[hackerspaces] Abuse Of Power

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Sat Apr 13 20:45:11 CEST 2013

The Short:

If you guys want, I can take over ownership of the domain and host it.

I figure there's more than a few people willing to help out with that.

But I'll make the offer anyways.

The Long:

5 years ago hackerspaces.org was new and wonderful, and the community was
alive with excitement.  Today, there are more hackers / makers / crafters /
artists / scientists / engineers / zomg etc than ever before helping build
hackerspace communities across the globe.

Yet, hackerspaces.org is fundamentally nothing more than a map of existing
hackerspaces and this mailing list.  It could be so much more than that.
Today Makerspaces is making a play on being that more for hackerspaces.
But it's not an impartial effort.  It's got a specific financial interest
and it's owned by O'Rly.  We're the communities resourc and we're not
acting like it.

And while there have been some attempts to grow a blog, and grow out some
other feature sets.  Nothing has really caught on.  I think ultimately the
problem is that the hackerspaces.org site and resources are privately
owned.  I think disputes like this and small working groups are the reason
that things fail.  This "all someone needs to do is ask."  approach is
unacceptable to those of us who don't really want to ask to help.  We want
to just solve problems and let it be reviewed and accepted as needed.  More
continuous integration less QQ.

Generally I am of the opinion that what is needed is a more open peer
reviewed contribution system.  Leadership and Stewardship irk me.  Hackers
don't need governance.  And I am more than willing to have my public image
besmirched without getting butt hurt as your figurehead to blame for all
things.  However, the resources that need to be operated to run
hackerspaces.org require investment, and someone or something needs to be
the 'owner' of things.

Maybe what we need is a foundation.  But a foundation that's designed to
service the community and not vice versa.  One where leadership is
disassociated from development.  Where the leaders exist for the sole
purpose of safe guarding the public image of the org and promoting
hackerspaces while simply allowing and supporting the individual

We've built a similar model over the past couple of years at OpenStack.
However there's been a bit too much corporate stewardship there IMHO.  We
can do better here.

Anyways.  If you want, you can pass me the domain and I'll work to setup a
public foundation that can exist to service the needs of the hackerspaces
community in an open manner with everyones input.  I've got a pretty solid
record of running the nycr:microcontrollers list which has similar traffic
to this list.  I've always been pretty hands off beyond stopping the
obvious abuses.  And open about actions taken.  And most importantly, I
have no real desire to be some fucking hero god king of hackerspaces to
whom you all must pay homage.  And if people want to start drama with me,
all they will find is directions to submitting changes via gerrit or some
other review system.

I'd rather you didn't actually give me ownership to setup a foundation as
that would eat up the last remaining morsels of spare time that I have.  It
would also undoubtedly cost me money I'd rather spend on plane tickets and
hardware.  But, as it seems you guys are having some trouble with public
image and governance.  I am willing to take the hit.  As I said before, I
think this site can be more.  And I think the community is awesome and
deserves more.

Let it not be said I did not stand up and offer to shoulder the burden.

Best of luck either way.  Sick and tired of drama as always.


On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM, Paul Bohm <bohmps at gmail.com> wrote:

> I apologize for the way I addressed this. I just don't know how to deal
> with this.
> Can we please find some solution that doesn't involve me and Astera
> fighting either in private or public?
> I don't want to be involved in running the site, or in arbitraging power
> struggles. I'd still be glad to hang out with y'all and drink Club Mate.
> Peace
> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM, Paul Bohm <bohmps at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Ok that was harsh. Sorry
>> Johannes bringing my mother into this, plus people messaging me pushed my
>> buttons.
>> But the thing is. I'd like to hand over the domains and keys to
>> hackerspaces.org to some entity that can take care of it. Anyone want to
>> start a foundation with a defined charta?
>> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:18 AM, Paul Bohm <bohmps at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I've just received messages suggesting how I should respond to
>>> straw-man's, and how it's important.
>>> But it's simpler than that, I've given up the domain metalab.at and
>>> given it to Metalab many years ago because I knew it would be in good hands
>>> there.
>>> Despite moving to a different country and being less involved with the
>>> scene, I've held on to the domains hackerspaces.org hackerspaces.com
>>> hackerspaces.net because there were some very ugly power struggles that
>>> I didn't speak up about at the time.
>>> I'm no longer as actively involved with the hackerspaces scene and I've
>>> been wanting to hand over the reigns including domains to people who are
>>> capable of cooperation for years. This hasn't been possible, and now even
>>> doing maintenance on the site causes backstabbing.
>>> A mentor told me many years ago that if people say ugly things in
>>> private that they'd rather not hear said in public, the answer to that is
>>> to communicate in public even if it makes you look bad too. I'm sticking to
>>> that.
>>> -enki
>>> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 9:25 AM, Tobias Wolter <towo at koeln.ccc.de>wrote:
>>>> Paul Bohm <bohmps at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> >And I remember very well that night at CCC Congress 2008, where you
>>>> >told me
>>>> >how much you enjoyed the attention you get, because you've set things
>>>> >up in
>>>> >such a way that they have to go through you to accomplish things. I
>>>> >told
>>>> >you back then that's at odds with a philosophy of participation.
>>>> Unverifiable statements of private conversations wherein you accuse
>>>> someone of being in it only for the attention - after going public with an
>>>> outcry of revoked privileges you admit to not using, stating that the
>>>> person doing that is not as "cool" as you are? Interesting.
>>>> Then we should consider that this might be an attempt to sway public
>>>> opinion because you are trying to insinuate gender-based prejudices? That's
>>>> rich.
>>>> And not very becoming in the spirit of encouraging participation.
>>>> -towo
>>>> --
>>>> Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> 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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