Re: Re[2]: Public/private -- your input requested

From: Edward Cherlin <edward_dot_cherlin_at_etssg_dot_com>
Date: Wed Aug 20 2003 - 20:35:58 CDT

On Monday 04 August 2003 03:24 am, Anand Pillai wrote:
> Are you proposing a sort of democracy where all decisions
> would be put to vote in the mailing list? We might need to
> first solve the problem of counting the votes of the members
> in the voting project mailing list in that case ;-)
> Coming back to Alan's suggestion, I support the process by
> which decisions are taken by public discussion as opposed
> to private discussions. It might be a longer process, but at
> least the members would feel that they are part of the
> process, though the really useful inputs/suggestions might be
> coming only from a few of them. This would simulate a voting
> democracy where everybody has a voice, though the leaders make
> the decisions for the followers.

I have been on mailing lists that tried to make decisions by
public discussion. It doesn't seem to work, only because it is
too easy for a few individuals to block progress by politicizing
or side-tracking the discussion. I hold with tho old Federalist
Papers idea of representative democracy, where you get the best
people you can find together, have them go into all of the
details on the issues, and make the decisions for those who
don't have time to become educated on the issues.

> Personally, I would be more interested in the programming
> questions, though It would be worth it to follow the
> discussions on the bigger picture also.
> Regards,
> ~Anand
> On Mon, 4 Aug 2003 09:14:39 +0200, "Matteo Giacomazzi"
> <> said:
> > Hi Arthur,
> >
> > AK> I think it's critical that we have a discussion of the
> > public vs. AK> private thing among the group, because I
> > don't think it should be AK> automatic one way or
> > another. That's particularly true about AK> discussions
> > that precede any potential decision to make it public. AK>
> > In this regard, I am a "process" person, not
> > necessary a AK> "secretive" person. I merely want the
> > issues laid out in the AK> process of making a decision.
> >
> > If the discussions about decisions are public, we
> > don't have to explain to anyone why we decided to do
> > something in a particular way. Furthermore, no one can say
> > that there's a dictator that decides for eveyone.

That turns out not to be the case.

The biggest problem with the public debate over the e-mail spam
issue when was getting started was the people who
called us Net-Nazis and worse all throughout the discussion.
When we took the policy discussion onto a members-only mailing
list, and then on to a Board-only mailist list, the clamor on
the public newsgroups and mailing lists continued, but didn't
interfere with our work so much.

We also had to explain our decisions over and over and
over...until we put them into our FAQ on our Web site. We still
have to explain all over again when we talk to reporters or

> > My 2 cents! :)
> >
> > --
> > Regards,
> > Matteo
> >
> --
> Anand Pillai

My one rupee.

Edward Cherlin, Simputer Evangelist
Encore Technologies (S) Pte. Ltd.
Computers for all of us,
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external 
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain    
Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:13 2003

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Aug 31 2003 - 23:17:18 CDT