webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of March, 2020.

Do whatever you can't stop thinking about
March 08, 2020 (comments)
A webshit can't stop thinking about posting screenshots of text on Twitter. Hackernews finds it more difficult to doggedly pursue useless bullshit, but there are older, more experienced Hackernews around to dispense advice on pursuing your stupid little dreams despite the unceasing rain of derision and apathy that always comes along to crush the spirits of boring people with meaningless interests. Other Hackernews sternly lecture on the merits of whatever approach to success they most recently read about on a blog.

“Just walk out” technology by Amazon
March 09, 2020 (comments)
Amazon seems to be hearing the phrase "walkout" a lot lately, and decide to take advantage of the search-engine optimization opportunity. There is no evidence the technology described is in use by anyone at all, but the presence of the linked webpage is sufficient to convince Hackernews of Amazon's inescapable dominance of inaccurate smartphone-centric shopping experiences.

MIT moves all classes online for the rest of the semester
March 10, 2020 (comments)
MIT's leadership team defends itself against the filthy children who infest their halls. Hackernews can't decide if this is a wise decision which today appears to be an overreaction or whether this is a wise decision which will appear to be an overreaction in the future. Most of the other comments are bickering over the logistics of shifting to online learning, then inventing pretend 'rules' that university professors must abide. Finally, Hackernews takes a break so people with degrees and people without degrees can face off to fight; in a surprise twist, they instead line up to demand performance evaluations from people with Ivy League degrees.

Covid-19 is now officially a pandemic, WHO says
March 11, 2020 (comments)
Some bureaucrats state the obvious. Hackernews has been pasting keywords from Wikipedia into Google Scholar for the past week, and is by now the single greatest source of epidemiological knowledge in the history of the planet. Armed with a deluge of hazily-understood and possibly-debunked thinkpieces from self-employed computer-adjacent social media hobos, Hackernews reports the actions of their local governments, criticizes them as being insufficiently fascist, and pines for direct rule by the Chinese State Council. The comment threads are an endless sequence of Hackernews trying to find some way to visibly out-strategy themselves and each other, and they all talk about "the public" as though it were some alien entity instead of all of us everywhere.

Linux Kernel Teaching
March 12, 2020 (comments)
Someone attempts to document Linux. Hackernews is super glad that someone is trying, and they bookmark the site to read it later, but the 10:1 vote:comment ratio indicates nobody actually gives a shit. The few comments that exist are mostly centered around whether or not kernel programming will get you a job.

Twilio releases open source video conferencing apps for iOS, Android and web
March 13, 2020 (comments)
A company releases clients for their communications platform. The service is sufficiently bad that they give the code an open-source license in hopes of luring developers. Hackernews either worked at Twilio or recommends not using their software. Later, some Hackernews stage a debate wherein they try to divine the ethical stance of a pedo apologist. Most of the comments are links to software that might be able to combine to do something useful.

Open letter from Italy to the international scientific community
March 14, 2020 (comments)
The Italians would like other countries to die slightly less rapidly. Hackernews admonishes one another that this issue is extremely serious and other people should pay close attention to the words coming out of Italy (and also the words coming out of Hackernews). This thread is almost unreadably packed with Hackernews talking about "humans" in the third person, "society" as something apart from Hackernews, and computer touchers stridently incorrecting one another's medical analysis of the global pandemic.