Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hacker News: Paul Graham Backlash

It's not big but it's happening. The reason is Hacker News itself. He used to command great respect among hackers at large, but his writing's gone downhill since he started Hacker News.

That shouldn't be a surprise at all. The paradigm Hacker News follows turns every site that uses it into a groupthink factory, until there's so much groupthink nothing else can breathe. That's death for good writing. If your interest in speaking or discovering the truth is a serious one, you need to avoid stupid fucking bullshit for the same reason models avoid cheeseburgers.

My advice: skip Hacker News, and skip the groupthink. Graham's newer stuff is fuzzy and time-wastey, but Hackers And Painters remains brilliant and essential. His Lisp books are good as well, and one of them's free.