On 3/20/22 11:58, Felix Lechner wrote:
I would not be comfortable granting financial requests, other than on an emergency basis, without some type of community review.
The disbursements that I've heard about seem to be relatively "small potatoes" things. Is there some huge wasteful spending occurring that I've missed?
One anti-pattern I've seen with spending money (not Debian, but elsewhere) is that a group will spend e.g. $10x worth of time debating $x expense. Sometimes that is appropriate, if you're confronting a new class of spending that will be repeated and you need to develop a policy to apply. But often, it's just a waste because people want to bikeshed.
I might ask you, Richard, to serve on my Disbursements Committee together with someone I perceive as an equally strong person but otherwise different from you in some way. A small Appointments Committee could help me figure out who would be a good counterweight.
This approach certainly plenty of merit. The devil is in the details, though. If the group is roughly evenly split, then having appointees evenly split to counterbalance each other is appropriate. If the wider group is 80:20, 90:10, or 99:1 on an issue, then picking one from each side unfairly weights the minority position. Maybe that's okay or even desirable (to protect the minority) at 80:20 and a minority position that's reasonable. But it's certainly not good at 99:1 where the 1% position is insane. (I'm not thinking of any particular issue here.)
For contentious topics, the debate over disbursements would automatically be compartmentalized to your tiny committee without burdening the entire project.
The moderating effect grows with the size of your committee.
This seems naive. If this principle were true, then political strife in society would disappear because we've tasked our elected representatives with dealing with these issues. We all know that isn't the case, even with bodies the size of a state/national legislature.
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