Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY

John C Klensin <> Wed, 11 February 2015 21:53 UTC

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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 16:53:07 -0500
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Loa Andersson <>,
Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom ELEGIBILITY
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--On Wednesday, February 11, 2015 20:48 +0800 Loa Andersson
<> wrote:

> John,
>> Let me turn this question around, introducing a possibility
>> that we have no way to measure but that anyone who watches
>> meetings carefully knows happens.  Suppose a hypothetical
>> individual, Elmer, attended all of IETF 89, 90, and 91.  His
>> definition of "attended" consists of signing up, paying the
>> registration fee, showing up at the registration desk to
> Why would Elmer ever put his name into the NomCom election?
> Wouldn't
> that be committing to do real work?

Remember there is an epidemic disease in a number of standards
bodies in which the people whom some companies send to those
bodies are not only the group whom Marshall Rose famously
referred to a "go-ers" but are chosen from  the ranks of folks
who aren't much good for anything else but are too hard to get
rid of.   Those folks are often expected to serve the function
of acting to protect the company against Something Bad happening
in the standards body and are doing their jobs as long as Bad
things don't occur or they provide early warning. Some of the
companies who play those games have not yet figured out that the
IETF isn't one of those standards bodies (or have forgotten, or
think the IETF should be made into one of them).

That role is entirely consistent with "Elmer" -- loosely
watching a WG or two of interest but not actually doing much of
anything, certainly not contributing technically (which might be
outside his skill set anyway).

But, if the company has decided that it is desirable to have
people on the Nomcom who will reliably support the company's
agenda (which might be to get company employees or others
sympathetic to the company and its products on the IESG or IAB),
then telling Elmer to volunteer would be an entirely reasonable
move.   He can presumably follow directions, he is useless for
any of the company's actual technical work (so the opportunity
cost of committing him to the Nomcom is zero), and, if he isn't
terribly helpful to the Nomcom's work, that might be a problem
for the Nomcom and the community, but isn't a problem for either
Elmer or his organization.