[Theforum] Barriers -- let's talk philosophically

A. Erickson amanda at gawow.com
Thu Oct 25 20:33:12 CDT 2001

> From: "Luther, Ron" <Ron.Luther at compaq.com>
> To: <theforum at lists.evolt.org>
> Reply-To: theforum at lists.evolt.org

> I'll bite!  


> 1. Sorry - I can't think of any non-trivial, non-chaotic 
> systems with 'no barriers'.  Maybe somebody else has an example?

The only one I could think of was "parenthood" although it wouldn't take
long for us to think up some barriers that there might be including
social and economic. 

> 2. There are LOTS of different types of barriers: language, 
> socio-economic status, race, creed, political POV, physical, 
> distance, ability/skill level, intellectual, time, 
> cultural/upbringing, age.

Definitely. Some are self-imposed: I don't have time, I'm not good
enough, I am too shy, etc. 

Frankly, apathy can be a huge barrier in an organization. What do you do
when you build something and no one comes?

> 3. I think it's about as varied as there are people.  You can 
> be angry at being barred entry. You can accept the barrier.  
> You can use the barred entry as inspiration to acquire the 
> credentials for entry.  You can give up and cry.  You can be pleased!

To bring this back to evolt -- any barriers to entry that we set up
should be those that people can aspire to cross and *can* cross with due
diligence. Setting up these systems so that they are accessible to the
right people (those with due diligence) will be important and I think
should guide many of our structure building.

**Historical sidenote and tiny soapbox** I don't think anyone has ever
asked to join admin beyond the initial group of people (please correct
me if I'm wrong). I really do feel that if anyone had asked to join
admin that the admin group would have really seriously considered having
them in. It would say a lot about a person if they did that. As it
happened, though, subsequent admin members were sort of hand-picked
based on their participation, their skill and know-how and their
overarching interest. Which, frankly, worked quite well and probably
would have continued to work just fine. However, if we want to be more
open and that sounds like our goal then any barriers that we put up will
need to be very carefully constructed.

> 4. Nope.  [In fact, you can get two extremists together and 
> get them to argue that the same barrier is "positive" or "negative".]

Tru dat.

> 5. Yeah - I think they do.  I don't think you have a 
> "community" or a "civilization" without [laws]/[social 
> morays]/[rules of behavior]. Those kinds of things are set 
> within a structured environment - which usually means 
> 'leaders' and 'non-leaders' ... 'haves' and 'have-nots'... 
> and there is a [barrier] defining those roles.  {I'd like to 
> see an example where this isn't the case - but I can't think 
> of any ... even if you go back to matriarchal gathering 
> societies - there were still roles, expectations, .... and 
> social gaffs.}

Yes. This is probably going to be a big chewing point as I think
everyone here will want final decisions to not rest on one person. No
one should have veto power but tough decisions will still have to get
finalized somehow. 

> Even in a 'round table' discussion, there are some that 
> remain silent and some that grab the markers, monopolize the 
> white-board, and try to lead ....


Anyone else?

- amanda

> -----Original Message-----
> From: A. Erickson [mailto:amanda at gawow.com]
> Subject: [Theforum] Barriers -- let's talk philosophically
> Here's a couple angles that I'd like to explore:
> 	1. What is an example of a no-barriers system? Are there any?
> 	2. What are some types of barriers to entry?
> 	3. How do people feel about or react to barriers?
> 	4. Are barriers always positive or always negative?
> 	5. How do communities and barriers go together? Do they?
> Anyway, I'm hoping for a sort of round-table discussion that 
> any of us can participate in. 

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