gamification. It obviously needs to be like a leaderboad. And obviously has to have a REST api. Now you want "web-scale" -- Node.js+MongoDb+HTML5 charts ...

I think the aim would be to poke fun at the bubble community rather than downvoted comments.

Some of the most upvoted comments on HN are the most ridiculous and absurd.

Most of those quotes don't come from downvoted comments...

I love it. I searched for a few of these just to confirm that real comments were being used.

Was not disappointed.

I hope that this, err.. service I guess?... service doesn't go sour. It is pretty amusing but if it becomes popular and starts taking things out of context it could have a sort of chilling affect where HNers are forced to design their sentences to be immune to contextual changes, like politicians.

Oh wow. These are real? I thought they were mostly jokes.

Needs links really.

... and when assembly isn't fast enough then I drop down to binary.

We now have to make sure all our sentences are longer than 140 chars to avoid being featured.

Unless you want to be featured of course.

How long before this thread goes recursive?

23 minutes ago.

I think it would be way cooler if they were quoted word for word (with a link to the original post).

This. I wanted to source some of these to make sure they were legit and turned up empty. But I know some of them are real because I read the originals.

We'll now have a nice list of HN readers on twitter

I was expecting more misogyny. I may be spending too much time on reddit.

(Edit: To be clear, I'm referring to the group "Shit Reddit Says", who highlight and then downvote instances of misogyny and the like in reddit comments).

HN is starting to go meta like Reddit went and I'm not sure that's a good thing. How on earth is it productive or healthy to publicly ridicule HN commenters?

It's popping some HN bubbles. I find that extremely healthy, if not neccesarily productive.

Let us just say it was ripe for disruption.

Oh look, copyright infringement ;)

I have a feeling this thread will be made pseudo-dead. [and this post haha]

Because there isn't enough retarded shit on twitter.

I've been out-jerked. :(

This is fairly retarded. It's not hard to make something look foolish when you take a single sentence out of context.

If those tweets actually appeared in text somewhere on Hacker News, they are foolish regardless of the context they were taken from. Dropping down to node.js to get close to the metal? Come on!

Love it.

Dropping down to node.js to get close to the metal?

It's actually not that strange of a remark, depending on context.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2710383 seems to be the source.

IMO it is still pretty strange. I would feel a lot more comfortable if he said "close to the wire" (as in little abstraction above the basic TCP/HTTP layer).

with what definition of metal again?

Why, V8 of course.

that's still an "unusual" (to say the least) definition.

Hopefully sarcastic.

Now I'm confused. Is it made up tweets? because I recognized two or three of them from threads I've read

Yeah, they are real tweets. Except that some of them are from the articles themselves, not the comments. Like this one "services like github and sourceforge are just fads, with very little (I think no) added value."

I've found most tweets to be really self-contained thoughts.

Oh, that so totally needs to be tweeted.

I love you guys.

EDIT: Done. Tweeted.

    This is fairly retarded.

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