I agree...I was a n00b and posted a silly remark as my first post and without warning, WHAM! -20+ downvotes. Not encouraging for a n00b, esp. without warning. ONE polite monk simply msgd me about it, but it was ineffective and too late. From my pov PM looked like a very closed priggish and unwelcoming place to newcomers.
I have taken to ignoring XP more or less. But I noticed also that when I posted a solution/hack I came up with, the 0 XP I received was a bit stingy imho.
:) Im over it now so it doesn't bother me anyway! It is a shame that newbies might see the negative reputation first, because there are a lot of helpful, friendly monks here.