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Tell HN: Happy Thanksgiving

Tell HN: Happy Thanksgiving


·November 24, 2022

I’m really thankful for this anazing platform and the knowledge i have gained through HN.


This is my favorite community on the internet. It's the only one I don't feel gross about after spending time on it.

Shout out to all the talented people here and for @dang for keeping things in check.


HN: one of the last remaining Great Good Places of the Internet, a lone tavern in an iconic gateway town to the now not-so-wild west.

Beyond the western borders of this little town, the tech gold rush has both expanded to epic proportions, affecting all the economies in the world, and also gone through enough booms and busts that the phrase "gold rush" seems somehow off.

As more and more young'uns join and jaded veterans return to throng the tavern alike, it often seems to be on the brink of either exploding with the largest gun fight in history, or jumping the shark.

And yet, against all odds, it retains its original magnetism - drawing throngs that grow in number and diversity while seers like and continue to return - dispensing worldly wisdom worth its weight in gold from corner tables.

The secret is the man at the corner of the bar @dang, always around with a friendly smile and a towel on his shoulder. The only sheriff in the west who still doubles as the friendly bartender: always polite, always willing to break up a fight with kind words and clean up messes himself.

Yes a cold-hard look from him is all it takes to get most outlaws to back down, yes, his Colt-45 "moderator" edition is feared by all men, but the real secret to his success: his earnest passion (some call it an obsession) for the seemingly sisyphean task of sustaining good conflict - letting it simmer but keeping it all times below the boiling point based on "the code":

"Conflict is essential to human life, whether between different aspects of oneself, between oneself and the environment, between different individuals or between different groups. It follows that the aim of healthy living is not the direct elimination of conflict, which is possible only by forcible suppression of one or other of its antagonistic components, but the toleration of it—the capacity to bear the tensions of doubt and of unsatisfied need and the willingness to hold judgement in suspense until finer and finer solutions can be discovered which integrate more and more the claims of both sides. It is the psychologist's job to make possible the acceptance of such an idea so that the richness of the varieties of experience, whether within the unit of the single personality or in the wider unit of the group, can come to expression."

May the last great tavern in the West and it's friendly bartender-sheriff live long and prosper.


> "Conflict is essential to human life..."

This is great. Can you give a citation?


Pulled from @dang’s profile:

> Marion Milner, 'The Toleration of Conflict', Occupational Psychology, 17, 1, January 1943


Like any evolving, dynamic system, there's an evolutionary benefit to residing in the edge of chaos.


It's definitely only a great, good place from a certain perspective. People I respect greatly refer to "the orange site" as "toxic", "misanthropic" or "misogynistic" and full of "microdosing" "VC worshipping wankers" who don't read TFA.

It's definitely taken a different path than the one it was on c.2010 where any entrepreneur was effectively worshipped. I'm not sure if it's better or worse. The site rarely brings me joy. If it disappeared tomorrow I wouldn't miss it, but I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

And yet here we are.

Differing perspectives:


While HN, despite dang’s heroic efforts, isn’t exactly non-toxic, using Twitter to point this out is hilarious.


Looking forward to Elon making some needed changes to twitter!


Well yeah, there are hilariously bad and evil comments on any forum with enough people. HN is pretty good for what it is.


I feel that everyone likes @dang but he’s still underrated. Seriously good mod - exceptional, in fact.


Dan has helped define for me what thoughtful moderation looks like. Not everyone likes dang, but this website is my Third Place and I am so thankful for the hard work (from Dan and everyone who participates here with integrity) that keeps it alive.


Couldn't agree more. I'm not sure how @dang and crew manage it but to continue to be a place of connection on the internet I don't loathe genuinely is a huge testament and I'm very grateful this community exists.


It can definitely be an echo chamber, the mods tend to flag/ [dead]/ bury posts and comments for no reason and turning on [dead] visibility is basically just 4chan, however I have received the most legitimate use from this site as people on it tend to be experienced and knowledgable


I don’t think you can have both. The mods cannot flag/bury things for no reason, and then have 4chan when you turn on [dead] visibility.

I’m personally of the opinion that even things which get flagged on here are pretty tame compared to the rest of the internet (e.g. reddit)


Like 80% of dead comments I see here are actually very valuable and reasoned.


I have dead turned on and haven't seen this myself. Any examples?


Keep in mind that the anti-spam system is sometimes overzealous and marks new accounts as dead. Vouch those good comments whenever you see them.

But in many cases, some dead comments are from extremely toxic people in a rare moment of sanity.


I was just coming here to say this. I've been part of the community since 2007, which feels like a really, really long time. But I've learned a lot, both from the submissions and the comments. This is probably the only place on the Internet where I always read the comments or read the comments instead of the article.


Sums it up really well. I just like it here.


Big shout out to Dang. They're so vigilant at keeping the conversation civil.


It's an understatement to call HN a daily read for me. Does anyone else check the comments before following the link? The perspectives shared here are a valuable part of my information diet. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!


HN has really impressed upon me the value of site loading speed - one big reason I often check the comments first is that _they're there instantly_, whereas clicking on the actual link is a bit of a crapshoot! It's surprising how influential that difference is.


Absolutely! I love the minimalist design of HN. Hope they never pull a reddit and update their design to be 'modern'.


I frequently don't follow the link unless the comments make me intrigued enough to do so. Partly because of the typically high signal/noise ratio for top comments here, and partly because of the ubiquity of paywalls, popups, horrible design and other JavaScript-heavy forms of user-hostility (or at least non-friendly or misguided) one finds in the average website.

The simplicity of presentation on Hacker News is one of its defining virtues.


Speaking of simplicity, the minimal amount of JS that Hacker News does use is worth a look for anybody who hasn't yet:



I find the comments and discussion often provide far more value compared to the actual articles. Especially when it comes to links about health. Lots of pseudoscience out there and very grateful for the knowledgeable community to shed light on it when it shows up.


+1 and I’m greatful for dang and the moderation team for making it a great community to discuss and share ideas and opinions that I would never would have come across otherwise. Thank you.


> Does anyone else check the comments before following the link? The perspectives shared here are a valuable part of my information diet.

Almost always. A quick scan often tells me whether the article is worth reading or not: topic and quality.

I hold off on responding to anything until I have read the article, though.


I rarely read the link and I always read all the comments. Often you can tell if the article is actually worth it in the process


same here, and I even usually scan the front page for the most commented links when I'm in a hurry!


Yup, I use TreeStyleTabs and the Open in New Tab Extension set to this domain.

That way, the root page is the main page, the comments are children and the link and other links from the comments are children of it's comments page


wow, TreeStyleTabs looks great.


Honestly I’ve always gone comments first then go down some rabbit hole after five comments of tangents


When I had children, a family of my own, I came to find Thanksgiving my favorite holiday. Seemingly immune to the commercialization (I'm going to disassociate Black Friday with Thanksgiving), it became for me a day to relax, hang out with the family and ... be thankful.

How pure and unencumbered is that?

Best thing the U.S. has come up with. (Landing on the Moon was cool too though.)


Totally agree. TG is my favorite holiday and in fact one (in spirit) that I would hope becomes global.

Taking a day to just be around family and feel grateful for what you have, is worth doing.


I mean it when I say that software engineering as a career would not be as fun if HN didn't exist.

Here is a well moderated safe haven for technical and business discussion, incredibly popular yet holding itself to a higher intellectual standard than the rest of the internet, where I can ask questions, share opinions, learn from others, publicise my startup or pet project and be taken seriously.

Long live Hacker News.


+1, this place has (mostly) managed to retain what made it special despite becoming more mainstream due the popularity of the SWE career in the last decade.


> I mean it when I say that software engineering as a career would not be as fun if HN didn't exist.

I wanted to make gentle fun of this then realized I feel exactly the same way


I've been reading HN almost daily for almost a decade now. I found it through a friend who has taught me a lot about programming, the internet, and nerdy things in general. When I discovered HN, it felt like I had a whole community of people similar to my friend who introduced me to it.


Happy Thanksgiving to the HN community!

Thanks to everyone here for kipping some sanity and wisdom in the wilderness of the Internet, thanks to dang for making it possible and thanks to the person that more than a decade ago recommended me to visit at least once per day the front page of HN. The latter definitely changed my professional career.


That’s exactly how I was introduced to HN and my life was changed forever for good. Happy Thanksgiving, HN!

I enjoy reading these annual appreciation notes.


I'm thankful for this community! Sometimes I don't feel smart enough to be here... but I am thankful to lurk for now!


When I created my account 11 years ago I thought I wasn't that smart either. Then I got older and cocky and figured out we're all pretending to be smart :)



Same, on a lot of topics. But if you love learning, you never want to be the smartest person in the room. Online or at work.

I actually enjoy the times someone takes the time to correct me instead of just downvoting.


> Sometimes I don't feel smart enough to be here

That’s exactly why it’s a great place to hang around though.


The more noise fills news and social media, the more I end up consuming HN instead of any other source. With GPT3 generated content now flooding the web that applies even more so. I’m going to eventually convince my non-engineering friends to join in as well. Maybe HN can apply some tagging on content so they can filter for the less technical stuff that is more accessible to them.

Thank you HN and thank you Dang and YC!!!


Thank you to Ycombinator for allowing the Hacker News team editorial freedom, and thank you to the editorial team for the work you do.

Lastly, thank you to the users here that continually teach me new things, and for helping me see the world and myself in different ways. I'm a better person because of this site, your posts, and your comments. Stay classy out there!


I want to thank all the individuals who spend extra time making thoughtful and balanced comments. These tend not to get as much engagement on site but I promise they ruminate in my mind and help me grow as a person. Thanks.


Lurkers make the best commenters, because they only come out of the woodwork for something they're passionate about.

It's all one big ecosystem, and I quite like this corner of the reef


Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation:

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and even soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke their aggressions, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.


Also, this Proclamation issued by Governor Wilbur Cross on Nov. 12, 1936

"Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and the dusk falls early and the friendly evenings lengthen under the heel of Orion, it has seemed good to our people to join together in praising the Creator and Preserver, who has brought us by a way that we did not know to the end of another year. In observance of this custom, I appoint Thursday, the twenty-sixth of November, as a day of Public Thanksgiving for the blessings that have been our common lot and have placed our beloved State with the favored regions of earth -- for all the creature comforts: the yield of the soil that has fed us and the richer yield from labor of every kind that has sustained our lives -- and for all those things, as dear as breath to the body, that quicken man's faith in his manhood, that nourish and strengthen his spirit to do the great work still before him: for the brotherly word and act; for honor held above price; for steadfast courage and zeal in the long, long search after truth; for liberty and for justice freely granted by each to his fellow and so as freely enjoyed; and for the crowning glory and mercy of peace upon our land; -- that we may humbly take heart of these blessings as we gather once again with solemn and festive rites to keep our Harvest Home.


Is it just me, or were people much better at writing these in the past?


Could be survivorship bias. No one ever talks about a speech from the 19th century if it's poorly written.


It's just you and the all people who actually read older works.




Just finished rewatching Ken Burns' Civil War for probably the tenth time. It's a holiday tradition for me. To anyone unfamiliar, it will completely transform your understanding of American history, and Lincoln as a man.

Can't recommend it enough, and it's on PBS digital through Prime Video now.


Just beautiful. Abe had a way with words.


Thanks for this! I am sending it to my father who is very fond of Abraham Lincoln.


You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant

Walk right in it's around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track…


Arlo Guthrie's song is an important part of my Thanksgiving day tradition.