Re: "We did not know" is not a good excuse

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Thu, 07 April 2016 07:53 UTC

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Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2016 03:53:08 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: dcrocker@bbiw.net, adrian@olddog.co.uk, ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Re: "We did not know" is not a good excuse
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--On Wednesday, April 06, 2016 19:19 -0700 Dave Crocker
<dhc@dcrocker.net>; wrote:

> On 4/6/2016 4:34 PM, Adrian Farrel wrote:
>> How do we move on so:
> ...
>> - this problem does not recur
> 
> 
> What you probably do not mean is 'we do not go to Singapore
> again.
> 
> What you probably /do/ mean is that further venue selections
> avoid places that effectively serve to exclude participation
> by various constituencies.  Or at least, that is what I hope
> you mean, because it has broader utility.
> 
> So I'll repeat what I said at the virtual microphone:
> 
>     If the community wishes meeting venue selection to refrain
> from choosing specific places, the community needs to develop
> that list.
> 
> Anything less specific leaves too much to interpretation,
> which guarantees that similar errors will recur.

Dave,

Thanks for clarifying.  I agreed with what I thought you said at
the virtual microphone.   I disagree with the above.

If the issue is "come up with firm criteria, including what
issues are showstoppers", then I think that is a
nearly-reasonable expectation.   I would still expect the IAOC
to do some diligent investigation and propose a list for
community discussion, just as we have similar expectations for
WGs, but I think some list could be developed.  

FWIW, I think the "showstopper" idea borrows heavily from what
Pete had to say last night.   If the community decides that some
conditions (or lack thereof, make a particular venue, city, or
country unacceptable,  I don't think the community should hear
about how the 1-1-1 rule, or whatever replaces it, required
making tradeoffs or balancing issues.   Put differently, I see
that "rule" as more of a guideline: if we cannot find acceptable
venues in a particular region without compromising important
principles, then we go to that region less often (or even not at
all), not drop those principles in the interest of balance.

And, as others have said, this is precisely why some of us have
been very concerned about the lack of openness, transparency,
and meaningful consultation by the Meetings Committee and IAOC.

On the other hand, if you meant, as the quoted text above seems
to indicate, that the community needs to come up with a list of
banned "specific places", with the Meetings Committee treating
everywhere else as OK, I think that is an unreasonable
expectation.  Not only do I think the community expects the
Meetings Committee and IAOC to do the research and be
consultative (see Adrian's notes) but, if the only firm rule is
"specific excluded places" and everything else is "a balance",
with balancing factors sorted out in secrecy, then it seems to
me that our history suggests that "1-1-1" or "nice vacation spot
for spouses and families" is likely to outweigh what I hope most
of us would agree are important principles.

best,
     john

p.s. I think the question about Singapore is not "do we go back
a second time" but "do we go at all".  However long and painful
the contract negotiation process was, the costs of renegotiating
or extricating ourselves _are_ a matter of tradeoffs or
"balance".  Of course, it is probably impossible to predict what
the state of their laws, and enforcement of those laws, might be
a year and a half out, but that is at least as much an argument
against suggestions that we should be working even more than
three years out than it is that going to a place with odious
laws and a history of brutal enforcement of what they choose to
enforce is a matter of "balancing" assorted factors.