Why do thread links from the main forum page have a goto link?

When you go to the main page of the forums, you have the option to either click the thread name (which should take you to the first post) or click the blue arrow next to the post to go to the last viewed post in that thread.

Except now neither link will take you to the start of the thread. For example, the link to the Alaska Senate Race thread from the main page is “http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=575996” - I’m guessing that &T= part is some sort of time code, but I don’t understand what the purpose is. It takes me to post #203 in the thread - but why, if I’m opening the thread from the main page, would I want to start on #203? If I’ve already read the thread, I can click the little arrow which gives me the link: “http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=13159288#post13159288” which in theory takes me to the last post I read in that thread. Since this board is so bad at tracking which post was your last read that usually doesn’t work right either.

But in any case, why have the apparently duplicated or similar functionality while having two seperate types of links? If I click a thread name from the main page, I’m trying to read the thread from the start. If I was already involved in the thread, I’d use my user CP to keep track of it. If I wanted to go to my last read post, I’d use to the blue arrow. There’s never a point where I’d want to reach the end of the thread by clicking on the thread name from the thread on the main page. So why make everyone open the thread just to scroll up to the top and click “1” on the page list to get to the place they were intending to go in the first place?

The thread link takes you to the last unread post in the indicated thread. The blue button takes you to the latest post in the forum. As far as I know, the thread link has never taken you to the first post in the thread. Anyone who wants to go to the first post in the thread can just open the forum and click on the thread.

Oh, you’re right, the blue button has a hover text of “go to last post”, but how often would people want to skip right to the last post from the main forum page? That’s also different from the established behavior of the same blue button elsewhere, which takes you to your last unread post. (Which, granted, would be nice if it worked but it fails at that too 80% of the time - see link in OP).

I get to the board via the main page sometimes. Occasionally I’ll see an interesting thread on that main page and so I’ll click the link expecting to be taken to the first post. Going to the last post might serve some degree of utility on a forum with very infrequent posts, but I can’t see it serving any purpose here. What problem is it a solution for?