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Sadly, Paul Graham has endorsed the idea of using the downvote to express disagreement. I personally dislike this use of the downvote, but it does have official sanction. Read this:


Just because something CAN be done doesn't mean it SHOULD be done. I think the community benefits from people expressing counter-arguments far more than grey-ing out minority opinion.

I'd hope a majority of users here feel the same way and act accordingly - pg's comments not withstanding.

> I think it's ok to use the up and down arrows to express agreement.

There's a dangerous consequence to saying this. Here's how: 1. Voting is easy.

2. Voting is valueable: it literally changes HN for everyone else.

3. Agreement/disagreement is easy: we're taught how to do it as children.

4. Agreement/disagreement is value-less. Saying that you agree with pg on 'Hackers and Painters' is valueless. Saying "prior to reading H&P, I was in mindset A-B-C supported by points of view D-E-F, and here's how they were modified, and here's the new mindset H-I-J" conveys the same agreement, but it provides value.

We shouldn't incite people to use up/down votes to express something value-less. Agreement and lack thereof (alone) is valueless.

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