[hackerspaces] re-vamping theory page on hackerspaces.org

Mark Janssen dreamingforward at gmail.com
Tue Feb 11 07:20:25 CET 2014

> Given that the theory mailing list is dead, I'm sending an email to the
> discuss list to open it up for discussion. What say you?

That's great.  I'm going just put myself on a limb, and just say that
I happen to know quite a bit about the theory of hackerspaces.  I've
been a hacker since 1980.  I'm degreed in Computer Engineering with
digital electronics.  I've been a Director of Communications Services
(that's networking and telecommunications) at a University managing
close to a half million dollar budgets.   I've done significant work
at MIT where I was working on self-organizing systems.  I left
civilization to see what the hell is wrong with it, and came back to
begin a transition for the planet.  As such, I became a key-carrying
member of sf_x (Santa Fe, NM) where for two years I worked very
closely with three of its founders and have analyzed what went wrong
when it "went off the map" a bit over a year ago.

So I'm just going to start laying some low-down because I'm tired of
all the BS that gets thrown around here (shall I add "once and for
all"?).  I'm going to go head-to-head with you on the claims you make
below (which I've heard several times now on the list) and the
community can come back at me and tell me I'm full of it or just chill

> This seems important because there isn't much decent info on hackerspaces
> online that's not written by boosters (hackerspaces are going to save the
> world!)

Confession:  I am a booster.

Reality check:  there is no amount of universe that can accomidate
exponential growth and  solve "Peak Oil".  Our current political and
economic systems and leaders DO NOT HAVE ONE SINGLE SOLUTION.  The
existing system is predicated on scarcity and endless growth.  That
equation just doesn't work on this finite planet.   There simply comes
a time in a planet's evolution where conquest, expansion, and
independence MUST give way to collaboration and inter-dependence or
face extinction.  So, bullshit, hackerlabs and makerspaces, paired
with the Internet, are this planet's last hope for "saving the world".
 Before you dismiss this, READ ON.

The only reason why most people have been arguing otherwise is simply
because they are approached by the enthused (often manic) masses about
how to accomplish it and don't know how to do it.  DO NOT PANIC.  We
can do this.  If people give you shit, because you can't explain your
competence, send them to me -- I can handle the pressure.  These
issues were being tested out at sf_x.  I was working with some of the
best and most committed minds there is.   We had the public sector,
business, and academic sectors well represented; PhDs from LosAlamos,
friends of SFI, MIT and other significant members.  It failed over
issues of property rights, not commitment, vision, or technical

So, saving the world...  Well this depends.  If we can regain the
government "of the People", this we be cake.  If we can't, there are
other plans.  I can handle both scenarios.   Many throw up their hands
because they have no clue how to interface with the public sector with
all the "bad blood" surrounding that enterprise (much of it, notably,
*completely* misplaced).

> or who generally misunderstand how hackerspaces work (hackerspaces
> are going to save the economy!).

Hackerspaces are THE best venue for transmuting the old economy wealth
into new economy money.  Perhaps you don't know what I'm talking
about.  It seems I've been fighting this battle alone.  But rather
than taking down billions of dollars of capital and losing it from
mishandling (like Occupy and such were seething about), I'm
manifesting hackerspaces to be the epicenter for churning this money
to make a "redemption economy" and funneling it to awesome People and
Projects where it won't simply be for-profit but for generating the
creative economy.   That dynamic has been charted on a whiteboard and
can be viewed at
 Sorry it's very sloppy, but despite its appearance it is pure gold.
Americans currently have no solution to how to pay off the $Trillions
of debt, is facing increasing debt liabilities, and has refused to
balance the budget.  Conclusion:  it is currently in a state of fiscal
insolvency.  Now just what do you think is the future's best hope for
fixing this gap?  I'll let you think on that.

In short, there is a vast, comprehensive vision ready to bring into
the world to fix longstanding imbalances and to address the needs of
the Creative Class and educate industry as to what real collaboration
is so it doesn't look so fucking incompetent.

Really, the question that remains is: Do you want hackerspaces to be
forever only clubhouse for (mostly) boys or do you want to be the
center of a revolution?   Because it's not about lack of ability, it's
whether you're interested.

> The page needs some attention but not a
> nuking.

Fair enough.  In closing, if there is interest we can move this
discussion to the theory list, but perhaps this is a good place too if
it's happened to stir up some minds.

Bring it on.

Gothenburg, Nebraska

P.S. This post is not a "vehicle" to promote the pangaia project.

[...and final thoughts:]
> I oppose the move because the point of a wiki is to compile information from
> a neutral POV.

That's great "in theory" but the point is that there is no real
information about it.  The material at monotone was about the last
useful theory about it all and it's rather stale.

> It's not there to promote a singular agenda.

That's fine.  But consider the alternative of *no* agenda may be worse.

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