[conspire] SBAY offlist posting syndorme from Paul

Paul Reiber reiber at gmail.com
Thu Nov 29 18:39:24 PST 2007

Man... I hate it when I write longer emails than Rick.  Hope you all
enjoy this one. -pbr

On Nov 29, 2007 3:56 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Quoting Paul Reiber (reiber at gmail.com):
> [To Bruce Coston]
> > It's as simple as this:  some people seem to like their mailinglists
> > chock full of dirty laundry. I don't.
> You prefer to unilaterally _cause_ that dirty laundry, and then threaten
> to muzzle or ban people who want to expose it to the public.  Figured
> that one out, some months ago.  ;->

Yeah it was all me, and me alone, that caused Darlene's outbursts and
recent behavioral
problems.  She's being a bit more polite and self-managed now, by the
way - how about you?

> > I'm stuck wondering what [Bruce's] goal is.
> [Rick answers:] Funny you should mention that:  One of these days, someone is going to
> corner you on your ongoing refusal to discuss what _your_ goal is.

W.r.t. SVLUG, It's been pretty obvious, and consistent even - I've
been helping it into the 21st
century and out of the absolutely horrid state I found it in.

> You talk an amazing array of bizarre ideas about collecting thousands of
> dollars in donation money from (e.g.) Untangle, incorporating,
> reaffiliating with Sbay.org, getting 501(c)(3) charity non-profit
> recognition from the IRS, setting up some sort of wacky virtual-machine
> plus Web/wiki thing -- on a PIII with 1MB RAM, mind you -- and hosting a
> bunch of extra, new projects on its multiple VM subhosts, abusing the
> donated rackspace and bandwidth.

Let's dig in here.

Bizarre... maybe, to those close-minded individuals who want SVLUG to remain
the same as it was last century.

"Collecting" money - probably not... accepting donations - maybe... why not?

Any reason other than "Aw, gee... it's some work and some money" that
we shouldn't
go the 501c3 route?  MANY MANY Lugs have gone that route successfully, and most
who have, recommend going that way.

Whoever said I was considering reaffiliating with SBAY.org should
really (1) quit asking
me stupid trolling questions (2) quit taking my answers like "Sure,
anything possible...
maybe we will someday!" to mean I'm PLANNING to do that, and (3) quit
talking about
what I'm doing (or not doing, to their satisfaction) behind my back.

My "wacky" virtualization focus is really troublesome; wouldn't want
SVLUG to be out
on that bleeding edge of technology, now would we?  And you know quite well that
Brie's got way more CPU and RAM than that... and beyond that, I've got sponsors
wanting to give us some shiny new servers to play with too.

Lastly, regarding "abuse" of rack space and bandwidth - your concerns
are entirely unfounded.

"abuse" of rack space is kind of funny - is an empty U unabused?
Via.net has said
we're free to use up to around 1/3 of the rack we're in, and we'll be
no-where NEAR
that even with a few extra machines in there beyond what's already planned.

"abuse" of bandwidth is likewise kind of funny, since I have Joe McGuckin's word
that we're no-where near abusing anything... and that he'd actually WELCOME us
to use more bandwidth - we could, for example, run a mirror site if we
chose to - and
he'd welcome that.  So... no harm no foul - we can build up there
without concern.

...and if things DO get to be too much for Via.net, we could spread
things around
over multiple sponsors.  I'm certain Joe will let me know if we're too
much; you
needn't be concerned.

> (And all the while continuing to break our commitment to Linode, who did
> _not_ in any way agree to what you claim they did on the sponsor page --
> making Lisa Corsetti and Micah Dowty seem like liars to one of our
> valued sponsors.)

Hrm... how many unvalued sponsors do we have?

Dunno if Mark committed to anything specific regarding Linode.  I sure didn't;
it's seemed to be somewhat less than useful to me to have only one VM and
have it have such significant memory limitations.

"Our" commitment to Linode is to try 'n use their server somehow...  however
makes sense.  I would _never_ accept a sponsor donation that obligated SVLUG
to solving its server needs one particular way, and I'm pretty sure no
other SVLUG
officers have ever made that sort of commitment to Linode.  We never committed
to migrating all of SVLUG's servers there, or anything like that, for example.

I remember quite clearly, a number of times, giving the ENTIRE volunteer crew
a "GO" for their efforts - wish I had quoted J.L. Picard and said "Make it so" -
maybe that would have gotten thru to you all?

I let you ALL loose on all of this stuff - general order "fix it" -
and I never heard
anything back after a while - except from Mark who told me he'd done some
backups of the old server - but for the most part, the volunteers
simply dropped
their balls and walked away, picking whatever reason they chose to for their
defensible excuse, which lets them not have to say "Sorry I didn't do
what I said I'd do".

Now I'm left to pick the balls back up and juggle 'em as best I can, and be
accountable for them, and try and not point fingers at the volunteers lest I be
accused of abusing their good will.  Especially fun if their defensible excuse
was aimed my way.

Different volunteers have different issues with "how I work" - some think I'm
telling them what to do too much - others think I'm not doing _enough_
cat-herding... there's no pleasing this croud!  So, if I tell 'em what to do,
that's someone's excuse to resign... and if I don't tell 'em what to do,
that's somebody else's excuse to resign.  Whatever.

> You _talk_ all of those things, but seem terribly upset when people want
> to bring them in front of your group's membership.  Could that be
> because you know your membership has already voted "hell no" on a bunch
> of those things, and isn't going to go for them?

Not at all; your "Could it be" above is pure misleading conjecture.

I get upset if someone takes something to the list that's not theirs
to take to the list.
Those sorts of "volunteers" really aren't helping the other volunteers
when they "expose"
whatever their suspicious minds has decided is a "truth" that needs to
be shared with the list.

I get upset when people take misunderstandings to the list.  When
they're not sure if
they're right or wrong, or if I'm right or wrong, the thing to do is
off-list email.  That way,
THEY don't look like fools in front of everyone... and I don't
either... although, if I could
erase ALL of this bullsh*t and get you all to work together like a
team, I'd happily
don a duncecap and sit in the corner - if it really meant you'd all
start working
together as a well-oiled team!

The ONLY volunteer who should be calling for a vote about whether SVLUG should
do ABC is one who's (1) working on the ABC project, (2) already been
in a loop with me
or some other officer regarding ABC, and (3) goes to the list to
resolve some details
of implementation of ABC... for example, "do you all prefer I buy
pizza or bagels?",
not "Hey everyone, I don't think he should be buying food; do you?"

> If you think your plans are a good idea, then your refusal to talk about
> them or let anyone else, e.g., Darlene, discuss them, seems amazingly
> like an admission that you have zero support but think all you need to
> do is keep everyone in the dark.

Darlene didn't want to discuss.  She wanted to enforce.  She called
for a vote from
the membership (bad idea) about an aspect of SVLUG she's not involved with
(infrastructure), and regarding a "proposal" for something that wasn't
even being

How can I possibly be "keeping volunteers in the dark" when they're imaginary
projects in the first place????  I can't possibly be prescient enough
to be able
to help quell those sorts of misconceived doubts.

I can look up SVLUG's archived "history" just as easily as anyone else.

I can wade thru, looking for "decisions" that "we" made.  And, I can look
at their context and assess whether the decision remains applicable given
the current context.  I can do that all without the help of a volunteer
historian. ESPECIALLY if said historian decides to interject "But we decided
not to do that!!!" anywhere it sounds like something SVLUG is considering doing
something that it considered (and rejected) in the past.

Consider the difference between the following statements:

We voted not to do XYZ
We voted never to do XYZ

Hrm... how often does that "never" actually pop up in SVLUG's voting
history?  And even if it does
pop up somewhere - did the collective that was SVLUG 5 years ago
somehow retain the right to
control what today's SVLUG does, when it made that decision?

> > ...maybe you'd like to do something constructive...
> Constructive like driving your own vice-president to resignation and
> then trying to hide that fact from the membership while frantically
> trying to convince Warren Turkal to take his place and hoping to
> hand-wave the damage away?  That kind of constructive?

Mark communicated with me first-hand regarding the reasons for his
stepping away from the position, so I'm hesitant to attribute his
decision to your speculative reasons.  From day one, Mark told me that
he was willing to help out but might not be able to put very much into
it, since his day job is pretty demanding.  I've respected that, and
have tried not to bother him with SVLUG stuff unless it was relevant
to the areas where he's actively volunteering.

Mark has never ever expressed to me any concerns that his opinion was
being ignored; he's always been forthright and open with me, so I have
no doubt that he would have simply come to me and talked with me if
indeed I was "driving him away" from SVLUG.  He's no push-over; to the
contrary, his strength of character is part of why I approached him
and asked him to run for VP in the first place.

I had hoped to be able to spend some time with him, to talk through
how we might respond to some of the more interesting opportunities
that are in front of us, and still hope that he might be part of that
discussion when/if it occurs.

Good job of guessing regarding Warren - but no franticness was
involved, nor damage.  Mark's not announced his resignation on-list so
as to give me the opportunity to make a clean transition - I hope
to be able to announce both Mark's stepping aside and the replacement
in the same message to the SVLUG community.  I'm not hiding anything;
I've only recently learned of Warren's decision, and I'm penning an
announcement for the list right after I finish this little gem.

Which... I have.  Hope you all enjoyed it.

P.S. I may well share with you all my response to Darlene's scathing
"You shouldn't" email when I finally pen it... but I think that'd be
making things worse rather than better; again, my belief is that this
sort of dirty laundry has no place on mailinglists... it's a hard
call; I _SO_ want to entertain you all, yet _SO_ want this all to just
go away, and for SVLUG to get back to being a do-ocracy instead of a

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