Astute observations CMR - I don't disagree with a word you said.  If we
are official, then we have sold out.

That being said I remain almost completly unconcerned with the problems of
such a close association. All through the process of deciding how
"official" our organization would be come it was made clear that it would
be a conscious choice, and to knowledge there was not one objection.

Yes there are very real conflicts with this development community having
such close ties with the official campaign, but in my opinion the problems
are almost completly mitigated by the fact that this project is completly
open source.

* Yes, HQ is very concerned about the name "hack" and in my opinion it is
very probable we will change our name because of it.  The fact that a
_presidential campaign_  - the official campaign - is willing to embrace
and endorse an open source development project is so outragously cool that
name of the working group working on the tools isn't so important to me
personally anymore.  Besides, i would rather win this election than save
the word "hack".

* Sure, the campaign will have the final say into what goes
int othe final distribution of the code that will constitute the "campaign
community kit" distributed by the campaign.  But whether we were working
with them or not, this would not change, and furthermore - it is open
source - anyone can make a "kit".

* Correct, the fact that the development community is becoming somewhat
"official" spells out conflict with the abilities for the communities
using our software to voice their opinion. However, HQ has already stated
and I truly believe that communities using our tools will remain
unofficial, and thus unrestricted by the official campaign.  There are
very reall PR and legal reasons why this must be so, beyond perceivable
conflicts between control over the campaign message.

What do you guys think?

On Wed, 23 Jul 2003, CMR wrote:

> > I talked to our lawyer again and he urged me STRONGLY to please ask you
> > guys not to deal with legal issues. This is different than Meetup hosts,
> > where people are looking for legal advice as independent groups, and not
> > coordinated with the campaign. Since we're working together, and
> > building a product the campaign will offer as a service, it is critical
> > that all legal decisions be made by Eric.
> >
> Observation time boys and girls:
> As this thread develops, I think it's becoming clear just what the
> difference is in becoming a movement "of Dean"  as opposed to one "for
> Dean". I'm not passing judgment here, but just making the observation that
> ceding the independence of the project, and subsequently it's ultimate
> nature and function, comes at a "price".As do all choices.
> We've reached (and passed?) a crossroads here. Coordinating with Burlington
> in a evermore "intimate" manner way well be the optimal path to follow at
> this juncture, but that's a judgment call; anyone who says it's not, is
> being disingenuous. We (or some of us, in any case) have become "players"
> and that's a seductive experience indeed. But players often are required to
> play by someone else's rules. Nothing wrong with that, right? Got to have
> rules, after all.
> Thing is, I recall Zack's first posts regarding this "vision" on the
> coffeehouse list. He was carrying on about decentralized organic networks
> and reeds law and so forth... I could hear the eyes roll. But he got my
> attention because I see the cosmos as an "organic", adaptive,
> interconnected thing. A complex open self-organizing system so to speak. And
> the thing about open systems is that you start with some very simple ground
> rules and then you get out of the way. It'll make it's own rules from then
> on and if you try constrain it with boxes, or walls or straight lines it'll
> either overwhelm you or it'll die. But what it won't be is the same.
> My rather circuitous point here is simply that by choosing to directly link
> the project into the Dean organization, we lose some of that self-directed,
> self-sustaining, and, yes, self-organizing character; for better or ill.
> One of the initial threads-become-firestorm was about the true meaning of
> hacking, remember? I was first educated, then convinced, that the label
> meant something very important to many of those involved. Well, based on my
> recently corrected definition, we're now less about hacking and more about
> "suits". And perhaps that's in fact the best outcome we could ever have
> hoped for; perhaps not. I really don't know. I just know we've started down
> a new path here and it feels different.
> What I do know is that, given this linkage, if Dean isn't nominated the
> movement will be a different "animal" then if it had remained independent
> and it'll be standing around wondering what to do next. Will it be robust,
> generalized and adaptive enough to redefine itself, grow and prosper? Or
> will the constraints it "bought" by tying it's fortunes (and helm) to a
> (the?) man render it too "specialized" to morph and thus extinct?
> I don't know. I just read between the lines and thought I'd make an
> observation. Read it, delete it, advise me to take my medication...
> whatever. But think about it a bit, then put the shoulder once again to the
> wheel.
> Peace
> <--enter gratuitous quotation that implies my profundity here-->

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