I’m surprised this change got even noticed, let alone drew so much fire … because, honestly, you all sort by time anyway, right? right?
Oh dear …
Granted, the default sort order (by votes) makes sense for people who have just googled/bing’d for the problem and found the answer on SO. What they want is answers, quickly and they don’t want to read through pages of bad (but recent) ones to get to the gems.
But everyone who has complained about the new system so far has a huge reputation score. You’re the active folks, people! You don’t read, you contribute. You examine the existing answers, correct, amend, chastise, and complete. In one word, you interact. For you (or at least, for me) the answers aren’t isolated but related to each other and reading them in the wrong order (i.e. not in temporal order) would make as much sense as hearing random snatches of a conversation in the wrong order.
The bottom line of all this is: the new algorithm is completely irrelevant for me, since I don’t notice it. I think it might even be preferable for non-contributors. But for me (and for you) it shouldn’t matter. And just in case you’re wondering whether I’m asking you to change your answers ordering, let me remove all doubt: I am.
Of course, if this measure is meant to prevent tactical downvoting, it’s a bad solution. Tactical downvoting could be prevented once and for all if they would just finally implement that tiny request that has been flying around for ages, that you can only downvote if you explain the downvote in a comment.