[conspire] Suppressed post from volunteers at lists.svlug.org

Paul Reiber reiber at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 15:05:28 PST 2007

On Nov 29, 2007 8:17 AM, Alvin Oga <alvin at mail.linux-consulting.com> wrote:
> hi ya 'conspire"

Ditto!  Hello, all!  And welcome to what I home is a really short
thread here on CONSPIRE.

<begin Alvin-quick-skim-assist>

Stuff 2 do:

- stay involved with the kernel walkthru planning - your input was awesome

- help build new platforms/hosts that can be used to take over for the
ailing old mailinglist server, and
do virtualization on as well.  Any solutions that don't give us
virtualization aren't solutions.

- don't focus on what others should/shouldn't do - just DO stuff
yourself for SVLUG if you're into it, or not.

Name mentions:

- Actually you get CREDIT this time!   Thanks - you must've manually
added my email address to your posting to CONSPIRE yourself?  'cause I
wasn't even aware of the thread on CONSPIRE since somehow the
"actually mail me any conspire postings" bit somehow got itself
flipped right before Rick shared Darlene's moderated post here.

-  I reply to your assertion that SVLUG has bylaws/etc at the very end
of the posting

<end Alvin-quick-skim-assist>

Alvin wrote:
> why is this {being-talked-about-on?} a separate list ?? i'd prefer it out in the community
> but thanx anyway for including me ...

Rick's chosen to use conspire to share a BCC of one of the few posts
Darlene sent me which I moderated.

Interesting choice of actions to decide to take; it's almost like he's
playing Chess with all this mailinglist stuff;
the timing is too much of a coincidence - Rick posts about me, and I
don't get the email...  Hrm.  However...
I appreciate Rick's restraint in not simply posting her words to the
SVLUG list, since he did have a BCC'd copy, and could undoubtedly
explain his way into a quite defensible position and let everyone on
SVLUG see Darlene's posting.  It's better that it's being dealt with
over here, if we're gonna deal with it on-list AT ALL... (which is not
my preference - and is NOT "being secretive" - it's being SELECTIVE
about what should get shared with the whole world.  Theres a
difference, dammit!)

OK... On SVLUG, and Volunteering and getting stuff done.

My preference for how to manage volunteer gripes is to manage them
privately and NOT share their issues with the entire list - regardless
if it's about gripes, scheduling, other volunteers, misperceptions, or

For the most part volunteers have been FINE with emailing me off-list,
but SOME insist on doing EVERYTHING on-list - including the dirty
laundry - and won't even send me an email at paul at reiber.org
to communicate with me - it's ALL gotta be said over the microphone.

Hrm... My preference, their preference... who wins?  Answer: for the
most part, _I_ compromise and _THEY_ win.  I'm not about to go
un-publish dirty laundry, even though it got sent to the list against
my wishes; this is an improvement over some previous SVLUG
administrations who played some pretty nasty mailinglist hardball - I
don't do that and won't.

Regarding Darlene - I've decided that she and I can and will have a
discourse.  She's free to email me privately and we can discuss
ANYTHING and everything she wants to discuss.  But I'm not happy with
her tactics and use of the mailinglist as a baseball bat to get things
done her way - so that part gets to stop.

OH - I'm sorry - am I "maligning" her now, by saying that her going to
the main SVLUG list with her "The president wants to do something
stupid - agree or disagree?" poll was a tactical abuse of the
mailinglist for her own purposes?  She's more capable with some of
this technology than she appears; don't assume this is all just
well-intentioned heart-felt open-source goodness here.

Volunteer:  Hey, you're hiding the plan from me - share!
Me:  There IS no plan - write one, I'll work on it with you - interested?
Volunteer:  I'd prefer to do this my way - which is to say, not do it
myself ... it's a group thing; we should all do it, so I don't have
to... but I can be a part of it anyway. OK?
Me:  So you're saying you won't write up a plan?
Volunteer: No, I'm saying we should ALL write up the plan.
Me:  You start.
Volunteer:  Why me?  You're the President - lead us!

...getting the picture yet?

Volunteer: Where's the agenda for next week's kernel walk-thru?
Me: next week's speaker doesn't exist yet, so it's kind of hard to
have an agenda
Volunteer: Unacceptable!  You should have a speaker ready!
Me:  OK... interested in speaking?
Volunteer: No - I meant someone else should be doing it.
Me.  Oh... OK... who?
Volunteer: You're the President - you should know that!

...do I need to go on?

Here's the deal: What I chose to do was to moderate Darlene's ability
to tell the President of SVLUG, on-list,
what he should and shouldn't be doing.  I'm simply not interested in
having her assume the position of "officer monitor" or "in charge of
watching if things are going right for SVLUG", and I'm 100% sure I
don't want to set a precedent that _any_ volunteer, _any_ time, can,
without repercussion, simply assume that position, without the prior
consent of the officer in question.

Say "Paul, I'd like to be one of your advisors - interested?" and
you'll surely get taken seriously... but walk up to me and say "you
shouldn't be buying bagels for the installfest" and you'll be lucky if
I only say "Thanks for your opinion".

I'm happy to read and respond to what Darlene had to say, plan to
address her directly - NOT IN THIS POST.

> > As additional comment:  The bit about Reiber making decisions with VP
> > Mark Weisler is a rather outrageous sham, as Reiber has consistently
> > ignored his VP's recommendations or simply not consulted him in the
> > first place, with the result that Mark Weisler tendered his resignation
> > this morning.  (He didn't really single out Mark in ignoring his advice;
> > Reiber ignores pretty much everyone else's, too.)

Interesting misunderstanding of things.  Marks explanation to ME of
why he's stepping aside was that he's overloaded with his day job...
and he's agreed to stay on as an active volunteer and advisor.  I know
Mark well enough to know he'd have taken me aside and talked with me
if things were really a problem in his mind.  He's no coward - he'd
have come to me, talked with me eye-to-eye, and we'd have had it out,
if there was really a problem.

VP:  SVLUG should do XYZ and volunteer Q wants to be part of it
Prez:  XYZ's a great idea!  Let Q know they can go for it!
VP: OK cool.
<months pass>
World:  How come SVLUG didn't do XYZ yet?
Prez: Hrm... Should I have done XYZ myself? asked VP to do it? bugged
Q about it? added R and S to the project??? or???
World: SVLUG's Prez is ignoring VP's advice!  Hang him!


> more importantly, paul seems to ignore the community's wants/desires

Absolutely Freaking NOT!!!

community:  Hey, SVLUG Prez, we want XYZ
Prez:  OK, do XYZ!  I'll help, and get others to help, as best I can.
community:  How come you're not doing it FOR us?!?

I'm all about meeting the communities needs - easy examples include
the Tuesday kernel walkthrus,
the OLPC involvement, beginnings of ties/relationships with Stanford
and local highschools,
and new and interesting sponsor arrangments.  Rubber's been meeting
the road here - not just
talk - real results.

> >  From: Darlene Wallach <freepalestin at dslextreme.com>
> >  To: SVLUG Volunteers <volunteers at lists.svlug.org>
> >  CC: Mark Weisler <mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us>
> >  Subject: Re: [volunteers] december meeting agenda
...and evidently BCC: Rick Moen <...> as well.

As I said earlier I intend to reply to Darlene's words via regular
old non-mailinglist email, probably before the end of this weekend.

Alvin replied to a question embedded in the original post which wasn't,
contextually, even being asked of the posts readers.  The question was
listed in a list of things which SVLUG's OFFICERS have to decide.

> > >- Should we adopt bylaws? rules of operation?  Or, is a more organic
> > >approach warranted?
> >
> > I have been told we SVLUG has policies in place for the
> > mailing list. SVLUG has policies for term of office for
> > president and vice-president. SVLUG has policies or at
> > least past procedures for electing president and
> > vice-president.
> it exists
> i'll go dig it up as time permits

You'd better hurry - not gonna let this linger very long.

To the best of my knowledge and understanding, after disconnecting
from SBAY, the previous administration did not lay down any new rules
- no charter, no bylaws, or anything like that.

-> mailinglist policies are a separate issue from organizational
policies - totally unrelated.
-> terms of office (2 yrs.) are a convention nothing more
-> election "policy" is elect someone however the group decides to do so
-> policies adopted during the SVCS years need to be reviewed for
pertinence in the 21st century
-> were any new policies adopted during the SBAY years? or were we
just borrowing SBAY's rules?

> > >- Should we avail ourselves of the very generous offers of some of our larger sponsors?

I'm not specifically referring to any particular offer here - and
again, it wasn't a request for readers opinions on the answer, it was
letting the readers know this question will soon have to be addressed
by the officers.

> its better to talk specifics instead of riddles and "coverups"

Agreed.   Anyone who says I'm covering _anything_ up should really get
a life; this is JUST a LUG!

> the problem is .. who decides that its an acceptable solution

The officers.  The group decided to elect them and trust their
judgement as to what's acceptable.

Alternative: give SVLUG 3 "Branches" - executive, legislative,
judicial, and do the checks-n-balances
thing, and rename it the

> this is not a dictatorship

You're right.  Dictators can just kill the people that irritate them,
whereas I get to...
 - help them learn and grow and mature to the point where they stop
irritating me and the rest of the group,
 - or just put up with their proclivities and ignore the side-email
from others who wish I'd do something about it,
 - or alternatively I get to weather a bunch of list-backlash if I
decide to moderate them or otherwise "muzzle" them.

Am I really being a heinous dictator when I ask that SVLUG volunteers
work politely with others, on-list and off?

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