Hacker News is definitely useful. I’ve learned a lot from things I’ve read on HN. I’ve written several essays that began as comments there. So I wouldn’t want the site to go away. But I would like to be sure it’s not a net drag on productivity. What a disaster that would be, to attract thousands of smart people to a site that caused them to waste lots of time. I wish I could be 100% sure that’s not a description of HN. I feel like the addictiveness of games and social applications is still a mostly unsolved problem. The situation now is like it was with crack in the 1980s: we’ve invented terribly addictive new things, and we haven’t yet evolved ways to protect ourselves from them. We will eventually, and that’s one of the problems I hope to focus on next.
Paul Graham, What I’ve Learned from Hacker News, February 2009
Added to diary 27 June 2018