local UNIX groups
rick at seismo.CSS.GOV
Thu Aug 25 03:25:43 AEST 1988
The biggest problem with affiliating with local groups. There is
an implicit endorsement of the local group with the affiliation.
Now, what happens if some nice, well meaning people set up
a local user group and get USENIX to affiliate with them. Then,
in the next election, a group of flaming morons stage a coup
and replace the "good" people with their own set of "bad" people with
an entirely different agenda. There is now an implicit
endorsement by USENIX of these "bad" people who will be
trading on the name.
Can USENIX unaffiliate because they no longer want to be
associated with the new group? If they do, will they get sued for it?
This is not as silly a scenario as you might expect. It could have
happened this year if USENIX had endorsed/affiliated with local
groups. The hassle was avoided because they happened to have no
official affiliation with the local group.
It seems to be a fairly simple argument. What are the
real benefits to USENIX (which means USENIX members)? - Virtually none.
Are there potential problems? - Yes, lots.
Is the benefit worth the potential costs? Very Doubtful.
Note that this doesnt mean USENIX should not provide some assistance to
local groups (as they do now). It just means that a formal
arrangement can be a lot more trouble than it's worth.
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