|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
Interesting idea, but I don't like it. I see many, many problems here. Frankly, I'm surprised that you of all people would suggest this!
From the home node of Dominus:
I do not read 'chatbox', so if you /msg me and I don't answer, that's why. Send email instead.
So, who wants to explain to him why he lost his voting privileges?
As of this writing, we have over 7,000 registered monks. Let's say that only 1% of them do this. Further, let's pluck a number out of the air and say that the average number of votes per post that they challenge is 10. Further, let's say they do this once per day. 700 monks at 10 votes a post, 7 times a week is an extra 49,000 messages per week. Do you really think that all of those are going to be responded to? I can't help but wonder how many other people have their chatbox turned off. What if I'm out of town for a week and don't check the site? Sure, we can limit the frequency of challenges, but this still could quickly become unmanageable -- and I think 10 votes a post is probably conservative!
I'm a Saint (which, if you add $2.50, let's me buy a latté). I get 40 votes a day. Compare that to someone who only gets 5 votes a day and I'll wind up spending a disproportionately large amount of time explaining my votes.
There's gonna be flamewars, baby. I'm sure it'll get heated when joeuser sees that janeuser has been downvoting his posts. Maybe those downvotes were perfectly reasonable (joeuser insults everyone), but it's really going to raise the tension level here. Many monks, desiring to avoid conflict, will simply stop downvoting, which I don't like.
I'll be honest: I know of at least one well-regarded monk here who took exception to some posts and immediately downvoted what I thought were some very reasonable rebuttals to an argument that this monk made. I was kind of irritated because this particular monk appeared to be downvoting material because it disagreed with said monk, rather than voting whether or not the node had merit. Is this fair? I don't know. If the challenge system were in place, I'd immediately challenge these posts and I'd probably do it because this monk made me mad. I'd rather not have that temptation, thank you.
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