MAJOR ISSUE: "Concentration of power"

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu Jun 19 10:42:44 CEST 2003

[Yes, I'm posting more than my usual quota of two issues per day today.
But I've been lax in keeping up, and I DO want the discussion on issues, if 
any, to have a chance of converging before Vienna. But this is it for 
[Note: This message has two issues, but they concern the same paragraph.]

-issue- reads:

2.5.5 Concentration of Influence in Too Few Hands

   Until the last couple of years, successive IETF Nominating Committees
   have chosen to give heavy weighting to continuity of IESG and IAB
   membership. Thus, the IETF appeared to have created a 'ruling class'
   system which tended to re-select the same leaders from a limited pool
   of people who had proved competent and committed in the past.

   Members of this 'ruling class' tend to talk more freely to each other
   and former members of the 'ruling class' - this may be because the
   'ruling class' has also come to share a cultural outlook which
   matches the dominant ethos of the IETF. Newcomers to the organization
   and others outside the 'ruling class' are reluctant to challenge the
   apparent authority of the extended 'ruling class' during debates and
   consequently influence remains concentrated in a relatively small
   group of people.  This reluctance may also be exacerbated if
   participants come from a different cultural background than the
   dominant one.

ISSUE: Yes, I have issues with this paragraph. I percieve the distinction 
more in terms of trust networks than in terms of classes - and the trust 
networks of most of the percieved "ruling class" described here are, as far 
as I can percieve, rarely if ever inclusive of the whole class, are quite 
changeable, and have lots of members who are not members of any unified 
"class". This is related to my problem stated as "the IETF runs on personal 
SUGGESTED RESOLUTION: None. This appears to be a viewpoint held by others. 
So I'll just state that I disagree.

ISSUE: The problem identified in [WRONG] as excessive reliance on personal 
relationships is not reflected anywhere in section 2.5. Its closest 
relation is 2.5.5, but the focus seems different.


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