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Re: soc-ctte discussion at DebConf7 [was Re: Social committee proposal]

On Tue, Jun 26, 2007 at 10:48:51AM +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> I feel we're really missing most sorely list-admin teams who will take
> care of the social fabric of one list each and are empowered to make
> limited short-term changes to preserve it, including updating the list
> info pages and small posting bans.  We should prioritise those sorts
> of bottom-up change over a top-down soc-ctte.

The problem with that is that nobody is proposing any sort of a model
by which these teams would be composed. I personally can't see such a thing
going far, because that would create various rulesets for various lists,
and require involvement of far too many people to be authoritative.

On the other hand, a single social committee provides for a body which will
be by and large neutral towards all lists (it will apply the same reasoning
towards all).

> Existing high-level posts with a social aspect, such as listmasters and
> DAM both, seem reluctant to wield their power, which is understandable
> because they cannot follow every interaction in detail.

That's not really the only reason - another important reason is that the
people by and large never subscribed to the said teams because they wanted
to mediate social issues, but because they wanted to do the technical tasks.

Another reason is that these teams are inherently an oligarchy, and handing
down social decisions in such a setting can easily be seen as evil, so they
steer clear of it.

A separate group of people who don't mind handling the non-technical tasks
will relieve them of these problems.

> soc-ctte will also have the problem of being unfamiliar with the situation
> - how is it going to solve many problems faster? 

Well, *anything* is faster than a technically-inclined listmaster team
whose average time of handling social problems converges to infinity. :)
(Which in itself is acceptable, really.)

> Will its actions also be heavy, as the "big stick" mentioned in its powers
> suggests it could.

The main point, which apparently eluded you :) was that it needs to be able
to have a big stick simply so that it has tangible authority. For some
people, the authority provided by being a regularly elected body might
not be sufficient to make them respect it.

> [...]
> >   * The communication of soc-ctte members with people about their behaviour
> >     which might eventually become a matter of committee deliberation should
> >     be kept reasonably private, to prevent unnecessary escalation
> What is "reasonably private"?  Please avoid creating a Star Chamber.
> Also, how will we know which soc-ctte members are naughty or nice,
> or whether we should remove members or terminate the ctte?

See in another part of the thread, regarding our archive on master.

> [...]
> > * The establishment and composition of the actual soc-ctte:
> > [...] delegation [...] voted upon [...]
> Was the jury selection model discussed at all?

I don't think it was. Can you explain a bit?

> If it's all voting-derived, how can we assure there will be any
> debian-minority views represented on soc-ctte at any time?

I don't believe we can assure that any better than we assure right now
that a majority doesn't stomp all over a minority... I think it's an
acceptable compromise.

     2. That which causes joy or happiness.

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