So Hooks finally started to "click" for me when I realized they're very similar to Python decorators. In fact, they're essentially Python-like decorators, curried against the renderer, in an alternate syntax that reduces duplicate typing.
To be clear: I'm NOT advocating for Hooks moving towards decorator syntax, and I agree with the reasons why this suggestion isn't the right direction to move. But I think that the comparison with decorators is useful nonetheless, and perhaps could guide some of the ways in which we introduce Hooks to skeptical stakeholders.
Consider, for a moment, that Python almost adopted this syntax: https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0318/#community-consensus ...
using: classmethod synchronized(lock)