Re: Electing a new moderator


I spent a lot of time and thought replying to this message.  Now I see that it was rejected because of restricted hash tags.  I shall send it again with another subject line and I shall make one additional commenbt at the outset
Since I initially wrote my message, I have seen the start of what will probably be an avalanche of messages regarding nominations and discussions of nominees.  I did not join this list to receive hundreds or thousands of administration messages nor did most who joined.  We joined to discuss NVDA, not how to run the list nor who should be in charge. 
I appreciate the work you have done in moderating the list and I appreciate your intentions.  But this is just not the way to run a list.  If you are determined to run the list as a democracy, please set up a chat subgroup for those who want to discuss nominations and make submissions or ask that such submissions be sent to you off list, either or both.  The main NVDA list should be to discuss NVDA and not democratic administrative nor election matters except to announce the actual election and present information about the nominees.  
Here is what I wrote previously.
I almost never comment on list administration on the list but this is an exception.  If you want to step down, that's your decision and I am not writing to question or challenge the decision.  But generational change, when the generation in question is probably in its late twenties or early thirties at most makes no sense as a reason.  If you are worried about succession, then it would be far better to have some mechanism where you appoint someone to take over with the prior approval of the list owner.
I have never been on, nor ever heard, of a list run like a democracy.  There are good reasons for this.  This is not a democracy, where people have records and attributes that are known to most members regarding list administration.  There a very few active members and most discussion is about NVDA in some way.  If members were asked to vote on who has the most knowledge of NVDA, for example, there would be some grounds for members to vote.  But this is a list to discuss NVDA.  It is not a place where people display records of leadership and personality that members are aware of and can use to choose a leader.  (I don't even know the names of more than perhaps ten or twenty members on the list and I know them not because of any demonstrated personality traits that relate to running the list.  I know them because they discuss NVDA.  There is no corellation between that and being able to determine who has the qualities best suited to run a list.  You may know people well enough yourself to make such a determination and frankly, in this context, you and the list owner should do so.  I shall, respectfully, not vote in the upcoming election.  I am not knowledgeable and cannot cast an informed meaningful vote and most list members can't cast an informed meaningful vote either. 
If the list were really a democratic institution, we would have people holding office with campaigns and some sort of mechanisms for people to get to know and evaluate those who serve and run for office.  There would be periodic elections.  If we make a mistake and appoint someone who does not do a good job in error, this being a list, not a democratic institution, we have no means of recall or no periodic elections to replace the person.  We are electing someone for an indefinite term with most members having no meaningful information on which to make a decision. 
On every list I've been on, the owner runs the list and makes decisions relevant to administration and the owner and moderators decide how to divide up tasks such as moderation.  As I said, there are good reasons that lists are not run as democracies. 
And making some sort of divide in generations when the generation in their late twenties or early thirties has most of its collective life to live is a really bad idea.  The United States Constitution has minimum ages for assuming different offices.  That's because it was believed that knowledge, wisdom, and maturity increase with age.  What about all those who may be in their forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond who may be better qualified by the knowledge and experience they have gotten?  Are you taking the position that anyone under the age of thirty, for example will be considered to run the list but those older won't? 
The more I think about the reason you gave for stepping down and the means you propose to fill the vacancy, the more I realize what a bad rationale and procedure it is.  And a further irony is that you propose a democratic election to fill the position but you haven't held an election on whether the list should be run as a democracy or in the traditional or other way.  Isn't that the first thing that should be decided by democratic means if the list is a democratic institution?  Democracy is not suited to all institutions and this list is one of them. 
As I said at the outset, if you want to step down, I have no quarrel with that decision.  That is your decision and I am not writing to question the decision.  But I strongly disagree with the reason given and the procedure to fill the vacancy.
I considered writing you off list but, if the list is being run as a democracy, it follows that other list members should know my thoughts on this matter. 

------ Original Message -----
From: Joseph Lee
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2016 10:26 PM
Subject: [nvda] Important moderator's letter: I'd like to request next generation of NVDA enthusiasts to come to the moderator's seat #ModNotice #AdminNotice

Dear members of the NVDA International Users list and the wider NVDA community:
For some, change of generation is a scary thing, while others would say it is a wonderful way to reflect upon our past and think about the future. As a moderator of this list and the chair of the NVDA Tenth Anniversary Planning Committee, I had a chance to think about this today. Specifically, I was struck by the following thought: If I die tonight, who'll carry on my legacy and serve as a moderator who'll shower you with more love than I did?
You see, for some time, I thought it is better to let a generational change happen. We now have members of the next generation who are very enthusiastic about NVDA and its community, people who are showing leadership potential and folks who are willing to love and serve you and the wider community. And I thought that this is a good time to carry this out, seeing that some of these new enthusiasts are the ones who are actively involved in promoting NVDA and events related to its tenth anniversary.
Thus, effective May 31, 2016, I'll step down from the moderator position I held for the past three years. I'd like to request that members of this list hold a list-wide election to elect the new moderator. I'll remain a member of this list, obeying the new moderator and serving the NVDA community.
Thank you everyone for your support for the past few years.
P.S. My blog post on this decision can be found at:

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