Jeff, I find it interesting that you take length into consideration when clapping. That is something I have never considered when clapping. It is more of an emotional response to me, like actual clapping. The more a story affects me (laugh, cry, think, wonder, enjoy, learn, holds my attention, etc.), the more I clap.
I have a feeling Medium also takes length into consideration for the Partner Program. I can imagine a longer story earning more than a short one with the same numbers. Of course, I am guessing. The Partner Program is an enigma.