[hackerspaces] will the fruits of our labors be used for good or for evil?

Justis Peters justis.peters at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 07:10:38 CET 2011

On 11/30/2011 12:44 AM, Al Jigen Billings wrote:
> I'm also on the e-mail lists for a number of other hackerspaces and 
> this is a debate, on small scale, that many of them are having on 
> their own. The DoD money is being discussed quite a bit. So far, I 
> think everyone has made pretty much the same observations that I've 
> made here and decided it was money best left on the table. Maybe you 
> and your space feel different but I know of no one who has actually 
> applied for the DoD money.
This finally makes more sense. Prior to this comment, I did not 
understand where you got the idea that any hackerspace was considering 
taking money from the DoD. Nobody on this list had suggested it.

Our space has not been approached by the DoD or DARPA and I doubt that 
we would take money from them. All our funding thus far has been from 
individuals donations and membership dues. We enjoy the autonomy that is 
afforded to us by that model.

Autonomy is very important to us, as it probably is to all hackerspaces. 
That's why we would all prefer to be left to make our own decisions. If 
a potential funder approaches us, I'll bring it up with our board and 
with our membership. You are welcome to do the same in your space.

That said, I would appreciate further discussion on how we can encourage 
our innovations to be used for good. Let's just try not to dictate to 
each other how we accomplish that. I think that allowing each other 
autonomy will allow for the best diversity of solutions. We can imitate 
each other where we see successes that we like.

Kind regards,
Justis Peters
Vice President

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