I understand that the numbers (circled in red) are calculated based on some sort of complicated algorithm (as described by Jeff Atwood in this post).
My question is why are these displayed in the first place? When I first saw them, I thought they represented the total number of votes the question has received... it took me some digging to discover that they are actually calculated using a complex algorithm based on a number of various factors.
To the average StackOverflow user, isn't displaying these numbers a bit confusing and kind of pointless? It seems like it is something that should be kept internal to the user. Sites such as Google and Flickr don't display numbers that reflect the numeric score/rank associated with search results, so why should StackOverflow?
Maybe we should replace these numbers with the question's site icon instead?