[discuss] My current understanding of scope and why

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Tue Jan 7 15:45:48 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jan 07, 2014 at 10:05:36AM -0500, Seth Johnson wrote:
> I think it important to incorporate specific stipulation that a
> supposedly clear distinction between "more technical" and "other"
> categories of issues can't be treated as tenable.

Well, yes, but I want to be careful not to fall into the bald man
fallacy[1] too (which is the other end of that same problem).  Lots of
people seem to believe that because, "How to we make sure IPv6
allocation is done neutrally and fairly?" and, "How do we tackle the
problem of international identity fraud and its implications for
banking systems?" are both Internet governance topics (according to
what we just said), therefore there's no important distinction to be
made.  That's just as false as, "There's a hard separation here."

The point I was trying to make is that these issues lie along a
connected spectrum, having "the Internet" in common but possibly not
much else.

Best regards,


[1] For people unfamiliar: the bald man fallacy goes like this.
Consider a series of days: day n, day n+1, . . . day n+m.  On day n, I
am not bald.  On day n+1, did I lose enough hair to become bald?
Except in unusual medical circumstances or where I shaved my head, the
answer is "obviously not".  The fallacious conclusion is, "Therefore,
I will never be bald."  There is no moment in time at which I pass the
threshold from "hairy" to "bald", and yet there is surely a point at
which I become bald.  (That day is apparently approaching for me,
judging from my hairline.)

Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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