When I was going through my mail this morning one of the messages had the following in it:
Voting is almost never a way to reach consensus. Rather, it acknowledges that consensus has not been reached and side-steps further constructive attempts to reach it. — Stefano Zacchiroli
Stefano is the Debian Project leader and the discussion was about the procedure for taking over the maintenance of a program that has been neglected by its current keeper, but that isn’t really important. What blew me away about the quote was the completely different viewpoint it had about voting. I had been headed that way ever since I read about the Condorcet method but Stefano’s statement crystallizes the problem and puts a little bow on it.
In the already demoralizing context of the current election this statement rings even more true. It makes you wonder whether the lack of voter turnout is a function of disinterest in our collective fate or the rejection of a system that is clearly driving us apart.
I flew Virgin America from Dallas to SF for the Code for America summit this week. I’m super curious about the conference. I’ve spent the last couple of years trying to squeeze time in for software advocacy and this is the first time I’m really going to be able to spend a few days focused on the topic. Our BetterBlock events in Dallas, TX have caught the attention of city planning activists nation-wide and Code4America invited Andrew Howard and Jason Roberts and I out to the event to share knowledge. Unfortunately I am the only one who could get out here for the conference. The Knox BetterBlock is happening this weekend and, of course, Jason has a lot going on in his life right now.
It’s interesting how SF emphasizes it’s classy brand as soon a you walk into the air port. Fine dining with an exposed kitchen, classy pottery displays and so on. Of course my train ride dropped me in the mission district which feels much more OC. The biggest difference being the enormous bike rack at the 24th and Mission station.
Its also Oracle’s Java One conference all this week and lots of old friends from the Free Software Java scene are in town. I’ve been exchanging messages with Bruno Souza and Geir Magnusson. I also want to try to catch up with Mauricio Leal, Fabiane Nardon, Dalibor Topic and Per Bothner. It would also be awesome to meet up with Debian nerds. Is there a Debian Java BOF at JavaOne?
I started my Sunday with Sam, Jennis and their neighbors Kelly and Sirima. Check out this view from the deck of Mission Rock Resort. Great seafood. What a great way to start a week in San Francisco!
It’s exciting to be here! I’m going to try to catch up with Bruno after his JUG talks at JavaOne. There is so much going on that I’m worried about whether I will be able to see all the people and all the talks that I’m interested in. I’m definitely going to try!