From: Bruce Young
Subject: RE: [ALSC-Forum] Benefits and goals of At-Large involvement
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 18:22:20 -0700
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Steve Magruder wrote:
>1) At-large member definition: Any human being with an Internet connection,
>email address and postal address. There should be verification of
>uniqueness of every member signed up. Confirmations to both postal address
>and email address should be sent (with passcodes) to verify validity of
>and their connection together.
Let's kill the "postal address" requirement. A homeless person can easily
have Internet access and a free, Web-based e-mail account, and may have
something meaningful to contribute. But won't have a postal address.
>2) Membership requirements/fees: Should be very nominal, if any.
I vote for "if any!"
>3) Positive repercussions with open membership: True democracy usually
>yields the best policy results. Having the capability of gathering the
>greatest ideas/ideals from all of humanity, while avoiding the brain-dead
>scheming of polticians merely acting "on their behalf" as elected dictators
>is a Good Thing (TM).
True! Although, with "one person, one vote" politicians ge a vote too! :)
>4) Negative repercussions: The technical/development challenges of enacting
>a true democracy. Also, keeping the membership involved continuously
>involves quite an effort with news, education and outreach.
This is the responsibility of any democracy. But by pushing most of it to
the mediam they are regulating (the Web! Duh!) these cost can be
>5) Member responsibilities: Direct involvement in decision-making. Period.
>The members should directly make all decisions, instead of an elitist Board
>(IMHO, members who don't have the time to actively participate can choose
>proxies who vote on their behalf). I can't say off-hand what the best
>for this "direct democracy" should be, but I strongly believe that if such
>body of active members were assembled, it would serve as a great model of
>democracy for the twenty-first century and beyond. There have been several
>books written on how to go about establishing a "Constitutional Direct
>Democracy." ICANN is the IDEAL "guinea-pig" for these ideas.
>6) Funding: Look into orgs like Soros' Open Society Institute
>(http://www.soros.org/osi.html) for fund sourcing.
Not familiar wit that. I'll check it out.
>7) Would a fee prevent participation from developing countries: In a word,
>yes. That's why there must be a strong attempt to keep the member fee as
>low as possible, if not $0. You also have to consider that citizens in
>developing countries will already find it very difficult to attain Internet
>access in the first place. Let's not make it even harder for them to
>participate in this world forum.
Agreed. But Bill Gates got this right: lets delay "fixing" the digital
divide in the Thrid World until we have ensured they have food to eat!
8) Would fees only encourage the committed and informed to participate? I'm
sure it's widely agreed that "cover charges" and the like keep out the
"riff-raff". However, there's other, more democratic ways to separate the
wheat from the chaff in a global forum.
The only problem here is: who decides who the "riff-raff" are?! Better to
let all voices speak: the community will promote those it trusts from within
the ranks and appoint them their spokespersons.
9) Should membership fees be scaled?
My answer: "what membership fees?" :)
Team Lead, Advanced Desktop Services, Nike Program
Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications