Welcome to the community, Adam!
I think that most of your question was already well answered by the community moderators. I would like to provide a little bit of further context to explain why we choose the rules to be as restrictive as they are.
One of the basic tenants of StackExchange sites is to be exclusive and not inclusive. We do not want "general ...
Adam, welcome to Skeptics. :) I totally understand your frustration. I know that it may seem counter intuitive that you can leave answers before you can leave comments. However, I think there is a reason for that (I don't know since I wasn't involved in the website launch, so this is supposition on my part). You really must put forth the effort to provide ...
Welcome to the Skeptics.SE, Syzygy. I am sorry your first experience was so confusing.
I recommend having a read of our Welcome to New Users. It explains some of the ways in which we are different to other forums.
One of the biggest ways we are different is in how we deal with opinions. Other sites (e.g. YouTube, Reddit, Twitter and the comments section on ...
The theory behind giving downvotes costing you 1 rep point is based in the belief that you will be more thoughtful when doing it. This is probably true when you have low rep, but once you break 1000 or so, you stop caring. This is somewhat intentional, because if you've gained 1000+ rep, you probably understand site guidelines well enough that deciding on a ...
You edited a post as a low-rep user.
That suggested edit was approved and you earned 2 rep for that.
Now a relatively low-rep user account was deleted and the rep-gain for the approved edit was reversed, as it was approved by that now removed other user.
seems to be the post in question?
I realize why I can't write comments with low reputation, however I don't understand why I can't use my reputation from other communities to do it.
As Catija mentioned, you actually can use your rep from other sites for commenting.
Once you hit 200 reputation on a single site, you will get a 100 reputation bonus for every Stack Exchange site. This should ...
You forgot one very simple way to earn rep - propose edits to tag wiki's of which we have quite a number without any wiki.
I mention because I just saw a comment of yours on an edit which says "Just found the intelligence tag" - which has no tag wiki!
Oh, and welcome to Skeptics from me too :)
If you have 200 reputation earned on another StackExchange site (e.g. StackOverflow), then as a new user you start with +100 on any other site you join -- this answer says,
you associate accounts of two or more Stack Exchange network sites, and at least one of those accounts already has 200 or more reputation: +100 on each site (awarded a maximum of one ...
I want to start by expressing sympathy. I think you are right that there are some restrictive challenges to new users. Thank you for sticking with it.
Then I want to directly address your question:
Is there any way for a new, casual user to gain enough reputation so that they participate in a casual manner?
The (IMHO) easy way: Submit a couple of ...