webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of February, 2021.

Fake Amazon reviews 'being sold in bulk' online
February 15, 2021 (comments)
The British Broadcasting Corporation engages Amazon's sole customer service mechanism, which remains "complaining loudly on the internet." Hackernews, half of whom work for Amazon, declare the problem insoluble. Immediately after that declaration, they proceed to submit droves of half-assed solutions, most of which essentially reconstruct Consumer Reports from first principles. The rest of the comments are requests for product recommendations.

What I Worked On
February 16, 2021 (comments)
Paul Graham takes a break from telling people how to think, in order to focus on a more general-interest topic with a broader audience: himself. The result is a fourteen-thousand-word morass constituting the slug track left by a spoiled clown with no meaningful contributions to make to anything. Hackernews continues to be in love. One focus of their adoration is Paul Graham's toy programming language, Bel, which also serves as a flawless analogy for its author: presented with every chance to succeed, recipient of years and years of people's time and attention, only to turn out to be a completely ineffective collection of text on a website, of use to nobody.

Before buying a NYT subscription, here's what it'll take to cancel it
February 17, 2021 (comments)
Hackernews is angry at the ghost of New York Times past. They almost immediately figure out that the story, which is helpfully presented as a series of images dumped from a PDF conversion of some text dumped into a browser, is woefully outdated and the newspaper has fixed the issues that arise in the transcript. The comments then divide into two teams to most effectively cover the important topics of "other shit that sucks to cancel" and "other newspapers that fit better into a given commenter's echo chamber."

Perseverance Rover lands on Mars [video]
February 18, 2021 (comments)
The parking crisis in Pasadena reaches new depths. Hackernews bitches about ESL speakers, argues about measurement unit systems, and attempts to teach one another mathematics. Some Hackernews express excitement at seeing what research comes out of this mission, and other Hackernews shit on them for caring about something other than advertisement engagement metrics or blog posts about mindfulness. Finally, the Muskonauts show up and picket the whole affair because NASA failed to make it into a monument to Saint Elon.

Draw an iceberg and see how it would float in water
February 19, 2021 (comments)
A webshit produces an interactive center-of-gravity simulator. Hackernews fucking loves webshit fingerpainting exercises but does not give a single shit about the subject matter, so they spend most of the time in the comments bitching about either the math used by the author or the javascript library chosen.

United B772 at Denver on Feb 20th 2021, engine inlet separates from engine
February 20, 2021 (comments)
In an attempt to enhance the efficiency of passenger flights, United Airlines implements a scatter-gather approach to a distributed landing algorithm. Hackernews catalogues previous attempts at implementing this innovation, and confers unto one another several graduate degrees in aviation engineering from Youtube University. Most comment chains start out with one Hackernews making a claim, then successive Hackernews each accusing the parent commenter of working from outdated information, until the comment threads are an endless series of increasingly-pedantic corrections of a fundemental irrelevancy.

Choose Boring Technology (2015)
February 21, 2021 (comments)
An Internet argues against résumé-driven development. This is the tenth time this particular slide deck has been posted on "Hacker" "News", and the second time anyone has noticed. The comments in this thread differ only somewhat from the previous round; in addition to the "but Buzzword-of-the-Week is actually great" comment thread, we are this time treated to an apostate wondering why nobody is holding programmers accountable for this shit. The latter thread explodes into acrimony as Hackernews angrily insists that everything is fine, everything is fucked, programmers are very carefully and expertly managed, and no mere manager is qualified to have an opinion on the deeply technical work of shoving shit into a Celery queue until you can cram it into Redis.