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[DPRG] "in-focus issues"]

Subject: [DPRG] "in-focus issues"]
From: Bill Boyer daweasel at swbell.net
Date: Mon Dec 8 23:39:00 CST 2003

You mean people actually squeeze in some robot stuff during the buffets?
RBNO west is lucky to have a few Cokes and a stale bag of chips every
once and a while, but we get stuff built. 

> Seems to me that a discussion of the style and organization
> of the club itself is very much on-topic for this list. 
> I'm pretty excited about what has happened to the club since
> Ed approached Mike about using his warehouse as a place to
> leave the contest courses setup for folks to practice. (God
> Bless BOTH of them!)
> I think it has fundamentally changed the club, at least for me.
> The Tuesday night RBNOs have taken on a life of their own.
> These are very informal gatherings, no Robert's Rules of Order, no
> "moderator" to force us to stay "on topic," no one with the authority
> to decide which issues are "out-of-focus", and no power-plays or any
> of the other organizational problems that I believe Roger is attempting
> to solve with his more autocratic approach.   History suggests that the
> sort of structure which concentrates all decision-making power in the hands
> of one individual has problems of its own...
> The club for me now is not the monthly meetings or contests, but the
> weekly gathering to run robots and exchange ideas and eat dinner.  It
> has really amazed me how this has taken off and all the work that is
> going on.  I think we are also getting to know one another much better,
> know what skills and unique experience one another have, and it's been
> really cool to see all the robots being built and all the collaborations.
> All without any particular organizational structure or hierarchy.
> I mentioned all this to Ed and he thinks that all of this could not have
> happened without the formal organization of the DPRG, and perhaps he's
> right.  But what we are doing on Tuesday nights has produced more robots
> and more new ideas than I ever associated with the monthly-meetings
> format, and does not seem to require near the amount of energy and
> organization of the former.  Folks just do what they are inspired to
> do.  The only collaborative decisions seem to revolve around what's
> for dinner.

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