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Re: Technical committee resolution

On Fri, 14 Mar 2008 12:20:47 +1000, Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> said: 

> On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 06:32:13PM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> An alternative is to throw out the member who is youngest.

> No, that would again ensure stagnancy in the group, with the older
> members being permanently appointed.

        As opposed to younger, less experienced people staffing the
 ctte?  Neigther criteria seems un-silly.

        I would have thought active individuals with sound technical
 judgement who helped the project ought to be preferred, and that we
 ought to also be against ageism, or any other form of discrimination.

        Maybe that's just me.

>> Or use birth month to throw out

> Likewise.

        Err, what? birth month is not biased towards either older or
 younger people. Why do youo think this  favours either old or young
 peoplle? or those with longer or lesser terms of service?

        This is beginning to sound like you are against any variation
 that has not been offered up by AJ, as opposed to actually reading the

>> -- the members born later in the
>> year should be thrown out first.  Or people born in odd number years
>> go first.

> "Odd number years" doesn't give a complete ordering; what happens once
> all the members are born in even numbered yearS?

        _then_ youo start lopping the heads off the people born in even
 numbered years. Unless the year is divisible by 400.

        Hey, if hte idea is to find silly ways of booting people off the
 ctte, I can come up with very complex silly ways too.

>> All thse are equally silly. And selectingone algorithm or the other
>> with no regards to if they have any bearing on the solution, or have
>> any rationale for actually improving things seems exactly to be an
>> argument in favour of novelty.

> The fallacy of argument from novelty is "foo is new and different,
> therefore it's better". The fallacy of tradition is "foo is the way
> we've always done things, therefore it's better".

        So new people on the ctte will improve things does not fit how?

> Neither is the argument I'm making. The argument I'm making is that
> because it's likely there are better ways of doing things than the way
> we're doing things now (ie, "though foo is the way we've always done
> things, there probably exists some bar that is better than foo"), we
> should look at new ways of doing things in the hopes that we'll find
> one of them that's better that we can then incorporate into our
> traditions.

        The only way you have of looking at new ways of doing things is
 to hand the job to a different person? If not, why are you assuming
 people like you (ctte members) can not learn from experience, and try
 out new things?

> That's not a "let's replace Ian, Manoj or Anthony and everything will
> be better" -- which without any particular person being selected to do
> so would be an appeal to novelty; it's a process change to make it
> easy for the technical committee to try new things with the aim of
> finding better ways of doing things, and assumes that you trust that
> the committee won't stick with new ideas that are worse than
> traditional ideas, and that the DPL will tend to select new people
> whose ideas have a history of being better than purely random
> selection.

        I applaud the effort to try out new things to fix the problems
 of the ctte; but it seems to me that we should try new things that have
 some thought put into them such that the percieved problems would
 actually be fixed.

        Let us just change personnel based on some unrelated algorithm
 and hope things improve seems like a suboptimanl way of doing things;
 churn as a means of organizational reform or restructuring has had a
 pretty poor track record; I fail to see any justification for why churn
 is likely to improve matters.

>> Why is no one responding to the fact that the last ingestion of new
>> blood did not solve the problems?

> It didn't solve the problems; but it did reduce them. According to the
> tech-ctte page, 60% of the ctte's decisions have been made in the
> since Andi, Steve and I joined which represents about 25% of the
> ctte's life...  Like I've said earlier, that doesn't count issues that
> have been punted one way or another, though my impression is there's
> been an improvement there too. I don't believe there's been a single
> instance of the ctte deciding that an issue brought to them is
> entirely out of their remit in the past few years, in particular.

        I thinkn the actual corelation is removal of people who were
 mostly missing, and replacing them by people who were active.  I
 suggest that had you replaced the oldest people, and retained the
 mssing people, you would have had a worse track record.

        Ignoring one of the facets of the change I instituted,
 andconcenttrating on a subset of the changes, is ignoring data that
 does not fit your hypothesis.

        Any thesis can be proved by just ignoring data that does not
 support the thesis, and concentrating on the data  that favours it.

        So, I would support a mechanism that measures participation in
 terms of discussion, research, and voting records, and basing removals
 by degree and frequency of corntibution, since I think a case can be
 made for the benefit of that persons contgributions based on these
 still fairly objective measures.

        Throwing up ones hands and using a determininstic sequence as
 opposed to using concrete, and mostly objective criteria I outlined in
 the rpevious paragraph, is not an approach I think the project should
 be taking, and I cannot support the original proposal as it stands.

        Modify it to take into account "research posts on a topic,
 discussion posts on a topic, and voting record" as criteria for ranking
 members to replace, I'll second that.

The average income of the modern teenager is about 2 a.m.
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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