|There's more than one way to do things|
Thatís why on Stack Overflow, we do it this way
Our "dog votes" does essentially the same thing: excessive downvoting threatens an XP penalty.
By destruction, I mean rating wars.
I'm not sure what he means by "rating wars", but I haven't seen any phenomenon here at PerlMonks I'd describe as a "rating war".
The problem with downvotes is it allows people who disagree to suppress the opinions of others.
It does no such thing. No one is ever silenced (leaving aside the issue of reaping). And anyway, those who disagree are as entitled to express their opinion as those who agree.
How do you teach animals new tricks? With positive rewards only. You ignore bad behavior.
The problem with applying this in an on-line forum is that -- as I said earlier -- it completely eliminates the (very useful) ability to distinguish between a node which has been ignored or upon which people simply don't have much of an opinion, and a node which people actively regard as "bad" in some way.
The whole upvote/downvote isnít a measure of quality, itís a measure of differences between the post and the person reading it.
Actually, it's not a measure of anything (except of itself). The problems come when people start making assumptions about what the node rep system means, or should mean.
I can freely accept that the only apparent response to my posting was 30 (so far...) downvotes.
Uh... what about the 50+ nodes posted in this thread so far, including 27 direct replies to your post? Stop being so melodramatic. It doesn't help your argument.
limited ďdog votesĒ defense against bots and sock-puppets (presumably) which are used to blanket-downvote oneís chosen enemies
I don't think that's what dog votes are intended to do. In fact, they would be particularly ineffective at doing that. First of all, only a high-ranking monk would have enough votes at his disposal to do any kind of carpet bombing of a chosen enemy; and such high-ranking monks are buffered against the effects of losing XP by the wide XP increments needed to gain (or lose) a level. For example, a mid-level Canon (26,000 XP) gets 38 votes to expend in a day. If he uses them all for downvoting, he'll lose (on average) 13 XP per day. At that rate, it would take him well over 300 days to drop down to level 19. And even though that would be somewhat shameful, the only concrete penalty is that he'd be getting 36 votes per day instead of 38. Even at 36 or 38 votes per day, using them all for carpet bombing, one person can't really do much damage to another monk's XP, except for the lowest level monks. And what high-level monk is going to carpet-bomb a newbie, unless he really deserves it?
Is this merely ... an effort to suppress a dissenting and hence unpopular view?
Unless your node is in danger of getting reaped, no. A post with negative rep is just as visible as post with positive rep.
This is especially true in sections other than SoPW.
I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.