lack of communication

Jelle Hermsen jelle at
Thu Nov 15 17:04:52 CET 2012

Hi Rainer,
Thanks for your ironic lesson in postmodernism, that was really helpful 
.-). So to summarize what you said: there is no sideline, no loop, no 
"things", no communication and of course there's no such thing as a 
cookie. You forgot to mention that there is no spoon, but that would 
have overdone it :-)

Anyway, I understand that you mean well and all, but seriously I don't 
think you really caught my drift. I'm all for personal meetings. I know 
quite a few things about social psychology and group dynamics and 
meetings in person can be the gaffer tape that holds groups together. So 
by all means, meet as much as possible.

The one thing I have a slight issue with is the fact that for me, a 
mostly digital and virtual fellow (heck, I might not even exist really), 
there seem to be quite a few decisions regarding the dutch fellowship 
that "pop" out of nowhere. For all I care you may have visited a black 
box that was suspended in time until a gryphon flew you back to this 
plain of existence, including conclusions, resolutions, prearrangements, 
results, and of course agreements :).

There were quite a few decisions on what the fellowship should do in NL 
that were made during conferences (T-Dose, NLUUG, Fosdem) or other 
places that do not include this mailing list. It's not that I disagree 
with decisions that were made, or think that there was poor judgement. - 
I for example think it's a great idea to make Maurice coordinator. After 
he joined the fellowship early 2011 he's proven to give great input. - 
But what I miss is transparency, clear communication and I know that 
it's this lack of communication that has been brought up before, not 
only by me, but also on a broader scale in the FSFE, for example by you 
on the coordinators mailing list in Februari this year.

There's of course no deliberate sidelines or anything, people aren't 
"out of the loop" on purpose as - like you said - there's no such thing 
as a loop. There's just coincidental meetings of persons, exchange of 
thoughts and resulting conclusions. I know there's no real system behind 
this and what I proposed was to maybe try to tidy the communication a 
bit up, using the mailing list for decision making, planning of which 
routes we should take. We might wake up some fellows on the list and get 
them enthusiastic.


ps: I don't care that it takes two weeks for a message to reach to 
mailing list, it is what precedes such messages and summaries that 
counts for me.

On 11/13/12 15:43, Rainer Kersten wrote:
> Hi folks!
> On Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 07:36:12PM +0100, Jelle Hermsen wrote:
>> In the meantime I'm calling it quits with volunteering for FSFE.
> Oops...?!
>> I have put quite some time into FSFE the last couple of years:
>> (...)
> I know and I have to thank you for all that work!
>> I really like FSFE and adore its goals, but personally I don't like
>> the idea that you have to stand on the sideline if you can't make it
>> to live-meetings easily.
> I have to comment that and I do disagree. In my eyes, personal
> meetings are important, but not essential. Noone has to stand on
> the sideline. Is there a sideline, btw? ;-)
>> I have asked multiple times for the mailing
>> list to be our central hub of communication and decision making,
> ...which is absolutely fine. Noone disagreed with that principle.
>> or at least to be kept in the loop,
> Ehm... There was simply no "loop", beside my recommendation to
> discuss the followership of Mark face-to-face. Noone disgreed as well.
> That was all. And in my eyes, in this case that was better.
> But for sure, it was clear, that the outcome of that chats should
> be discussed here to get the blessing of all others.
>> just like how it usually works in
>> Free Software projects, but unfortunately this is not the way things
>> work here.
> There seems to be a misunderstanding: There are no "things".
> It is the same trap Maurice hitted some days ago: If you read no
> communication about $whatever, that does _not_ mean, that you are
> out of the loop. There was simply no loop, no communication,
> no "things". ;-)
>> The first news on the meeting at T-Dose reaching the
>> mailing list two weeks after the fact merely supports this.
> This is true. The reason is simply: Maurive is doing his daily work
> as well, and had some qestions before introducing himself here.
> I didn't done that, because I felt it is better style when Maurice
> is doing this by himself. Two weeks is not optimal, but hey, _this_
> is the way "things" are running here. ;-)
>> Anyway,I'm not aggrieved or anything,
> This is fine and I am happy about that!
>> I can understand this is the way the cookie crumbles,
> There is that misunderstanding again: There is no cookie, and
> therefore no crumbling. This is what we want to build up! ;-)
>> especially when a group like ours make up such a
>> small geographical area.  Accepting this fact, I think that's it's
>> better to spend my time elsewhere in the world of FLOSS.
> For sure, I accept your decision, but if the reason is just the
> a.m. one, your decision is most likely based on a misunderstanding.
>> I wish you all the best of luck.
> Same to you, anyway! ;-)
> Just a word about personal meetings: When a bunch of people do not
> know each other, they _can_ coordinate their work via mailing lists
> and other similar channels. According to my experience it is far
> easier, when they have seen themselves one or two times.
> Communication is far easier when I know with whome I do type.
> Building trust is easier. Understanding irony is easier.
> Motivating others to get active is easier. A.s.o.
> That's why I try to bring people together, whenever there is
> chance to do so. That should _not_ reduce other ways of
> communication, but intensify those ways.
> Noone should stand aside, who can't make it to any meetings,
> events, $whatever.
> As I should assist all of you, I am even willing and able to
> pass by and visit friends! Yes, that helps as well.
> We should use all communication channels we have, when they
> are useful. This includes real life and VoA[1].
> At least, at FOSDEM, the big "family event", there should be
> the chance to chat. Let's take it! ;-)
> Groeten Rainer,
> who still feels ashamed not be able to write nederlands.
> [1] VoA = "Voice over air", an outdated protocol which is
> meanwhile used only outside the internet.
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