The spectrum of non-physical/-technical topics/proposals via AREA51 is exponentially growing. While this is a minor problem for insulated communities/topics, like programming/cstheory, popular scientific topics like phyiscs/philsophy attract alot hobby-interested laymen (which is good!). BUT, assuming a similar growth rate (probably mainly determined by social sharing functions here and time scales of a year, not montly meta discussion of fluctuating quality here!) for the small number of graduated experts or physics students here and the the much more interested laymen, the signal/noise ratio has to decrease with time, as a bigger number grows exp. faster than a smaller :( simple math.(probably the growth rate for new physics experts on SE is quite lower than average user if you look on progress of theophysics proposal)
With a 1 user - 1 upvote system IMHO this growth will induce serious signal/noise ratio problems here (lets face it, it gets like yahoo answers, digg, most other Q&A sites). Of course one can still regulate and close bad and off-topic questions, but good modern questions attracting experts will just go under in lawmen votes. Not every laymen can understand the implications of a top-notch question, if you explain it literally, the question gets so long, that no one will read it, so will always gain only a small number of expters upvotes. If you look on ArXiv, there are services like scirate.com to overcome this signal/noise ratio problem or citeulike.com. Rating of mainly experts or following expters. Or peer review.
Do you agree with this hypothesis and its consequences? Where are flaws and fallacies? I dont care in this question about the crucial point, if SE owner want a fast growth or higher quality than on other Q&A sites. Thats anyway a matter of their personal compromise we cant argue about. The question here is what minimum level of signal you can establish to keep experts (which make this a more interesting place than other Q&A sites) and what tools/options you give them to filter growing noise. Experts with a phd/master/diploma dont care about their rep count (alot laymen seem imho really addicted/biased to this game). They just leave when it gets a waste of time or you have to give them a insulated proposal like theophysics, cstheory or make migration places like http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/4955/popular-natural-science for laymen.
It just looks to me that instead of solving this dilemma artificially by side-proposals it could be solved with SE own rating tools adapted to current state and topic of a community much easier, faster, better and more efficient. Pure democratic 1 user 1 vote works fine with only physicists/programmers(like stackoverflow) or people electing the political direction of a government. But for quality of a topic where serious long education/background knowledge is required & self-teaching doesnt work, it just has to fail. This gap cannot be filled by current set up of SE voting/moderation, esp. with growing laymen number in the long run...
Is there no technical option to implement something like user reputation > 1000 = 2 upvotes per upvoted question, > 10000 = 3 upvotes per upvoted question? Voting strength for answers and downvoting questions keeps 1 for all users. Due to the commitment system you have much more experts here than on other Q&A site, but with ongoing exp. growth its my strong belief you will loose them in the long run on popular scientific SE sites.
Dont worry, i will not hassle any more than this single time, cause it will basically define, if scientific proposals for experts&lawmen on SE have a future for me. Personally i prefer this to experts only proposals, as there is more percolation of topics & users and less divas.