Re: IAOC requesting input on (potential) meeting cities

<nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com> Sat, 15 April 2017 15:22 UTC

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Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:22:10 +0000 (UTC)
From: <nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com>
Reply-To: <nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com>
To: Christian Hopps <chopps@chopps.org>, Michael Richardson <mcr+ietf@sandelman.ca>
Cc: <ietf@ietf.org>
Message-ID: <2058830378.1115716.1492269730755@mail.yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: IAOC requesting input on (potential) meeting cities
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 Christian Hopps <chopps@chopps.org> wrote:
 
 >> Whenever I read messages that advocate for switching to remote only
 >> meetings, I have to wonder, are those people just not getting what I
 >> get out of f2f meetings? I find the meetings invaluable for the reasons
 >> you list above.
 
> Oh, I get it completely!
> And there is a fax effect on f2f meetings.  This is why we are willing to put up with the hassle of travel in the first place.
 
 > My argument is as follows:  if a significant number of people can not attend in person due to visa, travel, etc. issues, then the value of the meeting declines.   The people that we
 > interact with a high bandwidth become the same set of people who can get through.  Our views become myopic.
 
> So in the case where we can not have everyone in the same place, then it would be fairer to have "everyone" remote.
 
 I wonder.  People have been talking a good deal about how in the US we cluster with like minded people.   So, in some ways, clustering in remote hubs in place of the larger meeting reinforces this effect.

I suspect that with all remote hubs, we will connect / pay attention to people we know already at other remote hubs.   But, we got to know them probably by f2f meetings.  So, this makes the barrier to entry to real participation in the IETF that much higher.

I know that in India, at one of the universities, there have been remote hubs with hundreds of students.  But, they were observers not really participants.  Still, I suspect we don't know who they were, what they thought or any of it.

I wonder if a more global rotation of f2f meetings to places where we don't normally go to and where some regulars will be uncomfortable because of in your face poverty, maybe food you don't like so much, and the rest of it is closer to the answer.   

IMHO, we are in a situation where many countries are in a bit of turmoil, including the formerly stable-ish U.S., U.K., etc.     I suspect this will take a while to settle down.   I understand Mr. Trump has already raised money for his re-election bid.   In some ways, I feel that now we are experiencing what many other people have long experienced in their own countries (or even parts of the U.S.) that is, an environment that is not necessarily of their own choosing.   But, we have to make the best of it.   I suspect it will not be over soon.   It is also not clear how much is bluster and what will actually change.  

Having said that, for many reasons, being OK with being uncomfortable in a f2f meeting to achieve a higher goal may not be all bad.   When I was young, I lived at the edge of the bush in Africa for two years.   I had no running water.   My only "media" contact was BBC on the shortwave radio after 10pm.   It was two of the happiest years of my life.   One thing I learned is that many things you think you need, you don't.   And, it is all worth it for the learning and understanding you gain of others.

Nalini