Thursday, December 24, 2015

Why The Pessimism About CSM?

I was a part of CSM Watch's panel that took a look at the activities of CSM 10 and opined about the future of the Council of Stellar Management as an institution. I understand that some people didn't like our comments, in particular some members of the CSM. I know that looking at an institution from the outside can lead to misunderstanding what is really going on within the body due to not knowing all the facts.

But I think we had a reason for some of our pessimism. Three of us, Lanctharus, Lockefox, and myself, attended the CSM Roundtable held at EVE Vegas, and Lanctharus posted an audio recording of the event. I transcribed appoximately 5 minutes of the recording. The transcript is not exact as I took out the "uh","ah", and other fillers to make the statements more readable. The three people who's words follow are CSM members Sion Kumitomo, Mike Azariah, and CCP's CSM Coordinator, CCP Leeloo:
Sion Kumitomo: So, it’s been really interesting about that. We had a lot of really good forward momentum on fixing a lot of that stuff at the last summit. We had a really good winter summit. I’m sorry, fall, summer, whatever summit. It was really productive, really good. A lot of really good things done. And then a lot of stuff just all got smashed into tiny little bits. There was a huge NDA breach on either the CSM or a certain member or members of the [unintelligible] and it obliterated all kinds of trust. Like, we are borderline not functional as an organization right now because, when you don’t have that trust, people don’t actually have the freedom to talk to a developer to talk to you about this stuff.

Seriously. We’ve had internally with the CSM a number of people who are like, “Yeah, why bother? We should just all resign.” And I don’t mean like one person. I don’t mean that. We’ve also had internal discussions about why even have a CSM. Like, I wasn’t joking when I was talking to Mike about this. The CSM has a huge amount of potential, but this lady and this gentleman down there do an amazing job on what they can do. They have a lot of support that they don’t have that they need from their management. And we need to be better as CSM members.

So, to answer your question, I don’t regret it [running for CSM], but I do have a lot of regrets about how this has gone on and at this point I don’t know if it’s even salvageable. There’s a lot of what we can’t even do anymore. Because if you have a developer literally -- so this is Larrikin’s first really big announcement, right? -- like, how do you walk into a room, look somebody in the eye, and say I just literally ruined your announcement at your first time in Vegas.  Like, how could you do that? And it doesn’t even have anything to do with the NDA. It’s just a matter of how you comport yourself as a person. But that all bleeds through.

So we as a CSM have not handled this well. Either we will or we won’t, and if we don’t there’s even odds that the CSM doesn’t exist next year.

Mike Azariah: I said a long time ago during one of the campaigns that it takes one “oh shit” to ruin all the “attaboys” that you’ve gotten, and we’re at an “oh shit”. So whether we survive it and start stacking up the “attaboys” again is -- I’m willing to keep trying the rest of this term and I hope others, some of you guys will run and stack them up. But “oh shit” moments happen and they really leave a lot darker stain than any accomplishment to do in the meantime or prior to.

CCP Leeloo: Yeah, I’m going to answer that. Internally in CCP a lot of developers see CSM as a whole even though they are elected individuals. And sometimes the action of one person affect the whole council. So if you have one person who accidentally tweeted something and the developers then don’t want to interact with the whole of the council because the actions of one person will affect the reputation of the council as a whole. And there is very little we can do from our side to mitigate the damage. 

I confirmed with Lanctharus, who had a much better view of the proceedings, that Leeloo was referring to a tweet sent out by Jayne Fillon. I believe the tweet concerned the capital rebalancing. According to Lanctharus, CCP Leeloo shot Jayne a look while describing the incident. I should also note that the event occurred before Manfred Sideous was removed from CSM 10 for an unspecified infraction. The speculated reason is for an NDA infraction involving the release of information about the upcoming capital ship changes.

So yes, we came at the subject from a rather negative point of view. But if most of the news we hear about the CSM is negative, especially when that view is coming from CSM members themselves, then how are we supposed to react?

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