[hackerspaces] That one person...

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Wed Mar 2 20:28:49 CET 2011

Mitch Altman, Bre Pettis, and Jeri Ellsworth are the fundamental argument
that exists for big personalities.  And they are just a few of a very
awesome group of people that represent hackers as amazing people.  We're
lucky to have people who are willing to devote so much energy into promoting
everything that we love.

That being said, I've seen big personalities derail and destroy projects
before.  I won't speak ill of anyone specifically here, but get me drunk
some time and I'll go on a tirade about a few folks.  A veritable five
minutes hate if you will.

I think at the end of the day hackerspaces are about community.  And you
need to figure out what sort of community you are promoting, and stick to
promoting it.  Sometimes that means making difficult choices such as asking
people not to contribute.  Sometimes that means being just a little bit more
tolerant of people's differences.  From what I've seen in the many
hackerspaces I've seen, every community strikes a very different balance,
and that gives each hackerspace its own flavor.  That ain't bad.

So, you need to figure out what is right for you.  And that's not very
helpful I am sure.  But I've always made hard decisions by getting to the
point where I believe the decision I am making is the best I can make with
the information I have.  And if I believe that, truly believe that, I won't
regret that choice regardless of the consequences.  It comes down to
believing in the decision.

So, figure out what you want, figure out what your community IS, and figure
out what the right path is.  And hope it works out.  Sometimes it doesn't,
and hell thems the breaks.


On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:32 AM, john arclight <arclight at gmail.com> wrote:

> Another way to help this problem is for other people to take some
> initiative. Your friend certainly has a lot more justification for
> taking control of everything at the space if nobody else is stepping
> up. Get some people to take on a new project, hold a weekly/monthly
> meeting of some kind with a bunch of people. Strong personalities can
> often be "diluted" down by the presence and action of more people.
> If they don't like new people doing the cleaning and shelf building or
> decide that the Linux meeting with 20 hackers is too loud, then, they
> might also decide to move on if it's that disagreeable to them. And
> sometimes that's what an organization needs to grow.
> Arclight
> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:02 AM, William Macfarlane <wmacfarl at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > It's also important to talk to other people in the space because they
> > might think that they're the only ones who feel bothered and might,
> > therefore, not want to say anything unless you start the conversation.
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 11:52 AM, Deech <deech at ninjacow.net> wrote:
> >> I agree with the previous posters. If this person is being too
> dominating,
> >> is he even aware he's doing it?
> >>
> >> Generally speaking, as nerdy hackertypes, we're all prone to various
> degrees
> >> of social interaction issues.
> >>
> >> You say he's doing good solid work in the space and he's helping people,
> so
> >> he's obviously making an effort for the space so perhaps he just needs
> to
> >> find out what he's doing wrong so he can correct it.
> >> Many of us builder types will just keep barreling forward to get a
> project
> >> done or do things the way we think are right and will stay oblivious to
> >> issues in our wake.
> >> Hell, I know I do it myself. I just have to hope my friends can
> understand
> >> that I really don't mean any harm and will respect me enough to take me
> >> aside and let me know when I'm screwing up instead of just leaving me to
> >> hang until I unwittingly piss off the people I care about around me.
> >>
> >> So, I guess my point is, just talk to the guy. He may not even be aware
> of
> >> what he's doing.
> >>
> >> Also talk to the other hackers in the space, like the poster above
> >> mentioned, make sure that other folks are noticing it and agree with
> your
> >> viewpoint. It's easy to sometimes perceive things in a certain light
> based
> >> on your own bias or mindset and maybe others will have a different angle
> on
> >> it. If other people in the space do agree with you, then get them to
> talk to
> >> him with you, or get the help of leaders in your space, if you have
> them.
> >>
> >> -Deech
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Discuss mailing list
> >> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> >> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > -Will
> > www.partsandcrafts.org
> > _______________________________________________
> > Discuss mailing list
> > Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> > http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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