[hackerspaces] Discuss Digest, Vol 33, Issue 13

Danozano danozano at gmail.com
Sun May 8 20:55:52 CEST 2011

Well, surely such intelligent and motivated groups can figure out ways to communicate and minimize struggles, if they're all in it to have good outcomes and a productive space.  We have had this happen at 23b shop sometimes, where a project gets loud and big and busy just as a pre-planned potluck with dozens of attendees is an hour away from its posted starting time, or where there are several people working at cross-purposed projects at the same time. 

We can almost always adapt to each other by giving advance notice of our intentions to have a loud or quiet time on a particular day via our mailing list, or by contacting people likely to mind and getting some kind of plan together. I've been on the noisy and quiet side of that problem, and it seems to be reasonably workable if the communications stay open and people respect each others' commitments.  Even when we don't plan in advance and someone wants to use loud or stinky processes during a social clean-tables type event, we can usually shoehorn things together so everyone feels a sense of workability. We have resources like vent hoods and running smoky processes out int he parking lot to fall back on, and our users generally maintain a sense of reasonability in deciding where to set up what.

A strong pattern of failure to work together seems to indicate a deeper problem in the group. Perhaps everyone who commits into a space should be careful to fit into the friendly operations of that group, and the space should be flexible within its stated limits to allow for maximum usage at minimum annoyance.  We are, to be clear, a group who has mostly known each other for a long time and have gotten this kind of problem worked out.  New users get a strong sense of this as they learn to fit in.

Alternately, you could also argue that compromise means everyone loses.  I don't think that would be a defensible position in our space for long, since negative feedback loops would draw in more and more of the like-minded people who were being abused and help them work together to close the gap with the thoughtless or rude party. (Or there would be plenty of hands to make light work of burying the deeply offending parties in the desert, one of our local geographic strengths besides the close access to hardware stores and food as mentioned in previous posts.)

I feel this is pretty sound -- we have hosted events for groups who weld, knit, make, don't make, solder, talk, and countless other hobbies. There are plenty of nights in the week.


>On May 6, 2011, at 7:40 PM, discuss-request at lists.hackerspaces.org wrote:
I think makers and soft hackers can find themselves at odds.  Some folks get pissed when loud machinery fires up and grinds metal.  So there are some culture issues.

>>On May 6, 2011 5:48 PM, "Danozano" <danozano at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think it really boils down to, are these people going to be fun, interesting, and useful to hang out with? Business geeks who aren't hackerly in their ways fail this test, at least for me.

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