Humming can be superior to "show of hands"

Jacob Palme <jpalme@DSV.SU.SE> Thu, 15 July 1999 08:20 UTC

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Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 20:07:13 +0200
From: Jacob Palme <jpalme@DSV.SU.SE>
Subject: Humming can be superior to "show of hands"

The ITU chairman at the on-going IETF meeting in Oslo (July
1999) expressed surprise at the humming, and said that a
show of hands was more what he was accustomed to. 

However, humming is actually a voting tool which allows a
more versatile show of opinions than a show of hands. Those
who are very sure of their opinions, can hum louder. Those
who are not so sure, can hum less loudly. The hums will
then automatically be totalled in such a way that the loud
hums are given higher weight than the less loud hums. This
is important in an organisation like IETF, because the
people who come to a working group meeting have very
variable expertise on the topic of the group. 

Of course, there is no way of stopping someone who does not
understand the issues, but who still hums loudly. So
humming also has some drawbacks.
Jacob Palme <> (Stockholm University and KTH)
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