Governance and responsibility

Ian Lance Taylor ian at
Mon Sep 26 04:29:27 UTC 2005

Russell Nelson <nelson at> writes:

> Ian Lance Taylor writes:
>  > When I say that the OSI doesn't speak for the community, I'm not
>  > speaking for the community, only for myself.
> Orwell is rolling over in his grave.  If you want to speak clearly and
> truthfully, you should say "I did not entrust you with anything.  You
> thus cannot speak for the whole community".

Sigh.  I've never liked being accused of being untruthful.  I freely
grant that I am often unclear.  To cover the comment about
untruthfulness, I'll reprise my original post.

Speaking for myself, I said "The community did not entrust you with
anything."  That is a statement based on fact, one which I happen to
believe to be true.  It is possible to provide evidence demonstrating
that it is false (e.g., widely signed petitions, statements by
acknowledged community leaders otherwise unaffiliated with OSI, etc.).

Speaking for myself, I continued "You don't speak for the community."
That is a deduction from the earlier statement.  I am presenting an
argument.  The argument has the premise stated above, and an implied
premise, which is that one person can not speak for another person
without that other person's consent.  When speaking for a group, there
are many ways of obtaining consent.  (As far as I can tell, the OSI
currently ultimately relies on "if people didn't agree with us, they
would start a different organization," which is a very weak form of
consent indeed).

Speaking for myself, I continued "You could defuse most if not all of
the complaints, without losing any of your effectiveness, if you
stopped making those claims."  A statement following on from the
earlier ones.  (I'm a little disappointed that y'all don't pick up on
the fact that the OSI would not lose any effectiveness by ceasing to
claim that they speak for the community, but I did not present it

So.  Unclear: probably.  Untruthful: No.

I apologize for extending this thread.


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