The infraction system (and moderation in general) is all about defining the boundaries of acceptable posting and containing those who repeatedly go beyond them. Punishment based systems are poor at changing the behavior of those who are prone to rule breaking. In order to create the appearance of effectiveness, punishment based systems tend to grow stricter and more punishing over time. Increasingly long bans for bad behavior will remove a bad poster's platform for "look at me" posting and still allow an easy return to the community if he wants to participate under the rules. If we ask civility and community on the part of posters, we shouldn't be needlessly punishing posters. It sets a bad example.