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Re: [wg-d] Robert's Rules
Thanks for the long document.
But when boiled down all it says is that there are various approaches to
Most of the world uses Roberts Rules, a system that has been developed
through hundreds of years of actual use in everything from friendly
gatherings to near warfare.
But, as you point out, some groups and some people think they can do
better. I wish 'em the best of luck.
I would suggest, however, that the DNSO has got many concrete problems to
solve among many different parties.
Creating a new paradigm for interpersonal procedures is not among those.
Our job is to find something that will work and leave both the reality
and the image of fairness in the eyes of participants and observers alike.
If at all possible we should adopt a process that is proven to work in
nearly all conceivable circumstances. We should avoid experiments and
avoid a process that has worked only for a few years in a limited
context among a nearly homogeneous group of people who are lucky enough to
have external means to cross-check their work before it is widely used.
Sure, we could be lucky if we follow the IETF's procedure. And we could
more readily be unlucky if we follow that procedure.
But we are not gambling here. We ought not to roll the dice and trust to
luck. We are trying to create a means for the reasoned and fair
resolution of policy (not technology) regarding the Internet.
And that means adopting the tried and true methods that have been used by,
and continue to be used by, so many people in so many situations over so
Sure, Robert's rules in their full glory can appear mind numbing. That's
because the rules are based on many years of practical experience -- It is
a quirk of our nature; people are very creative in finding ways to be
unfair to one another.
Most of the rules in Roberts are not used frequently. But they are there
with wise solutions when the tough situations arise.
You wave words like "Excess Formality" as if "formality" were something
pejorative and negative. In real life, formalities like receipts, written
contracts, and signatures avoid great numbers of problems. The same is
true here, a bit of formality is a small price to pay for a process that
has integrity and leaves those who participated feeling that they won or
lost on the merits and not because the system was used for or against
And you mention time scales such as three days -- nobody has proposed any
particular value so far, and it will probably vary according to the needs
of the group.
And as we have seen with the co-chair vote, a vote-in-progress does not
slow discussion and activity on other matters.
As for the specter of electronically fabricated participants: It won't
bother me very much until it is a demonstrated problem. So far nobody has
built a machine that can pass the Turing test and pass for a human. I
personally do not fear a few Jeff Williams. And such "people" are just as
present in consensus gatherings. In fact, without clear process and clear
votes, the influence of such "people" is often amplified.
All in all, I find your objections to Roberts Rules to be non persuasive.