[rfc-i] Candidates for RSOC sought

Andrew Sullivan ajs at shinkuro.com
Fri Feb 25 06:24:38 PST 2011

On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 08:37:52AM -0500, Dave CROCKER wrote:

> As we have been recently seeing about the US Supreme Court, recusal 
> requirements that do not have clear details and clear requirements are 
> subject to reduced utility.

I disagree quite strongly, and this is in fact why I objected in the
first place to the idea of calling this particular conflict out for
special treatment.

What we have seen recently with the US Supreme Court, quite frankly,
is someone behaving badly.  Detailed rules won't help in that case,
because people who are determined to behave badly will find a way
around the rule.  Indeed, detailed rules can make the problem worse:
you end up with someone who has crafted a behaviour exactly to conform
to the rules, and then can quite plausibly argue that s/he should not
be censured or removed because s/he conformed.

If instead we have strong general guidelines, the expectation that
people are going to behave in accordance with community standards, and
trust the IAB to remove someone who seems to be doing something
egregious, then that is better than the wished-for "objective,
concrete rule."

In particular,

> So I'll suggest a broader rules:
>      An RSOC member must recuse themselves from RSOC review and approval 
> of any issue about which they have been active.

I think this rule deeply wrong.  Taken quite literally, it means that
every RSOC member will be by definition unqualified to evaluate
anything that comes before them.


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at shinkuro.com
Shinkuro, Inc.

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