[Linux-aus] vision for LA: pleasing everyone?

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Fri Jan 9 15:35:02 UTC 2004

On Fri, 9 Jan 2004 10:42, Anthony Towns wrote:
> Dude, the committee is meant to do whatever it takes to work with
> it's members, not to demand its members work in the way that's most
> convenient for it.

True at face value, but as with most things moderation is necessary. As 
you will no doubt discover if you're elected. (-;

If the Committee were to try to please everybody, it would get nowhere. 
We'd have to please Anthony Towns, and Jeff Waugh, and Bret Busby, and 
David Lloyd, and if you can't see a problem intrinsic to even those few 
names taken together as a set, however valuable they are individually, 
then I recommend taking some quiet time to think about it. In the 
immortal words of Herbert Bayard Swope:

    I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give you
    the formula for failure - which is: try to please everybody.

I can also give you another smartassed but valuable quote from Lester 
Thurow which applies equally to the Committee and those seeking to 
change it:

    A competitive world has two possibilities for you: you can
    lose or, if you want to win, you can change.

Open Source offers a third alternative: you can exercise your talents 
for and obtain support for your weaknesses from the community, instead 
of fighting it.

Many large corporations haven't learned that lesson yet, and may fly 
into the ground because of it. LA Committee demonstrated that it had 
learned that lesson when it voluntarily underwent revolution last year, 
changed, threw itself on the mercy of the community, and after that 
trial by ordeal only one of their number remained (those complaining 
about honourary life memberships might want to keep that self-sacrifice 
in mind, as might those complaining about conspiracies).

I'm sure that actions this drastic will be necessary every so often, but 
if it happens again this year, please keep Pia Smith and Andrew Cowie 
where they are, plus if you must replace Anand<*> Kumria then at least 
choose someone careful like Mark Tearle to replace him with rather than 
making a locality- or politically-based decision. I also think you'd be 
crazy to axe Stewart Smith, who is currently putting a lot of time and 
effort directly into improving LA's software and political 
infrastructure (and exostructure). That leaves me, happy as an OCM but 
well aware of the breath-taking calibre of some of the people nominated 
for the seat, and two empty pews where Hugh and Tridge once were.

I also feel impelled to warn incoming nominees that they will be 
expected to land running. Your first official act following election is 
scheduled for lunchtime on Friday. (-: The time to read the org docs 
and minutes is *now* :-)

Cheers; Leon

OT footnote:
<*> I must confess to having taken a year to start pronouncing our
    esteemed Treasurer's name right. By default, I said it like
    an-and, but IRL it's closer to arn'nd. Anand doesn't seem to
    have been too upset by it, as I'm not too perturbed when someone
    calls me Neil (why Niel? shrug) instead of Leon, nevertheless
    it irks me that I haven't noticed and corrected it earlier.
    Sorry Anand!

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia

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