Badges: what are they?

Can you help me make sense of "badges" on this forum? I don't know what they mean or what they are supposed to be used for. In particular:

  1. What is "karma"? What, if anything, makes it vary?
  2. What's up with the names of scientists/inventors? I got Sagan recently (I used to have some other name that I can't remember); there's Tesla, Edison and so on. What do they mean? What causes a name to be replaced by another one?

Aren't they supposed to spread bovine tuberculosis?

Edit: no, that's badgers. Sorry

The old forum had Karma and users could award it to each other for help considered useful. I don't think there's any such thing in the new one, so your Karma score is simply carried over and will not change.

Similarly, the scientist ranks were awarded on the basis of post count. I assume that the same still applies.

We don't need no stinkin' badgers


They are a complete waste of time. Just ignore them

Some members retained their Karma score while I lost 500+ points in the transition. Now you can give Karma points with the Like button.

tenor (19)

Are you sure about that?

Yes I am, started at zero with the new forum. When I looked last I had reached 24. Dunno when it jumped up now.

Says it all for me

Utter nonsense


Unfortunately it's more than that :frowning:
Some forum features are allowed only after reaching the right degree, badges or whatsoever.

Ooooo. Do tell.

Gamification?? Oh my! I feel like I'm being manipulated by Mary Poppins.

Well it is almost Christmas.

Everyone started at zero hearts when the switch to Discourse was made. The only way the old forum's "karma" count was migrated was by granting those "Karma: n+" badges. That applied to all forum users.

Yeah, but it is not really about badges. It is about "trust level":

It is true that there is a badge for each trust level, but the badge itself is only a cosmetic symbol of your trust level. It's like a military medal: anyone might slap one on their jacket, but the privileges associated with the medal are granted by a service record, not by a bit of tin.

Keep helping folks and you'll gain some moderator privileges.

You can't threaten me.


Well, these badges & karma play a good role for some users. As they see their karma increasing when they help others or someone like their replies, they want to help them more...So i'm happy with it.