[hackerspaces] [Noisebridge-discuss] New Member Vetting

Martin Bogomolni martinbogo at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 01:14:52 CEST 2012

Speaking of ... I think it's time to do a fundraiser to get a
better/bigger laser cutter.

It's so ridiculously popular and useful.  :)


On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 6:11 PM, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM, Pete Prodoehl <raster at gmail.com> wrote:
>> So how much do you see equipment downtime?
>> Even though we have equipment that hasn't really been "abused" we still see
>> things fail, and they often take time to repair, and that's time lost for
>> people who want to use the equipment, especially those who can only make it
>> to the space once or twice a week at best.
> Noisebridge lets anyone use our lasercutter, woodshop, network,
> kitchen, and so on, which means that anyone can come in and fix them
> too -- and are firmly encouraged to (that's what do-acracy is for).
> The working assumption is that breakage is going to be balanced out by
> a higher frequency of people fixing breakage. Obviously you need a
> critical mass of visitors with an interest in hacking to pull this
> off, but the same is true of getting enough members to help out fixing
> stuff in a more controlled environment.
> I'd love some way to empirically check this, but my anecdotal
> impression of the result at Noisebridge that breakage ends up relative
> not to the expense or fragility of the item, but to its popularity and
> accessibility. So, despite much understandable concern, Noisebridge's
> lasercutter and 3D printers are kept going a relatively large
> percentage of the time, despite having literally no oversight, no
> repair budget, and a  policy of letting anyone come in and use them,
> exactly because we have a constant stream of people with an interest
> in them working. Obscurer stuff that breaks can be broken for longer
> -- or more likely, is dismantled for use as something else.
> That means for the health of Noisebridge's systems, (desperately)
> *encouraging* usage ends up being a high priority than narrowing
> access. I'm not sure I'd go as far as to call it a *virtuous* circle,
> but the experience of bootstrapping strangers into getting excited
> enough about a complex people of machinery and self-cofidently angry
> enough when it breaks to fix it is definitely a Comedy of the Commons.
> One of the consequences of this is that people's "pet" hardware --
> things which they regularly use, but not many other people -- can
> struggle. That is why, I think, we have to emphasize to people that
> bringing in their own equipment to "share" with others isn't going to
> end well (they aren't around enough to maintain it, while no-one else
> is going to fix your shit to your satisfactoin, even if they broke
> it).
> Similarly with creating a special area of the space with special rules
> is also going to be a problem, because maintaining the rule boundary
> is a) at least as costly in terms of time and resources as maintenance
> in this environment, and b) actually (we *think*) diminishes people's
> tendency to take responsibilty for other stuff in the space. In the
> end, despite an understandable desire to define the success of a
> hackerspace in terms of how much cool stuff they have, there are some
> items where people at Noisebridge end up going "you know, you might be
> better off just inviting people over to your garage, or using
> techshop's version of that". Or in other words,"This is why we don't
> *want* nice things". But that set of items is far smaller than you
> would think, and the intersection between 'can survive in the open'
> and 'is cool' much larger.
> Standard Noiseclaimer:  As Rubin says, no hacker space is required to
> operate like Noisebridge, nor in fact should they ever.
> d.
>> Laser cutters especially seem pretty easy to do damage to themselves by
>> people not properly trained in their usage.
>> Pete
>> On 9/18/12 4:57 PM, Charlie X Wallace wrote:
>>>> If your space just has tables, wifi, and a few tools, that may be
>>>> safe/fine for anyone, but if you've got a mill, lathe, forge, kiln,
>>>> laser cutter, etc. you might be a bit hesitant to let people in.
>>> We have cnc mills, pick and place, laser cutter, vinyl cutter, tools,
>>> lots and lots of electronic equipment and components.
>>> We're not hesitant at all. I accept things might get damaged, but almost
>>> everything we can either repair or improve. That which cannot easily be
>>> repaired, would be  whip round/fund raiser to replace it.
>>> charlie
>>> nullspacelabs
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