[hackerspaces] Abuse Of Power

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Sun Apr 14 02:44:44 CEST 2013

> *** The "benevolent dictator" model has served the community pretty
> well so far, especially as benevolent dictators have kept their tasks
> to a minimum of involvement with community decisions.

 I would argue two points here.

1.  The is inherit risk in the benevolent dictator model.  These cannot be
addressed or minimized.  And they prevent active contribution and growth
daily simply by existing.  And the benevolent dictator model is
definitively non-sustainable.

2.  What is hackerspace.org but a shared resource?  It is a shared map,
wiki, and mailing list today.  But at it's heart it is a shared resource of
the hackerspaces communities of the world.  I would argue that as a shared
resource it is not a very good one.  In fact, I'd be willing to say that
aside from the map, there's not much use or by in on any other shared
resource hosted by hackerspaces.org.

> I think the question raised is not whether or not we should create a
> foundation, or if there's an abuse of power, etc., but what happened
> that stalled in the community, and how to fix that.
I disagree here.  You want to make this about reactive engineering.  You
want to isolate an existing issue and squash it.  What I am suggesting is
that we take a pro-active engineering approach and look at what the project
goals are, define them, and see if we cannot achieve them better.

When you start reacting to issues instead of engineering toward a goal you
end up mired in technical and bureaucratic debt.  You end up making bad
decisions.  You end up tripping over yourself.  This is a piss poor design

> As I can see it, the main agitators of the movement have been busy
> with other things. When one is taking on herself to take on the role
> of locomotive, it's normal to expect a relay at some point.
If the main agitators of the movement are inactive they are NOT the main
agitators of the movement.  If there are custodial positions held by the
inactive they need to go.  There is no clearly defined methodology for
enforcing that in a continuous and iterative process.

This is unacceptable from the design patterns of do-ocracy / meritocracy.

> It seems to me that a lot happened in the last few years that affected
> a lot of people. It sounds silly to say, but indeed, the global crisis
> seems to have affected the attention patterns within the hackerspaces
> community. It would be too simple to reduce the stall to just that,
> but I bet a lot of us have been feeling it. It's not only the
> financial crisis, but the moral, civic, and ethical crisis. Hackers
> wanted to become public, and that happened big time; but on a darker
> side, hackers have been targeted as terrorists; and commercial venues
> engulfed in the breach hackerspaces.org created; and yada yada.
This is off topic.  I get that there's a lot going on when you look at the
hacker tag cloud, but let's focus on the objectives of hackerspaces.org.
It's not a moral authority.  It's not a defender of all hackers.  It's not
going to save the world or cyberspace or the gibson.  All it is, is a
shared resource repository for hackerspaces.  If it can be more than that,
it starts by limiting scope to a specific mission.

You start trying to be everything to everyone and you end up the least
common denominator and a miserable failure.

> Jake made it clear in the keynote he gave at 29C3 that we need to
> cooperate more. Yet, this discussion that sparked out of a frustration
> and misunderstanding, and was quickly deflected to something
> constructive, seems to fade away from the core topic of cooperation,
> and the lack of it. Are we not able to reflect on our failure to
> communicate, or sustain cooperation? Or is there no such interest
> anymore? Or is it just a personal itch that is barely shared with the
> rest of the community? Or is there no community, and hackerspaces.org
> is just a list of hackerspaces?
You keep expanding the scope.  It's not relevant.  It has no place here.
Hackerspaces are small communities.  Fostering greater collaboration sure.
Trying to push people into a specific agenda... NOPE.

This is not a political movement.  You want to start one?  go right ahead.
Or heck join one of the MANY available today.  But don't try to co-opt
hackerspaces.org for your agenda.

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