[At-Large] On techies versus politicians

Alberto Soto asoto at ibero-americano.org
Thu Sep 15 18:10:31 UTC 2016

Therefore we must work in a multi-stakeholder model, where insurance will
find a multidisciplinary team to work.
Kind regards


-----Mensaje original-----
De: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
[mailto:at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] En nombre de
bzs at theworld.com
Enviado el: jueves, 15 de septiembre de 2016 03:04 p.m.
Para: Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org>
CC: ICANN At-Large list <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Asunto: Re: [At-Large] On techies versus politicians

On September 15, 2016 at 13:30 evan at telly.org (Evan Leibovitch) wrote:
 > From a Facebook post by Andrea Glorioso (unedited):
 >     The problem with engineer-like folks trying to do politics is that
most of
 >     them don't understand that emotions are often more powerful than
facts, and
 >     that they are simply not as relevant for the the person they are
 >     with, or as powerful in the grand scheme of things, as they think.
 >     If I had a dime for every "techie" who won the battle of showing he
 >     more than his counterpart, just to lose the war of actually getting
 >     long-term result s/he wanted, I'd be reasonably well-off (some
techies do
 >     understand politics - some.)

This borders on offensive and self-aggrandizing stereotyping.

One doesn't have to spend a lot of time at ICANN meetings etc to pick up on
the anti-old-guard/techie sentiments by the non-techie policy wonks,
lawyers, etc.

It's not shocking they find people who might actually understand how a lot
of this works threatening and want to minimize their participation.  At any
meeting or forum they may get publicly humbled in a sentence or two
amounting to "that's impossible, it doesn't even work that way, not at all".

They don't get that scrutiny from their fellow non-technical wonks who tend
to agree that making PI exactly 3 would be easier to remember (who could
argue? common sense!), do we have a second?  All in favor?

When someone dismisses the competence of a group with as broad a term as
"engineer-like" that person should be shut down.

This type of thinking marks one as a dinosaur.

The world is changing around them, fast. The technical tide is rising and
any separation of technical and political is fading.

No doubt it is scary to those who can't keep up and their inclination is to
wish it away by discrediting those who do understand it.

Increasingly we live in a world where:

1. Business and trade live on blockchains and increasingly "automatic
contracts" and all that implies. And often implemented by neural nets.

2. Technology has democratized and globalized crime and espionage to such an
extent that we rely on technology not policy to combat it. No one disagrees
that crimes are involved, or only rarely.

3. Internet protocol specs have human rights implications and need to be
evaluated in that light. There's an entire IETF research group devoted to
this, I follow it.

4. Issues such as "net neutrality" get so tangled in the technical realities
of what that means that most policy makers speak utter nonsense about it
trying desparately to make it fit into their mental models.

5. Individual empowerment on the internet for billions of people revolves
around not so much what everyone has a "right" to do or not, that's of some
importance of course, but rather how one, specifically, one might achieve
that beyond mouthing a few audience-pleasing platitudes.

6. Nation-state censorship and cyber-oppression can be enabled or thwarted
not only by policy which often no one has much say over but a myriad of
technologies such as VPNs, alternate infrastructures (e.g., alt roots), and
encryption techniques.

The above comment mirrors broad swaths on why women shouldn't be given the
vote (too emotional!) or similar.

        -Barry Shein

Software Tool & Die    | bzs at TheWorld.com             |
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