- May 27, 2014
I like the idea of a "stamp of approval", if the total points get above a certain threshold.Mizzy, it takes guts to stand out and say something against the crowd. But what you said needs to be heard and I'm glad you said it.
My main question is: Why should I pay for someone else to do another's analysis?
It's a similar problem with taxation: Person1 takes money out of person2's pocket for person3's benefit. The further the money is from your control, then the greater the potential for corruption, inefficiency, and bad outcomes. In this case, the further the analysis is from your own, the greater the potential for misinformation, corruption, bad decisions.
So, I'd say: Either you pay someone to do your own analysis, you get together with other MN's to pool your resources and fund your analysis as a group, or the analyzers volunteer for free. Please don't use public funds to further centralize the group to do analysis that I didn't ask for, and on top of it give that group undue influence on the wider group.
On the other hand if this "committee" were simply an optional service for proposers to help them make better proposals with better chance of approval, then OK I would actually vote yes to fund a group to do that. Many proposals are of poor quality, and I would fund a 3rd party to help improve that quality. This is a very different flavor than a committee that gives ratings to influence the greater group - that is ripe for corruption if not now then eventually, as MizzyMax clearly points out. And we'll be stuck with this model that will be difficult to change.
1. I somewhat agree with GrandMasterDash: if we're doing something like this then the name "group" is better than "committee" and having MULTIPLE different groups - this gives more perspectives and competition, but still falls into the problem like the multiple ratings agencies that failed in the last financial crisis.
2. Also sorta agree with jimbursch: A "seal of approval" is a better way to go than "rating". It's a positive stamp that someone can display, like Organic, or GMO-Free, or ADA seal of approval. Better still, are positive stamps given by independent groups, not one funded by the network.
I have to add, and wish I could convey it better - I want to make clear to recognize Bitlong and other evaluator efforts - I do trust that your intentions are for the best of the network in mind. I hope you take my criticism and use it in as good of a way as possible. My advice is to restrict the "PEC" duties to helping proposers come up with better ways to present their proposal, and things along those lines. And if you see that a certain proposal goes forward with clear issues for whatever reason, then you voice those concerns, as an individual, not with the weight of an "official committee rating"
However, I respectfully disagree with your criticisms.
1) You're into libertarian semantics when parsing terms like "group" or "committee". Nobody in the real world cares about this. Besides, if they do a bad job they will be fired (de-funded).
2) MNOs don't have to vote in accordance with the recommendations of the PEC. Most people in this space that I know have a brain and critical-thinking ability. If you disagree with the PEC, write a comment in the comments section, or vote to fire them.
3) If PEC were to take your advice about "helping proposers come up witih better ways...", what would we have? Paid professionals doing the proposers work (think parents doing child's homework), obfuscating the true abilities and qualities that may be lacking in the proposer's efforts or skill set. This type of meddling is exactly what you seem to want to avoid, and this idea would result in exactly the opposite of your intended function, much like the government agencies you criticized.
I hope this makes sense and explains some of the reasons why I support the PEC proposal.