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

I'm a relatively new HN reader (~1 year) and have taken much away from my time here (much reading, few comments). I understand where you're coming from with concerns about quality; however, I resent the fact that I may be considered part of the increased readership responsible for "HN's decline"

Hopefully knowing my fuller opinion will decrease your resentment.

I suspect that new users follow something like an 90/10 rule. 90% of them are good to have around, and contribute more than they detract. New blood is good. But 10% contribute junk that is like virtual cholesterol, it builds up, clogs the system, and if left untreated eventually will be lethal to the community. of that 10%, perhaps 10% are simply toxic waste that you want to get rid of, and 90% just need encouragement to fit in better.

I sometimes comment on egregious comments by the 10%. You've reminded me that I should more often acknowledge the existence of the 90%, and on my hope that the 10% I'm looking at are part of the redeemable 9%.

There is an observation that goes back centuries, which applies here. The observation is that if you pack a barrel of apples and there is even a single bad one, the whole barrel will spoil. But if every apple is good, the barrel will remain good for the entire winter. Thus, "don't let a few bad apples spoil the barrel". We want the apples, but none of the bad ones.

Unfortunately the advent of refrigeration has caused us to forget the original wisdom and the saying is currently used as the exact reverse of its original meaning ("oh, it was just a few bad apples").

During packing we were still checking all the pears for injuries ("stem punch", caused by other pears), since apparently it would spoil the whole box if there was a bad one. (Packing pears in New Zealand for export to Europe and the US) - On a commercial and longterm scale you apparently still have to take care.

Rotting fruits release ethylene gas which is a ripening agent. This causes fruit next to rotting fruit to ripen then rot.

An interesting mechanism I think. Before looking that up I would have suspected a biological transmission of infection or something, not a chemical transmission.

I've been lurking HN for awhile now, and complaints about HN's decline were going on even years back when I was first introduced to the site...

That's how all communities work though. As a community grows and attracts new members, the old guard moan about how it was better when they were noobs.

In fact this is true for real -"offline"- life as well.

Complaints about HN decline have been going on since I first started visiting this site in 2007.

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