@GeneralAbrial congratulations. You get some added privilege at 15K don't you?
Ah yes, you can protect questions. I think I used it once or twice before I became a mod, and probably two or three times since.
Personally I'd be happy if that privilege - and indeed essentially all of the rest of them - were available earlier. The risk of abuse is very low and I don't see we gain much protection from having the hurdle so much higher (it's not like someone who planned to do the wrong thing could earn 10K but not 15K...)
@Glen_b It's especially hard to pick up those badges because the asumption is that questions appropriately tagged, but only Scortchi and Amoeba really do any work there!
(And they are providing a much-needed service by doing so)
I have noticed that a number of questions are closed by myself and Whuber alone (I add it to the queue and whuber mod-closes it) which provides some evidence that my VTC decisions are consistent with the standards of the forum
@GeneralAbrial To the extent possible, I would like to remain publicly neutral concerning the selection of moderators. One reason I mentioned our general plans was so that active people like you would start thinking about becoming moderators. IMHO, the only requirements for "fitting" are (1) good understanding of how the site operates and (2) ability to discuss issues collegially and constructively behind the scenes, to assure consistent and transparent moderation.
You look very well qualified, so I am glad of your interest.
@whuber I understand why you would want to remain publicly neutral, and I hope you didn't mind my asking. I'll give some thought to whether I'd be able to reliable contribute once the academic year starts again -- unforunately, I don't think I can get course credit for moderating. ;-)