Having Meetings is the Most Important Issue

Timothy C. May tcmay at netcom.com
Thu Mar 3 12:29:01 PST 1994


(I'm copying the main list as well, as I make some points about the
general idea of having local gatherings. I suspect more detailed
comments on the mechanics of arranging the meetings, establishing the
links, etc., should best be kept on the
cypherpunks-meeting-planners at ah.com list.)


Thanks, Eric, for creating this sub-list. I don't plan to do most of
my writing here, though. (Praise the stars.)

I've been engaged in a dialog with Pat Farrell about planning the D.C.
meeting, getting a place, etc. It sounds like the EFF venue may be the
best solution.

Let me very briefly make again some of the points I made to Pat and Eric:

- having any meeting at all is much more important than whether it is
linked partly or fully to the Bay Area meeting. Even if only 5 people
show up, this is a start. (I agree that 5 people in attendance does
not justify elaborate preparations, special conference rooms, etc.
Hence, folks may want to rendezvous at a pizza place or similar. If
attendance grows, you can then think of larger, better-connected places.)

- most geographic areas are, for whatever reason, not having any
meetings at all. This is really too bad, as the physical Cypherpunks
meetings in Mountain View have really been important in "gluing
together" many activities, and the 5 hours of discussions and debate
amongst 20-40 people is very invigorating (few fall asleep,
unusually). 

(If the Bay Area can draw as many as 50 people to a meeting--as our
last two meetings have done--then I'm convinced the other major tech
areas could draw at least 10 folks each. Maybe not at first, but maybe
even than 10 as time goes on.)

- the phone or MBONE or whatever link between the groups need not last
for long...just long enough to establish a sense of connectivity and
community and to discuss certain items of mutual interest. The last
time we linked, last April, the main intersite link was for not much
more than an hour, as I recall. (It worked well, with Derek Atkins,
Mike Godwin, and others in Cambridge, and a bunch in the Northern
Virginia area.)

- even a brief call-in period would be nice. That is, we could
allocate some time, say, 2 p.m. PST, for brief call-ins from folks who
want to update the main group (Bay Area, by history and default) on
what they're doing and get verbal feedback. Ten minutes per call,
several calls perhaps. (Just an idea, perhaps for future
meetings....just don't give Detweiler our number!)

- regarding travel distances....I'm not too sympathetic. I drive 50
miles over dangerous mountain roads to get from Santa Cruz to the
meeting site, Eric Hughes drives 40 miles from Berkeley, John Gilmore
40 miles from San Francisco, and others are as far away as Santa Rosa,
about 60-70 miles north. And we do it each and every month!

- so, I'm enthusiastic that finally the remote sites will begin to
take off.  Colorado seems already to be rolling along, and D.C. (which
was planned by them to have a natural focus on lobbying and education
of Congresscritters) may be reawakening from its slumber.

- anybody heard anything from Austin lately?

Cheers!

--Tim May


-- 
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