webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of June, 2019.

Comparing the Same Project in Rust, Haskell, C++, Python, Scala and OCaml
June 15, 2019 (comments)
Some children play programming language pokemon. One of them draws weird conclusions from it. Hackernews draws even more (and even weirder) conclusions. Most of the comments bikeshed the choices made by the children in their homework. Most of the comments are in praise of Python, because it is the only mentioned language any of them have used in anger. Some of the children show up to defend their homework.

Mazda is purging touchscreens from its vehicles
June 16, 2019 (comments)
A car company has noticed that cars are not smartphones. A "User Experience Professional" (sic) arrives to support this idea and receives four hundred angry responses wherein Hackernews angrily lectures the User Experience Professional on automotive manufacturing, industrial controls, and the fact that every single human on earth is born wanting a touchscreen and cannot be happy without one. Later, the Muskonauts arrive to explain to everyone that since the only things that are real are smartphones and web browsers, the future of cars is web browsers on giant smart phones.

Mathematician Disproves Hedetniemi’s Graph Theory Conjecture
June 17, 2019 (comments)
A mathematician posts a mathematics paper. Hackernews votes the article to the top because they feel like they should be interested in this, but they have very little to say about it. Almost all the comments are Hackernews asking for an explanation of the article, the paper, or the original conjecture, except for the ones that just shout about how important this paper is. They never explain why, because it is not, even though it's a very nice paper.

Facebook reveals its cryptocurrency Libra
June 18, 2019 (comments)
Facebook, unsatisfied with being an unregulated newspaper, post office, and telephone service, decides the only way to recover from years of user-abuse scandals is to become an unregulated bank. The article mentions it will do this "without selling your data," presumably because it's easier just to leave it sitting on the sidewalk. Hackernews can't decide whether the main thing keeping third world on M-Pesa is a dearth of financial shell-games allowing Silicon Valley to skim interest while issuing digital arcade tokens to their users. There are thirteen hundred comments incorrecting one another about banking and economic theory, in comparison to the seventy comments on yesterday's story about math.

Facebook moderators break NDAs to expose working conditions
June 19, 2019 (comments)
Looking at horrible shit for months can drive you crazy, so Facebook is outsourcing it. Surprisingly, the sorts of people interested in running a "looking at horrible shit for months as a service" business don't seem to be very good at caring about others. Hackernews knows what the solution is, and it's one of "someone oughta make a law," "artificial intelligence will save us," "Facebook should just go away," "raise the minimum wage," and other familiar refrains. The rest of the comments are people recounting the gross shit they've seen on the internet. One Hackernews wants to know at what point is a Facebook employee culpable for the human suffering caused by the company? Nobody provides the correct answer, which is "starting with the interview process."

Support for right-to-repair laws slowly grows
June 20, 2019 (comments)
Everybody is tired of expensive-shit vendors blackmailing their users with software. Hackernews is outraged, because they have a divine right to any and all source code they want, but does not stop buying the expensive shit. Fortunately, everyone can agree on one crucial platform: the real enemies of humanity are the eighteen people who interfered with the emissions controls on their diesel cars. As for the rest of the problems, Hackernews agrees they'll sort themselves out once Hackernews is finished redesigning the user.

Swedish Couple Builds Greenhouse Around Home
June 21, 2019 (comments)
Europe discovers insulation. Hackernews argues about what 'winter' means, then about what 'desert' means, then about how air conditioning works.