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Sunday, June 29, 2003


Rowan hate democracy! Rowan hate consensus! Rowan hate politics!


So, the conference is almost over. And everyone gathered into a room, and was supposed to start discussing and figuring out how to do these proposals. There were 25 proposals, all over the map. And absolutely no process as to how to deal with them. There was barely a process on how to start to determine a process. A few people get up and speak about things that are all over the map, some on the specific proposals, some on process, some on meta-process. Then a young woman of color gets up and makes an impassioned speech about how she hasn't been at the conference until now, but also how the people in the room can't come into her communities and tell them what to do. Which is a superb point. And if she'd been at the conference, then maybe she'd have heard that come up at EVERY SINGLE WORKSHOP. People started debating this, and she started shouting them down! So there was shouting back.

I left the room. Ran up to the internet here. I pity the poor people downstairs who have no internet to turn to. They just have to sit and listen to endless debate on debate and process and maybe an issue or two. I hope that they do not decide on anything. 150 people trying to achieve consensus by shouting is not appropiate, I feel. Any voting will just make the losers feel shafted and bitter.

I am ever more coming to the conclusion that face-to-face deliberation and voting at the same time are not the way to run things. People need time to analyze and discuss. Some sort of online message board thing would be a much better way to go about this. Of course, it would be skewed towards people who can write well, which is bad, but no more than being skewed towards people who speak well.

Just watch. I'll go back downstairs and they'll have voted to endorse John "No federal funding for colleges without ROTC" Kerry.
- Rowan Kaiser, 1:36 PM
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