Vesna Manojlovic

RIPE Community Resilience: SYN-ACK, Boundaries and Doing Less

Vesna Manojlovic
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The lower the layer on the pyramid of needs is, the more important it is for person’s resilience; however, all layers of the networking stack are equally important for the resilient Internet. In this instalment of the series, Vesna Manojlovic connects the Layer 4 and the need for esteem.


The most famous practical implementations of the theoretical OSI Layer 4 protocols are TCP (connection-oriented, using “handshake dialogues” such as SYN-ACK) and UDP (based on datagrams, lightweight).

“I thought about telling a good UDP protocol joke... ... but you might not get it.”
“I could tell you a joke about TCP, but I'd have to keep repeating it until you got it.”
“Due to Coronovirus, all TCP applications are being converted to UDP to avoid Handshakes…”

Here's one more alternative self-care "handshake": a hand-massage technique called "maozada" (wiki, with the PDF available). It is safe to do within your corona-pod (family, good friends), and otherwise please read their COVID notice.

Boundaries vs Burnout

The link between Layer 4 and "esteem" for me is an ACK, which stands for Acknowledgement.

Wikipedia’s article about Maslow’s method describes esteem in two ways, as "the need for respect from others, and the need for self-respect”. I'll get to self-esteem as a part of self-actualisation in the article about Layer 7. Today I want to focus on the the workplace: this is where most of us in the RIPE community find the source of esteem: “status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention.”

If we are lucky, we work in a healthy workplace, get along with our colleagues, give and receive respect, and also have a good balance between work and personal life. If we are unfortunate, one of the consequences can be a burnout: if our need for esteem results in an increasing effort to achieve more and more, taking more responsibilities, worrying about our reputation, searching for acknowledgement…

Here are some of the older videos and podcasts on how to prevent the burnout, or how to deal with it once it takes hold:

One antidote to burnout could be to set stronger personal boundaries: learning to say no. The TCP “connection termination” diagram illustrates how to do that:

Call to (in)Action: DO LESS!

Of course, it’s not only our fault that we took on too much work: there are also systemic reasons for burnout. In addition to the long-standing socio-economic inequalities, biases and oppressions, in 2020-2021 we also had to deal with the global COVID-19 epidemic. In order to remain resilient, as a person and as a community, I am joining many other artists, academic and experts in a call to you to DO LESS!

April 2021 Articles:

You might notice that this fifth article in the series on resilience is much shorter than my previous four. That’s because I decided to take my own advice of burnout prevention and meet my need for esteem in being satisfied with a good enough result, without aiming for over-achievement.

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About the author

Vesna Manojlovic is Community Builder at RIPE NCC. Vesna joined the RIPE NCC as a Trainer in 1999. In 2003, she took responsibility for developing and delivering advanced courses, such as RPSL, Routing Registry, DNSSEC and IPv6. In 2008, she lead efforts to establish IPv6 RIPEness as a measure of IPv6 deployment among LIRs. In 2011, she joined the Science Division as Manager of the Measurements Community Building team; in 2015 she moved to Communications Department as Senior Community Builder, with a focus on organising hackathons. Vesna gives presentations at many technical conferences and workshops, and enjoys visiting hackerspaces. Vesna received a Batchelor of Sciences Degree in Computer Science and Informatics from the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade. She has three children.

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