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[rpd] [members-discuss] Thoughts and introspection
Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
paulos at sdnp.org.mw
Mon Jul 18 13:11:38 UTC 2016
On 18 Jul 2016 at 12:41, Andrew Alston wrote:
> Hi Paulos,
> Just for clarification purposes. Before sending the email to the community, there was also
> request for direct engagement sort with several individuals.
Great, however, the value of that e-mail would have been much greater if you had included
these or some of them, it would have helped not to raise so many other questions and
> I will continue to seek direct engagement where possible, however, the offer to engage
> is still there for the whole community, and I am hoping that beyond just the engagement
> I am inviting, that others will also read the contents of the email, and choose to have
> their own one on one engagements between themselves and others they have conflict
> with. Let us not make this about specific people, this is about how the community as a
> whole engages with each other, both one on one, and in groups and based on all the
> divisions I referred to in my mail.
This sounds contradictory, engagement between one and one is about specific people ... or
... specific groups and such specifics are not chosen at random.
I see this as of little value if there are no specifics both on people and on events.
Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
NIC.MW & .mw ccTLD
> Fixing the position I see us in now, will never be solved
> by one individual, it will take a collective effort between numerous parties.
> From: Dr Paulos B Nyirenda [mailto:paulos at sdnp.org.mw]
> Sent: 18 July 2016 15:29
> To: rpd List <rpd at afrinic.net>; members-discuss at afrinic.net;
> community-discuss at afrinic.net
> Subject: Re: [rpd] [members-discuss] Thoughts and introspection
> For me the long e-mail from Andrew helped but raised more questions on what it was all about.
> Honestly, it looks to me like and reads like a "Bernie Sanders speech presented in the presence
> of Hilarly Clinton without mentioning Hilarly" in these weeks that we are in now :-)
> I would have liked to see a more specific submission with events and people or groups which
> have generated this introspection.
> I do not believe that there will be any healing without specifics. It is good that Badru has stepped
> forward and I hope the results of that will come out in the open. However, I find it difficult to
> believe that an open invitation for others to get in touch with Andrew will yield the expected
> community healing that is being talked about in the e-mail.
> Hence, it is my hope that Andrew will reach out to specific individuals and/or groups that he has in
> mind on this e-mailed introspection and process ... whatever ... instead of him just sitting back and
> waiting for or expecting peopleo groups to reach out to him. He has made a good start but needs
> to go the extra mile.
> Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
> NIC.MW & .mw ccTLD
> On 16 Jul 2016 at 8:23, Andrew Alston wrote:
> > Thank you Hytham for your response,
> > I look forward to further engagement with you as always.
> > Andrew
> > Get Outlook for iOS
> > _____________________________
> > From: Haitham Nakhal <haitham.nakhal at gmail.com>
> > Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2016 10:16
> > Subject: Re: FW: Thoughts and introspection
> > To: Andrew Alston <andrew.alston at liquidtelecom.com>, <members-discuss at afrinic.net >
> > Dear Andrew,
> > "I'm writing here as an Afrinic member"
> > Thank you for your positive email and thanks for your moral courage to confess that you
> > were guilty in sometimes and took the initiative to clear the air and moving forward and
> > positively for the sake of Afrinic organization and members.
> > Best Regrads,
> > Haitham El Nakhal
> > ________________________________
> > From: Andrew Alston
> > Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2016 12:49:32 AM (UTC+02:00) Cairo
> > To: rpd List; members-discuss at afrinic.net; General Discussions of AFRINIC
> > Subject: [SUSPECT][members-discuss] Thoughts and introspection
> > Hi All,
> > Let me start by saying, I send what follows wearing no hats, other than to say, I have
> > thought long and hard about what follows, and I send it as myself, and with only my own
> > reflections guiding what I write below.
> > Over the last few days and months, I have thought deeply about what we have seen within
> > AfriNIC over the last few years, and I have some observations I would like to share.
> > Firstly, we may not all like each other, we may never see eye to eye as a community, as
> > members, or anything else. But in the end, our like, or dislike of each other, is immaterial, as
> > is even our respect for each other. What we do have to respect , and attempt to strive for, is
> > the best interests of AfriNIC as an organisation, as a community, and as a critical part of the
> > Internet on both the African continent and within the global context. We have to strive to
> > apply our own individual minds to the problems faced, and the solutions required. Then, as
> > part of this community, we have to attempt to voice our thoughts and our opinions, and in
> > some cases those thoughts and opinions will be accepted, in others they will be rejected. I
> > don´t believe any of us have a perfect track record of perfect proposals, because we are all
> > human, and humans are prone to error. The ideas and thoughts and views that are proposed
> > then need to be weighed by the community, not based on position, not based on the age of
> > the speaker, not based on the linguistic background of the speaker, not based on the
> > geographic location of the speaker, but entirely based on the merits of the arguments put
> > forward. Sadly, this is not what I am seeing in the last few years, and let me state clearly, that
> > I am as guilty of the issue I describe here as anyone else. What I am seeing is a community
> > that is no longer attacking the issues, but attacking either the person, or a subset of the
> > community. I see us divided along so many different lines, and sadly, those divides are not
> > leading to the spirited debate that will end in solutions, instead they are slowly tearing us
> > apart. As I said, I am not placing blame on any person or collective here, I believe this is a far
> > wider problem than that, and I also state again, I am as guilty as any other here.
> > We use procedures to divert from argument, we fight from a point of view of "I´m right, and
> > you´re wrong, so everything else you say must automatically be wrong." We have gotten to
> > the point where so often at meetings and on these lists, instead of listening to one another
> > based on the merits of the ideas, views and suggestions put forward, we divert from the
> > content of the proposals and ideas and views, and instead attack, for the sake of attacking a
> > person, or a collective. This makes no sense, it is deeply harmful to growth on the continent,
> > and it is dangerous, because it creates a snowball effect that amplifiers and propagates.
> > Having worked in academic environments, one of the things that is valued in academia and
> > in research, is open mindedness. Academia welcomes debate, and it is through debate that
> > we grow, mature and learn. It is through spirited, and sometimes even heated exchanges,
> > that our ideas grow and blossom. That being said, there are many forms of debate. If I
> > examine the work by Don Lindsay, I can see many forms of debate that he describes as
> > fallacious arguments creeping into the community exchanges across these lists. If you read
> > http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html I am sure you will see some of
> > the forms of argument listed there as echoes of what we have seen of late.
> > As I say, use of these forms is not unique to any person, and I to fall back to many of these
> > types of arguments, but it is something we need to work repairing. We need to work towards
> > a point where our arguments, our thoughts, our ideas, our views are spoken to build rather
> > than destroy. Every time we resort to the behaviours described above, it simply amplifiers,
> > propagates and spreads, and the damage it causes may one day reach a point where it
> > creates terminal injury.
> > What I would like to ask of everyone one of us, is that we, myself included, started to look at
> > each other´s thoughts and ideas based entirely on the merits of the arguments. Let us follow
> > academic principles and research the positions we are taking, carefully, holistically,
> > understanding all the facts surrounding our positions. Then let us debate these views from a
> > point of view of knowledge, and from a point of view that we are debating in order to find the
> > best possible path for AfriNIC as a community and as an organisation. I strongly believe that
> > if we, and again, I include myself, can approach things in this manner, we can all have our
> > perspectives changed, and all ideas can contribute to a better future for this community.
> > Please do not misunderstand my position here, I am not suggesting for one second that we
> > cease debate, I am simply suggesting that all of us attempt to focus more on the issues at
> > hand, rather than attacking the proposer, the collective, or anyone else.
> > I truly believe that the members of this community all want what is best for AfriNIC, I just am
> > of the opinion that we have very different ways of approaching it. Ways that are born based
> > on the experiences we have all had as we have moved through life. This is not to say that
> > any one way is better than another, it is just to say they are different, and sometimes entirely
> > unique in nature. However, when you combine this diversity and this uniqueness you end up
> > with a stronger whole. Let us respect each other, and as Africans, as members of this
> > community, as interested parties, attempt to move past our prejudices, whatever they are,
> > and work together for what is in the best interests of the organisation and community. Let us
> > leave the personal behind, and focus on the issues and what builds, rather than what tears
> > down.
> > With all of this now said and done, I personally would like to extend a hand to anyone who is
> > willing. I am prepared to sit and engage one on one with anyone who wishes to do so, to
> > explore their point of view, and for them to see my point of view. In the spirit of seeking
> > common ground, so that where people feel that my actions are the cause of any discord, let
> > us attempt to mend the issues, and go back to academic principles where we are debating
> > the issues in an attempt to build a better, brighter future for us all. I am available on Skype,
> > via email, or face to face if anyone wishes to engage in that manner and finds themselves in
> > close geographic proximity to me. I believe that healing has to start somewhere, and I believe
> > in life, that if you desire change for a better tomorrow, that change has to start somewhere.
> > So, if it must, let that change start with me, and my actions, and my words.
> > I look forward to engaging with all of you, and I hope that together, as a community we can
> > move beyond the divides and come to a point where we are mutually seeking the best for
> > AfriNIC, with respect for each other, and each other´s views.
> > I am sending this to all three lists, RPD, Members, and the Community, because I believe
> > that the same issues that plague our debates in one forum, spread across all three, from the
> > policy side, through the member base, and into the wider community. I personally would
> > welcome engagement from any member of any of those lists.
> > Yours Sincerely
> > Andrew Alston
> > AfriNIC community member
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