in reply to Controversial!! - Get rid of the -- vote option.
I've been a member of this community for almost twenty years, and downvotes have been around right from the start. I don't know where you got this idea that we .. appear to have succumbed to the popularity gods and implemented a similar system (of downvoting).
It's also intriguing that you continue with a false premise that .. there are only 2 kinds of readers: and then extrapolate from there. You confidently state that .. the group of #2 (downvoters, according to you) outweigh the group of #1 by at least 100:1; this conclusion appears to be false, as most nodes have a positive vote count. That would never happen if there were at least 100 downvotes for each upvote.
You proposal to eliminate the downvote is wrong -- it provides valuable feedback to the author and to the community that a post is a) wrong, b) poorly written, c) missing vital information, d) doesn't contain self-contained sample code that demonstrates the problem, e) appears to be homework, f) is a personal attack .. and they are likely more reasons to downvote a post.
I only downvote when it's really necessary .. when a post is really poorly constructed, or when a member continues to argue about something they've been shown to be wrong about. I'd much rather upvote, to congratulate someone on writing something useful or informative.