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Re: Process is no substitute for understanding

>>"Ian" == Ian Jackson <ian@davenant.greenend.org.uk> writes:

 Ian> I think that by biassing the system in favour of smart people we will
 Ian> bias it in favour of good arguments and right answers.  Ie, we can
 Ian> make the correlation between smart people and right answers work for
 Ian> us by putting an expert in charge.

        First, we have to figure out who is smart, and who is an
 expert, Secondly, looking at what policy covers, there is no
 such thing as an expert. (there may have been a time in newtons days
 when one person could indeed be an expert in all known things, but
 this is untenable now). Thridly, you have to convince a growing
 volunteer body that the smart and expert person is actually a) smart,
 and b) an expert on the current subject.

        Frankly, I don't think ithis is possible, and all this talk
 about ``experts'' in the wide rtange of subjects policy is
 supposed to define in the years to come indicates that the notion has
 not really been thought out at all. 

 Ian> I'm not suggesting that the policy czar should always go with their
 Ian> own opinion.  Certainly there should be discussion; anything else
 Ian> would be madness.  But I think we can safely leave questions like how
 Ian> much discussion, and, following discussion, what the right course is,
 Ian> to the maintainers of the policy manual.

        Frankly, I think that is too much power invested in too little
 people, there is an implied belief that we can discover smart people,
 that they shall be willing to work on policy, and that they shall not
 go away from time to time with real jobs, and that smart people
 actually make good policy, and that enough of the developer
 population can be convinced of that. Frankly, this I am god and you
 better listen to me stuff may work in small groups, but I find it

 Ian> For any kind of decisionmaking there will always be hotheads who claim
 Ian> that someone is being an obnoxious dictator.

        And perhaps they are right.

 Ian> It's not as if there aren't volunteers to do the policy maintainership
 Ian> job this way.

        I wouldn't wonder. But is handing policy over to people so
 willing to exercise total power in the best interest of the project?

 "The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray." Robert
 G. Ingersoll
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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