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From Craig Russell <>
Subject Re: on "meritocracy"
Date Sun, 24 Mar 2019 14:51:59 GMT
To me, meritocracy was always a force-fit to describe what we strive for.

The terms with -ocracy all have the intended effect of invoking a top-down rule system of
governance. I reject all such descriptions of how Apache works.

How about just "merit-based" as a guiding principle. We don't have -ocracy at all. We strive
for merit-based governance.


> On Mar 22, 2019, at 4:47 PM, Kevin A. McGrail <> wrote:
> On 3/22/2019 7:28 PM, Roman Shaposhnik wrote:
>> On Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 4:25 PM Naomi Slater <> wrote:
>>> I suspect the answer is not to replace the word but to do away with it
>>> entirely
>> I still would like to have a succinct handle to reference the ethos of ASF.
> From my experience, there are words that are landmines in open source: 
> free and meritocracy happen to be such words without question. 
> Switching meritocracy to do-ocracy might be a good way to handle it and
> I know that's what other orgs like LF have done.  However, we are
> straddling the middle of having both principles of duopolies like JFDI
> and elections with the necessary hierarchy for fiscal / corporate
> oversight.  That means the definition of do-ocracy doesn't fit.  I
> usually do mention the issues like a meritocracy often morphs into a
> dictatorship and that people can amass too much merit that it's viewed
> as harmful.  I see that when I mention my $0.02 sometimes and it's taken
> with more weight than I intend.
> So like Roman, I've been search for a word or a succinct handle to refer
> to it.  I don't have an answer but agree that do-ocracy and meritocracy
> don't work well.
> I usually say all the things we aren't in my Yet Another The Apache Way
> talk (TATAW per Daniel Ruggeri).  I think I'll start saying we aren't a
> meritocracy OR a do-ocracy/duopoly either but it's the closest thing I
> know of. 
> I don't like the idea of NOT saying what we are so do you have
> suggestion of what word you think fits?
> Regards,
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Craig L Russell
Secretary, Apache Software Foundation <> <>

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