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Thread: Can Anyone Play This Game?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Seems the actual purpose would include doing the above to some “end”. For instance, I’d “discuss” to elicit information from people more knowledgeable than myself. And we might “discuss” to help create a more informed citizenry that in a somewhat abstract way would then promote better and more efficient government services.
    I like this modification a lot, and it's hardly controversial. I'm curious, Kim, is the purpose you described something that you and the Editorial Board crafted "verbatim" (as in a mission statement), or is it simply your "shorthand" characterization?

    I can't find any "mission" stated within the DF, and on the general WaylandeNews.com site, here's the only thing that I could find (from the About Us) page.

    "Our mission is to provide news and information to Wayland residents. We welcome editorial exchange. We encourage your participation."
    Perhaps its time to revisit and potentially amend that statement. Not urgent, just a thought. And, the manner in which the mission is stated won't really do anything to actually increase participation. That's the realm of a membership drive of some sort.

  2. #17
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    Must say, you folks are doing this very nicely, thank you. Really!

    “Membership drive” sounds a little too much like church. Rather we should design some sort of “marketing campaign”. (Good discussion topic I’d say.) But one that perhaps could go under a “Housekeeping” forum where internal business-type things pertaining to the discussion forum could be, well, discussed. More on that later, seems like what we should be talking about today is the HSBC meeting of last night.

    Could the “HSBC Meeting” work like this

    One of us who went to the HSBC meeting or maybe an informed and sharing type committee member could “review” the meeting as a basis for discussion. (No I didn’t go and I haven’t gone to Lea Anderson’s or the School Committee’s HSBC web sites to see what they say, but I will.) The discussion would be in the School Forum/HSBC Thread and we could actively solicit committee members and any other informed, school-interested people to become DF members and to share what they know. I bet plenty of people have strong ideas about what the high school should be and what it should cost, and we could get a lively discussion. Might it be interesting to illuminate the process of how the new high school becomes a reality rather than waking up one voting day, like I do, to the proposed school saying, “how’d it ever get like that?” What d'you think?

    (FYI, I still have some questions and am not suggesting setting up multiple forums yet.)

    donBustin@verizon.net

  3. #18
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    Default Groundhog Day

    I read this post Dave and it serves as a great example of why I am not a fan of discussion groups. So thanks for providing me with fodder to play with.

    Let’s assume I talk about the taste of a soufflé I cooked from a recipe. Given the above, your response to my hypothetical post would be something like:

    2 tbs of flour
    Flour is too messy, it gets on the counter and floor.

    7 egg whites
    Oh, so you are suggesting we take on the risk of salmonella poisoning. Look at this link:
    http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/dise...llosis_gi.html
    1 cup baking chocolate
    Too bitter, how can you like something so bitter?
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Too dangerous, you could get burned.

    And on. And on. And on. Perhaps it is the notion of deconstructing every thought that makes these posts in this section so inane or just the challenge of the debate. I don’t see great amounts of progress being exerted towards Don's question. There is too much interference. More importantly, this response approach is a form of logical fallacy – specifically straw man tactics by picking apart smaller details of the larger argument to discredit the larger message.

    In retrospect I should have made my post something along the lines of:
    Privacy rights are innate to every citizen in Wayland.
    Privacy is a fundamental tenet to the success of our Republic.
    This website does not guarantee privacy.
    Though distributive reason, this website is not a vehicle for success towards the citizens of Wayland.

    Now go off with your little “quote” function and try to corner me on any of those sentences.

    My big point, once again, is there is not a broad enough user base due to privacy concerns. And this is a shame. The more visible watchdogs in town are not present and I won’t accept a debate between public figures – say Jeff and Alan - as a proxy for town discourse. They are public servants or running for such roles and while I am grateful for their charitable time invested towards (oftentimes) a mercilessly thankless endeavor, we all would agree to some extent that debating online is practically an inclusive obligation of their duty and survival thereof. The private citizen of Wayland has no obligation.

    Regardless of long tails and pushing curves up and to the right – this is all theoretical in a MBA style thinkspeak that I engage in all the time with my job and it doesn’t deal with people’s reflexive nature. This is why like minded people can sit in a vacuum and talk like Michael Porter and put curves on a whiteboard and then go out and screw things up very quickly. Long Term Capital Management. Enron. Iceland. Why on earth would any of you reasonably believe that DF isn’t capable of the same behavior on a much smaller scale?

    Finally, anonymity seems to work perfectly normal in many free market elements, most notably the online community of eBay where the checks and balances are remarkably successful driven almost entirely by a set of users that prefers to keep their identities private. Talk about “long tail” in the appropriate context. And even the Swiss banking style of Paypal creates another moat of privacy between buyers and sellers. To expect such standards of this online community is fantasy.

    Or is it?

    If we pooled together a decent sum of private money and hired an accounting firm to annually update all the registered voters in Wayland and give them login rights to a user name that they alone and the this third party moderator could verify and keep private we could…..

    Oh, who am I kidding. Fire up your quote button and go to town.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Essi View Post
    I read this post Dave and it serves as a great example of why I am not a fan of discussion groups. So thanks for providing me with fodder to play with.

    Let’s assume I talk about the taste of a soufflé I cooked from a recipe. Given the above, your response to my hypothetical post would be something like:



    Flour is too messy, it gets on the counter and floor.


    Oh, so you are suggesting we take on the risk of salmonella poisoning. Look at this link:
    http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/dise...llosis_gi.html

    Too bitter, how can you like something so bitter?

    Too dangerous, you could get burned.

    And on. And on. And on. Perhaps it is the notion of deconstructing every thought that makes these posts in this section so inane or just the challenge of the debate. I don’t see great amounts of progress being exerted towards Don's question. There is too much interference. More importantly, this response approach is a form of logical fallacy – specifically straw man tactics by picking apart smaller details of the larger argument to discredit the larger message.

    In retrospect I should have made my post something along the lines of:
    Privacy rights are innate to every citizen in Wayland.
    Privacy is a fundamental tenet to the success of our Republic.
    This website does not guarantee privacy.
    Though distributive reason, this website is not a vehicle for success towards the citizens of Wayland.

    Now go off with your little “quote” function and try to corner me on any of those sentences.

    My big point, once again, is there is not a broad enough user base due to privacy concerns. And this is a shame. The more visible watchdogs in town are not present and I won’t accept a debate between public figures – say Jeff and Alan - as a proxy for town discourse. They are public servants or running for such roles and while I am grateful for their charitable time invested towards (oftentimes) a mercilessly thankless endeavor, we all would agree to some extent that debating online is practically an inclusive obligation of their duty and survival thereof. The private citizen of Wayland has no obligation.

    Regardless of long tails and pushing curves up and to the right – this is all theoretical in a MBA style thinkspeak that I engage in all the time with my job and it doesn’t deal with people’s reflexive nature. This is why like minded people can sit in a vacuum and talk like Michael Porter and put curves on a whiteboard and then go out and screw things up very quickly. Long Term Capital Management. Enron. Iceland. Why on earth would any of you reasonably believe that DF isn’t capable of the same behavior on a much smaller scale?

    Finally, anonymity seems to work perfectly normal in many free market elements, most notably the online community of eBay where the checks and balances are remarkably successful driven almost entirely by a set of users that prefers to keep their identities private. Talk about “long tail” in the appropriate context. And even the Swiss banking style of Paypal creates another moat of privacy between buyers and sellers. To expect such standards of this online community is fantasy.

    Or is it?

    If we pooled together a decent sum of private money and hired an accounting firm to annually update all the registered voters in Wayland and give them login rights to a user name that they alone and the this third party moderator could verify and keep private we could…..

    Oh, who am I kidding. Fire up your quote button and go to town.
    I see why you'd rather post anonymously.

  5. #20
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    At the risk of abusing the Quote button, I'm going to use "interspersing" to address your fundamentally different questions. By the way, I find interspersing to be helpful in not missing points to which I intend to respond. It's also helpful when the post to which one is responding isn't the most recent post. As you make clear with your recipe example, the practice can be taken too far, and I'll try to avoid that. It's not clear to me whether you are also taking exception to dropping content from the original post--I'll leave the entirety of the points that I'm addressing, but not keep unrelated points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Essi View Post
    In retrospect I should have made my post something along the lines of:
    Privacy rights are innate to every citizen in Wayland.
    Privacy is a fundamental tenet to the success of our Republic.
    This website does not guarantee privacy.
    Though distributive reason, this website is not a vehicle for success towards the citizens of Wayland.

    Now go off with your little “quote” function and try to corner me on any of those sentences.

    My big point, once again, is there is not a broad enough user base due to privacy concerns. And this is a shame. The more visible watchdogs in town are not present and I won’t accept a debate between public figures – say Jeff and Alan - as a proxy for town discourse. They are public servants or running for such roles and while I am grateful for their charitable time invested towards (oftentimes) a mercilessly thankless endeavor, we all would agree to some extent that debating online is practically an inclusive obligation of their duty and survival thereof. The private citizen of Wayland has no obligation.
    Privacy and anonymity aren't the same thing. I may have a right to privacy as a resident of Wayland, but that doesn't entitle me to carry out my responsibilities as a School Committee member in private. Privacy may be a "fundamental tenet to the success of our Republic," but that does mean that privacy must exist in all aspects of our Republic. Your "Through distributive reasoning" conclusion above simply doesn't follow logically from the statements you've made (and didn't make).

    You get off track when you jump from correctly stating that privacy is "a" (not "the only") fundamental tenet to falsely stating implicitly that this web site always does not guarantee privacy (anyone can view it privately) to finally making your conclusion.

    I could use your logic to make the following case (which I'm not making, of course):
    - Privacy rights are innate to every citizen in Wayland.
    - Privacy is a fundamental tenet to the success of our Republic.
    - Town Government requires officials to give up privacy and deliberate in public.
    - Though distributive reason, Town Government is not a vehicle for success towards the citizens of Wayland.

    (I fully appreciate that many would agree wholeheartedly with my conclusion--I'm just saying that you can't get to this conclusion from the leading statements! [grin])

    Here's my counter-thesis.

    - Making sound decisions requires sound information.
    - Knowing the source of information helps one judge the quality of that information.
    - The DF is a platform through which people can request and supply attributed information.
    - The DF increases the likelihood of sound decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Essi View Post
    Regardless of long tails and pushing curves up and to the right – this is all theoretical in a MBA style thinkspeak that I engage in all the time with my job and it doesn’t deal with people’s reflexive nature. This is why like minded people can sit in a vacuum and talk like Michael Porter and put curves on a whiteboard and then go out and screw things up very quickly. Long Term Capital Management. Enron. Iceland. Why on earth would any of you reasonably believe that DF isn’t capable of the same behavior on a much smaller scale?
    I don't see how increasing participation on the DF might lead to "screwing things up very quickly." To be sure, there might be unintended negative consequences of too many legitimate people posting on too many topics, but there are many examples of effective discussion forums (bigsoccer.com is one) that are many orders of magnitude larger than this one. Applying different "theoretical marketing methods" (broad-based outbound email, recruiting during chance encounters, viral posting of links on other forums) should lead to increased effective participation in practice. If that's not the result, we'll simply try something different, or try nothing at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Essi View Post
    Finally, anonymity seems to work perfectly normal in many free market elements, most notably the online community of eBay where the checks and balances are remarkably successful driven almost entirely by a set of users that prefers to keep their identities private. Talk about “long tail” in the appropriate context. And even the Swiss banking style of Paypal creates another moat of privacy between buyers and sellers. To expect such standards of this online community is fantasy.

    Or is it?

    If we pooled together a decent sum of private money and hired an accounting firm to annually update all the registered voters in Wayland and give them login rights to a user name that they alone and the this third party moderator could verify and keep private we could…..

    Oh, who am I kidding. Fire up your quote button and go to town.
    Doesn't eBay require you to give up your privacy at exactly the critical moment when one party has to provide a shipping address?

    I think that you misspoke (miswrote?) when you asked if it was fantasy to expect standards of anonymity from the DF. I do NOT think that it's fantasy to expect standards of *identity* from the DF, as we have exactly that standard today.

    The key question, as I see it, is whether the DF would become more or less effective if we went from identity to anonymity. The Town Crier discussion board is a great tool for helping to answer this question. The comments on the "TC," as interesting/entertaining as they can sometimes be, rarely "move the needle" with respect to better information and therefore better decisions. As small an impact as the DF may have in the larger scheme of Wayland decision-making, in my opinion, it nonetheless has a positive impact, and one that's more positive than the TC.
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 05-21-2009 at 05:49 AM. Reason: I used the "little edit button" to remove a minor point that was no longer true as the result of an intervening post.

  6. #21
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    Default New threads?

    Sincerest apologies to Vern, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Could the “HSBC Meeting” work like this

    One of us who went to the HSBC meeting or maybe an informed and sharing type committee member could “review” the meeting as a basis for discussion. (No I didn’t go and I haven’t gone to Lea Anderson’s or the School Committee’s HSBC web sites to see what they say, but I will.) The discussion would be in the School Forum/HSBC Thread and we could actively solicit committee members and any other informed, school-interested people to become DF members and to share what they know. I bet plenty of people have strong ideas about what the high school should be and what it should cost, and we could get a lively discussion. Might it be interesting to illuminate the process of how the new high school becomes a reality rather than waking up one voting day, like I do, to the proposed school saying, “how’d it ever get like that?” What d'you think?
    Yes! I think this is a fabulous idea! The more informed and educated our populace, the better our decision-making.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 05-21-2009 at 10:19 AM. Reason: to remove stuff obsoleted by generating new thread for MSBA questions

  7. #22
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    Default Nice response Jeff

    Jeff,

    I am an equal opportunity skeptic of everyone (occupational hazard) but I finally feel we have made contact in cyberspace with something to chew on. Thanks for the walk through style.

    For starters, I treat you as a citizen and don't believe this is the forum to pepper any town "official" with questions. I have been operating this way and respect the wall you have to place between the two. And if this impression is in error please let me know.

    Of course I realize that privacy and anonymity are not the same. And the logic argument I made isn't going to hold water - it was just a distillation of my core message as my circumlocutory gets in the way often (see?) in these posts. I think my analogy to eBay is not gelling at all - this approach literally separates buyer from seller in a lot of its transactions. A third party (paypal) holds the key to both and users obviously have sway in ranking bidders and sellers. It isn't perfectly private, but until the transaction is done it could be and is in a lot of instances. We could set up a trusted party situation like I mentioned towards the end of my last post. Most liquid markets act like this already in finance (as you probably know).

    But back to one point you make - and really think about this - I am not entirely sure anonymity indicates poorly sourced material. The Economist, for example, seems to be doing very well for somewhat of a faceless newspaper that wields some serious influence. I have no idea who writes the articles, but they are highly insightful. It has a great track record and deserves my respect.

    So let me take anonymity to the next level. Dave thinks identity it is core to the success of DF. He has been a member for over two years and all we have are 172 people registered for this site out of thousands upon thousands of registered voters in Wayland. As David Ryan, winner of the Freedom Prize in Wayland wrote in his essay "When even one citizen’s freedom is limited, it weakens the foundation of freedom for every other American." (Hats off to this kid!) This speaks to my point: if even one voice is limited because they fear retribution out of not being able to speak freely on this site then I think it hurts the overall level of participation. No, thousands aren't going to come rushing in, but I don't see 172 users as being a strong cross section of our voting population. Candidly, it is shockingly low.

    And that leads me to my final point. When I read these posts the vast majority are all crafted (note that word choice) by a lot of very intelligent people - some of which thrive on the challenge of the debate. But in my lifetime, more often than not, I am absolutely astonished at how successful an idea can be that has nothing but humility and pure heart and not a dose of intellectual capital. I could go toe to toe with Dave on the futility of long tail in an environment like this, and after about 21 iterations of the inane (with my beloved "quotes") wouldn't it be great if some user "warriordude41" stated, "If I want to have a chat with someone that shares my interest i just pick up the phone and call him. What is wrong with you people?" As obvious as that message is, how would it be interpreted if we knew he was a substance abuser, a professor or Gossels himself? Don't you think it would taint the message?

    Everyone has a right to challenge ideas without preconceived prejudice. And despite Dave's cop-out wise crack above, I have no desire to post under a different name. But some probably do and I have no problem with that. I simply don't see the harm in such an endeavor.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Essi View Post
    And despite Dave's cop-out wise crack above, I have no desire to post under a different name.
    T'was you who copped out, Vernon -- you ignored each of my questions and points, choosing instead to attack the format of my response. There was clearly no prospect for constructive interaction, hence my observation.
    Last edited by Dave Bernstein; 05-22-2009 at 04:31 AM.

  9. #24
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    Vern, I'm happy to be "peppered" with official questions here. Note that when I answer, I do so as a resident who happens to be a member of the School Committee. Unless specifically authorized to do so by a majority of that Committee, I don't speak on their behalf.

    Regarding the 172 members (and unknown number of readers--it's not uncommon for someone who does not post to email me to say that they read X or Y or Z on the DF), that's roughly the number who attend each Town Meeting start to finish. I'm not saying that count makes the DF a success, as there are many who argue that Town Meeting is a failure--I'm just making the observation.

    As for warriordude41, my problem is when he/she/it posts insulting or factually false information. Letting such posts go unaddressed runs the risk of their getting traction, while responding to them takes too much time. As I have said from time to time, it is so much easier telling a quick lie than a complicated truth.

    On the Town Crier discussion forum, I ignore such posts, but don't like that they exist and I think that they do some small harm. At the same time, I don't really participate on the Town Crier discussion forum anymore, preferring this environment. Granted, a big part of that choice is the vastly superior technology that the DF offers, right down to the Quote feature! [grin] Identity, though, is an equally big part--without it, I'll go elsewhere, perhaps to warriordude41's telephone, or to email, or best of all, to drinks with a few friends, to youth soccer practice, or to a bike ride with my wife.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vernon Essi View Post
    "warriordude41" stated, "If I want to have a chat with someone that shares my interest i just pick up the phone and call him. What is wrong with you people?" As obvious as that message is, how would it be interpreted if we knew he was a substance abuser, a professor or Gossels himself? Don't you think it would taint the message?
    If we understand things differently because of who says them, doesn’t that make the case for “real names”? It’s not always (or only) “perceived prejudice” – who’s speaking does add to my understanding of what’s actually being said.

    That said, isn’t one of Vernon’s points that the lack of anonymity might contribute to low participation? We’ve said why we’re against anonymity, but not addressed this possible effect. So, how do we know it’s significance and what people think about it? Vernon, you’re content to post as you, do you know people who feel uncomfortable with it? People here obviously like names, as do I (albeit a bit leery of seeming a fool). As with my question about DF’s function, a few people have shared what the think, but members who’ve been reading but not posting, we don’t know, members who haven’t been here, don’t know, guests, don’t know, people in Wayland, don’t know. I think we’re a long way from knowing what the scoop is.

    There’s so many problems with people trying to understand each other. Interpretation is fraught with difficulties. Some people even add abstract components to what they say that can only be inferred. Me, whether it’s “names”, “function” “HSBC” whatever, fun is to be had figuring out how to get the scoop, and then figuring out some way to make decisions about what’s in the scoop.

    I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

    donBustin@verizon.net

  11. #26
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    I don't know that we can say with any certainty that anonymity would increase the number of people who post. My bet is that we'd get some new anonymous posters, some identified posters choosing instead to post anonymously, and some identified posters choosing not to post at all.

    As it currently stands, of the threads with activity in the last month, 8 different people started them and 2 additional people are listed in the most recent post list. If we dug into each of the threads, we might find on the order of 5 more posters.

    How does 15 contributors compare to the Town Crier in the last month (noting that this is the "lull" period following the town election and Town Meeting)? Who knows? With some effort, we could count the number of letter writers and unique usernames in the Comments section. My guess is that we'd find more than 15, perhaps by a factor of 2.

    One question that would be interesting to ask of some of the original Town Crier letter writers is why they chose to "post" there rather than on the DF. Do they find the print companion to be compelling? Are they aware of the DF? Does the different comment nature of the DF relative to the TC intimidate them? Why not post in both places?

    Is 15 contributors in a month embarrassingly low, interesting but not overwhelming, or a home run? My vote is for the middle of those three. The conversation has been thoughtful, interesting, and on varied topics. I'm better and more informed for having spent the time to participate. I wish I could say that about everything I've spent my time on in the last month!

  12. #27
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    Default Discussing

    The discussion about discussing has been discussed before on the subject of discussion forums.

    What I said before on this subject on 3/8/09 can be found here
    http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/sh...74&postcount=2

    One thing that may not be obvious to the casual reader is that, in general, you don't see active governmental officials posting on a 'named' discussion board (which also means that they may be posting anonymously somewhere else occasionally).

    When I was an active official I rarely, if ever, posted.

    Jeff Dieffenbach is the exception to this rule... I'll let him explain that himself.

    (I can remember one instance having to do with the Happy Hollow windows and I had some relevant detail to provide to a readership who was in the dark at the time.)

    The reason I bring this up is that when an active official posts then their words can potentially be used by somebody who might want to bring an action against the town or the board that the person is on (so to speak). So there is some liability around an active official posting and this is why you will not be able to get a governmental discussion board going.

    This topic was brought up at the ECC meetings and was consistently shot down for these reasons.

  13. #28
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    I agree that Committees shouldn't (and probably legally can't) use discussion boards to conduct business. They can, however, use them to ask questions (the School Committee's fall 2008 survey in essence did just that).

    As for explaining myself, well, I guess I just like to hear myself write! [grin] I'm not sure that I can "explain" anything other than to say that I enjoy and learn from the exchanges, and do a better job as a result.

    I know of no liability related to an individual board member posting on a discussion board. Nothing I say as an individual can be attributed to the School Committee in any official way. Sure, people can say that "Jeff said X so the Committee thinks Y," but there are downsides to silence as well.

    For those in favor of transparency, my participation on this (and any other board) is a step in that direction. I may "misspeak" from time to time, and I may make statements with which I later disagree. I'm happy to take that small risk.

  14. #29
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    Default I can't see what your saying...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I agree that Committees shouldn't (and probably legally can't) use discussion boards to conduct business. They can, however, use them to ask questions (the School Committee's fall 2008 survey in essence did just that).
    Technically, a member of a board posting something in public or publishing an article should have the obligatory note: "The comments of Mr/Ms X are his/her alone and not necessarily the opinion of his/her board". But we can do without the technicalities right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    As for explaining myself, well, I guess I just like to hear myself write! [grin]
    And certainly I like to hear what you write too !

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I know of no liability related to an individual board member posting on a discussion board. Nothing I say as an individual can be attributed to the School Committee in any official way. Sure, people can say that "Jeff said X so the Committee thinks Y," but there are downsides to silence as well.
    If you say something of substance without a disclaimer, one could walk into the SC meeting with a printout of your post and call you and your board on it during public comment. Believe that.

    If the thing that was said was part of an investigation or a suit then it would be court admissible. This is the liability I was talking about and this is why you usually don't see sitting members posting. But please, I'm not trying to stop you or dissuade you in any way... this is just an intellectual exercise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    For those in favor of transparency, my participation on this (and any other board) is a step in that direction. I may "misspeak" from time to time, and I may make statements with which I later disagree. I'm happy to take that small risk.
    No one could say that you were non-transparent due to your lack of public text postings for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    Technically, a member of a board posting something in public or publishing an article should have the obligatory note: "The comments of Mr/Ms X are his/her alone and not necessarily the opinion of his/her board". But we can do without the technicalities right?
    Please see my brand spanking new signature, below.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    If you say something of substance without a disclaimer, one could walk into the SC meeting with a printout of your post and call you and your board on it during public comment. Believe that.
    Yes, but they'd only get traction calling me on it, not the Committee.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    If the thing that was said was part of an investigation or a suit then it would be court admissible. This is the liability I was talking about and this is why you usually don't see sitting members posting. But please, I'm not trying to stop you or dissuade you in any way... this is just an intellectual exercise.
    Agreed, which is why I don't comment on negotiations, litigation, or personnel matters, which are the three most common topics of executive session. I guess you could throw in topics like control of the School Committee Web site as areas that I should avoid, but life is short ...

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    No one could say that you were non-transparent due to your lack of public text postings for sure.
    Oooh, well played! [grin] I guess people could say that I'm non-transparent because I don't answer *every* publicly-asked question, but there are few of any import from which I shy away. And, people might accuse me of non-transparency in other areas, but they would be just that, accusations, and weak ones at that.

    It's interesting to hear the cry of "Transparency!," actually. Other than not printing every single line item of our budget (and we essentially print as much as Weston, the apparent "gold standard"), I don't know that I could name another specific area where I've been "opaque." Rather, the charge is lazily tossed around without any foundation. If I'm in error in saying this, I will be happy to stand corrected.

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