[At-Large] ATLASIII Participation

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Fri Jul 12 15:46:33 UTC 2019

At its heart, this debate is about barriers to entry, overreactions, and
misguided objectives.

The fact remains that only two people from NARALO -- ironically, the region
whose participants would be the least expensive to sent to Montreal -- were
selected. That means that either
1 - it was not well publicized
2 - not enough people were interested
3 - of the people who were interested, the effort to participate is greater
than the perceived benefit

I guess in my case it was #3.

My time is valuable. My participation (as do all of yours) in ALAC benefits
the group more than the individual. Time spent in ALAC is not time doing
other activities. Some of these activities have actively invited me,
apparently concluding that my contribution to the greater good is
sufficiently worth inviting me and even paying expenses. Not ALAC. I have
to repeatedly prove my worth through absolutely stupid registration forms
and an obligation to waste (my opinion) even more time now in order I can
be blessed to give more of it later. I have keynoted conferences that have
asked for far, far less, rarely more than registration and abiding to a
code of conduct.

The treatment of ICANN covering expenses as a treasured gift, indeed a
"perk", is an absolutely disgusting attitude advanced by ICANN staff --
and, for reasons unknown, accepted as gospel by ALAC. We advance horrible
metrics incurred by no other ICANN constituency. Will there be "tourists"
who abuse their luxury-steerage travel? Sure, but so long as ALAC members
are elected there will inevitably be "beauty contests" in which some
elected reps are the most sociable rather than the most skilled. And the
NomCom occasionally makes mistakes. Live with it, and spend more effort
identifying and inviting people you actively know will fill the void.

(Indeed, perhaps just dispense with F2F completely and make the Summit 100%
virtual. But that's a different conversation.)

Reading about ALAC working so hard to put in place all these rules to
participate can't help remind of situations in which scores of people are
denied their legitimate franchise in the name of eliminating "voter fraud".
In such cases the solution is ALWAYS worse than the problem it sets out to
solve. As it is here,

This isn't our first go-round at the issue. A core reason for the failure
of the Applicant Support program was that we designed in so many
anti-cheating mechanisms that legitimate applicants -- the kind we wanted
to exploit the program -- were shut out. One hopes to learn from past
mistakes. Apparently not here. Accept that some "cheating" is inevitable in
order to get the desired end-results.

After all, what is the objective to the summit? "Bringing together X number
of people who have jumped through the right hoops?" or "making ICANN better
through a strong and relevant ALAC"? I suspect that the second choice is
more inline with ALAC's bylaw mandate.

Of course I hear "but other regions didn't have that problem and we had
plenty of applicants from elsewhere." Great for them. But we have now clear
evidence that -- based on the result -- at least in one region of five, the
process failed miserably. If that's an acceptable failure rate, so be it.

(Personally I think restricting the Summit to people willing to learn all
about ICANN is a grave mistake, shutting out some who could enrich us from
outside the bubble.)

It's really sad to see things go this way. I know of other people who would
be valuable assets to the summit, but couldn't be bothered to jump through
all the hoops. Who is harmed by such exclusion? While ALAC obsesses with
"who would be coming that shouldn't", it ignores "who should be coming that
won't". And I don't mean me.

The image of ALAC as a room full of well-intentioned Vogons further
entrenches with each passing year.

The only metric that matters to me is "Do the actions of ALAC meaningfully
change ICANN for the better?" Ask yourselves in sincerity if that metric is
being even addressed, let alone met.

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