I do have a concern, though. If this system is implemented, doesn't that mean that the "new kids" will also have access to this system and may use it to exasperate HN's "new kids" problem?
What about modifying the existing HN guidelines to include comments and promote the guidelines more? For example, cite a downvote with an appropriate quote from the guidelines.
There is no irony as to why you were voted down. It was entirely justified.
What I was proposing in my earlier post was exactly as you say: explain the downvote.
Maybe let everyone downvote, but have tiny radio buttons with reasons next to them. :-)
I also disagree with the idea of karma-driven downvote system. However, I wrote the above with the assumption that those who can downvote know HN values and enforce them. As you pointed out, yes the karma-downvote thing doesn't quite accomplish it's goal (assuming the goal is to allow senior members to act as enforcers). It should change. However that wasn't quite the point of my post.
My original point is: if you gonna say smack, gimme a damn good reason why.
Maybe enforce a stealth downvote. This would be a case where the downvote button is visible but you use heuristics and probabilistic models to determine to whether actually accept the guys' vote or not, and if yes, what weight to assign it.