CommitteeA political term for collaborations for forming and publishing agreements on technical topics. Committees are a most useful way to take technical decisions. Technicians with different points of view meet, discuss, and vote.
However, there is a great danger about committees:
- Firstly, when some people not being represented and defended in the committee, the committee will completely disregard those people's interest. Such committees may share out anything subject to them as a loot, and define private grounds for committee members to establish their domination upon.
- Then, when the committee members do not feel bound enough to the interest of people they supposedly represent, so they will start doing work for themselves; they will issue irksome pernicky rules, because it makes them feel useful and knowledgeable; and they will divide their work into an arbitrary hierarchical layering, because it allows them to summon more subcommittees made of even less competent members than themselves, and feel superior.
That's why any committee should be strictly controlled: its members could perhaps be democratically elected or dismissed, when no great technical background is needed; its debates as well as its decisions should never be secret; and the committee members should be considered responsible of any harm they may cause by their decisions. Finally, unless uniformization is strictly necessary, the committee should only publish recommendations, not rules. Only that way can those serious traps be avoided; for committees are needed whenever technical decisions are necessary.
Happily, a long tradition had the world of computer-related technical committees (when there are committees) follow more or less most of these safety rules. It is to be regretted however, that most of the time, an american committee, or a committee made of big world-wide companies, decides in practice for the rest of the world, so that the impartiality is often more questionable than it should.
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