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Re: Internet Mail Architecture draft -- consensus or competition?

2004-06-01 16:08:41

I noticed one clause in this draft with which I differ for reasons which are perhaps philosophical. It has to do with how we arrive at working standards.

Section 1.2 starts with the following note. In the note I have raised the clause which I question to uppercase.

 "This document is the work of a single person,
  about a topic with considerable diversity of
  views.  It is certain to be incomplete and
  inaccurate.  Some errors simply need to be
  reported; they will get fixed.  Others need to
  be discussed by the community, because THE REAL
  To this end, please treat the draft as a
  touchstone for public discussion."

I question the notion that there is a requirement to develop common community views. Now I do believe there is value in community discussion, and perhaps the best of all worlds can result when common community views can develop. But realistically it seems to me that our numerous human projects are like the numerous species that try to survive in a given ecology. The fittest survive, and generally not because common community views were formed, but often for reasons we dislike or find difficult to comprehend.

I might suggest changing that clause to say something like:
 - so that we can learn from each other;
 - so that we can work toward consensus; or
 - so that we can avoid mistakes.

Rich Hammer
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