[discuss] Criteria for Internet Governance (was) Re: List announcement "robust governance in the digital age"

Shatan, Gregory S. GShatan at ReedSmith.com
Wed Feb 12 06:11:44 UTC 2014

I agree with you, David -- here and in your recent series of posts.

I'm all up for a robust discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the multistakeholder model, whether in concept or in practice, in ICANN or elsewhere.  That includes the "corporatization" of ICANN and the divide between /1net the list and /1net the Steering Committee.  A certain amount of friction is inevitable.  But glib, insulting mischaracterizations do not help robust discussions.  In my experience, they primarily invite three responses:

-- attempts to respond constructively into a headwind, while trying  to repress the negative thoughts and emotions engendered by these jabs, either ignoring the "noise/nonsense" part of the statements or attempting to respond to even the most egregious statements -- which can be really wearying (the "mature" approach)
-- response in kind (the "pissing match" approach)
-- disengagement (the "life's too short, I'm outta here" approach)

The first is difficult to sustain unless the conversation gets back on track.  The second is ridiculous, not particularly useful, and destructive.  The third leads to failure of the effort.

I don't spend time on the internet arguing over creationism vs. evolution or global warming vs. climate change denial or dealing with "birthers" or "truthers" or "tea partiers."  There's nothing fruitful to be gained.  I am not going to change their minds no matter how well armed I am (and they are never going to convince me that evolution and climate change don't exist or that Obama was born in Kenya or that 9/11 was an inside job or that anything to the left of Attila the Hun is socialism (not that there's anything wrong with socialism, at least in theory)).  I applaud those who enter the echo chambers and try to speak sense to nonsense, but it's not for me.

Let's hope that we can keep the discussions here and on the forums (which I have not been back to since my registration) as fruitful as possible.

Greg Shatan

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf Of David Cake
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:04 AM
To: Brian E Carpenter
Cc: 1net
Subject: Re: [discuss] Criteria for Internet Governance (was) Re: List announcement "robust governance in the digital age"

Yes, as someone who spends quite a bit of time and effort involved in ICANN bottom up policy development processes, I find its blithe characterisation as a 'top-down' process rather confusing and a little insultingly dismissive of our efforts.

It should also be noted that the NTIA contract is only one of ICANNs claims to legitimacy, and the history suggests that in the absence of that contract, an iAB endorsed organisation with some similarities to ICANN would still have been in charge of a single unitary root.


On 12 Feb 2014, at 3:31 am, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 11/02/2014 23:47, Michel Gauthier wrote:
> ...
>> Top-down is the ICANN, /1net approach: you cannot question the
>> decrees of the root.
> This is mixing up the technical meaning of top-down with the
> organisational meaning.
> Technically we must have a unique root to ensure that the Internet
> does not contain ambiguous names. That is mathematically and logically
> the same thing as a top-down mechanism. Like all the "roots" in
> computer science, we draw it at the top of the paper. If you draw it
> upside down, it's the same thing.
> Organisationally we currently have a single organisation, managed by
> the multi-stakeholder approach, to administer the unique root.
> That's a human choice, not imposed by mathematics. But the
> multi-stakeholder approach seems pretty bottom-up to me. The only blot
> is the pointless NTIA contract.
>   Brian
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at 1net.org
> http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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