[discuss] /1net Steering/Coordination Commitee

Mawaki Chango kichango at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 18:40:20 UTC 2013


On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 6:22 PM, Suzanne Woolf <suzworldwide at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Dec 19, 2013, at 11:34 PM, George Sadowsky <george.sadowsky at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > I largely agree with Andrew's view of this issue.
> >
> > We have a multitude of issues in the IG space that could stand increased
> understanding and improvement.  If we could focus on the issues and work
> toward that increased understanding of the issue, the alternatives, and the
> pros and cons of the alternatives, then we might be making progress toward
> improving IG.
> Likewise, and not to put words in my colleagues' mouths but in hopes of
> moving this line of thought forward….
> >
> > Michael Gurstein and I had what I thought was a useful exchange a few
> weeks ago.  The hypothesis that I think we tended to agree upon, more or
> less (Michael, please correct me if you disagree), was the following
> (somewhat simplified): that the fight over representation is really a proxy
> war; the real fight -- the hidden fight -- is over different opinions on
> issues, and the representation fight allows the issue fight to be hidden.
> >
> > To the extent that this is the case, the representation fight obstructs
> getting to the issues and is counterproductive to our work.  Let's get
> directly to the issues.  In doing so, let's realize that agreement on
> issues cuts across stakeholder silos, and let's rethink how best to
> structure these conversations.
> >
> I read this post, and have watched how the discussion has evolved,
> particularly on the subject of "representation".
> One of the things that Andrew alluded to earlier in the thread was "rough
> consensus" as a component of "do stuff; structure later." This aspect of
> the suggestion being made hasn't been called out, but I think it's
> critically important, for two reasons:
>         1. "rough consensus" as it's generally understood in a lot of
> so-called "technical community" circles is not unanimity and does not
> reduce to vote-counting. It means more or less that everyone's been heard,
> everyone's had an equal chance to speak, and not everyone is completely
> happy with the outcome but almost everyone can live with it.  It's a useful
> concept for moving conversation forward in situations where the
> participants adamantly refuse to appoint others to speak for them or
> "represent" them….and yes, this is a big part of how we got the Internet we
> have today on the technical side: there was a lot of personal interaction
> and trust among the "pioneers," but assuming they always agreed on answers,
> or even interests and priorities, would be inaccurate. They didn't, and
> their successors don't.
>         2. One of the features of the "rough consensus" approach is that
> committees, working groups, and other subsets or their "leaders" do not
> have to be "representative" in any conventional sense to serve the function
> of moving the group towards recognizable and actionable consensus. The
> question of whether a result has the support necessary to be actionable
> within the group is moved from a question of *who* is making the decision
> to *how* it's being made, with the entire group in a position to see and
> judge where consensus is formed.
> It's possible to have significant levels of administrative effort expended
> around forming and judging positions on issues, but one advantage of such
> an approach is that it sidesteps the question of "representation" in the
> process of getting to those issues. It's also somewhat self-limiting, in
> that a steering committee or leader who consistently oversteps the will of
> the group is likely to find themselves on the sharp end of a consensus that
> they be replaced.
> Such an approach is not always appropriate, but I humbly suggest that for
> the proposed function of the 1net steering committee, it's a good start.
> I think the 1net steering committee needs to be about "Let's get some
> stuff done" (John Curran has provided several good descriptions of the kind
> of stuff that needs doing, as have others), and letting the system evolve.
> I'm lots less interested in who is on the steering committee, especially
> initially, than I am in having them be open about what decisions they're
> making and how. If a more formal steering committee and a more
> representative set of participants needs to be invented, it seems
> reasonable to expect we'll be able to tell and we'll be able to come up
> with additional structure that might be needed.
> best,
> Suzanne
> Suzanne Woolf
> (just another techie, speaking for myself alone)
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