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HN as an anxiety machine for INTJs

Tuesday August 2, 2016

I no longer browse HN very much. I think can be a kind of anxiety-building time sink for INTJs. Here’s why.

[BTW, HN, Hacker News, is a hugely popular web link blog-community that was originally “for nerds” but since that time became “for everybody” in a lot of ways. “Let’s totally get this on HN” is one line I’ve heard from marketing heads before.]

  • HN is further proof that the magic of the web is just hyperlinks, at the core.
    • In 2002 when I was working on a university research paper this was well-acknowledged by scholars in a variety of areas, like storytelling and so on.
  • If you have good links, people will beat a path to your door.
    • I have link collections on several of my own websites
      • I constantly get emails from people wishing to see their own links in those collections
  • One of the unfortunate things I’ve noticed is that the web is a sort of intellectual & sensory trap for INTJs (at its worst—or rather, at our worst).
    • INTJs love analysis. They are analysts at heart.
    • INTJs seek objective information. They believe that if the truth can just be found, problems will be solved.
    • INTJs seek sensory relief. All that objective analysis gets tiring after a while. So why not a little subjective hedonism?
      • Can’t be found on HN except on weekends, when you will see some more laid back stuff.
        • This doesn’t really reflect the needs of an anxious INTJ, though. Hmm.
        • Therefore I wonder if HN’s dirty secret is that tons of people leave there feeling not good enough.
        • And maybe they think that, “if I hang out there long enough, I’ll get good enough.”
  • HN shows INTJs their ego-image getting everything it wants in the world
    • Amazing technological solutions that solve huge problems in seconds
    • Salary and negotiation discussion
    • Housing discussion
    • Sensory relief—beautiful architecture, fonts, whatever
    • Process pornography—worship of the elegant, absent of most real context
      • The best framework is Y, the best language is Z, the best car company for discerning buyers who are interested in technology is really…
  • HN does not show INTJs their own blind spots
    • When blind spots are raised for conversation, they are often laughably predictable.
      • If you think an INTJ’s blind spot is keeping backups, trusting big companies with their data, or trusting their own government too much, I have news for you. You’ll just have a discussion full of people jumping in to reinforce that.
    • Rapport-building would be an example of a topic that needs discussion in the typical INTJ blindspot zone.
      • However, look at Socionics. Rapport and empathetic communication (Fe) is also our “vulnerable” function of which we tend to make fun.
        • “To succeed, express words of appreciation to your boss and co-workers” links…not a super big hit on HN
  • So HN is sort of “stuck,” to me. It’s a neat place to casually pick up some information.
    • But man, some of that information is dangerous. It’s like a gigantic marketing machine and the FOMO effect is stroooong
      • I hired someone off of HN. An INTJ. He used tons of terms like “agile” and “scrum” while discussing our little project. He was not communicating for rapport, he was communicating his competence, an INTJ default setting.
      • Eventually he disappeared in the middle of the project.
      • After looking into it further, I’m pretty sure HN was his “life avoidance” zone.
      • It fed his ego, gave him a new vocabulary for his ego-self, and…
        • Left him sadly underprepared for actual life.

Anyway, unfinished thoughts here as usual. I love so much about HN but my negative experiences with it color my opinion of it, too. I still find myself checking it out but not as much as I used to.

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