in reply to Re: Thoughtless voting?
in thread Thoughtless voting?

And by right there shouldn't be any.

I'm not comfortable with the OP's post because I feel he has gone beyond the ethical discussion of why we vote into advocating for constraints on how people should assess value. Each of our assessment of value is a private right. It is the very essence of voting. If that is what you mean to say when you proclaim "and by rights there shouldn't be any" I agree.

There is a saying where I come from "With the simpleton... with him, you must begin to ask the questions for him." One reason why bad nodes get up-voted from time to time is that we don't all assess intent or hard work the same way. One person's perception of laziness is another person's perception of an honest struggle to ask the right question. Where one person sees condemnation, another might see cause to give the benefit of the doubt.

On the other hand... :-)

At least part of the OP's intent is to remind us to take care in our votes, however we choose to use them. With that goal, I agree wholeheartedly.

Do you really, really mean to say that all discussion of the motives and reasons for voting is over and done? It never needs to happen again?

Not every vote is cast with the intent to assess value. Votes can be cast for favoritism or anger. They can be cast for XP bonus or the XP can be used as incentive to read and learn more by spending time searching for nodes worthy of a vote. Votes shape behavior so they do have moral implications. If my action has the potential to influence another human being, isn't there some connection between moral choice and vote? Doesn't that part of the discussion need to happen again and again from time to time?

If having a discussion on how we use our choices meant it never had to be had again, I suppose we could throw out nearly all of human moral discourse. There are certain kinds of conversations that do need to be repeated because they are based on values and choices that can change, be forgotten, or need to be reassessed from time to time.

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Re^3: Thoughtless voting?
by CountZero (Bishop) on Jan 30, 2011 at 17:53 UTC

    Yes, indeed I meant that "Each of our assessment of value is a private right. It is the very essence of voting". We up- and downvote for all the right and wrong reasons one can think of. And we only have to answer to our own conscience for such voting.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with expressing from time to time our personal ideas about how one should vote. See it as the public statements made by politicians around election time. But alone in the voting booth, it is again you and your conscience.

    And nobody should try to put someone extra in the voting booth to check if you are voting the right way.

    I guess that is what I find a bit unsettling about the OP's suggestions. For instance "Penalizing upvotes where some sufficient (...) ratio of Monks have downvoted a node". It is the equivalent of someone looking over your shoulder to check if you have voted the way a good boy (or girl) should have done.

    Freedom of conscience -- freedom of speech -- freedom to vote anyway you like. Some rights just cannot stand any restrictions.


    A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

      Thank you for that very positive contribution to the conversation (rant, burning-at-the-stake, whatever).

      Here's why: your observation crystalized my thinking on one of the strawmen in the OP: rather than having Censors/Editors/whoever posting a value judgement, maybe a better idea (for comment; I haven't married this one, either) would be that they should post

      Please read How should I spend my votes? -- General Voting Guidelines before voting.

      or, perhaps even better, incorporate that -- prominently (red & bold, anyone?) -- in relevant page headers and stress it in the sitedocs (for the benefit of those who actually have the courtesy and take the trouble to read them). Some, of course, will still ignore the admonition (but I'm a little light on belief in the perfectibility of humankind today, anyway), as they ignore the hint below text-entry boxes,

      "Posts are HTML formatted. Put <p> </p> tags around your paragraphs. Put <code> </code> tags around your code and data!"