EDIT: More precise titles.
The way we sort comments on lemmy today is through giving everyone the ability to up and downvote any comment. You upvote comments you want to be more visible and downvote comments you want to have less visibility.
I think ranking comments are great if some opinions contribute more.
Imagine the value of a comment can be determined before voting. Perhaps with a panel of judges. With rankings -10 to 10 where -10 is dangerous misinformation, 0 has no meaningful contribution and 10 is perhaps mindblowingly enlightening or empowering.
# Example of lemmy style sorting
Lets say a post is submitted. On the first day, it received the comments with a judges score (user, score):
(monkey, 8), (zebra, -2), (horse, 5), (panda, 3), (rhino, 3).
A post get the most visibility the first day. Therefore, those who post early can get a lot of votes.
However on the second day, one user submitted the comment:
A this point in time the post doesnt have that many voters. And the top comments has increased visibility, so for every vote flower gains, the top comment might have received another. So we end up with the final ranking:
Monkey, horse, panda, flower, rhino, zebra.
So it ends up only ranking similar to panda and rhino even though the score was much higher. There was a mismatch between votes and score.
# Solution, the topoligical sort
We should concider moving away from voting on comments individually to voting comparatively. Where you perhaps determine the most valuable comment out of a selection. Then a topological sort can put the best comment on top.
So even if flower is late to the party, their insight is still spread.