|Do you know where your variables are?|
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'.