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Recently, buried in Front Page with Negative Rep.. we had a discussion regarding the concept of a Node Tension value display for any particular node.

The basic idea would be to illustrate the relative contention over a node rather than the tally of plus and minus votes. This would be a measure of how controversial the node is rather than any absolute measure of its generated approbration or opprobrium. This value would be visible before actually voting on the node.

I provided the following illustration:

++-- Total vote tension

In response, giulienk provided an interesting attempt at an empirical formulation of the idea. I played with it, but it was not quite satisfactory, especially since it seemed coarse-grained at lower magnitudes.

The core issue is capturing the magnitude of opposing votes. 100 positive votes and 0 negative represents no contention. 5 positive and 5 negative represents some, but not huge contention. So I employed Occam's Razor on the formulation and decided:

  1. All non-opposed votes have no effect.
  2. The remaining delta serves as an effective indicator of tension
  3. Further qualification (low, med, high, etc) might be unnecessary

Formula:  $t = min($plus, $minus) * 2

Recasting the original example, this would yield:

++-- Total vote tension

This accurately captures the magnitude of contention without revealing, beyond bare necessity, the actual votes cast.


  1. Is this something other monks would like to see on pre-voted nodes, perhaps as an option? What about while considering a node?
  2. If interested, what better ideas (if any) can we come up with for representing tension?
Thank you for your time,

In reply to Node Tension by mojotoad

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