Re: [Mtgvenue] I-D Action: draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-14.txt

Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com> Thu, 10 May 2018 02:27 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com>
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Date: Wed, 09 May 2018 22:27:24 -0400
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To: Andrew Sullivan <ajs@anvilwalrusden.com>
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Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] I-D Action: draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-14.txt
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On May 9, 2018, at 10:14 PM, Andrew Sullivan <ajs@anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:
>   o  Economic, safety, and health risks associated with this Venue are
>      acceptable.

The problem with that is that it's so vague that it can't be counted on to trigger action.   It's precisely what we have been doing up to now.   There is nothing here that would have eliminated Singapore, because there's no list of things to check.

There's a logical fallacy that applies to your response: because we can't perfectly solve the problem, we can't do anything to improve the situation.   The second doesn't follow from the first.   Imperfect solutions are better than not even trying.   So no, I am not suggesting doing spot checks two weeks before the meeting.   I am suggesting that at the time the venue is being evaluated, we check.   If between then and now a new mold problem crops up, oh well, we tried.   This means that sometimes we will try and fail, but if we never try, then those situations where an issue could have been prevented will also turn into failures, because we made no attempt at prevention.

Now, it may be that preventing mold problems just isn't important.   Maybe there really aren't enough IETF participants who would be excluded for that to matter.   Certainly people live their whole lives in Singapore and survive the experience somehow.   Well, until they don't, but we can't lay that at the feet of mold, presumably.   But the fact is that Singapore is actually an environment that can only really be safely lived in artificially—in the early 20th century Singapore suffered malaria pandemics, and the way they stopped that was by harshly modifying the environment.   

Ole implies that if we are going to meet in tropical environments like this, we have to accept mold; it would be equally valid to say that barring strong evidence that there isn't a mold issue, we should assume that venues in tropical locations will suffer from mold issues and not meet there.   Of course, the more restrictions we apply, the fewer venues will work for us, and maybe we should just stop doing in-person meetings anyway... :/