perhaps i got just a bit lost in the way for this last iteration on the past week or so... i certainly got triggered. was it enough to justify my "soft ban"?
Keep in mind, it was two soft bans. The first you discussed with the mods and the limit for soft bans was raised, which I agree with it was way too long. There needs to be some leniency for someone, like yourself, who is posting infrequently and the first few posts or threads end up less than ideal. Hence the lower number now.
But you definitely had a warning, whether warranted or not. But you continued down the path, and remain arguing some very key points that keep getting negative votes (like doubling down on free meaning what you want and claiming something free isn't). That's fine, you can do that. But you risk negative votes and feedback because people don't appreciate false statements, especially when they aren't like accidentally false or like "white lies" like "you don't look fat in that dress" but rather statements to disparage the community where someone is giving something away and you want more or to lash out or whatever so keep saying that free isn't enough, you need "more free" or you want stop making false claims - it's literally a form of minor extortion (threatening to lie about a product if they don't give you more.)
So in a situation like this, where the initial feedback isn't enough and doesn't change the course, how would you propose the system work? Clearly there has to be a way to discourage that kind of posting, there needs to be a warning system, there needs to be a way to alert other readers that they need to watch out because there is a negative reputation here. Those are givens that I think you have to agree are necessary in any public setting or the forum becomes useless because you have no way to tell when someone has value (e.g. check Spiceworks where they used "activity" rather than "feedback" so someone like me gets an insanely high rating regardless of the quality of my feedback). We know that "pure up votes" encourages politicization as being inflammatory has no downsides.
So while you feel that you are being moderated quickly and automatically, there are a few key points to make. One is that you are not banned, you are "slowed down" with a human verifying what you are saying. Two is that there were warnings and changes made to accommodate you, something no one has ever needed before in six years or more of the forums. Three, even after the warnings and new limits, you kept going. Four, you didn't offset any of this with positive posting that wasn't trying to reinforce your one seemingly consistent promotion of "something else." And five, it's only temporary as long as you don't post positively which, in theory, takes extremely little time.
Given those five points, doesn't it seem that the soft ban, while it kind of sucks for you personally, is exactly how you'd want the system to behave?
Yeah the calculation doesn't work for subcategories, one reason is we don't have a recursive function to get all children and calculate the counts also we don't have a list of children category ids per category so without adding that this is difficult to achieve.