[hackerspaces] Hacking the Spaces: A critical acclaim of what was, is and could be a hackerspace (or hacklab, for that matter)

Jens Ohlig jens at ccc.de
Sun May 10 18:36:04 CEST 2009

Am 10.05.2009 um 00:57 schrieb Paul Böhm:

> Hey Matt,
> I had similiar thoughts. Some of the spaces are highly politicized,
> while especially some of the younger ones focus more on infrastructure
> and people. Personally i prefer these kind of spaces, since i believe
> they allow for more diversity. Decoupling infrastructure from program
> doesn't mean there's no room for program, quite on the contrary, this
> kind of separation allows for multiple opposing viewpoints within the
> same space, without guilting people subscribing into any particular
> view.

The problem I have with this point of view is that they way I see it,  
we are not free to make the choice to keep politics out of the spaces.  
It may sound wise to take the neutral stance and say that you are open  
for anything, but this option is not available: But declaring oneself  
open to anything, you are implicitly saying that you agree with the  
political status quo and don't want to change it by taking a side.  

They way hackerspaces operate is in so many ways (labor, decision  
making, competition) different and at odds with the way the  
surrounding society works that you really have to identify yourself  
either as an insignificant anonormly in the system or something that  
wants to change the surrounding society. If you want to change things,  
you should know in what direction. Then you need theory.

As a meta-point, I really enjoy the decency of the debate and I want  
to thank Matt for setting the tone. A scream contest is really not  
helpful. I had the chance to read a draft of the text earlier and I  
can assure you that this is not an attempt at trolling the mailing  
list, but rather the result of days of thinking. On the other hand,  
this also makes it difficult to attack when you just skim through it:  
It's easy to say "I don't like the text because it triggers things  
which makes me think I identify the authors as members of a group that  
I see as my enemies and they want to force something on me". I'd give  
the text a bigger chance than that. This is not about picking which  
football team's side you are on :) Although I don't agree with some  
points that Hellekin made, I like his approach a lot: Going through  
this rather long and difficult text and pointing out problems with  
some passages rather than saying "This sounds like you are communists  
and therefore I don't like you!"

Let's be excellent towards each other, people :) And keep up the debate!

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