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

Eliot Lear <> Mon, 23 May 2016 09:40 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
To: Ted Hardie <>
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From: Eliot Lear <>
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Date: Mon, 23 May 2016 11:40:24 +0200
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On 5/23/16 10:31 AM, Ted Hardie wrote:
> On Sun, May 22, 2016 at 11:18 AM, Eliot Lear <
> <>> wrote:
>     Hi Ted,
>     Put more bluntly: there will *always* be some group who is at
>     least inconvenienced and at most prohibited from attending a meeting.
> A commitment to inclusiveness is something that takes work.  If you
> give up on it /ab initio /as impossible, it is not a principle, it is
> window dressing. 

You have, however inadvertently, taken a single sentence out of context
and distorted the meaning of my message.  I wrote in that same message:

> Quite frankly barring a location itself is a form of exclusion,
> especially when taking into account economics.  It may be an
> *appropriate* exclusion if going there means that many others would be
> excluded.  Kathleen and Suresh, and later Dave and Narelle, have made
> clear that diversity/inclusiveness is a broad notion.  Gender, sexual
> preference, and nationality are all listed in Fred's draft, as is
> religion. {...}

And this:

> What I find worrying is that we may end up foreclosing participation
> to new members because of their governments' laws.  They need to be
> considered in this discussion, and thus far it feels as though they
> have not been, and often aren't.  That is particularly problematic
> because it risks the future of this organization, which isn't growing
> very quickly, to begin with.

And so, it's a matter of who we decide to exclude, and the impact that
will have on the future of this organization.  The only question is
whether we will make those decisions consciously and conscientiously or
not.  Based on the criteria discussed up thread, if you seek such a
rigid standard,  you will exclude fair access to engineers from some of
the largest and most populous countries on the planet, including India,
China, most of Japan, and by the way South Korea, all but one of those
places we have already visited.  These people are not simply going to
evaporate if we don't accept their participation, but rather they will
find other avenues to acceptance of their work.  At the same time,
critics will say that the IETF is a western endeavor that promotes only
western values and not a truly international organization.  This,
itself, is a form of fragmenting of the Internet.