consensus blocking
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 05:39:32 -0700 (PDT)
> When a member threatens to block

Why is anyone threatening anyone? Or feeling threatened by someone else?

Language is very powerful: "Blockers." "Threatening."

Perhaps what is happening that triggers this language is not decision-making at 
all. It sounds like football. Or war.

In football and war, consensus decision-making is not an appropriate 
decision-making method. Two sides with conflicting aims can't reach consensus. 
There will be a winner and a loser.

Announcing consensus by over-ruling objections on technical grounds, doesn't 
make it consensus. It makes it a game. Games are played by pre-determined 
rules. In games people who use the rules to their advantage, win. Everyone else 

The rules for "blocking" in every community that uses this language are 
technical and arbitrary. Count the number of discussions. Count the number of 
days that have passed. Count the number of people who are still "blocking." The 
precision of this arbitrary counting of factors is then presented as fairness 
and objectivity. Even as community building. War builds community.

Voting would produce fewer casualties.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
A Deeper Democracy: Making Freedom and Equality a Reality

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