You don't get why designers like redesigning the sites they frequent?
Your critique is fair, but I don't see how you can't empathise.
If anything, the main design issues I have regarding Hacker News are typeface size (fixed by zooming a notch or two), line length, quoting, and code blocks (which could be a bit smarter.) Changing the typeface size would unfortunately lead to pitchforks however.
The look of the redesign is nice but it reduces usability. On this redesign I can see 4 news above the fold against 17 on the original website (macook 13") :(
Is that really reducing usability though? I don't think more content necessarily entails better usability
Not saying the redesign is necessarily better, but I would argue it's a lot easier to scroll down a page than it is to decipher what's going on when there are 17 posts showing at once? But, to each his own
Could you imagine if this became prod over there? Pitchforks and torches time.