[At-Large] ICANN Accountability Mechanisms

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Jan 2 08:41:13 UTC 2022

No disrespect intended, but whoever thought and fantasied that demi-gods
could govern the Internet and Internet-mediated reality were the
original sinners :)

I am happy there were and are no demi gods for domain names or anything
subsequent ... The current 'we the good and responsible people' based
institutions around Internet/ digital are bad enough. I wonder if these
are inheritors of the 'demi-god' thinking, or at least justify
themselves upon it .. What with multi-stakeholderists, the insane belief
in the demi-god-ness of the start-up whizkids -- in developing countries
they wish to and are often allowed to run IT ministries, and so on.  I
much prefer democracy of perfectly ordinary people, and leaders that
believe in democracy of perfectly ordinary people. ..

(Yes, good and capable people do matter everywhere, and they matter a
lot. But right institutions may matter more.)


On 02/01/22 1:39 pm, Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond via At-Large wrote:
> Dear Barry,
> oh what a great trip into memory lane! Thank you! One thing you did
> not mention, though, is that back then there were Usenet demi-gods who
> used to be able to keep the whole thing sane and together. When these
> retired/moved on, Usenet started declining. I don't think there are
> net demi-gods in domain names, are there?
> Kindest regards,
> Olivier
> On 02/01/2022 07:31, Barry Shein via At-Large wrote:
>> Re: TLDs and communities
>> From: Evan Leibovitch via At-Large <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>>> I witnessed first hand the hopelessness and futility of those who believed
>>> that a TLD could define, sustain or create a community.
>> Back in the days of Usenet, the 1980s mostly, which had millions of
>> users and eventually over 100,000 discussion topics the issue of when
>> to add a new topic was a constant, lively issue.
>>   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet
>> Discussion groups were "tree" organized so you had rec for recreation,
>> rec.sports, rec.sports.baseball, etc.
>> For a while there were only eight top level topics (rec, comp
>> [computer], talk, sci, ...), plus many regional (ne for new england,
>> uk, and so on), and quite a few informal, unblessed top level topics
>> such as "alt" which existed outside the mainstream governance.
>> (Note: There was earlier history, net.*, but it adds nothing to this.)
>> It should sound a little familiar.
>> How were new topics created?
>> By an open discussion and vote on certain designated administrative
>> discussion groups. Other than that there really was no governance
>> structure.
>>   An important bit of wisdom gained was that you could not create
>>   interest in a topic by creating a group for it.
>> The most compelling reason to create a new group was to split off
>> discussion traffic which was overwhelming another, more general group.
>> So rec.sports.baseball might sprout rec.sports.baseball.worldseries
>> because the former was being overwhelmed with world series discussion.
>> We knew from experience back then, the 1980s, that you could not
>> create interest or community by creating a topic category for it.
>> Attempts failed repeatedly until it became a governing principle.
>> You (dear reader) may find that unintuitive but that was what actual
>> experience taught us.
>> P.S. An expression that arose from Usenet was "Eternal September":
>>   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September
>> In simple terms students, millions, arrived every September, got
>> access to Usenet, and began imagining what the rules for things like
>> newsgroup creation were or ought to be. Every year.
>> Then AOL added Usenet and it became "Eternal September", the academic
>> schedule no longer throttled the flood of new accounts.
>> Unfortunately some of these TLD discussions have that "Eternal
>> September" feel to them.
>>   "I don't want to hear YOUR opinion! I want to hear MY opinon coming
>>    out of YOUR mouth!" -- some wag
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