I emailed Gary about his speech on Saturday and talked to him further yesterday. That discussion both confirmed my concerns about Gary’s attitudes as director and balanced them. I’m looking forward to Gary’s dictatorship, but my long-term worries are no less. Below are my interpretations from that discussion– not fact– simplified (and perhaps made a little more extreme) for emphasis.
- First, Gary didn’t mean that people can’t write anything in their blogs. Just that he isn’t responsible for noticing (which, he says, was a problem in the past).
- Gary will be a tyrant, but he’s also concerned with our well-being. He believes that his role is to be FBC-incarnate, and that he has responsibility and authority over all decisions and effort. At the same time, he wants the body for which he’s the head to be well-functioning throughout, and that means maintaining good relations with all its members. And I have no reason to believe that he intends to micro-manage or even regularly exercise either his authority or responsibility, only that in any situation where his “directorship” is called-for, it will be of that kind.
- Decisions will be made based on largely Gary’s values and to reflect his ideas. The major forms of communication with Gary-as-director will be “feedback” and “explaining”. Presented with a problem, we can expect solutions to burst full-grown and armored from Gary’s head, and to be largely conclusive before most of us hear about them. The most effective feedback will probably be factual points, extensions that fit his paradigm, and overwhelming dissent. We can expect after-the-fact explanations usually, but probably not before-the-fact ones.
- Gary does believe that fear is a useful motivator, properly balanced with appreciation. He intends to oscillate between these poles, and considers fear to be useful for change and appreciation to reinforce complacency. At the same time, he considers it his fatherly-duty to be philanthropic and just in his use of the switch.
- When I pointed out that many people don’t consider Gary approachable, and that his point-by-point-confrontation approach can be intimidating, he claimed that since his speech all kinds of people had talked to him, and that he’s careful to respond in ways that work for whomever he’s talking to. Only more perspectives will tell.
We also talked about some of Gary’s near-future intentions, but in such confidence that I can’t air them on a public forum.