in reply to
Help me understand...
The one thing I don't really like about the voting habits of PerlMonks users is the tendency for people to downvote any post that doesn't have a positive value. And by that I mean a casual jab, joke, anything humorous really. In addition, frequently off-topic yet valuable conversations (in a sense) are often downvoted, because people do not feel they pertain to the topic at hand, or just because they're not strictly Perl-related.
If it's desirable to have only clinically sterile Perl content, then I guess this behavior is warranted, but what's the harm in having an occasional tangential conversation, or posting something that this community in particular might find interesting or valuable but isn't strictly Perl-related? If you don't think the posts are particularly valuable, just don't vote them up. I tend to vote something down only when they truly detract from the site or the topic. Perhaps it would help if we started labeling any post that starts moving away from the topic at hand or Perl in general as "off-topic"/"OT"?