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Re: Social Committee proposal

On Fri, 26 Jan 2007 10:08:14 +0100, Josip Rodin <joy@entuzijast.net> said: 

> On Thu, Jan 25, 2007 at 09:07:34PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> You see, the committee is going to define the norms. It is going to
>> lay down the acceptable cultural mores. In my experience,
>> committees never produce minimalist documents. The never know when
>> to stop. Design by committee is what gave us ADA.

> Er, do we see this pattern with the technical committee? The social
> committee would (by virtue of shared demographics) be composed of a
> similarly-minded people as the technical committee, so it stands to
> reason that they wouldn't act horribly different from one another.

        I am not sure that follows. Case in point: while I think I am
 a reasonably good fit for the role required for a tech ctte member
 (if I were not, I would have resigned a long time ago), wil horses
 would not drag me to a social committee. I don't think I fit the

        Another thing is, that we are all self selected to put
 together a yet-another-son-of-multics OS -- that is a pretty narrow,
 tightly couple technical field, so we are all pretty close in the
 technical domain.  In other dimensions, liek geography, religion,
 language, cultture, politics -- we are all over the field. We've got
 liberal members, conservative members, left wing, right wing --- and
 given that, I don't think it is easy to come to a consensus and not
 impose majority will.

>> Given that once codified, style, usability, and social polices
>> (well, almost any policy) tends to get more and more chiseled in
>> stone; creating a social policy is not in the Nay^H^Hprojects best
>> interest, perhaps.
>> No, I am not sure I fully believe this, but it is a point that
>> should be considered as we dash headlong towards creating a social
>> committee and social policy to mirror the technical committee and
>> technical policy and constitutional amendments to chisel it into
>> the codex.

> Granted. Yet, I think that similar arguments must have been levelled
> in the early days against having a technical committee. Why did we
> need that, couldn't we all just get along? :)

> Self-regulation has worked for us for years, in both areas, after
> all.  Maybe making changes isn't in our best interest.

> Yet, we've been pretty conservative about social matters for years
> now, i.e. we didn't tend to innovate in the community all that
> much. Having a committee for these matters won't really change any
> long-entrenched practices that people already practice, but it will
> provide a reasonable forum for discussion. (Before anyone says "but
> this is also a reasonable forum for discussion", I will just remind
> that this is a 694-member mailing list, just think about that a
> bit...)

        Well, the technical committee is passive. It does not actively
 make policy.  And my role in the policy editing camp has been the
 nay-sayer -- the default answer to a request to change policy is nay,
 unless you can show reasons why the change helps debian, and is
 _required_ to a certain degree.

        Are we talking about the same cautious, conservative, slow to
 make radical changes for the social effort? I'll be far happier, if
 this is the case.


If the master dies and the disciple grieves, the lives of both have
been wasted.
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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