[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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

On 9 Jun 2006, Christian Perrier stated:

> (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 ?

        Err, I am no Sven Luther fan (I do have an un-fan list as well
 as a fan list),  but I have heard good things about his ocaml work. I
 would probably rate the talk somewhat positively (I would do more if
 I actually knew ocaml).

        You are maligning the unwashed masses here.  This is a
 stereotypical cathedral/elitist view: somehow, the select few know
 better than the general public, no matter how qualified the public

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

        So you are assuming that the academic ctte is somehow immune
 to bias, and can exercise sound judgement, but the general
 DD/attendee cannot? Is the selection criteria for the academic ctte
 somehow effective in selecting people with breadth of experience,
 good judgement, and immunity to bias? No, it is "anyone who shows

        Why is this cathedral-thinking so attractive? Time and again,
 we have seen that the market/bazaar methodology, properly channled,
 can far outperform central cathedral think tanks and experts.

> 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.

        How is the french economy doing? And the unemployment rate?
 Need I say more? :) :) :)


I want a VEGETARIAN BURRITO to go ... with EXTRA MSG!!
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@acm.org>  <http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

Reply to: