Usually I disagree with that anti-expert sentiment that could be stated as, “If you are experienced enough to be annoyed, your opinion is wrong.” It makes my blood boil. However, in this case, I really think the badges are more helpful than harmful. They confirm, even for the experts, that Discourse does some basic, useful things. And they can be genuinely useful for people who are brand-new to online discourse – people who might end up being valuable members of the community.
For the rest of us who already know the basic norms, the badges go away quickly. I know from, well, experience: I’ve recently joined three separate Discourse forums. I am continually blown away at how much participation Discourse fosters for the communities in question (compared to Mailman or the like). I appreciate that extra participation, so I am willing to put up with the short “lesson” I get each time.