OK, thanks. Maybe that's where the disconnect lies. I always thought that an upvote says what you are saying a circledot is saying. In theory, from what I understand (which may not be much), I do think that an upvote is supposed to be saying what a circledot says.
In practice, there's really no telling what people are saying when they hit the button. If the functionality is the same, it's really hard to measure the difference.
edit: After a couple minutes' more thought, I think than an upvote and/or a circledot says: 'I think that this post has value and should be seen by other people.' because 'I agree with this and want more people to think/act/be this way.'
Because people agree with it and want more people to agree with it, they want it to be shared and seen by other people. The two statements aren't mutually exclusive or contradictory.