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It's the HN equivalent of a cat picture. It's superficially interesting, easy to agree with, and takes no effort to digest. For all of the successes reddit's voting system has had, its key vulnerability is a tendency to regress to the LCD. On reddit, it's image macros and cat pictures. On HN, it's tangential criticisms in the guise of an actual counterargument.

We also can't ignore the fact that there is no downvote button for stories. So, if you dislike the article or disagree with the author's conclusion, the easiest way to register your disapproval is upvoting a critical comment.

(I see this as a sign that the flag link is properly used to mark dupes, spam, and inappropriate content, so there is a silver lining.)

Yup. That's one of the reasons that voting as a decision mechanism is largely worthless. It's good for tie-breaking and for moving things along when they're otherwise deadlocked, but in practice it's used for quantity over quality, in both positive and negative aspects.

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