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Re: Filibustering general resolutions

On Wed, Sep 20, 2006 at 03:36:43PM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> > It's only a veto if a malicious group does this *indefinitely* and
> > intentionally and I haven't seen evidence that this is happening or
> > is about to happen. Let me know if I've missed something.
>         The past is not always prologue.
>         As the project grows, and apparently more polarized, it is
>  easy to find K + 1 developers  at the extreme ends of any
>  postiion. As the project grows, so do the extent that people go to to
>  get their ends met (I'll refrain from pointing out the latest
>  proposals on -vote).

Manoj is right about this.  The key words are, "As the project grows."

The Iron Law of Large Society obtains.  Standing houses of parliament
seldom have a thousand members.  Industrial plants seldom exceed two
thousand workers.  Schools with three thousand children have been tried;
they fail.  Why this is so, you and I can speculate; but that it is so,
is hard to dispute.

Never mind theory.  One thing we should have learned by thirteen years
of experience is that a large Debian Project does not much resemble a
small one.  If this is what a 1000-member Project is like, what of a
3000-member Project?  Or, what of a future Project so hostile that the
depressed inflow only just matches the dejected outflow?

There must be a better way.

Taking care decently to protect the interests and prospects of current
non-DD contributors, we would be wise to adopt some clear rule to limit
our numbers.

(By the way, Manoj, as you know, Debian's Constitution harbors several
security flaws, not just the filibuster flaw.  For example, nothing
theoretically prevents a hypothetical mad DAM from striking 90 percent
of the Developers from the keyring and instantly merging the rump 10
percent with Gentoo, the Microsoft board of directors, the Knights of
Malta and the Belgian Foreign Ministry.  The DDs could vote to overrule
the mad DAM, of course; but precisely who then would constitute the
voting DDs, eh?  The real DDs on the old keyring or the declared DDs on
the new?  The Constitution does not say.  Not that we shouldn't fix the
filibuster flaw; we should.  But one might not impute purer motives or
better judgment to a hypothetical future DAM than to a hypothetical
filibustering DD.  Both Constitutional security flaws, and others, stand
to be fixed.)

Thaddeus H. Black
508 Nellie's Cave Road
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060, USA
+1 540 961 0920, t@b-tk.org, thb@debian.org

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