W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > July 2014

Re: Forced Resignation

From: Eric J. Bowman <eric@bisonsystems.net>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 18:19:49 -0600
To: Alex Russell <slightlyoff@google.com>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>, Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Message-Id: <20140703181949.57f5e220a29ba6ad223de612@bisonsystems.net>
Alex Russell wrote:
>
> >
> > >
> > > Surely we can't take arguments of the form "X hasn't happened, our
> > > preventative measures against X work!" seriously without *at
> > > least* weighing the counterfactual.
> > >
> >
> > Those promulgating a view that "X hasn't happened" *despite* said
> > preventative measures, are the ones failing to weigh the counter-
> > factual.
> 
> This is childish logic. I clearly stated the harm: we lose productive
> TAG members, seemingly at random, thanks to a policy choice.
> 

I'd prefer the term "specious" over "childish" as the latter seems to
me more of an ad-hominem than anything I've had to say that's been
deemed as such. While the former is simply hard-nosed debate.

>
> You haven't described why this harm isn't real or why it is lesser
> than the thing your preferred policy guards against.
> 

I was quite clear that I agree the harm is real. But it's hard to argue
what would happen in absence of the policy in question -- since that's
never been the case there's no real-world example to point to.

Which doesn't mean the policy was put in place for "childish" reasons.
I already agreed with Noah that any change should happen conservatively
because we just don't know if that would have led to an effort to stuff
the TAG. Best not to find out the hard way.

I do think it's less harmful to lose a good TAG member once in a while,
than for TAG's agenda to become driven by any one member company, or
even perceived so. I have a hard time seeing this as a fantastical,
unrealistic concern given the recent Silicon Valley collusion lawsuit,
which can't be said to have had nothing to do with Web browsers...

Some companies have proven they're simply not to be trusted; speaking
as a Web Developer I'd lose all trust in the TAG if those companies
were free to have multiple seats. Or a certain other company whose
engineers apparently thought it would be a good idea to conduct mass,
clandestine though-control experiments on their users.

So the worse harm, IMO, is TAG losing legitimacy in the developer
community through a *perception* of being driven by one or two members'
agendas, because the developer community's perception of some of those
member companies is hardly positive nowadays. There's a balancing act in
keeping the negative perceptions of any company from following its
employees to the TAG; one way to balance this is the existing policy.

-Eric
Received on Friday, 4 July 2014 00:20:03 UTC

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