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Re: [Debconf-discuss] Talk selection for Debconf 7

(Sven, nothing personal...but I've used you as an example in this
discussion and I think it wouldn't be fair to not let you know)

Manoj Srivastava wrote ("> >" is me talking):

(votgin mechanism to select talks at Debconf)

> > Yeah, that could be possible. I however fear that this would end up
> > in a "love/hate" game as we are obviously very good at it in Debian
> > (not only Debian, but we seem to emphasize that kind of behaviour).
> >
> > As you mentioned, the risk is seeing "popular speakers" being
> > overrated whatever they might propose.
>         I have two observations on this point. Firstly, if we were
>  selecting _one_ talk, I would agree that personal bias could affect
>  the outcome. But we are talkging about rating dozens of proposals,
>  and selecting dozens still.  I think you might be surprised at how
>  well market forces overcome individual biases when taken in bulk.
>         Secondly, I am not sure that going against the martket
>  decision is wise, even then: popular debconf speakers do not gain

I don't think it's "going against". It is allowing some kind of
moderation to happen if it happens to be apparently needed.

Personal and wise judgement is something that we heavily rely on in
Debian, in many areas....way more than pure democracy. And, after all,
this works pretty well overall.

Let's take an example to try proving my point. Sven, sorry in advance
to use yourself as an example (I CC you just to guarantee you that
we're talking in your back).

Imagine that Sven Luther proposes a talk about the Ocaml packaging
policy at next Debconf. Will someone seriously claim that, despite his
very good knowledge of that topic, he wouldn't be rated very low by
all attendees because of his impopularity ?

I expect a moderating academic commitee to balance such "popular
judgement" by issuing a "polished" ranking...of course with all
appropriate rationale clearly explained.

This is maybe what has been missing this year: more public rationale
about the criteria used by the academic commitee to select talks. But,
of course, this is again about volunteer work and I'd having hard
times making a formal complaint about this.

Probably another possible improvement direction here. 

> > I would say currently that a voting system could be one of the
> > rating factors, while there is still an academic comitee in charge
> > of doing the final selection, with the ranking as one of its
> > input...other input being their wisdom...
> >
>         This smacks of the soviet era central planning, really. The
>  politburo thought that a few experts would outperform random
>  investments made by the unwashed, and often decadent uneducated

Hmmm, probably old (uh, again) school French attitude I have to
believe that most often state/government intervention is better than
relying on pure market regulation. Actually, the liberal attitude
doesn't ring much bells for me, I'm afraid.

>         My experiences differ (I have talked with several people with
>  profound misgivings) -- but this is about making the future better,
>  not about recriminations.

Hmm, unless you come with real examples and real people publicly
complaining about the selection method, I'll remain
sceptic(english?). These people shoud express their concerns in

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