Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input

Brian E Carpenter <> Sat, 21 May 2016 21:00 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
To: John C Klensin <>,
References: <> <> <> < om> <> <> <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
Organization: University of Auckland
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Date: Sun, 22 May 2016 09:00:05 +1200
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On 22/05/2016 08:13, John C Klensin wrote:
> Jordi,
> I am almost completely in agreement with Ted's comment and
> summary which are, I think, exceptionally reasonable and
> well-balanced.

I agree, but I also agree with Jordi. The main reason for having
a diversity policy is ethical and moral, but there's also a 'business'
reason - making use of everybody's talents to the maximum - and that
surely is the fundamental reason for the whole site selection policy
anyway. It certainly isn't providing tourist and vacation opportunities
for family members. So...


> In particular, "nice place to bring family or companion(s)" is
> either a selection criterion or it isn't.  I'm not talking about
> where it is in the list of priorities and tradeoffs; I'm talking
> about whether or not it is on the list.

It could be on the list if we believe that it has a significant
impact on attendance and therefore on financial viability. But
that's surely secondary to 'getting the work done' and 'getting the
best range of people to the meeting'.

> If it is on the list,
> then I think there is an absolute responsibility on the Meetings
> Committee and IAOC to select only those locations where everyone
> in the community who is inclined to bring non-participants along
> can do so.   No one gets to say (I don't think you have, but a
> few others have come close) "It is ok if your particular family
> doesn't feel comfortable coming because our main priority is
> getting work done".  Either "nice for companions" is a criterion
> or it isn't and, if it is, then it needs to apply to _all_
> plausible companions.

Certainly, if we consider it, even as a secondary criterion, it needs
to have a non-discriminatory effect, for moral, ethical *and* business

> As to Singapore, if the conclusion is that we should hold IETF
> 100 there (or that we can't plausibly extricate ourselves), I'm
> strongly drawn to the suggestion I think I heard Ted make at the
> plenary, that, out of respect for his situation and that of
> others, _no one_ should bring a family or other companions to
> Singapore.

I'm not sure how realistic that is, but I can no longer resist a comment
that may be politically incorrect but to my mind shows how complex this
discussion could easily get.

I love Chicago. But some stupidity in the US system means that citizens
there are now able to carry concealed guns pretty much anywhere anytime.
I will no longer feel comfortable there next time I visit. I'm not
sure I'd want to bring family members to such a dangerous environment
(and the same went for the last meeting in Dallas). So by your logic,
no_one should bring family or a companion to IETF 98.


> Not only is that a way to show support, but the
> economic impact, even if not huge, is one of the few ways that
> an unambiguous "you need to reconsider the acceptability of your
> laws if you want to continue to be an international go-to site"
> message can be sent even if the meeting is not cancelled.  In
> particular, I believe that the community should send a strong
> message to members of the IAOC, IESG, IAB, Meetings Committee,
> Nomcom, and ISOC and Secretariat staffs that they are not
> allowed to bring _their_ families or companions to a meeting in
> Singapore.  In addition to the sign of respect, that seems to me
> one way to create some institutional memory on this subject --
> it should not have been treated as a new issue when Singapore
> was being selected, but "we" seem to forget these things until
> there are loud complaints, apologize and try to make
> adjustments, and then forget them again.
> best, 
>    john
> Disclaimer: I realized in checking Nomcom eligibility
> requirements that I haven't been f2f to any of the last five
> IETF meetings.  More important to this particular issue, the
> people I might be inclined to bring along discovered that the
> schedule and pace I keep up during IETF makes me no fun to be
> around at all, so the closest they get anymore involves showing
> up after the meeting ends or leaving before it starts (and we
> haven't done that in years).    So I am not significantly
> affected personally by any of this, but that does not prevent me
> from feeling quite strongly that the IETF needs to have its
> criteria straight and to evaluate sites against those criteria
> in ways that are equally fair to all participants.  We need to
> do that not only as a matter of equity and respect because doing
> otherwise does affect the quality and credibility of our work.