The hollowing out of ICANN must stop

by Maria on March 19, 2011

Last week, I did something I never expected to do. At the ICANN meeting in San Francisco, I stood up in front of several hundred people and the ICANN Board of Directors and delivered a full and frank criticism of the management of ICANN’s current CEO, Rod Beckstrom.

The response to this speech was overwhelmingly strong and supportive, both in the immediate and lengthy applause and, since then, in a constant stream of handshakes, twitter and facebook shout-outs, and emails – many of which were privately sent by current members of the ICANN staff. I am re-producing my comments here so that they may be more widely available and spark further public debate.

I know the Internet community well enough to say that this is not a popularity contest, and the support I’ve received for my comments isn’t personal. There is a widely shared and profound disquiet at how this organization has been managed, horror at the near-vandalism of the damage done, and a growing sense that it must stop. [click to continue…]

Aware of all internet traditions

by John Quiggin on March 19, 2011

Australia has a new contender in the struggle to epitomise total cluelessness in a single pithy saying. Cardinal Archbishop George Pell (unofficial spiritual adviser to opposition leader Tony Abbott) is, unsurprisingly in the Oz context, a climate delusionist. In this role, he recently took on Greg Ayers the director of the Bureau of Meteorology who had presented to Parliament a demolition of the silly book on which Pell mainly relies, Ian Plimer’s Heaven and Earth.

Responding to Ayers, this latter-day Bellarmine[1] is quoted as follows

”I regret when a discussion of these things is not based on scientific fact,” Cardinal Pell said. ‘I spend a lot of time studying this stuff.”

The phrase I’ve bolded is well on the way to viral status in Oz, and I think it deserves wider dissemination.

fn1. I was mildly shocked to discover from Wikipedia that Bellarmine had been canonised in 1930, though it’s unclear whether his saintliness was manifested more in the case of Galileo or that of Bruno.