This has been dead for a couple of weeks, but I've been re-thinking my stance on the current rep system and I'm wondering if it's time we had a bigger dialog on the subject. Granted, recent abuses (the mods will know what I'm talking about) haven't been that egregious but given that they added fuel to the fire on a topic that was already heated (and I'll admit slipping into it myself) I'm wondering if it's worth keeping that door open in the first place.
I'm still not in favor of doing any major hacks that could potentially $%^@ with the forum software or slow it down (though something that wouldn't, or a test run, is fine by me) but perhaps disabling negative rep would be a prudent move. Even when used well it's often taken far too personally than intended, and even though I always append a more detailed criticism when handing it out I know not everyone does, and I've seen that even I'm capable of abusing it.
Gubb was right.
I'm also wondering if we can do something I mentioned earlier in the thread, namely making a time based stipulation as opposed to a "spread rep to a certain number of people" one? Say, you can rep a particular person once a week. It seems like the implementation of both ideas would keep rep significant while at the same time minimizing the ways it can be abused.