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Re: Invitation to Co-Sign Letter to IEEE Election Candidates regarding ISTO

I believe there are different types of standards that require different 
types of handling.  On one end of the spectrum would be a standard that was 
purely an issue of achieving consensus as quickly as possible among a 
clearly defined group of industrial partners with no issues of correctness 
or impact outside the agreeing participants (I'm not sure such a pure 
standard exists, but I'm laying out the extremes).  On the other end of the 
spectrum is a standard that has to conform with reality and consider 
impacts beyond the participants.  For example, it would be very wrong for a 
group of pajama manufacturers to declare a standard for "inflammable" that 
had nothing to do with whether or not the garment could catch fire.  The 
more a standard is on the first side of the spectrum, the greater role I 
believe ISTO can play.  The more it is on the second side of the spectrum, 
the more IEEE needs to guard that ISTO does not make standards for the 
convenience and profit of industrial partners without regard to the greater 
realities of the situation and the impact on non-participating parties.  If 
this were allowed to happen, IEEE would be failing in its central mission 
of benefiting society.
Am I making my position clear?

At 02:51 PM 10/8/00 -0600, Roger B. Marks wrote:
>8 October 2000
>IEEE is now carrying out its annual election. Many candidates have 
>prepared position statements, but none addresses the issue of how IEEE 
>will deal with its Industry Standards and Technology Organization (ISTO). 
>As a voter, it is essential for me to understand their positions on this 
>critical issue.
>In order to gather input on this topic, and to educate the candidates on 
>it, I have prepared a letter inquiring as to their positions. I have 
>posted the letter to my personal web site <>.
>In order to let the candidates know that others share my interest in their 
>positions, I am requesting that those who do please let me know that they 
>they wish to be listed as co-signers of the letter. To join, first read 
>the letter and then follow the link at the end to a simple form. I will 
>ask for your name and IEEE status to pass along to the candidates, and I 
>will collect your email address so that I may pass any responses back to 
>you. I will also post candidate responses to the web.
>Time is short. I will distribute my letter to the candidates in one week: 
>on 15 October 2000. I will post their responses as I receive them. On 26 
>October, I will email the co-signers (and other interested individuals and 
>groups) with a URL to the candidate positions. This is six days before the 
>1 November 2000 deadline for the receipt of ballots.
>If you care about this issue, please read the letter 
><> and then co-sign it immediately if you wish.
>If IEEE is to continue to function as a vibrantly democratic institution, 
>the members need to know the stance of the candidates on the most 
>important issues we face. If you are interested in IEEE's relationship 
>with ISTO, please participate by joining me.
>Roger Marks, IEEE Member
>Please feel free to distribute this Invitation to colleagues who may be 
>cc: candidates in IEEE Election

Mark P. Haselkorn
Professor and Founding Chair
Department of Technical Communication
Principle Investigator, National Research Council Project on
	Lessons from Y2K for Strategic Management of IT
IEEE Technical Activities Strategic Planning Committee
Box 352195
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-2577; (206) 543-8858 (fax)