Re: Petition for referendum

On Wed, 2005-28-09 at 17:55 -0500, Shaun McCance wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-09-28 at 16:37 -0600, Andreas J. Guelzow wrote:
> > On Wed, 2005-28-09 at 18:26 -0400, Jonathan Blandford wrote:
> > > > 
> > > > However, the board didn't agree on even having a referendum this evening 
> > > > (this is the problem which reducing board size will fix).
> > > 
> > > That's not a fair characterization, Dave.  
> > 
> > Perhaps Dave's statement is a very appropriate statement. Shrinking the
> > board size to a single dictator would make sure that decisions will be
> > made unanimously.
> > 
> > I would also agree that shrinking the board size but retaining a few
> > members will likely result in less dissent on the board.
> > 

> And I, in turn, don't think that's a fair characterization of
> David's statement.  Here, I'll use your trick on your statement:
> Having a smaller board means less dissent and the ability to make
> faster decisions.  Since dissent is simply a natural expression of
> the differing viewpoints in the community, we want to maximize it
> whenever possible.  Thus, we should grow the board size to its
> current limit, currently all ~365 members.
> Ridiculous.  Nearly every argument a human could make could be
> taken to some absurd extreme.  I'd expect a mathematician not
> to make such a blatant fallacy.

No. The only way Dave's statement "this is the problem which reducing
board size will fix" is correct is when one reduces the board size to
one member. Otherwise you may always still have disagreement. 

The suggestion is to reduce the relatively small board to an even
smaller number. There may be reason for and against this proposal, but
if it is the stated intend to fix the "problem" that the board cannot
agree on something I think everybody ought to be worried.

> There are clearly pros and cons on all ends.  Larger groups can
> produce and defend a wider variety of viewpoints.  Smaller groups
> can avoid filibustering and METOOing.  My personal experience is
> that larger groups tend to be less efficient.  Cooks, broth, etc.
> It's not an issue of wresting control from the community.  It's
> an issue of finding the right balance given the trade-offs and
> the dynamic of the group.

In view of Dave's statement it appears to me that the point is to make
the board small enough to avoid dissent. 


Prof. Dr. Andreas J. Guelzow
Dept. of Mathematical & Computing Sciences
Concordia University College of Alberta

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