Re: [ga-rules] Making Yourself Understood
I select the item below to respond to on this subject, not because it
includes anything that I would seriously contest, but rather because
it presents a real world description of what we face. Some other
responses on the subject have returned me, necessarily, to an earlier
thread I had initiated on the subject of "305 voters." The response
there (anticipated, of course) was generally that "yes, we've got to do
something about that!") My more recent suggestion that we bend a
bit so as to make things easier for the newbies led to some responses
that led me to believe that there is a whole lot more wrong with the
Internet than ICANN.
There was an air which, had we been talking about money, I
could only call penurious. "By golly, I had to fight my way through
all the education, researching, reading, analyzing, etc., so that I
could interact sensibly on these subjects, and hence in order for all
you "little people" (who pay the taxes, we're told) to join our power
elite you're going to have to do the same, because I'm not going to
help you." I suggest that is not the way to get past 305 voters. We
criticize the "power elite" in ICANN, but yet given the opportunity
for ourselves to act otherwise, you couldn't slip a hair between the
response I just described and what ICANN does.
One response quoted an ICANN document to the effect that those
who participate in GA operations have a duty to contribute, etc.,
etc., from which the conclusion was drawn that people new to this
game are required to go through that long process before they have
any right to be heard. Seems to me, however, that the advancement
of any such rule constitutes an avoidance by the person so doing of
that person's own responsibility: it is a contribution to the functioning
of the GA to make meaningful participation therein by newcomers
as easy as possible -- we're at 305 and going backwards from a
year ago, and this seems to be one of the main reasons why. (The
other, of course, is the usual penchant for the minority to sidetrack
matters into personal attacks.)
It is also a false conclusion to assert that without such background
education a person could not contribute meaningfully to the dialogue.
Perhaps such a person could not contribute any answers, but could
still express needs. It is the needs of the internet community as a
whole that should be of primary interest here, and if we are to put
up bulwarks (an earned PhD in netology) against the "run-of-the-
mill" public (let alone the rather astonishing suggestion a while back
that to join the GA one must have nominees -- a true "power elite"
structure if I ever saw one!), those needs will never be determined
from the "bottom up," and we shall sit here forever contemplating
our own navels while nothing changes. "Bottom up" is a two-edged
sword -- cuts both ways -- and the kinds of responses I saw had
the distinct air of "we're all in favor of 'bottom up' when we're at
the bottom, but when we're the top dogs in terms of savvy, why in
that case we shall spit on those below us." There seems to be a
genuine fear here that once one has mastered the subject matter
and become conversant therein, one then has a real voice, and to
protect that voice from dilution by yet more voices, there shall be
no help given to the unanointed.
Indeed, quite distinct from this group, or from ICANN, the Internet
as a whole has had an "elitist" air from its very beginning. It has been
the tendency for any newcomer (the famous "clueless newbie") who
tries to edge a way in to internet matters, and who displays some
degree of ignorance or naivete on some issue, to be met with derision.
"I know things you don't, and hence I am free to attack you because
you are not my equal," so some insulting blather is posted back and
the person is never heard from again. That is the cultural "more"
(the "e" has a mark over it) of the Internet, has been from the start,
and is often demonstrated in the GA. (One person indeed explicitly
spelled out for me the reasons why I was not qualified to speak out
on subject X.) People who wish to blather on about the reprehensible
conduct of that power elite known as ICANN should first clean up
their own acts, and their own power elite. Knowledge is power, of
course, just as is political position, and the one can be abused just
as much as the other.
> |> -----Original Message-----
> |> From: email@example.com On Behalf Of Patrick Corliss
> |> Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 4:19 PM
> |> To: [ga-rules]
> |> Subject: [ga-rules] Making Yourself Understood
> |> > I contend it is up to those who do not understand the technical,
> |> > or social references to research and form their own conclusions on
> |> > matters.
> |> Sure. You can contend that. I'd like to read the hundreds of postings
> |> I see each day without treating each one as a research task. If the
> |> expects that level of commitment from all readers, I'd say he or she
> will be
> |> disappointed. Most subscribers don't read half of what's posted anyway.
> You, as I, most likely limit our research to the items that are of
> importance and interest to us. Those that are minor in the scheme of
> things are often ignored.
> I don't bother more than glancing at some posts to the GA from members who
> I earlier decided had a confusing style of writing and were not posting
> items that were informative or interesting to me.
> If a member has something important to say, and it is in fact important,
> I'm sure it will be couched in terms that if confusing will inspire the
> interest to investigate. That is how I personally handle such matters.
> Personally I do not have a very good command of any language, I am not
> fluent in any language although I can make myself understood in English.
> Where others post to mailing lists or email me with languages other than
> English, I make a point of attempting to get a rough idea of what is being
> communicated, if it is of interest I will follow up and resolve any
> confusions. With documentation, it is slightly different and if we were
> discussing the working documents produced by the GA I would say that
> including glossaries and couching the document in very clear simple
> language is a necessity and totally agree with you. Any communication must
> take into account the audience it is intended for.
> The point being, there currently isn't any common ground in language and we
> should not attempt to force a unrealistic solution on the GA.
> I am all in favour of providing FAQ's and other information on the website
> to assist. I would also suggest some translater references/URI's.
> Development of such a facility is worthwhile and helpful.
> Darryl (Dassa) Lynch.
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