[arin-ppml] Suggestions for PDP improvement

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Thu Nov 10 18:51:08 EST 2011

On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 4:39 PM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:
> On Nov 10, 2011, at 4:27 PM, William Herrin wrote:
>> Charging a second member-elected body not with shepherding policy
>> ideas through the process but instead actively developing it created a
>> past couple weeks' sorry mess is just the latest example.
>  Are
>  you asserting that having the ARIN AC both lead the
>  development and make the recommendations on policies
>  presents a greater conflict of interest than just their
>  duty to recommend policies?


I am.

>  If you are doing so, and
>  pointing to 2011-1 as an example, then please let me
>  know asap (privately if desired) if you feel that any
>  ARIN AC members are acting out of interests other than
>  to the ARIN community at large.

If I could offer an example of OVERT corruption I'd call for the
person's head instead of merely criticizing the process. As near as I
can figure the folks on the AC are fundamentally good people.

Conflicts of interest don't magically make good people perfidious. But
they do distort decision making processes. They give you a sense of
entitlement where there is none, as in a couple of Bill Darte's recent
posts. They cause you to reject and dismiss critical feedback even as
you beg folks to offer it.

It's like with my boss back when I worked for the Democratic National
Committee. Unlike me, he wasn't a direct employee. He was tasked to us
under contract with a company where he was a founder. And our
department gave that company a lot of work.

He realized there was a conflict of interest. And he was good man. Not
one penny of work went to that company at his direction. And each
direct DNC employee above him who authorized work by that company did
so with full knowledge of his position. He religiously isolated
himself from decisions that could be corrupt. Yet at the end of the
year our department had not decided to tread a different path than his
company's on any matter of importance. Not. Even. Once.

That's the insidious nature of a conflict of interest.

>> AC members can't "not be" ISP industry experts. And we wouldn't want
>> them to if they could. The alternative is what we found in the IRPEP:
>> they don't write ARIN policy as a group. Instead, they help
>> individuals (including themselves) write and bring forward those
>> individual's policy proposals.
>  You realize that the change occurred intentionally, with the
>  result being better and clearer policy.

Ironically, the PDP exhibited its achievement in the PPM presentation
of draft 2011-1.

I was around for the tail end of the IRPEP. I remember the final
straws of confused and conflicting policy proposals where it was
difficult to determine what one was consenting to or opposing. Where
good ideas fell into limbo as the authors lost interest or refused to
embrace a wider audience. 2011-1 being one of the notable exceptions,
I'll grant that the average craftsmanship on the language has improved
under the PDP.

But you know what? If the problem with the IRPEP was poor language,
hire us a language tutor or two. Someone to walk authors through
crafting the policy language to say what the authors intend it to say.
That'll give us better, clearer policy without sacrificing the bottom
of the bottom up process.

>  I have no objection
>  to recommend to the ARIN Board changing it back but definitely
>  want to know that we're solving an actual problem by doing so.

The problem we're solving is the PDP's alienation of the people at the
bottom of the bottom-up process, the bottom which serves as the
foundation of ARIN's legitimacy.

Despite its faults, the IRPEP offered amazing, brilliant public access
to the process. A beacon in a night populated by the likes of ICANN
and the FCC. The PDP falls far short of it.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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