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[Membership] Re: Effective meetings, past and future


My thoughts in brief reaction--

1.  Your voice has been raised early and often in this process.  I've
personally assisted you in this, both in reproducing and distributing your
paper at our membership workshop and in linking to it from our site.

2.  In a synchronous space like a plenary session of our workshop, one
person's speaking precludes someone else's speaking.  A continued harangue
is thus itself a form of censorship.  (Had someone come up to the mic to
long-windedly and repeatedly say "I love ICANN, I think it's a great
idea!," I'd have cut that person off, too.)

3.  I similarly objected to your practice of hissing loudly when you
disagreed with something you heard at our workshop.  This is not because I
agreed with the points that earned your hiss.

4.  I know there's no way you and I will come to agreement on whether your
behavior at our meeting was appropriate, but I regret that you insist on
seeing our difference of view here as some Nazi-esque conspiracy to squelch
you.  Too often the comments on these lists literally devolve into people
labeling themselves good guys and others evil Nazis (and, ironically,
calling others demagogues).

5.  I've been on the internet for about seventeen years.  I love it,
particularly its enabling of dialogue among people who would never have
readily met--or conversed--in the physical world.  Sometimes it seems, and
you've said, that you respect that feature of it too.  (Indeed, I think
that's what part of what you say you were trying to get across when you
were cut off at the workshop.)  I can't tell you how to write your messages
(and I'm sure you wouldn't listen!), but at least for me ones like the one
you just sent don't encourage greater dialogue or understanding.


Jon Zittrain
Harvard Law School
Executive Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Lecturer on Law
+ 1 617 495 4643
+ 1 617 495 7641 (fax)