Re: [Last-Call] Question for the IESG (was: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins)

"Card, Stu" <> Fri, 07 October 2022 01:48 UTC

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From: "Card, Stu" <>
Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022 21:47:53 -0400
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To: John C Klensin <>
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Question for the IESG (was: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins)
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+1 to this post. My thinking is not precisely parallel, but similar.

IMO, we have 2 separate issues:
(1) unnecessarily interfering with the work;
(2) expressing unpopular opinions.
The 1st is a valid reason for making it more difficult for an individual
found to have done so, to continue to do so.
The 2nd is not (although questions re: appropriate forum for those opinions
are valid).

I share the reluctance, expressed in this post, to support an action that
appears based on both valid and invalid reasons, and I do not wish to
support censorship, even of opinions with which I may disagree.

I share the resentment, expressed by some in the context of this action, to
the politicization of this technical working organization, by any and all
who attempt it, whatever particular axes they wish to grind.

I freely admit to having read only a few of the many posts on this action,
as I find much of this distasteful and tedious.

Here is a short poem by Stephen Crane that sums up my personal attitude.

"Think as I think," said a man,
"Or you are abominably wicked;
You are a toad."
And after I had thought of it,
I said: "I will, then, be a toad."

-- Stu

On Thu, Oct 6, 2022, 18:02 John C Klensin <> wrote:

> IESG, hi.
> This question is semi-independent of any particular post in the
> last couple of weeks, but influenced by several of them.
> As I read it, Lars's note (and the copy last week) are about two
> things.  One is a very high level one that might be stated as
>          "given the community's cumulative impressions of his
>         postings, their content and style, and their effect on
>         the IETF being able to work effectively (including
>         avoiding driving people away) _and_ the history of his
>         being warned to dial it back, is a PR-action, possibly
>         with an explicit provision for review at the one year
>         point, justified?"
> The other is about some rather specific bad acts, particularly
> those about "expressing racism".  It appears to me that the
> community is divided about that subject and, in particular, the
> threshold of vocabulary and/or styles of argument needed to get
> from "used some vocabulary, arguments, or examples that can be
> interpreted as racist and/or that created some (possibly even
> considerable) discomfort" to "expressing racism" or, to say
> something that has been said in the discussions but the IESG
> note did not say, "he is a racist".
> So the question(s), which are very much about the relationship
> between "criteria described in BCP 83" and the IESG's Last Call
> posting:
> Is it possible to support the PR-action as described in the Last
> Call without endorsing all of the IESG's statement or the
> appropriateness of some of the examples?  If so, how should that
> be done in a way in which the concerns do not get lost?  In
> particular, if the IESG concludes that community consensus
> favors moving forward with the action itself, but that there is
> at least a significant minority (enough to make the consensus
> very rough) who are concerned about the IESG's reasoning, will
> that be reflected in whatever final statement the IESG makes on
> the matter and about its decision?
> I am asking because, while I think parts of it have been very
> helpful and should be considered going forward, I am probably at
> least as sick of the scale and tone of some of the discussion as
> I infer at least some IESG members are. I also agree with those
> who have suggested that parts of the discussion itself have been
> at least as unpleasant, divisive, and disruptive than anything
> Dan (or anyone else, at least anyone not in the leadership)
> could manage on their own.   I'm trying to lay the foundation
> for a way forward that is more closely focused on the rather
> specific criteria that I understand (and have understood since
> 2003-2004) BCP 83 to be about.  Or, to put it differently to
> allow asking if a PR-action against Dan is the right decision
> whether or not the IESG wrote the optimal description of why
> action should be taken and why.
> And, fwiw, if, for some of us including myself, endorsing the
> PR-action will be taken as an endorsement of the current IESG
> statement and the methods and reasons for getting to this point,
> then it might feel that the endorsement/ approval is too
> expensive in terms of, e.g., the precedents that might be set.
> I am sure some will feel that moving in that direction would be
> letting the IESG off the hook for some of what appears in the
> description Lars circulated, but I believe that the IETF would
> better off if we could treat that as a separate question,
> perhaps even one that, for some community members reflecting on
> some IESG members, should be discussed with the Nomcom.
> thanks,
>     john
> --
> last-call mailing list