[hackerspaces] Women in Makerspaces

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Fri Jan 18 02:15:21 CET 2013

This will be signed '-Matt' and thus be a legitimate email.

My point stands paramount.  It does cost nothing to be nice.  In fact
this email stands as a testament to the cost of not being nice.
Please by all means absorb that if you absorb nothing else.

In short what you will read below is a man I do not know, and does not
know me, declaring me a sexist and summarily dismissing every email I
have posted, INCLUDING a simple statement on asking people to be nice
to each other, simply because I was not nice in past email threads.

I think he's proved my point better than I ever could.

> To be specifically to the point that Matt made earlier about not wanting
> to turn this list into noisebridge-discuss, and for those of you who
> might not know Matt's history as an absolutely master troll (not an
> insult: see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHqGV5WjS4w ) , I should
> point out a couple of things:

Yes I did a really fun talk on trolling at defcon.  I hope you enjoy
it as much as I did.  The reasons I troll, are more academic then
enjoyment.  I learned a lot about people trolling, how they think, how
they argue, how emotion can overcome reason.  It's made me better at
communication in my own life.  And I value that knowledge deeply.  I
also believe there is something to be said for blue sky dialogues.
The sort of chaos and randomness unconstrained by conventional wisdom,
rationality, or ethics.  /b/ on 4chan is a great example of the power
of creativity that can be harnessed simply by daring to look into the
shadows of our own humanity with an open mind.

> Matt has popped onto nb-discuss in the past to (possibly not entirely in
> good faith) warn us all about the dangers of feminism:
> https://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/2012-February/027916.html

The negative side to my trollish postings is that people occasionally
attempt to use them to try and launch ad hominem attacks on me.  I had
hoped that amid this community most folks would be able to figure out
when sarcasm and embellishment are being displayed and when they are
not.  Obviously that is not always the case.  One of the things I have
learned over the years posting posts like the above is that simple
stupid attacks like these are effective.  Most people are not
concerned with learning from others.  They focus on pressing their own
point blindly.  Any excuse to silence a dissenting voice is a welcomed
one.  People get drawn into this competitive haze where every word and
every inflection is a weapon to be used for or against their argument.
 They stop being open to compromise.  To sharing, and learning.  They
in short stop being nice, and become hostile.

Sometimes I wish everyone would troll occasionally.  To see just how
dangerous this type of fallacy laden dialogue is, is an eye opening
experience.  And I believe perspective makes all the difference in
learning that.

The positive side is that when someone does attempt one of these
attacks is that I see it immediately.  I am not baited.  And I can
tell that the person who bolstered their argument or opinion with a
fallacy is not interested in an open dialogue.  And I usually will
begin to ignore them.

Being nice, will limit the surface area people can use to attack you
rather than your points.

> Note the earlier link to Matt's previous comments on such things on this
> list.

You trying to build a bibliography of my greatest mailing list
moments?  Maybe we can collaborate.  I think I have way better than
you have found.  Seriously, one of these days I am going to need to
collect them all for publication.

> Also, and I know it annoyed Matt to mention this onlist last time, but
> he's also been on noisebridge IRC channel's  rather exclusive ban list
> for what I believe were similar sentiments. This doesn't mean he's not
> welcome at Noisebridge

I get annoyed by this for a couple reasons.  The first goes back to
the personal attack fallacy ( ad hominem ).  It's a meaningless point
unless your goal is to take advantage of people.

The second is that this situation is the result of a person's personal
hatred of me, for reasons that in my mind can best be attributed to
mental problems.  And I feel sorry for that person.

At the same time, today noisebridge is a hostile environment for many
of my friends, and myself.  And the truth is I don't visit noisebridge
anymore because of the hostility I have experienced.  People like the
member of noisebridge who banned me, and spread vicious lies about me
are simply too much of a burden for me to want to endure.  I can hack
in my apt, or at other hackerspaces.  Hostility can come from many
places.  At noisebridge I endured a great deal of criticism whenever I
attempted to debate an issue some members felt strongly about.  For
the record, that really only happened on IRC or in person.  The
noisebridge discuss list may as well be /b/ .  It's the mos eisley of
mailing lists.

Noisebridge was a learning experience.  It broadened my view of social
group dynamics.  But it also taught me that trying to force yourself
to be accepting of people as perilous at times.  There are poisonous
personalities in the world.  The sort of people that spread lies, and
make false accusations.  The sort of people that rely on guile and the
tools of trolling to support their arguments.  While I do occasionally
troll, I don't lie.  Never have to anyone in this community.  I don't
intend to start.  And if you want to have a serious discussion you'll
get my full attention and my utmost respect.  If you shower me with
fallacies, I'll either ignore you are have some fun trying to one up
you with something equally ridiculous.

> there's a million people who claim to know
> weev who are banned on IRC too, and we appear happy to have weev around.
> It just means that he went on about this stuff for so long that our op
> flipped the giant yawn hammer.

weev is weev.  I don't know him very well.  don't know why you brought
him up.  I think he got a bum rap on the court thing, and I think he's
another solid example of the CFAA over reach.  Getting back to that,
it costs nothing to be nice point.  Aaron Schwartz and Weev both
suffered similar problems with the CFAA but there was no major outcry
to champion weev's case when he was convicted.  This is because weev
wasn't nice.  So, it does cost you a lot to not be nice.

> My point is, while I'm really excited by Matt's spontaneous involvement
> in getting more women involved in OpenStack, GNOME, and New York in
> general. It's always hard for someone who has overtly said that he has
> trolled in the past about the role of feminism, and women in society to
> convince people that he's doing what he does now in good faith.

I have not said that.  You said that.  I have trolled on many
subjects, feminism actually is not one I usually troll on.  It's just
not very funny, with exception to prohibition.  Now holocaust jokes...
those are always funny.

> Hopefully this explains why, had I milk up my nose when Matt said "costs
> nothing to be nice to each other", that milk would currently be splayed
> all over my monitor.

Actually I'm one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  And you
should probably endeavour to get to know people before judging them.
Maybe you should take my advice, as it's a simple rule to live your
life and works pretty damned well.  And it seems you are all too
familiar with the results of not following that advice.

> I've had enough online discussions with Matt now to really not know when
> he is putting a point he genuinely believes across, or when he is just
> adopting positions to manipulate his audience for his own amusement.

Yeah I sign -Matt when I am putting across a serious point.  But god
help you if you confuse a troll post for a legitimate email.  I'd hope
to god no one on this list is that stupid.

> As long as his positions actually result in some positive results, I'm
> hoping that other people are socially conditioning Matt more than he is
> socially conditioning other people.

Social conditioning is not learning.  I'd prefer to learn from a free
exchange of ideas then your particular brand of brain washing.  And
that may seem an extreme term, but you are implying that I can only
change through behaviour modification techniques.  I find that to be
an insane supposition, and perfectly byzantine.

> I'd encourage those who don't necessarily think Matt is saying such
> things to make people nicer, but more to provoke some anger in who he
> presumes are his opponents that will entertain him, and allow him to win
> some sort of point by being the charitable calm one, to not engage.

I have no idea what you just said.  I re-read that three times and I'm
still confused.  Can you maybe psuedo code that for me?

> I don't know Matt in real life, and I know lots of people who like me
> and like Matt, so this isn't a personal thing, I hope. If it is, totally
> happy to have white knight jousting match with Matt in real life at a
> future date. My guess is that meeting him in meatspace is a lot less
> frustrating than debating him online.

So you don't know me, but you're willing to speak with authority on my
character and judge my opinions to the point of openly calling me
sexist.  More to the point you've bolstered that position with a
sarcastic commentary obviously meant in jest.  Why?

You might want to consider what you are doing with yourself in life at
this point.  Because I think you might find that you have just become
a thing you hate.


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