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The number of votes an MO question receives is influenced by several factors other than the intrinsic appeal of the answer to the readership. The two factors that come to mind are the timing of the answer (early answers are more likely to get more votes) and the reputation of the answerer (both MO reputation and real-world reputation). Perhaps there are other factors as well.
I'm curious as to whether there is any plausible way to "adjust" votes to "correct" for these factors. It's not immediately obvious to me how to do so, but at the same time I sort of think there might be a way.
Of course, I'm not suggesting that if someone were to come up with a proposed adjustment algorithm that we should try to implement it (even assuming that the software allowed it, which I'm sure it doesn't). However, apart from the fact that this seems to be an interesting question in its own right, it could become important one day if some kind of MO-like voting system gets implemented for, say, the mathematical literature in general as a sort of informal peer-review system, and people seriously want to know what to make of the votes.
I was tempted to make this an MO question rather than a meta question, but I chose to follow Linus's example.
Gerhard, I am asking you about system design right this second. What does it mean specifically? I would imagine that the term "System design" can really mean almost anything, from pure math to civil engineering and beyond. I can't find your e-mail address on usenet, so just explain it here!
Just had to get that off of my chest.
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