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Re: Fairness and changing rules

2006-01-31 19:52:18
"Harald" == Harald Tveit Alvestrand <harald(_at_)alvestrand(_dot_)no> 

    Harald> Sam, trying to avoid pointing at persons, despite the fact
    Harald> that a specific person is at the heart of the current
    Harald> discussion...... your 3 points are very valid reasons for
    Harald> avoiding rule changes, but I think you miss the point I
    Harald> was trying to make.

    Harald> The IESG was asked to choose between two alternatives:

    Harald> - Execute a PR-Action against "X" - Do not execute a
    Harald> PR-Action against "X"

OK.  I actually view our responsibility more as use the tools we have
available to allow y to get its work done even given x's behavior.  I
don't believe the central question is whether the PR action should be

    Harald> In the ensuing discussion, you have argued that there
    Harald> should be other procedures for mailing list management,
    Harald> which are suited to "lesser offenses".

    Harald> Doing this at the same time as considering the PR-action
    Harald> against "X" has some interesting consequences:

    Harald> - The "problem behaviour" that the rule seeks to address
    Harald> is likely to get crafted so that it's clear whether "X"'s
    Harald> behaviour falls within or outside the description. While
    Harald> this makes things clearer in this case, I believe that
    Harald> history shows very low predictive value for whether or not
    Harald> such a rule will be clear once a new case comes along.

I am not proposing a new rule, simply a new sanction to be made

    Harald> - The "reaction" that the rule seeks to implement will
    Harald> take the form of whatever the discussion concludes is a
    Harald> reasonable reaction to the behaviour exhibited by
    Harald> "X". Again, this is no predictor of whether or not the
    Harald> reaction will be adequate, overreaction, or underreaction
    Harald> for the next case that comes along.

Again, I'm not sure I see this applies to create a new possible sanction for 
the same behavior.

    Harald> - The discussion that has to come before the final
    Harald> crafting of the new rules is likely to take some time -
    Harald> months, if experience is a guide. This offers an excuse
    Harald> for avoiding making a decision in "X"'s specific case -
    Harald> thus prolonging the time of indecision.

I believe this would be unacceptable if it happens.

That's why I I favor an experimental rule.

    Harald> I do not want the IETF to craft rules for "X", and then
    Harald> re-craft them for "Y", "Z" and "W" because hastily crafted
    Harald> rules did not fit the next situation to come along. I want
    Harald> the rules to be reasonable, and stable.  And I think
    Harald> making up rules while considering a specific unique case
    Harald> is harmful to such a process.

Perhaps.  However precident-based case law seems to work well for a
number of process systems.

    Harald> One point in closing:

    Harald> A PR-action, or a mailing list suspension, is NOT a
    Harald> punishment. Rules of order exist to protect the IETF's
    Harald> ability to do its work.

Here we completely agree.

I think I now understand the concerns you have.  I believe perhaps
from a position of hubris that the IESG can manage these risks.


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