[Nanog-futures] Transition update

Jay Hennigan jay at west.net
Wed Jun 2 09:09:29 UTC 2010

On 6/2/10 12:08 AM, Jo Rhett wrote:
> On May 28, 2010, at 1:44 PM, Jay Hennigan wrote:
>> I'm beginning to feel a lot like a mushroom.  Am I alone in this perception?
> Then perhaps you should stop standing in a pile of **** ?   

The **** wasn't there when I stood here on April 14, it was piled on in
the form of an email on April 15.

> I myself, am getting fairly tired of people coming back in months later and demanding answers as to why they themselves weren't personally served with overnight mail from a bunny-suited courier explaining that they should be paying attention.

I asked for answers following the rather bizarre announcement
pronouncing a done deal which was followed almost immediately by a
statement from Merit that Merit was not consulted and did not think that
it was a good idea.

This was not months later, as the first announcement that I can find
archived was dated April 15.  (I thought that perhaps it was 14 days
late).  My initial query was the same day.

This was followed two days later with a FAQ without very many As to the
Qs.  For example, "Why now?" is answered with "Why not now?"  My
follow-up was that same day.  Not months later at all.

The FAQ claims "complete consensus" but the Merit member of the
committee states that Merit was not consulted and doesn't think it is a
good idea.

> Comment for everyone who just started paying attention, not just Jay:
> You got an e-mail on this very same mailing list, just like the rest of us.   The fact that you didn't choose to pay attention to it does not mean that anyone else failed to do their job notifying you.

I paid attention to it.  I asked for details.  So did others.  Very
little has been forthcoming.

>From what I can see on the list archives and the FAQ:

An informal meeting was held of the SC.  No minutes were taken.  A
decision was made to rather drastically alter the structure of NANOG.
"Complete consensus" and "unanimous" were stated.  This was denied by
Merit which has a member on the SC.

>From all of the public announcements, as far as I can tell no corporate
structure yet exists.  Non-profit status has not yet been established.
No bylaws yet exist.  The members of the committee plan to appoint
themselves to be the board of directors.

I do *NOT* deny that separation from Merit *MAY* be a good thing.  I
*DO* question the manner in which it is being handled and the apparent
lack of both planning and openness.

* Kept in the dark:  No minutes, no detail, "Why not now" type of answers.

* Fed natural organic fertilizer:  "Unanimous" and "Complete consensus"
denied immediately by representatives of the existing corporation.

Yes, I still feel somewhat like a mushroom.

If I'm an idiot for not keeping up to date, please point me to the
public archives of the discussions leading up to this and the reasons
justifying the urgency of the action, preferably with more detail than
"Why not?", and I will publicly acknowledge my stupidity.

The only response with anything of substance made reference to issues
with scheduling and Merit paid staff but was vague and claimed a lack of
openness due to "[G]reat sensitivity, vis a vis Merit", and this was
from someone who was not a member of the committee and advised them
after the fact.

I'm not a politician, I don't play one on TV, and I don't really want to
be one.  I enjoy NANOG primarily as an excellent technical resource.
>From my attendance at meetings (only two to date, I will be at NANOG49),
I saw no hint of a need for severing ties to Merit or any conflict prior
to April 15 of this year.

So it's true that I haven't been privy to turf wars between NANOG
committee people and Merit paid staff, scheduling problems etc.  Perhaps
these issues are indeed serious enough to pull the plug unilaterally
against Merit's recommendation.  Perhaps it is just a personal issue
between one or two Merit people and one or two NANOG committee people
that could be resolved.  I don't know.  Perhaps I'm the only one who has
attended NANOG that doesn't know, but I doubt it.

If the differences in direction between NANOG committee members and
Merit's vision for NANOG are indeed so great that severance is the best
option, and I'm not saying that this isn't the case, then I would
suggest that both Merit's vision and the committee's vision be spelled
out in detail and those differences defined so that the community can
make an informed decision as to which vision best suits the community.

In my opinion this would include:

* Taking minutes at the meeting(s) where these differences are defined
and the decision to consider severance is made.

* Publishing those minutes and informing Merit of these specific
differences before making a unilateral decision to sever and presenting
it to the world as a done deal.

* Giving Merit an opportunity to respond and perhaps modify their
direction and/or give the committee more authority in those areas where
they feel it is lacking.

* If the differences can't be worked out, actually having a business
plan and corporate structure ready for presentation to the community to
be accepted as part of the process of separation from Merit.

This would be more acceptable to me as a community member than:

"As a committee, in an informal meeting, we all decided to dump Merit
and go it alone, right now. (Why not?)  We aren't yet incorporated, we
don't have bylaws yet, we don't have 501(c) status, we don't know where
we will be headquartered, we don't have a business plan, and we've
appointed ourselves the Board of Directors.  P.S.:  We didn't tell Merit
about this ahead of time and they think it's a bad idea."

Jay Hennigan - CCIE #7880 - Network Engineering - jay at impulse.net
Impulse Internet Service  -  http://www.impulse.net/
Your local telephone and internet company - 805 884-6323 - WB6RDV

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