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Re: IETF Last Calls and Godwin-like rules

On 2/17/12 7:44 AM, Dave CROCKER wrote:

And perhaps the focus for this issue should be on the ability of the (relatively few) folk making decisions to distinguish between substantive vs. political input, rather than on trying to prevent the political input.

Getting the folk who evaluate consensus to distinguish between substantive and political input is certainly primary, though (hopefully) they already are able to do so. An important secondary goal is also to make sure that the folk giving substantive input understand that the folk evaluating it *do* take their input into account and *don't* take the political input into account. Too often, the mere posting of these content-free "endorsements" causes those who do contribute substantively to post their own retorts, muddying the record of the conversation. Further, if the decision happens to go the way of the "endorsements", people who have made substantive comments express displeasure at the "vote packing".

We do need to make sure that the folks evaluating consensus know that "voting doesn't count" and that their decisions are made by consensus on the technical issues, not the number of people speaking. But we also need to make sure that community understands that "voting doesn't count" and that they are confident it is enforced. That might mean that occasionally we have to publicly say things like, "You do realize that we are ignoring this" to people who post the political input.

(I again glance over at my edit buffer with the beginnings of a short essay "On consensus and humming" and think, "I've really got to finish that.")


Pete Resnick<http://www.qualcomm.com/~presnick/>
Qualcomm Incorporated - Direct phone: (858)651-4478, Fax: (858)651-1102

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