This is not a question just an opinion and a suggestion. As soon as I joined I posted this question. I was shocked as it was taken in a very negative way: a dozen of downvotes, later mitigated, and many unfavourable comments. I did not really care about the votes, but I was disappointed, and you can read, by the superficiality and condescendence with wich such a delicate and vital issue was treated: just a click to say 'humbug!'
Only the legendary John Rennie seemed to appreciate the validity of my arguments:
The one point of bobie's that I think warrants close inspection is the point:
if one reads an answer signed by a rep-4000 member one doesn't know if he is a great scholar who gave lots of competent answer or he just gave one single answer to tell that if you want to cool off your coffee you have to stir it.
That post made me acquainted with a nice ubermod, who showed some interest. I am writing here and not emailing him as here it is easier to quote, and as I'd like to extend my reflections to the community.
After a month or so, I can understand now why the suggestion was unpopular. I have personally experienced the thrill of earning 680 pts. of rep at ELU in a couple of minutes, just for mentioning 'thingummyjig'. But I have not changed my opinion, I feel rather ashamed of that, even it may be considered a fair compensation for posts that required the knowledge of synchronic, diachronic, comparative linguistics, psycholinguistics and the command of four languages, which earned a meagre upvote, if they were not downvoted altogether.
I am writing because also here I feel embarassed that such a silly answer could make me earn 280 pts. in 1 minute, whereas it took me dozens of hours to earn as much, editing 140 posts written in an impossible English. But that is an everyday event, all right, it excites laymen's curiosity; what I really cannot understand, being myself a layman in a community of scientists and physicists, why such a silly and basic notion that even an ignorant 'student' (whose profound questions are considered as homework), such as I, possesses can get 11 (uptade 12!) upvotes and fetch 110 pts. I'll be grateful if anyone of you has a rational explanation.
I think that an answer (and a question) should be assessed, evaluated and rated on a scale, say from -2 to 10, (or any value you choose) and that only these votes should be authomatically turned into rep. Then you can have a 'like' vote that can be any figure, which can measure along with the 'views' the popularity of the answer.
Why this? Last time the 'rep-cap' was mentioned as a remedy. It doesn't work: look here, instead of 4000 this user earned 3500. In almost 4 years he has posted just one single answer (I dare say rather banal) and no question.
What is the problem? That answer is so simple that the user might be a foreign high-school/junior student, and nevertheless by that he earned so many priviledges that he can close questions, make uncontrolled edits etc., with only 2 and a half such popular questions he can earn mod priviledges: is this rational?. I happened to notice at Maths SE that the whole site is ruled by a clique of semi-adolescents who act under the influence of adrenalin and ...other.
Last time ubermod said that changing current policy might be disruptive, I disagree: compiling an adequate program all reps would be topologically scaled down. I am sure that John wouldn't mind having less than 100k, and I wouldn't mind my 200 or less.
I thank you all for putting up with a nuisance such as I for 2 months, there are some awsome/terrific people amongst you, and I have a few dear friends. If you want to downvote also this post, I do not mind, if you articulate and argument your dissent I will appreciate it.
What would ... accomplish? 1) It will just take longer... to get to the privileges, .. if highly upvoted posters are 2) underserving .. This will not hinder popular but 3) trivial posts from accruing much more rep than obscure but elaborate ones. ...4) scaling down rep will lead to a loss of reviewing abilities – ACuriousMind
I summed up all possible objections in two words 'adequate program' as I am presenting just a basic principle and am not elaborating a whole strategy, if the principle is to be implemented, checks and balances must be calculated, thresholds and priviledges updated and collaboration from top users needed. But some of your conclusions are not true:
- 1) it will not just take longer, time will be different for me and Rennie(/Motl/Floris/Kale etc) because most of their answers would be rated from 7 to 10 and my 'jerk' would be rated 1 or 2 at most, even by myself: if I saw that I collected 3 votes, I would downvote it, if I knew that my valid posts were fairly rated. Collaboration is needed from senior members, most of whom seldom exercise their right to vote, and rarely upvote newcomers' good answers
- 2) that is not my worry, I am stating principles. He should have at most 10 pts. , just because that is what he deserves. Full stop.
- 3) this will not happen as shown above
- 4) of course all thresholds ought to be revisited. But editing priviledges should not in any way be related to rep, that is not rational. I myself ( I suppose it is patent) am not a native speaker, and might be a 15-year-old student from China, Zambia or Chile, the fact that I asked a 'popular question' or that I gave several 'elaborate answers' should never give me the right to forcefully edit John's posts (which goal sometime I will achieve :).) Editing priviledges ought to be acquired only through edits, just as a rough example: after 200 edits with 99% edits approved
- while we're on the subject, I proposed to @QMechanic (and got no reply): it is advisable to modify the program so that trivial edits of 1-3 characters (tags typos, punctuation, etc) do not make the question bump to the front page
- another intelligent measure that would help voters to make a fair and unbiassed assessment is : to keep the answer anonymous for the first week or so
So even though you cite me in your question as appreciating the validity of your arguments, let me make it very clear that I comprehensively disagree with the views expressed in your question. - John Rennie
If this proposition had been written by anyone else I would not comment it, as it is /gives the impression of being self-contradictory. I expressed a lot of views, but if your disagreements regards them all, then that would apply. I hope it is not so and thatyou specify which views you do not share.
As to your pshychological motivation, that of course is true, but you make a basic mistake: the 'drive' is competition, sure, but you are wrong assigning importance to the absolute value of rep. In competitions what matters is relative value: "I want to be/make better than John... and I'll post 200 answer a day".
But that happens with any scale: if you increase the points (yours) to 1M and (mine) to 25k you will not 'attract' more people, nor motivate them further; likewise, if you scale them down respectively to 20K and 200, the psychological motivation does not change at all. It's the same with money and inflation.
As to the thrill, you should quote the whole sentence: I added that I feel ashamed of that and that I consider that rep honestly earned (as a compensation for) by another answer, (in an upside-down world/site)
somebody could rather easily get moderator tools and then run amok... even granting the point that it might be, -- that's a very easy fix . - tpg2114
that is a hasty conclusion
the risk of people gaining undeserved moderatorial rights.... this simply isn't a problem. Rather the reverse really - - John Rennie
John, you are a great guy and are good-natured. You are, as you said, a pre-web kid, and I am a pre-war one. Probably it is impossible for you, (who lived in the '60s when an idylliac vision of the Noble savage and Coral Island was possible), to imagine how vicious kids can be on the Internet, how many teen-aged girls have been pushed to suicide on the web, making the dystopian Lord of the flies a reality. I'm sure you read this amazing book.
Everything is alright when there is an isolated case. You do not realize that 5-10 organized class-/school-mates can easily gain partial or full control of a site. I collected evidence on other sites, but I do not want to make this post too long. When ignorant and mean people get a massive access to priviledges, more competent members are progressively discouraged from joining it.
And if you think that the users of this site are neither civil nor reasonable, then why stay here at all?. -ACuriousMind
No comment. But if your mind is Curious indeed, read this (strawman is the meanest of fallacies, as the manipulation is extended from the proposition to the person) and draw your conclusions
- vote button: answers/questions should be rated according to its quality. If you think 100k rep is necessary to feel motivated, than rating may vary from -10 to 100. I think that is unwieldy, a scale from -2 to 10 is more manageable, or (probably best) from -5 to 20. Rating can be tuned in a way to insure 100k (or 1M, 1G..) to top users. If answers were kept anonymous for a while 'new users' could get a better deal.
- like button: along with the vote a star might express that you liked it even if it is not a great answer.
- views: that would tell how many guests have visioned it, but doesn't say if they liked it or not It ought to be possible to order/ classify questions according to each of these criteria
- accept: if no answer is accepted, after a month the community should be allowed to choose the best answer. That would considerably reduce the number of 'unanswered questions'
- editors should qualify only through successful edits. In the Italian site, for example, non native speakers with priviledges wrongly edited a qualified teacher's post, making her furious and abandon the site
- edits: trivial edits of 1-3 characters (tags typos, punctuation, etc) should not make the question bump to the front page
I thank you all for your answers and comments.
I will not accept any answer because mine, as clearly stated, was not a question. It is being downvoted (while, oddly enough, the old one is being upvoted), and this is comprehensible as the suggestion is not popular with the notables. I posted it again because in between I made a lot of experience on other sites, and most of all because I myself benefitted by the current system: last time a mean reader might think I was envious, jealous of other members' luck.
This time a mean (or hasty) reader may think I am not happy with this site, whereas *I clearly stated the opposite from the very beginning: this is probably the best SE site, there are really kind people, and even our 'kids' are fantastic.
This time, I thought, my best intentions are clear as I am condemning also an overrated banal answer of mine. Last time the proposal was considered interesting but with disruptive consequences: I posted again to show that a more rational and fair system is possible without impairing top reps. Thanks again!