links for 2007-10-31

Sunset on Whois

Whois may die. I’ve used it in the past to determine who owns a web site. I’ve even been frustrated that a very negative web site had a privacy blocker in place so I could not determine who ran the site. At the same time, I have the same protection on most of my domains. I no longer get the massive amounts of spam now that I have changed the protected address.

IMO, ICANN may as well die. Its a collective of people who represent interests of companies or activists without much concern for what they should… A high functioning Internet. They hit similar deadlocks regularly. Everyone has their lines drawn in the sand such that nothing can move. I’m surprised whenever they make a decision.

Marilyn Cade … called the sunset proposal “an emotional overreaction that somehow got crystalized into an option…” Whois May Be Scrapped to Break Deadlock

The original intent of the system was to provide a way for exchanging contact information for resolving issues. I’d image technical folks involved with DNS, email, and web sites still use it to some degree. Should it disappear today, DNS would still convert an IP to a host.domain name. Hopefully that domain has a web site who will tell me who to contact?


One of my favorite starting of silliness from the Boondocks (season 1).

Gin Rummy: But I always say, “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. ”
Riley:  What?
Gin Rummy: Simply because you don’t have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that something doesn’t exist.
Riley:  What?

It goes downhill from there…

Input Into Decisions

Fear brings out the worst in people. Fear of change or the unknown manifests in criticism, anger, and overreaction. Yes, I am guilty of this like everyone else… I am not somehow above all this.

The idea of democracy, I think, where everyone is able to provide input into the making of a decision was created so everyone feels like he (and more recently she) has had the opportunity to influence the decision. True, a decision could go the wrong way, but at the least opinions were heard. Athens in ancient Greece is the society we remember as the inventor of this form of government. The decisions they made were also chaotic… During the Peloponnesian War, a general would be sent off to complete some objective and a faster ship sent days later to rescind the hasty orders and replace with equally hasty orders. Decisions were highly influenced by charismatic individuals.

Some people need to feel like they provided input into the decisions which affect them. Either they can provide the input in the beginning before the decision is made, or they can force a revisitation of the decision to take into account the same input. Here is an article from San Antonio College in the aftermath of their decision recently to use Blackboard Vista the newer version of WebCT CE 4 which they use now:

More than just knowing what is happening, many faculty members were unhappy that those who use Internet courses regularly had no input in the matter.

“We’ve sort of been hung out to dry on a lot of these issues,” philosophy Professor Richard Oliver said. He expressed the need for regular meetings between those who teach Internet courses regularly because they encounter problems specific to the Web and can address them better then those who do not teach Internet courses regularly.
Switch to Blackboard Vista prompts concern among senate members

They wanted to know who made the decision. My experience is generally such decisions are not made by a single individual. Probably the idea floated about a number of individuals. Probably it was brought to a committee who didn’t feel they had the power to make the decision who passed it on to other committees. Eventually they all agreed, as did the upper administration, but now some in the faculty senate are upset they were not the ones who made the decision. So they will push back and probably make the same decision once the anger subsides.

Rock Eagle Wrap-Up

Index of posts:

  1. RE 2007: GeorgiaVIEW Meeting (Pre-Conference)
  2. RE 2007: Birds of Feather: GeorgiaVIEW Vista
  3. RE 2007: Top Ten Disruptive Trends
  4. RE 2007: Birds of a Feather: Luminis
  5. RE 2007: Administering Sakai
  6. RE 2007: GeorgiaVIEW Vista File and Content Sharing
  7. RE 2007: USG Digital Content Repositories: Resources to Share

After this point, I got wrapped up in other things, moderating, fireworks, a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, and dealing with tickets. The above are all sessions which affect my area even tangentially. Hope you enjoy.