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Re: [wg-d] "Interim Measures"
I have a more hopeful view of WG-C's prospects than Javier does, and I'm
concerned that it may not be a good idea to go to option (v) at this time.
WG-C faces four principal areas of disagreement:  how many new gTLDs,
and how fast;  how new gTLD strings and registries are to be selected;
 whether all registries must be non-profit; and  whether all
registries must be shared. Right now, I believe we're in striking distance
of possible compromise, consensus positions on  and . That is, we've
been discussing a compromise that I've urged respecting ; it's had a
variety of sign-ons; and I think it can attain the status of rough
consensus (notwithstanding some dissension) if Javier and I are willing to
push hard enough for it. Our recent "straw poll," further, suggests a good
candidate for a compromise position on . I don't know whether we can
reach any consensus on  or , but I think it's worth further
investigation. What's encouraging is that I think we really *don't* have
hard-edged factions of the sort that people seem to assume; there's a lot
of independent thinking in the group. (The degree of independent thinking,
indeed, is part of what makes seeking consensus in WG-C a lot like trying
to herd cats.)
Bottom line: I believe that WG-C, as currently constituted, with its
current leadership, is in a position to find compromise, consensus
solutions to at least part of the problem if left to find its own way. I
can't guarantee it, but I think we've got a good shot.
I'm reluctant to throw away the possibility of compromise within the WG,
and I'm concerned that going to option (v) right now would do that. As
Karl points out, failure to find consensus isn't a workable option: Under
the Bylaws, the DNSO shouldn't forward recommendations to the ICANN Board
unless those recommendations reflect "community consensus." And I think
that our best shot of getting to consensus is still within the WG. Here's
why: We're dealing here with contentious issues on which people have
sharply differing views. To get to consensus, I think we need to have
compromise. But the option (v) process of writing a divided report will
tend to harden the various positions, not to compromise them, as each group
drafts arguments emphasizing why it is right and the others are wrong. And
hard as it is to accomplish the give-and-take of successful negotiation in
the WG, it would be still harder in a larger forum. (I don't know whether
it would be useful for WG leaders to meet in real time to try to develop
I do have one possible reform that I'd like to present to the group.
Various people complained at the NC meeting that the WG-C list is so
high-volume that it discourages people with a genuine interest in the
issues from participating, because they're not in a position to keep up
with the traffic. I think this is a serious problem. In response, it
might make sense to limit list members' posts per day (say, to two). This
could have two beneficial effects. First, it would cut down on the volume,
and allow people to participate in WG-C without having it take over their
lives. Second, list members faced with this limitation might take care to
make their two posts per day count — leaving unimportant or tangential
things unsaid, and concentrating on making substantive comments on the main
issues before the group. That would be a *big* improvement.
What do people think?
At 08:04 PM 9/3/99 -0600, Alejandro Pisanty, DGSCA y FQ, UNAM wrote:
>maybe a further tuning would help. Also we need to think more generally
>than the present situation of WG-C though of course it is a lab case study
>of what can happen as this organization grows.
>1. Are all interested parties really taking part? With the very limited
>sizes of the WGs, and the even smaller numbers of people actually taking
>part, this is a serious question and it can extend to the point of putting
>legitimacy in doubt altogether. The chair of the WG and its members should
>make sure of calling in everybody that must be in.
>2. Maybe we can retake what is valuable from the "balanced workgroups"
>question. Make sure not only all parties express their views at a given
>point in time, also make sure that the constituency reps in the WG do so.
>This will allow a further, restricted measure of consensus, to complement
>whatever others are available (votes in an open group, faction reports,
>Still the approach is v). These modifications could make it work a bit
>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Dr. Alejandro Pisanty,
> Director General de Servicios de Computo Academico
> (Director, Computing Academic Services)
> Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
> Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 Mexico City DF MEXICO
>Tel. (+52-5) 622-8541, 622-8542; Fax 622-8540
>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .