“High Value” Karma vs “Regular” (i.e. Quirrell Points)

I con­sider this a low value post, be­cause it muses about a par­tic­u­lar idea with­out ac­tu­ally do­ing hard work to get it done. (I do not have the knowl­edge or re­sources to do so, or even know if it’s pos­si­ble to im­ple­ment this idea on Less Wrong. I’m not even sure if it would be worth the effort)

There are posts that I up­vote be­cause I thought they were funny, mildly in­for­ma­tive or well rea­soned. Some­times I up­vote a sim­ple (easy to pro­duce) link to a good ar­ti­cle. Some­times I ad­mit I up­vote them sim­ply be­cause I agree with them (I gen­er­ally don’t up­vote things I agree with if they use bad rea­son­ing, but I am less likely to up­vote some­thing I DON’T agree with un­less it is ex­tremely well thought out, to the point that I ac­tu­ally up­dated my be­liefs be­cause of it.) I don’t apol­o­gize for that—it’s a nat­u­ral out­growth of the Karma sys­tem. It costs me noth­ing to give Karma to what­ever I like and there is no means to en­force any par­tic­u­lar us­age of Karma.

But there are things I up­vote be­cause they were ac­tu­ally im­por­tant and good and re­quired hard work to put to­gether. And I feel a lit­tle bit sad that the most I can re­ward those things is with a “click” that is ex­actly as valuable as the click I give peo­ple who said some­thing mildly funny.

High value posts tend to ac­quire a lot of Karma be­cause a lot of peo­ple feel mo­ti­vated to click. But I think there is a qual­i­ta­tive differ­ence be­tween a guy who makes one amaz­ing post that gath­ers 80 Karma and a guy who makes 80 posts that are kinda neat. I think it would in­ter­est­ing, fun, and po­ten­tially valuable to dis­t­in­guish be­tween those kinds of peo­ple.

So what if we had reg­u­lar Karma, and then we had some kind of Su­perkarma. (Per­haps a good name would be “Sta­tus”). Sta­tus points would be gen­uinely rare—when you give one, you are not al­lowed to give an­other one for at least 24 hours. You can still give them to a funny joke or view­point that al­igns with your tribe, but I think as­sign­ing them rar­ity would en­courage peo­ple to re­ward gen­uinely im­por­tant things. (I’m not sure 24 hours is the ideal wait­ing pe­riod, it just sounded nice).

I’m ac­tu­ally kinda amazed by how much I care about Karma. I get a “sweet, level up!” mes­sage in my head ev­ery time I see that I’ve passed an­other 100 points. But most of my Karma is from ran­dom com­ments. The two fastest up­voted posts I made were links to an ar­ti­cle about the Sin­gu­lar­ity and a we­b­comic, nei­ther of which re­quired much effort on my part. The fact that my more se­ri­ous posts are judged by the same met­ric is (slightly) de­mo­ti­vat­ing.