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Re: [ga] Re: Proposal for list rules/actions

On Wed, 26 Jan 2000, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:

> At 15:36 25.01.00 -0800, Patrick Greenwell wrote:
> >1) Language regarding whether or not the GA mailing list is a
> >    decision-making body or not.
> >
> >    My personal opinion is that any such language should be stricken
> >    as the proposal was and is not the proper place to determine
> >    or make statements regarding this.
> My personal opinion is also that they don't belong in the rules, and should 
> be stricken from the next version.

Do you plan on authoring the next version yourself, and if so, in what
> >2) In deciding to have a filtered list and an unfiltered list, which list
> >    is the "official" GA mailing list?
> >
> >    I believe that if two seperate lists are maintained both lists
> >    constitute an "official" record, and as such identical, web-based
> >    access should be provided to both lists.
> I believe that the elected officers of the GA have a requirement to read 
> all messages to the "official" list.

While I don't disagree with such a requirement, I'd like to know where
such a requirement is written. Or are you stating that it is your belief
that this should be a requirement of elected officials?

> I agree that both archives are part of the records of the DNSO.
> I choose not to reply to your point 3) at the present time, it is too complex.

My apologies if my lengthly explanation made it appear that way. The
suggestion is really quite simple. 

> >4) The SAA(s)
> >
> >    The proposal provides for only one Sergeant at Arms, selected by
> >    Roberto. I believe this to be both inadequate and inappropriate.
> Also untrue. The proposal is for multiple SAAs.

Again my apologies that I did not recall this correctly. I would note
however that Roberto has in his call for volunteers referred to a singular 
SAA. Roberto, could you clarify this?

> However, each is capable of acting on his own.

I believe this to be a mistake given the power. 
> >   I'd propose(again) that there are three Sergeant at Arms(to avoid ties,
> >    elected by the mailing list membership, and not *selected* by Roberto.
> >    Again, I am not questioning Roberto, however this issue transcends
> >    individual personalities, and as such I believe that the power
> >    to remove someones ability to speak should not be carried by a single
> >    individual, and that those individuals should be chosen by those that
> >    will be affected by such decisions rather than by a potentially
> >    arbitrary process.
> Agree, as soon as we have agreement on a voting mechanism.
> I believe it is unreasonable to expect to be able to elect officers before 
> having a voting mechanism.

Sounds reasonable. 

> >5) The determination and length of suspension.
> >
> >    Barring activities such as Denial-of-Service attacks(which should
> >    result in immediate removal and contacting the proper authorities)
> >    the length of suspension should be applied according to agreed
> >    upon formula(1st, 2nd, 3rd offense, length relative to denial of
> >    readmission to filtered list etc.) and *never* should
> >    be determined in an arbitrary fashion by the SAA(s).
> Disagree, for reasons stated before - mainly that I think there are 
> situations where the SAAs may reasonably choose to be more lenient than the 
> formula suggested would allow them to be.

Allowing a single SAA autonomous censuring authority, and free reign in
deciding the length of a suspension is an open invitation for abuse.
Please consider the case of a "rogue" SAA, or an SAA that is the close
personal friend of someone whose conduct they are reviewing for possible

The potential for arbitrary decision-making and/or the effects of
personal bias that such situations introduce are greatly diminished when
all three SAA's are involved, and are utilizing set guidelines as to the
length of censure. Allowing a single SAA to decide everything creates the
very real possibility of two or more different individuals committing the
exact same violation receiving very different terms of suspension
based solely on the value system of the individual SAA making the
decision. Such a system creates the potential for a great deal of inequity
perceived or real, and could greatly impede and/or affect the length and
effort surrounding the appeals process as those appealing might well be
able to not only appeal their censure, but also the length of that censure
by pointing to differing suspension lengths imposed by different SAA(s)
for the same or similar offenses.  

> >    An appeals process as described above avoids potentially arbitrary,
> >    biased decisions by a single individual, creates checks and
> >    balances against a potentially "captured" group of SAA's and/or Chair,
> >    and also makes it very difficult for an individual to consume a
> >    large quantity of resources by filing a frivolous and/or baseless appeal.
> Agree in principle (possibly not in the details), as soon as we have a 
> voting mechanism in place.
> However, we cannot do any of this NOW.

Understood. It is much preferrable to me to have any such proposed changes
be implemented only if they are the will of the list members, rather than
the decision of one or two people.  

                               Patrick Greenwell                          
                       Earth is a single point of failure.