[discuss] /1net Steering/Coordination Commitee

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Dec 22 07:28:32 UTC 2013

Hi George (and Andrew...

(Catching up on a backlog of mail... post-Angkor :)

Yes, George we did agree and I think that it is still relevant to the
current discussions 

And as to Andrew's points, the problem with the "do stuff, then structure"
approach is that those who are already best placed to "do stuff" are in a
position to monopolize "the stuff" and then to further monopolize whatever
"structures" emerge as a follow-up.  

That approach may be okay in areas where you are dealing with relatively
impact-neutral technical solutions/problems (i.e. where the broader impact
of opting for one technical solution over another is effectively
insignificant) but when you are dealing with solutions/problems that for
example have major distributive impacts whether of benefits, power,
prestige, decision making capacity or whatever the result of that approach
is to further exacerbate social divisions/mal-distributions (the phenomenon
BTW that we are seeing writ large in the overall economy/society globally
that both Obama and the Pope have been equally moved to recently comment



An internet for the common good - a Community Informatics Declaration: to
read and endorse http://tinyurl.com/kfaacqn

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf
Of George Sadowsky
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 11:34 AM
To: Andrew Sullivan
Cc: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] /1net Steering/Coordination Commitee


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.

I've argued before that stakeholder silos have negative effects.  On of them
is that they push us to think of interest groups rather than problems and
solutions across all of us.  

I like Andrew's dictum of "do stuff, structure later."  while we may beed
some kind of structure going into implementation, let's make it as loose and
as non-prescriptive as possible.  Maybe the structure should be around
issues rather than occupants of silos?

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



On Dec 19, 2013, at 10:35 PM, Andrew Sullivan wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> On Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 09:09:25PM +0000, Shatan, Gregory S. wrote:
>> I enjoyed the semi-public back-and-forth regarding selection of Civil 
>> Society representatives, which seemed to involve folks from a number 
>> of different backgrounds, sectors, "home groups" and geographic 
>> areas,
> Me too.
>> That is certainly a good basis (so to speak) for such representation 
>> to be determined.
> Why is it not an equally good basis for not bothering with 
> "representation", and instead with embracing rough consensus combined 
> with them-what-does-the-work-wins?  That is, why do we need some sort 
> of boss-of-activity to lead?  Why isn't "bottom up" good enough when 
> it's time to decide what to do?  Those who've already done get to keep 
> doing!
> I am concerned that the default here seems to be "create structure 
> then do" rather than "do stuff; structure later."  The former is 
> consistent with a view in which action needs to be governed before we 
> have any actions.  But that's not (at least in the small) how the 
> Internet was started, and I'm pretty doubtful that we'd have any 
> Internet without the support the pioneers got.
> Best regards,
> A
>> Greg Shatan
>> (my opinions are my own and not of those of any body or anybody 
>> else.)
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On 
>> Behalf Of Andrew Sullivan
>> Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2013 3:53 PM
>> To: discuss at 1net.org
>> Subject: Re: [discuss] /1net Steering/Coordination Commitee
>> On Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 09:22:51PM +0100, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond
>>> I am actually *disturbed* by the naivety with which this is all 
>>> being set-up. This line-up is the *best* way to have the 
>>> multi-stakeholder model ridiculed & shot down -- as in, the 
>>> "multi-stakeholder model" is nothing but window dressing for US 
>>> multi-nationals to keep their control over the Internet.
>> Why?  It just turns out that we've named that "stakeholder" group
incorrectly.  It's not the business stakeholder group.  It's the large US
business interest group.  They're a stakeholder.  We just need a different
set to represent other kinds of stake, such as small businesses or non-US
businesses or whatever.
>> This is, in fact, the very reason I have been uncomfortable with the
representative-of-group model that's being pursued, and part of why I have
refused to volunteer as any sort of representative of "the Technical
Community".  I have no idea what the boundary of that community is, I am
pretty sure that I can't represent all of it, and I have no idea how I could
legitimately claim to.
>> In my opinion, the constitution of the steering/co-ordinating/whatever we
call it committee is just illegitmate.  There's no way for anyone to tell
who represents any constituency, and the chance that the representation is
somehow wrong approaches 1.
>> I'm aware that we need to bootstrap this effort.  My claim is that it
would be more legitimate if we did that _ad hoc_ until such time as we have
some things running.  That way, we don't drown the effort in early wrangling
over committee structure, internal governance, legitimacy of participants to
represent anyone, and so on.  Instead, by trying to build the org structure
first, we have wandered into those topics without any way to declare
disputes legitimately resolved.
>> John Curran already provided a rebuttal to my argument, and I'm not
willing to wrangle over it.  But I think we have set things up precisely to
yield these sorts of results.
>> Best regards,
>> Andrew
>> (as ever, for myself only)
> --
> Andrew Sullivan
> ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
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