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You have a great point. Ditch the Karma, or make it invisible, and a lot of people will stop commenting just to get votes. And only when you reach so much Karma are you allowed to start seeing the Karma of others. But experiments have been done here before, and a lot has not worked. People REALLY hate change around here ;)

On the other hand, the larger the community gets, the more real it gets. And the truth is simply that the world is snippy. They are opinionated, they don't really care, and reality pretty much sucks. Well, at least that's how I feel by the end of most days. So if you want honest opinions, you kind-of have to take the good with the bad.

Don't get me wrong, what drew me in to HN was the brilliance of the discussions too. The fact that people seemed to really care about each other. It felt like sitting in a room filled with only the smartest people, all of whom had intriguing insights into their areas of expertise. Man it was awesome. Do I want this back? YES.

The only way I can see this happening is if everyone over a certain amount of Karma, and that have been here long enough, get hand-picked and invited into an elite HN community.

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