I don't think you're going to get worthwhile discussion on the topic here, so if you're actually interested in learning more- I'd recommend heading to /r/badhistory that's discussed this topic a lot (and actually places value on extensive citations and thoughtful discussion).
Knyte, you make a good point, and thanks for the good recommendation (direct link: https://www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/
). I do give Tabby credit for trying to start some good topics for discussion -- even if they often get derailed -- and I think that's something that it would do us all good to encourage more.
Also -- perhaps my main point actually, and not directly addressed to you but to everyone -- I really do think that there has been recent improvement in the overall signal-to-noise ratio of the forums, and I would attribute that to the voting system. I think this is a viable way forward to getting better discussions in the forums. It especially requires people to focus more attention on up/downvoting comments rather than just posts.
DVing a whole post suppresses a noisy main topic, but also punishes any good sub-conversations that might be in there; whereas DVing individual comments on a more fine-grained level allows an interesting main topic to survive troll/spammers from derailing it. Currently, some good topics are being wholly suppressed when the only real problem with them are spam/troll comments within the thread (this thread being a good example, as it was hidden when I first found it, but it's not a bad topic for the OT forum).
It would be much better if people try to develop a habit of voting mainly on comments and only downvoting OPs which are truly noisy topics. The more people that do focus on comment voting, on a regular habitual basis, the faster the forums will improve in quality, IMO.
Edited 11/25/2016 18:35:50