objectivity vs. leadership [was Re: Cross-Area Review]

Aaron Falk falk at isi.edu
Fri Apr 25 12:16:37 CEST 2003




Aaron Falk wrote:
> John C Klensin wrote:
> > 
> > The problem is a bit similar to the one I think we have seen 
> > with ADs sometimes becoming (or being forced to become) 
> > advocates for particular documents rather than careful and 
> > objective evaluators.
> > 
> John-
> I find it interesting that you see this as a problem.  There are two
> roles for the IESG: standard reviewers and architectural defenders.
> They overlap but your comment reveals that the two roles motivate
> different behaviors.  You refer to ADs as "careful and objective
> evaluators."  But, I think of them also as _advocates_ of the Right
> Way to engineer the Internet
> We talk about having ADs as the interdisciplinary, architectural big
> picture people who are protecting the Internet from Bad Ideas.  I hope
> they have opinions, indeed, I expect them to.  And if I'm right, it
> would be a good thing, imo, to hear about them.  I say, let these
> people (IAB and IESG) express their opinions and adovocate their POV
> in open fora so the community at large can a) discover their POV, b)
> learn from their wisdom, and c) debate them on critical issues --
> perhaps changing their minds or at least creating a community
> consensus opposing an opinion (which should be respected).  If we
> discover that, as a community, we don't like what they have to say, we
> can replace them.  
> In fact, I find the lack of participation from both IESG and IAB
> members on the IETF list in general, and the IPv6 LL debate in
> particular, to be somewhat disheartening.  I think their opinions on
> the Internet architecture with respect to the LL issue are important
> and would like to know where they stand.  
> I am imagining why there are so few IESG and IAB voices in this LL
> debate and can come up with a few possible reasons, all depressing:
> 1. They are too busy reading documents to keep up with the IETF
>    list. -- Bad.
> 2. They feel that it is not their place to voice opinions and sway the
>    debate. -- Also bad, since their opinions are supposed to be
>    valuable and might drive the debate in interesting and useful
>    directions.  IETF members are not shrinking violets (bug & feature)
>    and will vociferously disagree with AD opinions.
> 3. They have made up their mind on the issue and feel the debate is a
>    waste of time. -- Also bad -- the community is speaking.
> Have we frightened our trusted servants to the point where they will
> only express their opinions behind closed doors?  I want an IESG and
> IAB with opinions that lead, teach, listen, and respond to the
> community.  Reasonable, not passive, or even necessarily objective.
> My rant for the day.
> --aaron

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