[EM] Noise (Was: Credentials?)

RLSuter at aol.com RLSuter at aol.com
Sat Jan 20 13:06:59 PST 2007

Ken Kuhlman wrote, quoting and replying to Abd ul-Rahman Lomax:

>>> Does anyone have experience with Nabble, or know of other reasonable
>>> solutions to this problem?  It's time we stop pretending the problem
>>> doesn't exist.
>> At this stage, there is a simple solution. I've got the flu today and
>> a headache, so I don't have the strength to look at Nabble. But,
>> quite simply, the group should have an active moderator with the
>> power to put a member who is disruptive to the list, causing harm,
>> defined, if necessary, by vote.
> I'm sorry to be so harsh, but "I don't have time to think about your
> suggestion, so I'm just going to tell you what I've already decided"
> isn't good enough.

You aren't being harsh at all. In fact, to say that Lomax's response
"isn't good enough" is putting it mildly. There is no excuse at all,
not the flu or anything else, for dismissing one idea and asserting
the superiority of an alternative idea without so much as looking
at the first one.

Unfortunately, this is a tactic Lomax has used frequently on this list,
which is why I, and I suspect many other people on this list, can't
take him very seriously and don't bother even to look at most of his
posts. Despite his authoritative sounding statements about Robert's
Rules of Order, for example, Lomax also has never bothered (as
evidenced by earlier misstatements about them he has made) to
learn very much about the history of those rules or of the many
criticisms of them that have been expressed by other people, nor
has he bothered to inform himself of the many alternatives to those
rules that have been proposed by people who have addressed--
far more carefully and conscientiously than he has--the difficult
problem of how to organize meetings and discussions in the
fairest and most productive possible ways.

One of the most recent examples of the latter is "Breaking
Robert's Rules: The New Way to Run Your Meeting, Build
Consensus, and Get Results" by Lawrence E. Susskind and
Jeffrey Cruikshank (Oxford U. Press, 2006). Susskind, the
lead author, is a professor at MIT as well as head of the
Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School. Neither
that book (which I've read) nor any other can be said to be
the last word on the subject, but it does certainly prove that
Lomax has much more to learn about the subject than he
evidently thinks he does.

-Ralph Suter

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list