One comment, on the idea. In your fourth paragraph, you said:
"It should be possible to derive either the norm at a given time, or the number of users at a given time and extrapolate the number of votes typically castable in a given day per post. If one were to weigh either of those numbers against the actual reputation of a given node, the resultant number would be much more indicative of the value of said node."
Reading that, it occurred to me that (if memory serves) each user can only vote on a node once, although (I believe) they can vote on almost any node present. Therefore, if you are considering the proposed solution, it would seem that you might then derive a percentage for the node as the number of votes received to the number of monks having existed in total. Then, at that point, one could look at those with the highest/lowest such ratios, or even attempt to determine the standard deviation of those values and look at the extremes....
Interesting idea to toy with, if nothing else.
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