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Re: Debian Re-organization proposals (was: Re: so what?)

On Wed, Jun 03, 1998 at 11:17:15AM +0100, Philip Hands wrote:
> [
>  This post is a on the long side, and probably not of interest to many (sorry).
>  It comes up with the conclusion that Debian and Democracy don't mix.
> ]

yes it is long...as such I wont quote it all :)
> > 	Why? Because even though we do all the work, the masses are
> >  too dumb to do their own masters?  We need a all knowing, all
> >  powerful group of people to tell us how to act? What cventury are we
> >  in now?
> No, because democracy is inefficient in our case.

I would go a step further and say democracy is always inefficient, in
fact it is "inefficiant by design"
[snip -good points but I have no reply to them]

> We developers are not under anyone's power, since we can always do our own 
> thing, or leave the project, so the protection democracy gives is unnecessary 
> and adds wasteful overhead to the decision making process.

I just made another post here efore I read this...as I had said, I think 
democracy can work for debian...what I feel I left out was that I agree there

Personally I have no interest in the politics of the project. I try to help out
and plan in the future to do more once things in my life settle down a bit
for the simple reason that i use debian and like it...I want to help out
I want to make the system better, and give everyone (including myself) more
choices within debian.

> They are special, because they are willing to put their heads above the 
> parapet, and take that sort of thing from you.  For that reason, I'm willing 
> to meander slightly away from the place I was going to anyway.  The leadership 
> has no power, other than to suggest a direction.

I think that is the best description I have ever read of what the leadership
should be and how things should work.
> Democracy would give the majority the feeling that they have the right to
> tell the few what to do, which they absolutely do not have.

That is the major falling of every democracy, I think that for a group
like debian this is not quite as bad as it has shown itself to be
in other places.
> The fact is, that in most cases there is one way of doing things that is more 
> technically excellent than the alternatives (this being a technical, rather 
> than a political project), so disagreements happen less often than in normal 
> life. 

This is the main reason I think democracy, or really any system, could work 
for debian...the obvious downside being the enormous overhead of

> Please don't assume that I mean that I think developers should be allowed to 
> do random, destructive things.  People that do random, destructive things are 
> unlikely to be attracted to being a Debian maintainer, and if they were I 
> think we should expel that from the project (after warning them that this 
> would happen, if they didn't modify their behavior ).

I agree...and hope that while I am with the project I hope that I shall
never see the day when this is needed.

> Most of us are here because we hold largely common beliefs about what Debian 
> should be.  If changing your citizenship were as easy as changing your 
> hair style, democracy would be largely unnecessary, since people would be able 
> to move to a country that had a government system that matched their beliefs.  

For that to happen, governments would in effect be truely powerless over
individuals, since they can just opt to leave (or possibly start
their own government). This favors personal freedom, and personal freedom is
what all governments are fundamentally opposed to (whether they admit it or 
> In a world like that, a vote by the majority against the interests of the few 
> would not work, because the few would just move countries.  That is the
> situation we are in.  

That is one of the few reasons debian could use democracy I think...
AT least if a person very strongly feels one way on an issue, and the majority
vote against it...that person can leave and find a place where their
views are more apreciated and used.

> I vote ``No Democracy for Debian!''  ;-)

I have to agree....democracy is at BEST overkill, if applied in a general 
sense. If it were applied ina a way such as having a vote over "what
general suggestion of direction the leaders should make"
then that I can see... anything more specific is at best overkill...and at
worst a hinderance to the project as a whole.

However, as I stated I am not tewrribly interested in the "politics" of
the system and much more in just helping to better the system and improve its 
technical excellence, to give back to the community.

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