[Osmf-talk] Enough is enough: disinfecting OSM from poisonous people

Oliver Kühn oliver.kuehn at skobbler.com
Wed Aug 11 16:10:04 UTC 2010

 Steve Cost wrote:
>>I've successively and successfully given up those rights to very
capable individuals. However this has led to a power vacuum when it
comes to
>>making some key decisions because nobody, for example and in a sense,
is "in charge" of everything. For the most part I've enjoyed giving up
>>control and seeing the project blossom, because it wouldn't have if I
>>However, things break down in a consensus-based community if you don't
have a way to deal with malcontents.

Philip Shipley wrote:
> Steves mail was about how the debate should be conducted and how to
> ensure that everyone has their say, yet not allowing any one
> individual take control and stopping any hectoring and abuses.
>  Normally this is done by a moderator, someone anointed with the power
> to 'force' a party to behave and ultimately exclude them from further
> participation.  
> However my reply was more my personal frustration that a particular
> debate hasn't yet drawn to a close with a conclusion of the way
> forward.  The current approach seems to be to keep talking until the
> community forms a consensus that everyone can agree to, unfortunately
> it looks like this is not achievable.  Normally in a debate, once all
> of the points of view have had a fair hearing, the matter is put to
> the vote by the moderator.
> So I do stand my proposal of requiring a 'Prime Minister', however I
> now think 'moderator' would be a better term.  We need someone (a
> person or a body), with a light touch, to ensure that debates are
> fairly and honestly conducted, and to determine when the point is
> reached to bring the matter to a conclusion.

I think that both points were touched in Steve's mail: (a) a specific
solution to the poisoning problem and (b) the generic problem of the
"power vacuum when it comes to key decisions" (see above).

If you look at the role of the "prime minister" [1] then Philip's
initial answer is addressing a general solution to specific problem:
"First of all the Prime Minister must listen a lot, and when deep
disagreements occur, he must suggest a solution to the matter."

While the specific problem needs an immediate specific solution (e.g.
banning), the generic problem should be addressed within the next weeks
and months.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_minister#Description_of_the_role

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