MAJOR ISSUE: "Concentration of power"

Brian E Carpenter brian at
Thu Jun 19 14:36:15 CEST 2003

I agree with Harald's slant on this. The new wording is much better
than in the previous draft, but it still seems to state a perception as
if were were an objective fact. A fairly liberal addition of "perceived"
to the text would help, starting with the title:

 2.5.5. Perceived Concentration of Influence in Too Few Hands

Also, let me focus on one sentence:

>    ...this may be because the
>    'ruling class' has also come to share a cultural outlook which
>    matches the dominant ethos of the IETF.

It's hard to see why this is a problem. It says that the leadership
shares the dominant view. That is a compliment in any democracy.

Apart from that, the paragraph describes characteristics of human
society, not those specific to the IETF.


Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
> [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
> today.]
> [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
> networks".
> 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.
> [WRONG] =

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