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Re: [wg-c] Posts by person
I tabulated the posts by person report because of a concern expressed in
Santiago that this list had become a heavily politicized discussion
group rather than a working group. Supposedly wg-d is going to step in
and do something about reorganizing.
Motion 3: NC declares that current structure and composition of WG-C is
contrary to Article VI(b) Section 2.b of ICANN bylaws in the sense that
itís not adequate to carry out the substantive work of the DNSO. In this
regard, the NC requires WG-D within two weeks to provide the names
council with interim measures to allow the working group C chairs to
restructure the working group in a way that allows it to perform its
The details of what the consequences will be are still a mystery to me.
I hope Javier will speak to this soon.
Since I've initiated this reflective thread, I'm probably as guilty of
introducing non-productive conversation as anyone. My apologies, but it
seemed germane at the time. Now I'll beat it to death.
Here's a completely unscientific hypothetical: the higher the imbalance
in the number of posts per person relative to the membership of a list,
the nastier the list. Why? My formulation is based on the assumption
that individuals on a closed list like this who post a very small number
of times (less than 10) are more likely to condense real content into
their post, while people who post frequently are more likely to slip up
by making insults. Suppose someone who posts 200 times slips up 5
percent of the time, while someone who posts 40 times slips up 20
percent of the time. The proportionately more decent and careful person
has nevertheless contributed a higher number of flames to the list.
This hypothetical is also based on the assumption that high frequency
posters tend to get into spats and troll-feeding with low-content
posters. Other important assumptions are that short, cutting, nasty
flames tend to be more entertaining and easier to remember than
complicated but important content, and that exposure to such flames thus
reduces the serious reader's ability to focus on and remember the
If you don't like my assumption-laden science, at least please consider
my moralistic conclusion, which is that people who intend to post
frequently have an extra responsibility to be exceptionally careful
about what they say in public, and should especially be vigilant about
avoiding tit for tat exchanges.
What's a more practical thing to do? The archives for this list are at
http://www.dnso.org/wgroups/wg-c/Archives/index.html. Peter seems to be
suggesting that perhaps I should have recapped the best posts, or
supplied a list of links to them. Don't hold your breath, folks. Can
anyone suggest a good collaborative filtering tool that might make this
kind of work easier?
Rather than appoint myself arbiter of who's posted the most real content
so far, I'll note that even though the signal may seem relatively high
here, at least for DNS policy debates, there are serious problems with
decorum. There has been more than enough gratuitous sniping coming from
every direction... from both sides...
As is the custom in DNS discussions, the noise level can spike up
quickly. There are lots of distracting messages including discursive,
philosophical/historical stuff like this one, and a type I would call
emphatics... not flames, but loud restatements of known positions. The
consequence has been a flood that's simply too much for some people to
handle. I've only today caught up with the avalanche of mail that's been
coming in for the last few weeks.
Wading through the sniping on this and other lists certainly undermined
the enlightenemt level of the experience.
So here's a comment relevant to the potential reform of wg-c, if that's
really what's coming. I don't think the problem has anything to do with
the current composition of WG-C. It stems from a lack of procedural
standards exacerbated by a lack of civility and decorum. We need better
rules of order, and a leader with the grace and energy to apply them.
I'm nearly ready to make a motion regarding TLD meta-policy that I think
is germane to this working group. However, we really don't have good
procedures for making motions. Am I allowed to make one, and know for
certain that it will be considered seriously? How do I know when it is
or isn't appropriate to do so? Who will rule on whether the motion is
appropriate for this group? What are the rules for conducting the
discussion and then closing it? Do we have to make up the rules for such
conduct, or can we somehow adopt some other procedural guidelines?
Movement to clarify these things is the kind of restructuring that would
be much more useful to putting our work on a more substantive track. It
would certainly be better than simply recomposing the group according to
someone else's preference.
Milton Mueller wrote:
> As the evident winner of the "posts by persons" contest, I'd like to
> second this thought.
> Petter Rindforth wrote:
> > OK, so what are we supposed to do with this list of postings? It
> > would be more intersting to have a list of the postings that have
> > included useful suggestions and arguments to enable this WG to
> > proceed with our task. I am pretty sure that such list will be much
> > shorter.