And so every developer is incentivized to publish packages on npm, and that’s great because we all “install npm packages like [we’re] popping pain killers”. It’s a never-ending game. It’s a ratchet that keeps ratcheting.
If you don’t want to play in the game, if you don’t want to feed the ratchet, you need to play a different game, with different rules. You need to find a counter-ratchet to feed.
Build a rival npm registry that rewards different kinds of packages, that filters out the immodest. Run a crowdfunding campaign to sponsor contributing to browser APIs. Invest in learning another language for the back-end, so you taste a different culture. Build things that are visibly different from what other people are doing. Get inspiration from outside the industry. Take a salary cut.
Doing something counter-cultural will feel like you’re missing out, or that you’re spreading yourself too thin. If you play a different game, you might feel like you’re losing to the game people are playing. But you might be feeling that already.
So play a different game anyway.