This thread is started cause of personal experience.
I was thinking about the connection AO points and opinions.
If you do not like some1's opinion you can give negative AO points to that 1, but this will affect the behaviour of that person. For instance, if you recieve negative points for a post you can decide to change your opinion or not post again your opinion or continue posting and recieving negative points.
The point I want to make is that not only the discussion itself but also the AO points are influencing the 'agents' who are discussing.
Let's put this IRL: if you were talking with some1 and everytime she/he disagreed, you got a kick, you probably will change your opinion.
The same goes for exams, when you talk to a professor she/he can give you the points/grades she/he wants so if she/he does not like you or your opinions...
There is also an analogue asymmetry at AO, cause not everyone has the same power, the amount of points differ... this means that some1 with a low status could be 'blocked' to give her/his opinion cause of fear to get negative points.
This asymmetry changes a bit when there is comment and a name with the points, so you can see why people have problems with your opinion, that would be more descent than behave like a coward and put no comment or name at all.
Just some thought/remark