I'm participating in a discussion in Palo Alto today with a bunch of people from the web communityin the Bay Area and Senator John Edwards. The terms of the discussion are that we're allowed to acknowledge that we're at this meeting, but we're not allowed to talk about what's discussed here.
There may be another law here. It goes something like this. When you meet in private with someone else to talk about something other people are interested in, we all lose. So, for example, if Pete should go to a private meeting where something relevant to Paul is discussed, and Paul doesn't know about it, Paul's knowledge can't be applied to the process.
Private meetings are fine, I guess, so long as Winer gets invited. Otherwise, they just suck.