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RE: objection to proposed change to "consensus"

2006-01-06 14:32:57

        It is useful sometimes to differentiate those who have
no stake in a particular issue from those who are not paying
attention.  Sometimes (maybe most of the time) it is not a 
very important distinction, and the IETF treats it this way 
all of the time.  Maybe that's the right way to go.  Maybe not.


--> -----Original Message-----
--> From: ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org 
--> On Behalf Of Sam Hartman
--> Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 10:51 AM
--> To: Spencer Dawkins
--> Cc: IETF General Discussion Mailing List
--> Subject: Re: objection to proposed change to "consensus"
--> >>>>> "Spencer" == Spencer Dawkins <spencer(_at_)mcsr-labs(_dot_)org> 
-->     Spencer> So... here's the problem.
-->     >> Personally, I object to the suggestion that my 
--> "vote" should be
-->     >> counted one way or another if I am silent.  At most, 
--> it should
-->     >> be counted as "no strong opinion".  Or should I now start
-->     >> responding to all the Last Calls with "I don't care 
--> about this,
-->     >> so please don't count me as supporting it"?
-->     Spencer> Our technology support for "do we have consensus"
-->     Spencer> stinks. We ask for feedback to a mailing list, knowing
-->     Spencer> that "me, too" postings are (and should be) discouraged
-->     Spencer> in most shared e-mail environments. What we get is
-->     Spencer> exactly what you described - postings from a non-random
-->     Spencer> subset of participants, and then we try to figure out
-->     Spencer> what the sampling error is, and in which 
--> direction, based
-->     Spencer> on not a lot more information. There is a safety
-->     Spencer> mechanism, because when we REALLY miscount we can be
-->     Spencer> appealed, but we don't use it often, and it's really an
-->     Spencer> expensive mechanism to use.
--> I'm not sure I consider this very broken.  If I'm reading a 
--> last call
--> and I have opinions that differ from the way the discussion 
--> is going,
--> I'm certainly going to speak up.  It seems to work fairly well in
--> practice at determining rough consensus when there is a rough
--> consensus to be determined.  It gives questionable results in cases
--> where the results are questionable; I'm not sure this a bug.
-->     Spencer> some way to let people say "you know, I just 
--> don't care",
-->     Spencer> that would help, too.
--> And what do we do with those people anyway?  How would it help me to
--> know there are 30 people who don't care?
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