Proposed list charter/AUP change?

Bill Nash billn at
Tue Jan 4 19:38:27 UTC 2005

On Tue, 4 Jan 2005, Hannigan, Martin wrote:

> The changes that people are discussing have little to do with
> "what is" and "what isn't" on topic for the NANOG mailing list.

On/off topic is very relevant, since it determines moderator involvement. 
Many people feel moderation is broken, and topical candidates are an 
element of it. Seeing post after post from people who feel they've been 
unfairly sanctioned, or having clueful users appearing on virtual milk 
cartons is a problem. Fix it.

> What it does have lots to do with is cooperating on examination of the 
> moderation and testing the current long-standing techniques to determine 
> if they need to be re-vamped to reflect sentiments of the community at 
> large.

Cooperation would be nice, yes, but that's a two way street. I should 
point out that long-standing/traditional are not generally the best. The 
long-standing technique is distinctly one-way.

> I am interested in discussing the possibilities of self-policing
> the list. An example would be when I suggested you earn some stripes.
> I said it. You ignored it. I opened my killfile. You land on it.
> That's much simpler.

And I'm sorry to say it, but that's close minded xenophobia. I'm generally 
fine to lurk on the list and soak up clue on subjects in which I'm not an 
expert, and keep tabs on relevant inter-network issues that affect the 
network operations I'm responsible for. There generally aren't many 
discussions on this list that involve my particular technical skillset, so 
I do my part by not contributing noise.

Frankly, not posting seems to be the safest option, and you're certainly 
fostering that notion by treating me like some random newbie with a shiny 
new cable modem and vanity domain. I certainly don't think my relatively 
few posts have been other than clear and to the point, or anything less 
than focused on finding, or contributing, to possible solutions.

> Writing complicated rules and creating a Politburo-like atmosphere
> is in no-ones interest.

This isn't about writing complicated rules. Complicated rules are what I 
put in my log analyzers. This is about curtailing abuse, and maintaining 
an effective list. I haven't posted anything so far that requires 
detailed, multi-section by laws, riders, addendums, references to the 
previous question, calls for quorum or blood samples and biometrics for 
authentication of all posts. I've asked for a simple, clear measuring 
stick of what's valid for posting, and more importantly, what's valid for 
moderator action. Troubleshooting 101: Identify the problem, find and plan 
a solution, have a backout plan, then fix it.

Going offtopic, but staying germaine to the environment:
If my stripes are really of that much interest to you, my background 
includes enterprise network management tools development, including 
network inventory design (using flexible SNMP pollers capable of 
abstracting nonhomogenous vender OID sets), scalable 
distributed|aggregated syslog analyzers. I've also done complex network 
troubleshooting from the wire up, many aspects of hands-on network 
construction, and in-the-field troubleshooting (you know, where the 
customer stands over your shoulder while you work.) You can even find 
tools with my prototypical handiwork lurking inside them in places that 
would likely surprise you.

Is that better? Is it safe for me to post now? Or do I need to submit a 
DNA sample, polygraph, and twelve professional references along with my 
resume? Just because I don't tout my clue, doesn't mean I don't have one.

This list is a tool. I use it, other people use it. I have as much 
interest in this list being a functional part of my library of resources 
as anyone else here. If you think I don't belong because I'm not an active 
poster, I'm sorry, but you could not be more wrong. From my perspective, 
you're looking down your nose at me because I'm an unknown element, and/or 
I don't have some shiny prestigious domain in my email address. I post 
from my personal domain because I'd rather people listen to something I 
have to say because *I'm* saying it, not my employer.

If you want to continue taking non-productive shots at me, we can continue 
this conversation offlist.

- billn

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