. You will notice however that there is no way to opt out of the voting scheme, there is no way to rid my screen of the votes.
There kind of is. In "Preferences," you can choose whether votes collapse posts and topics or not in your view.
So while you can still see numbers, that doesn't really affect your experience one way or another.
Seeing the posts or not does, and you have control over that.
There is of course also no way to opt out of the tags that others place on threads.
That's also more customizable than you seem to think. You can add your own tags which will bump out rarely-used tags.
If you post something about school and several people tag it "education," you probably can't bump that out (but why would you)? However if you post something about school and one person tags it "Hawkeye is an idiot," that's pretty easy to bump out.