[hackerspaces] How do you define quorum for your space?

Mark Atwood me at mark.atwood.name
Tue Jan 15 19:37:46 CET 2013

On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 4:58 AM, Bill French <william.french at gmail.com> wrote:
> Greetings from heavily armed and definition crazed America.
> How are you all defining quorum for your spaces?  I'd love to hear any
> backstory.

At our hackerspace, the "decision making body" is the set of LLC members.

We have many "members", but only a small handful of LLC
"member-owner-partners".  Sometimes I get asked "what does a
member-owner get that at regular member does not", and my answer is
"we get to pay more, be liable for the rent, and be exposed to more
risk", which usually ends that conversation.

As a matter of tradition and policy, we try to make as few decisions
and write as few rules as possible.  There are costs and annoyances to
that, but we generally feel that it's worth it.  Nobody likes rules

When we do have to have a discussion or make a decision, it generally
happens on a special mailing list, and typically what happens is
someone points out an issue, and suggests a course of action.  Either
everyone else says "yeah, good idea, I agree", or else someone may
point out a complication, it goes around a few times, until everyone
says "yeah, good idea, I agree".

Having a very small group of people who dont like being rules lawyers
and who just want to do cool shit makes things happen pretty well.

I once attended a Noisebridge meeting: a double room full of SF
hippygeeks who were trying to come to a consensus about which was the
more socially responsible and ecologically right.  I wanted to knaw my
leg off to get away.  These people were awesome, in the individual and
in the small-group,  but large group consensus decision process is an
astounding mix of tedious and irritating, especially once you throw in
some rules lawyers and some people who want to grind their axes.


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