[nycbug-talk] Student Discounts

Marc Spitzer mspitzer at gmail.com
Mon Oct 9 19:40:47 EDT 2006

On 10/9/06, Miles Nordin <carton at ivy.net> wrote:
> >>>>> "m" == michael  <lists at genoverly.net> writes:
>      m> First.. it is a shame that you decided to publicly post to
>      m> talk@ rather than post an email to the organization
>      m> committee... which may have been more appropriate.
> I don't think NYCBUG is ripping people off or see the student prices
> as any kind of problem issue---just thought some people were talking
> about making some tweaks each from their own reasonable perspectives.

Well just to be accurate it is columbia pricing not student pricing.

> but I will say: trying to shame people into non-transparent behavior,
> and attacking those who make criticisms in public while simultaneously
> offering to have listened to hypothetical ``discrete'' private
> criticism, is a behavior I've seen all too many times in various
> hobbyist users-group-type things, and I fidn it ugly and hope it won't
> catch on here.

the simple fact it shouting things in public, this list is public, at
the last minute is just not a good way to effect change.  Also I want
the orgnizers to have their list for several reasons:

1: their doing it and I am not so I do not want to be bothered
2: their doing it and I am not so they do not want to be bothered by
my random comments.
3: It would just make more work for the comittee, bike shed problem
4: it would lessen the chances of the con continuing, bad feelings for
being ignored by the committee, anger on the committee members part
about having to constantly wast time on email.  the list goes on.

> I've participated in a conference with multiple secret mailinglists
> where ``shoulder surfing'' was considered a serious incident, great
> effort was put into tracking down information leaks and ``unauthorized
> forwards'' from the secret lists, and people were constantly getting
> kicked off lists silently or even banned from the conference for
> embarassing well-connected people.  loyalty over competence.  trust is
> discipline.  Avoiding shame in front of some imagined peanut gallery
> can slowly start to take root as a legitimate decision-making factor.
> I don't really think NYCBUG is going to help me find a job or teach me
> anything I don't know already---I'm interested in NYCBUG mostly as a
> way of meeting/doing/seeing while escaping this petty, insecure,
> wordy-back-stabbing-beaurocrat environment.

I would suspect that there was a bit too much openess befor and it
caused problems, or the people could just be parionoid and insecure
empire builders.

> Based on what very little I know, I think you guys are doing a good
> job and have no reason to feel insecure or defensive.  Nobody's
> running for congress or needs an airtight answer ready to every
> objection.

The simple fact is that people are more likley to considder things
when approached in private and defend things when bothered in public.
Especially when it looks like an attempt to get grass root support for
the idea.

> I've seen that sort of thing eat these groups up from the inside, and
> make everyone miserable along the way.  IMHO you're always going to
> get criticized by people with ideas of varying quality and varying
> levels of personal stake in your enterprise all the way down to zero.
> Some of them may be right while you're wrong yet your plans go ahead
> anyway--fine.  Others may be spies, sabateurs, or even Linux users,
> and yet you adopt their broken ideas to hilarious results.  fine.
> From my perspective, the only thing I know to do is to listen and
> respond cheerfully as time permits.

people only discuss the "problems" they know about.  This thread is a
case in point.  If you do not respond to their satisfaction you are an
unfeeling not transparent brute, you meaniee you.  And if you do
respond and not do what is requested of you you get draged into an
email exchange with the orignal person and everyone who has input and
wast a lot of time that could be used for something usefull and
eventually you cave and/or go to option 1 and are an asshole.


"We trained very hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to
form into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that
we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it
can be for creating the illusion of progress, while producing confusion,
inefficiency and demoralization."
-Gaius Petronius, 1st Century AD

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