Re: I've always liked this one
Interesting (perhaps) side note is that when the smiley was first starting to be used, it more often than not implied sarcasm, not happiness or friendliness. That has changed over time, but I still hesitate lest it be misunderstood. How about a winking smiley - what does that suggest? And I'm not a huge fan of graphical emoticons because they don't tend to work across multiple systems consistently - see what happens when you receive a Windows smiley in an email on your iPhone, for example.
Anyway, to me the point of having the additional 'votes' is that you get a tally of people's opinions summarized right by the post itself, just like we do with likes and comments right now. Perfect for today's TL;DR world in fact :-)