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Re: [Ghm-discuss] [gnu-prog-discuss] Planning the next GNU Hackers Meeti

From: Paolo Bonzini
Subject: Re: [Ghm-discuss] [gnu-prog-discuss] Planning the next GNU Hackers Meeting
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 10:55:38 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20110930 Thunderbird/7.0.1

On 12/18/2011 10:12 AM, David Kastrup wrote:
Decision-making processes in real life are not different.  The reached
conclusions depend on the stamina of the partipants' voices, bladders,
and ability to stay awake.  They still run in circles, but the process
of consensus-finding makes better use of physical exhaustion.  It is
also easier to yield to a person with dominating voice, bladder, ability
to stay awake and personality than to letters on the screen.

That's why I put in place several precautions: people can only participate in one workgroup; 1-to-1 or small-group discussions are privileged over plenary sessions; we can invite competent people to give inspiring talks and who are able to actually compete with those vocal people on technical grounds.

As I said, my proposal is based on real-world experience with similar events (in terms of organization and duration) of even larger breadth, involving up to 1000-1200 people.

In particular if those letters on the screen actually come to other
conclusions than oneself does.  One can accept a different personality
with different priorities easier when composed of obviously different
blood and flesh and bones instead of just the same letters as oneself is
(no, I don't want to promote HTML mail for our discussions).

It makes no sense to try to decide such things in a fixed short
period. such as a hackers' meeting.  (I must also reject this for
personal reasons, since rapid-fire discussion automatically excludes

That's why I proposed giving veto powers to you.

Veto power is not constructive, but destructive.  It implies rewinding
processes and efforts, not directing them.  So it is a poor substitute
for actual participation in a process.  Good to have as a last resort,
but not particularly productive.

I know. However, note that the limitations above (participation on one workgroup, etc.) would also apply to rms in person.

I would also expect rms to apply his veto powers on philosophical matters, not on technical matters, just like with every other decision of GNU maintainers.

By the way, I added ghm-discuss for a reason. Removing it is not constructive.


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