Re: Electing a new moderator

Rosemarie Chavarria

Hi, Lino,

I agree that Joseph has done a damn good job of running this list. I might just leave the group too if the list has to be run by a perfect stranger. It's a shame that Joseph has to step down.


On 3/22/2016 2:36 PM, Lino Morales wrote:
I also agree with Gene here. Joseph has done a damn fine job running the list. Heck we hear from him mor than Nimer probably cause he works etc. etc. If this list is going to be run like this in future I don't want any part of it. Just my 2cents.

On 3/22/2016 9:29 AM, Laz wrote:

I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with Gene. I will also add that
voting on names of strangers to be elected to an important position
such as a list moderator could end up having an unqualified candidate
who may have other intentions than those mentioned being voted into
the position and given power to do as they secretly intend. Just look
at the track history of politics. List ownership and moderation is not
a democratic process by any means. We have no idea as to the true
character of most list members. I have already seen one proposal for a
candidate which I'm not certain would make a good moderator as I
believe it's an alias of someone else on the list and that's all I'm
going to say about that. I sincerely hope that Nimer will keep the
power of veto and put a stop to any unqualified person being voted
into the role of moderator.


On 3/22/16, Gene <gsasner@...> wrote:
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

Dear members of the NVDA International Users list and the wider NVDA

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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