[CCWG-ACCT] The CCWG and external self-interest

George Sadowsky george.sadowsky at gmail.com
Wed Jan 6 23:36:29 UTC 2016

I'd like to add something to my recent post regarding Brett Schaefer and the Heritage Foundation. 

It is now clear that I misinterpreted what Brett wrote in his post regarding comments filed by the Heritage Foundation.  I'm asking myself why that happened, and what I come up with was a slightly embarrassing but educational conclusion.  When I was reading Brett's post, I was unconsciously more ready to misinterpret it than I was to treat it as a neutral request for inclusion of presumably omitted material.  It had very little to do with Brett.  I was tired of reading what I believed were unwarranted negative comments regarding the Board and I was in a somewhat frustrated mood.

I think that my reaction mirrors to some extent what I've seen in moderately frequent reactions on the CCWG list, where some posters seem quite ready to think and say ill of the Board or established processes or express disdain without looking for or knowing the facts or expressing their concerns directly in a manner leading to useful discussion.  The reasons might be different, but I think that it's basically the same infection, born of contentious historical circumstances and strengthened by a downward spiral of mistrust that grows as the available evidence is interpreted in a biased fashion, and it can infect both sides.

We do have a choice.  We can either nourish this downward spiral in trust, or we can try to kill it.  At a minimum, to kill it requires more communication, more directly, more substantively, more immediately and more oriented toward reasonable shared common goals than we have been able to achieve in the past.  We don't seem to have effective mechanisms in ICANN for achieving such a state of affairs; we seem to be frozen in processes (or lack thereof) that maintain an existing dynamic that does not clear misunderstandings and problems promptly or thoroughly, but can leave them to fester, nourishing the downward spiral.

The nature and level of trust among staff, Board, and community is one of the largest factors that affects how we work together.  I think that it would be very useful to address this issue directly, and probably in a larger context than just the accountability process.  I speak only for myself here.   

Does this make sense to anyone?  If so, what can we do about it?  If not, how am I misperceiving the issue?


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