[hackerspaces] Hackerspaces Re:Foundation (Was Re: Abuse Of Power)

Jamie Schwettmann jamie.schwettmann at gmail.com
Sun Apr 14 10:00:13 CEST 2013

To bring this thread back to the main idea, which was a foundation to handle the SHARED resources of ALL EARTHLY hackerspaces interested in sharing such…  which has absolutely *nothing* to do with the internal financial or political models of any specific hackerspace.  Let them be.  We are obviously experiencing issues related to scale that are not well met by models meant for lesser scales.

I have mentioned in passing, and still maintain, that the Open Science Grid pioneered one hell of an awesome federated model to sharing many different types of distributed resources across the globe, and between extremely different flavors of organizations, operating with divergent purposes and under varying legal domains.  And that includes distribution of management and funding models as well as physical and computing resources.   A key part of the innovation pioneered by OSG is the federation and sharing across widely distributed *geographic* as well as *organizational* borders… and it somehow works. Incredibly well. *Without any member organizations sacrificing any part of their autonomy*. The OSG model is worth a serious look, and is likely to inspire some good ideas.

IMO, going forward into the 21st century and beyond, it's totally senseless to even think in terms of centralizing much of anything.  We don't need a central resource. We don't need central management.  We don't need a central foundation.  Centralization is weak, and vulnerable to every kind of attack... including mismanagement and neglect.

If someone wants to start *a* foundation, that's cool.  But there's no reason it shouldn't be able to play well with a forked foundation that supports similar goals, and with associated spaces, places and people who aren't interested in those foundations, or who may disagree with such on political or ethical bases.  

There's no reason we can't load-balance across multiple sites.  There's no reason we can't time share.  And there's no reason one person, group, or entity should be solely responsible for maintaining anything shared.

Engineering such a system doesn't happen overnight, or as a stop-gap measure.  But engineering anything short of completely distributed resources can't be called anything but shortsighted.  If we're going to undertake reengineering the way we handle shared things, we really need to take a forward-looking approach to that, and *expect* it to take significant effort and collaboration.

If we rub our wits together and think hard enough, I'll bet we can outdo the best of 'em.  I think it's totally worth it to build the kind of world we want to have. :)

- Jamie

[ If anyone cares, I'm fully available to advise and help mediate discussion about sharing (and managing) resources at scale, to help illuminate some of the shadows surrounding the way all-but-anarchistic global resource sharing at scale has been (way successfully) done before us, and to help discover any yet-unidentified boundary conditions and corner cases that make the project of hackerspaces.org resource sharing unique. ]

On Apr 13, 2013, at 7:46 PM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 7:37 PM, Randall G. Arnold
> <randall.arnold at texrat.net> wrote:
>> They seem to always be asking the question: "How do we get funding for such
>> and such?"  The answer always seems to be member fees.  Of course there's a
>> practical limit to such funding and you tend to implode quickly after
>> reaching it.
> This is probably the wrong place to mention it, but I am a huge fan of
> non-membership-fee structures. I am glad to hear that you found an
> alternative that worked out in your situation. What is the exact
> nature of the arrangement with the library?
> - Bryan
> http://heybryan.org/
> 1 512 203 0507
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