In his latest book Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, Clay Shirky (Twitter) makes the following statement about social systems: "Social systems have two modes -- dynamic and dead." Static isn't anywhere in that list. Well it is, it's just spelled d-e-a-d.
Folks in other communities want what we have in the SQL Server community. There are lots of reasons why the SQL Server community is vibrant, but a few core principles are at work here. Our community is a network of people who recognize we don't know everything, and at the same time recognize each of us knows something. It's the perfect setup for a social system, and PASS is a social system that represents a subset of the SQL Server Community. One thing I really admire about the SQL Server community is our ability to self-heal. I attribute this to the courage and strength of the leaders in our midst. A good recent example of this is found in the comment by Louis Davidson here.
There's an old psychology joke: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change. Does PASS really want to change and be more transparent? I ask this because of recent decisions made by PASS. Regarding dropping Steve Jones from the PASS Board of Directors slate, I know a lot of people are lining up to applaud PASS on sticking to its guns and holding to its process. In one sense this is to be admired. I'd like to offer another sense: Do any of us expect PASS to get it right the first time every time? What happens when they get it wrong? Isn't the correct answer to this question: "Fix it - quickly"? Why doesn't PASS do this? Is there no place or time for PASS to act quickly and decisively?
If this ain't it, then when?
I believe I have the answer to my question. PASS doesn't really want to be more transparent. The status quo is easy and familiar. If you think about this from the perspective of game theory, there's really no upside if PASS becomes more transparent. It's not like PASS members or volunteers are going to defect to NOSS (Next Organization for SQL Server) or anything - PASS is the only game in town.