Direction of this list

Rob Lanphier robla at
Mon Apr 22 00:54:11 PDT 1996

As you could probably tell, I don't have nearly as much time to
participate as I have had in the past.  I should be in bed now, but I
think I need to make the following points here:

*  The tone of some messages has been a tad nasty lately.  Email, for all
   of its strengths, has the effect of being cold and impersonal.  We need
   to make a genuine effort to understand one another.  Perhaps what we
   should do is schedule some informal one-on-one telephone conversations
   with one another, and then have a conference later (either a bona fide
   physical gathering or a large conference call).  It seems there are
   some philosophical rifts here that we should try to iron out before

*  I know everyone is in love with the idea of voting for things.  The
   problem is that if we get too bureaucratic, we are in danger of using
   all of our energy on administrivia.  I would love to see us come up
   with *something* for our efforts in terms of an educational document.
   If someone can write up a first draft of the election-methods-list FAQ,
   we could vote whether or not to approve the draft.  Then people can
   propose amendments, and we could vote to include those.  The point is
   to write-then-vote, as opposed to the vote-then-write methods that have
   been proposed.  I would rather we not get to the voting part than not
   get to the writing part.  Since our charter is to come up with
   educational docs, voting should be secondary (even though this is about

*  To be honest, despite my best efforts and my sincere desire to keep up
   with the current debates, I've found myself unable to.  My concern is
   that the only people that have benefited from these debates have been
   the participants, and that the sheer volume of messages has made it
   very difficult to follow the important points.  Could someone summarize
   the conclusions (if any) that have been made in the past week?  Perhaps
   if the major participants could *briefly* summarize the important
   points they made in the past week, we could all learn a little
   something here (if you do decide to summarize, remember that our email
   archive is available online at, and that you can
   refer people to the archive for more details).

I urge everyone to consider ways of using their own and others' time the
most constructively toward meeting the goals of this group (determining
the best methods of holding elections and educating people about those

Rob Lanphier
robla at

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