[ppml] ARIN participation (was: Proposed Policy: IPv6 HD rati o)

Jeff Williams jwkckid1 at ix.netcom.com
Thu May 12 03:36:39 EDT 2005

Owen and all,

  I know much of the history, yet I am often by some on this
forum, chastized,  admonished, or otherwise called names,
for speaking up or presenting a different view.
Of course you Owen have been very respectful and I appreciate
that very much...

Owen DeLong wrote:

> At the risk of being declared industry elite, I'll second what Bill says
> below.  Don't worry about speaking up not knowing the history.  Someone will
> explain it to you.
> I remember in the latter half of 2003 when some folks from AfriNIC proposed
> policy 2003-15.  It provided for specific microassignments for Africa
> without relief for North America.  I took great offense, and, a long
> debate ensued.  I think I was public enemy number one for many of the
> African ISPs on the list for some time.  Later, I came to realize that
> they were unaware of proposal 2002-3 and the history of efforts for
> microassignment policy in ARIN.  At that point, we were able to come to
> mutual understanding and agreement.  Both 2002-3 and 2003-15 achieved
> consensus with broad support in North America  and Africa.  Now, 2003-15
> is about to be retired because of the success in getting AfriNIC up and
> running, largely due to the efforts of these bold individuals.
> Speak up.  It may not be comfortable, it may not be easy, but, in the end,
> speaking tends to work better than silence.  I suspect neither 2002-3 or
> 2003-15 would have achieved success without the understanding we achieved
> through that debate.
> Owen
> --On Wednesday, May 11, 2005 12:31 PM -0500 Bill Darte
> <billd at cait.wustl.edu> wrote:
> > Matt,
> >
> > Channeling Lee Howard....thanks for your contribution to this discussion
> > and your involvement.
> > Those on the edge who may feel like newcomers should still voice there
> > opinions and perspectives as ARIN is as much their organization as that of
> > any other participant.
> >
> > bd
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> It's an annoying but common feature of human nature to not bother
> >> with things that are perceived to be working just fine, or perceived
> >> to have a high bar of entry (either in required experience or
> >> skill).  Also, people are lazy.
> >>
> >> We have a similar problem with participation here at CIRA, where
> >> domain holders act in many ways like shareholders in the company..
> >> running for and voting for our board, voting on annual financial
> >> statements, etc.  The members have a huge say in how the
> >> organization
> >> is run, yet with over half a million domains out there we
> >> have a hard
> >> time making quorum for our annual general meeting.  As Bill Darte
> >> noted, just look at the American and Canadian electoral processes..
> >> even with millions of dollars going into advertising specifically
> >> designed to get people to vote, a significant number of people just
> >> don't bother.
> >>
> >> The subject of participation at meetings came up in Reston.. in the
> >> Policy Proposal BoF, I believe.  One major thread of the
> >> conversation
> >> revolved around the perception by newcomers that there is a great
> >> deal of history (both technical and political) in most discussions,
> >> as well as a need for a significant amount of operational experience
> >> in order to understand all the nuances and potential side-effects of
> >> any one suggestion or decision.  The two combine to make it
> >> difficult
> >> to feel comfortable adding one's voice.
> >>
> >> Personally, as someone who operates a small network on the edge, I
> >> just don't have operational experience on the same scale of many of
> >> those who participate in meetings or on PPML.  Also, as a relative
> >> newcomer to the ARIN scene, I'm unaware of discussions that may have
> >> already taken place eliminating particular solutions or avenues.
> >> That makes it difficult to feel comfortable commenting, or making
> >> suggestions... it's just too easy to commit some sort of
> >> gaffe.  As a
> >> result, I tend to limit my comments to subjects where I do have
> >> significant operational expertise, such as with the DNS or with
> >> whois. ... and I'm not even the proverbial geek introvert.  I
> >> gathered from the discussion at Reston that there are many others
> >> with similar reasons for lurking.
> >>
> >> I'm not sure there's an easy solution.
> >>
> >> Creating a new mailing list certainly isn't going to do it... if the
> >> members were going to participate in a mailing list just because it
> >> exists, they'd participate here or on arin-discuss.  If I'm reading
> >> between the lines correctly, it seems the suggestion is based on the
> >> notion of mandatory subscription, which I don't think will
> >> fly... and
> >> not just because people will revolt if you tell them they /have/ to
> >> accept e-mail from you.   In my experience, people don't participate
> >> on mailing lists because there just isn't time.  I can spend
> >> a couple
> >> hours a day just keeping up with ARIN and NANOG, and the only reason
> >> my boss allows that to continue is because I've convinced him
> >> it's in
> >> our best interests as a part of the infrastructure to know what's
> >> going on.
> >>
> >> Of course we want more people to participate, but I think it's
> >> incorrect to suggest there's something wrong with having experienced
> >> people (not only operationally experienced, but more importantly
> >> experienced with the community that is ARIN) on the AC or the BoT.
> >> As has already been noted in this thread, and as is noted at every
> >> meeting, these people do not make or break policy -- they oversee
> >> process, and rubber stamp the decisions of the community.  I think
> >> it's important that a significant number of the people doing those
> >> jobs be very familiar with ARIN, its processes, and the nuances of
> >> its community.
> >>
> >> I haven't proposed any solutions here, but hopefully I've provided
> >> some insight into why a participation problem exists.  I don't have
> >> any good suggestions, since marketing just isn't my forte,
> >> but I will
> >> note that all cases where I've seen the public respond to
> >> requests to
> >> participate, it has been at the expense of a significant
> >> amount of cash.
> >>
> >> Matt Pounsett
> >>
> --
> If it wasn't crypto-signed, it probably didn't come from me.
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Jeffrey A. Williams
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