I would like to thank everyone who was able to participate in our discussion on mumble this morning, and I want to extend my hand and express my gratitude for all of your efforts at helping to form a communication bridge between the east and west. I am looking forward to many such meetings in the future, and I am honored and humbled to be a part of such a brilliant and gifted group of individuals.
That said, I would like to offer to you a proposal. This topic was discussed in our meeting, however I do not wish to imply that there was any overall consensus. Rather, I have organized a version that I would like to bring forward in order to stimulate further discussion.
We cherish the level of intellectual intimacy that we have thus far enjoyed between ourselves and one of our beloved founders, Dan Larimer. We also understand that as a community, our organization has often suffered from sudden market turmoil because it seems we have yet to figure out how to enable the free and open exchange of ideas between us, without leaving ourselves vulnerable to subjective responses from people for whom it is impossible to grasp the larger picture. This is not by means the only force at play, but I present it for purposes of illustrative example.
We discussed, in our session today, the various PR blunders that we have experienced in the past year, and the point was often raised that if a radical idea was initially proposed by bytemaster in a mumble session, the blunder would be quickly contained and not escalate very far. We observed that this was likely due to the immediate feedback he received, combined with a general human tendency to grasp the more subtle implications of words when they are spoken, rather than written on a page. By extension, whenever he brought fourth a radical idea or concept on the forums, the asynchronous delay (lack of real-time participation) combined with natural language barriers became a powerful fertilizer for seeds of doubt that would then be cast and sewn across the landscape.
In most places within the United States, it is illegal to use recording devices inside a courtroom. The reason for this is because a recording can potentially be taken out of context, and used as a tool to manipulate public opinion. The written account of an eyewitness, or an artists graphic rendering of a dramatic court scene do not have 1: 10,000 the impact of a “viral” video or audio recording. To make up for this, a high percentage of court preceedings are open to the public, so as to protect against overt or blatant foul play. Again, by no means the rule, but presented for arguments sake.
My proposal to bytemaster and to this community is that he consider continuing to hold mumble sessions with us, but that we do not record them. I do not believe that this would betray our principals, because anyone is still welcome to join and participate. What it does provide is an opportunity for all of us to continue the lively discussions that we have grown fond of, while protecting ourselves significantly against the accidental rapid dissemination of subjective misinterpretation.
Public Relations is the art of managing the spread of information, much more than placing restrictions on the source of the information. Many Hollywood actors are prone to running at the mouth and making a fool of themselves, but if they have a good publicist, the channels through which this information might otherwise be spread are carefully observed and controlled. Thus, the restrictions I am proposing are aimed at limiting the damage that might be caused by our open discussion by eliminating the opportunity for it to spread.
The greater internal PR strategy will continue to fall upon those who are working closely within his circle of trust. Perhaps they might consider advising Mr. Larimer to limit all initial presentation of his more radical ideas to to weekly or bi-weekly mumble sessions? That way we can continue to enjoy the inspiration and excitement of his wisdom and understanding, and he can continue to enjoy the benefits of personal growth through our valuable feedback.
What say you all?