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I can see why adding visibility of users who down vote is bad for the site-- it leads to down voting wars.

How about adding visability of users who up vote?

I've asked some recent questions where some of the answers have got very high up votes for good technical content, even though they don't answer my questions at all. I find it intriguing to know who these up voters are, and whether they're respected users who know what they're up voting for, or simply users who can't read the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I have a pretty good feeling that if you check on Meta Stack Exchange you can find this requested and declined. Perhaps I'll try to identify a reference if I have time. For the specific situation you're talking about, all I can suggest is that you comment on the answers describing why they don't actually address your question, and downvote them. People take a lot of their cues on how to vote from the comments. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Feb 11, 2013 at 0:23
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    $\begingroup$ Same as downvoting wars, but the opposite. $\endgroup$
    – Kortuk
    Feb 11, 2013 at 0:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'm with David Z on this. voting is anonymous by design. It's been that way from the very beginning and considerable effort has gone into insuring that other features don't leak voting data. $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2013 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Kortuk "How dare you upvote me? I'll upvote your wrong answers as well!" $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2013 at 14:02

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I've asked some recent questions where some of the answers have got very high up votes for good technical content, even though they don't answer my questions at all.

At least from July until now, the only question you have made in which there is any unaccepted answer with some votes (although I wouldn't say "very high up votes") is this one:

How can the speed of light be a dimensionless constant?

Readers can judge by themselves if that answer responds well to your question or not. I definitely think it does, and perfectly indeed. That is why it is receiving upvotes.

I find it intriguing to know who these up voters are, and whether they're respected users who know what they're up voting for, or simply users who can't read the question.

And how are you judge who is a "respected user" or somebody "who can't read the question"? You can perfectly have one day Edward Witten amusing himself here, in front of you under a false name, recently registered with barely 40 points... Would that be a "respected user" by your standards? There is no social status here, the answers are good or bad for their physics contents.

I don't see the point in knowing the name of the upvoters. The anonimity of the votes is one of the good things here.

On the other hand, if you suspect that somebody is downvoting you sistematically, it is very easy to confirm it. Every downvote subtracts points to the downvoter. By being aware of the reputation of whoever you suspect is taking the effort of systematically downvoting you (instead of having a life) in real time, you can get to know that.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, I didn't want to single you out, so I tried to keep my question vague. A respected user by my standards would be someone who gets their answer accepted for the most difficult research questions. Someone like Lubos Motl or Matt Reece say. I don't think you answered my latest question, despite the high votes, although I appreciate your effort. But if these two brilliant guys upvoted your answer, it definitely would make me question my abililty to judge your answer correctly. $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2013 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think these users you mention read such basic questions. Even less probable is that they are interested in reading the answers to that question. If you focus on the physical contents of the answers, with paper and pencil at hand, rather than wondering who is giving them approval, you may have a grateful learning experience. Nobody credited a lonely patents office clerk in 1905, but he changed the world... $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2013 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ Matt Reece has commented on: "Are there experiments that are banned from being done at the LHC?" And lubos Motl has commented on "What day of the week did the universe start on?". There is a difference between what you think and reality ;) $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2013 at 16:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Dear Larry, I don't mean to insult you, but er... there is, say, some difference between you question about units of speed, and a question about which science is being done at the Large Hadron Collider, or a question on the precision of the estimates about the age of the Universe (via WMAP and other teams that are narrowing that estimates more and more, much can be answered there...). I am sorry if you hadn't realised that... ;) $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2013 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ A "basic question" equals NOT a "question that everybody can understand", but rather a question that has a very simple answer. Most important questions in physics seem easy to understand, but the answer is another quite different thing. The converse is also true, and sometimes a user asks in terms of jacobians and bilinear maps, but the answer can be nearly stupid. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2013 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ The LHC is designed to collide protons and lead ions, so the only banned experiment for the time being was running at over 4 Tev rather than at its designed 14 Tev. I'd say that's a simple, basic answer to a simple, basic question. We can't measure the age of the universe to within one week, ditto. There are others: "Dimensionless Constants in Physics" which Lubos answered. But this is getting off the subject of my original post. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2013 at 23:43
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    $\begingroup$ This is becoming sort of exhausting... $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2013 at 23:56

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