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Re^2: Negative voting

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on Aug 12, 2013 at 23:01 UTC ( #1049191=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Negative voting
in thread Negative voting

Most of the time, if you are creative enough to work well in Perl, you're probably smart enough to deduce at least the general reason for a downvote.

And this, I think, is where “the human psychology of this particular site” stands, and probably always will:   “downvotes mean that you, personally, are not “–(whatever)– enough,” ergo they are used (merely) as a form of peer-pressure.   Even though they are necessarily attached to a particular post, they are in fact an expression of opinion about a particular person as it was felt by “the minority who actually vote” at that particular point in time.   Not of the post, and accompanied by no explanation of any kind.   All of which therefore generally makes the vote-tallies (and the per-user vote accumulations ...) useless as a metric of post-quality.

The reason why I would quietly harp about this point is, actually, not “a wounded ego.”   To me, a web-site such as this one is primarily valuable as a source of information ... for many years to come.   The day-to-day bickerings among the individual contributors, some of whom might well be dead by the time I stumble-upon their post, are of no importance at all.   Instead, what I am faced with is:   “hundreds of threads in response to my Super Search, and right now I need to determine which three of them I need to read in their entirety.”   I don’t care whether the Peanut Gallery, at that point in time, did or did not feel that the poster was “creative” or “smart.”   But I do care about what the peers, at that point in time, expressed about the quality and relevance of the thread, and especially, why.

PerlMonks runs on very-old software (and not-particularly “beefy” servers ...) that as far as I can tell has never been updated in many years.   But it is, nonetheless, a “go-to source” for information about Perl.   The contributors who cast votes probably will always smugly consider themselves to be the smartest kids in school.   That, too, is of no concern to the information resource.

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Re^3: Negative voting
by marinersk (Priest) on Aug 13, 2013 at 06:09 UTC
    downvotes mean that you, personally, are not "–(whatever)– enough," ergo they are used (merely) as a form of peer-pressure.
    I am inclined to disagree; I can't speak for others, but my observations suggest that a few types of content and a few types of presentations clearly attract up- or down-votes fairly regularly, and I find the trend pretty consistent.

    But having read a few of your posts on this matter, I suspect you and I are both fairly set in our views, so I will honor your opinion as having sufficient evidence for your needs; mine has sufficient evidence for my needs.

    I do hope your opinion becomes more positive over time; but I suppose there's no particular harm if it does not.

    As to the more general point that the culture here is unlikely to change, though we might disagree on what the nature of what that culture actually is, I think I agree that it is fairly stable.

    Likewise for the value of this site and its source of information. For all you and I might complain about some of the detailedly unfair nature of the voting system, the truth is I see the system being very successful in the long term for having kept the mood here light and helpful.

    Whether because it rewards the conscious mind in some subtle way, or because it rewards the subconscious for confirmist behaviors (drinking the Kool-Aid?), my experience weighs in with a resounding acknowledgement of a very long-running, largely self-sustaining system which has succeeded long after most others I have seen fail, assuming the goal included keeping things topical and helpful.

    I dunno. I could be talking out of my left ear here. But it sure seems like for as long as I have been here, the environment has remained surprisingly focused, positive, and helpful.

    In the words of Joss Whedon, via Capt. Reynolds -- that's not nothin'.

Re^3: Negative voting
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Chancellor) on Aug 13, 2013 at 20:11 UTC

    “downvotes mean that you, personally, are not “–(whatever)– enough,” ... they are in fact an expression of opinion about a particular person
    If downvotes are merely "an expression of opinion about a particular person" how come your best node has a reputation of +105 while your worst has a reputation of -40?

    Your best is reported as having "no significant downvotes" while your worst has +18 upvotes and -58 downvotes.

      Which is also, if I may point out, a reflection of “your (my)” best.   Ergo, precisely what I said:   an opinion about a particular person.   A nice, tabulated score about how socially-popular this person is ... with zero explanation as to why, and no correlation to posts.   The defense rests.

      The majority of my use of PerlMonks is, as I have patiently said before, searching for answers, quickly.   “Frankly, I don’t give a damn” if the commenter farted in church.   I do care about the perceived quality of the post, and this information is really only useful if it can be classified in some way:   as the original poster here put it, “with feedback.”

      I was recently searching for a question about LDAP in which Anonymous #1 really had-it-out for a while with Anonymous #2 and I felt like I was peering-in on an episode of Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat.   Thing One, Thing Two.   Whatever happened in 2009 between two individuals who couldn’t even use their own names to engage in what amounted to an “RTFM sling-fest” is of zero interest to me today.   Yet, I would say, the present design of PerlMonks encourages that sort of useless behavior, which is just “noise” in 2013.   I care zero about what these people at that time thought about “one another,” and I am somewhat annoyed that the Search even served-it-up to me.   I wanted, and therefore I wanted the means to find, a highly-relevant comment thread concerning my question which just might contain my answer.   I got a ticket to a sling-fest among people who, for all I know, might now be dead.

      I’m (not alone in ...) suggesting “certain improvements” to a web site that for a dozen years deserves a featured visual place here, and which otherwise is of-interest only for the information that it “nevertheless, does contain.”   Does anyone want to change it?   Guess not.

Re^3: Negative voting
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Aug 12, 2013 at 23:17 UTC
    “downvotes mean that you, personally, are not “–(whatever)– enough,”

    Bullshit! When you post good information, I upvote your posts. When you post crap, I downvote them.

    You've obviously forgotten the stats and sentiments expressed in Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes. I haven't.

    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
Re^3: Negative voting
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 13, 2013 at 00:33 UTC

    The contributors who cast votes probably will always smugly consider themselves to be the smartest kids in school. That, too, is of no concern to the information resource.

    Wow, you read minds, accross time and space, you're awesome sundialsvc4 , what am I thinking now? What stocks should I buy? Thanks man

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