[hackerspaces] Hackerspace drama, oh my!

matt matt at nycresistor.com
Tue Jul 1 18:24:31 CEST 2014

I think this boils down to the dichotomy of hackerspace vs co-working space.

If you build up infrastructure and expect a community to show up in it,
don't be surprised if more than one community shows up, or the community
that shows up is not one you want to be a part of.

Noisebridge suffers the tragedy of the commons in a pretty severe way...
having had mole people living in their basement and bi-polar homeless
people show up and and claim they are 'sleep hacking'.

That's not what I am talking about.  What I am talking about is the last
line in that piece :

"A lot of this can be traced to our collective inability to remember our
core pillars of consensus, excellence, and do-ocracy. There is no one
person or event that can be blamed. As a community, we failed to hold close
the values we had.

*We were hacked by policy hackers."*
Now I don't know anything about synhak... so I am just going to speak to
the perspective brought forth by the person who wrote this piece.  This is
a person who enjoyed the community that arrived at synhak in the early
days.  As the space grew and changed and time went on, so did the culture
and so did the community.

I think Torrie is talking specific solutions but not seeing the forest
through the trees.  When torrie talks about common values along side
mission statement, and limiting growth of new membership.  What she is
really talking about is fostering a community rather than infrastructure.
She's focusing more on being with the people she wants to be with, than
focusing on building a space.

And I think that has worked out very well for NYC Resistor.  We like each
other.  We've liked each other with fairly decent success for 5-6 years.
And while folks have grown apart and there has been some inevitable culture
shift. The community has remained strong.

So, the answer is simple.  Synhak like noisebridge built a space.  And
communities fought for it, and some took it and some lost it.  Much like
noisebridge.  NYC Resistor built a community in a coffee shop... everything
else came later.

Advice I give most folks starting a hackerspace, start a community first.
Find the people you want to start the space with.  Worry about that.
because at the end of the day, even if you don't have a space, that
community is worth way way more.


On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM, Buddy Smith <buddy.smith at ieee.org> wrote:

> Saw this on /r/hackerspaces/
> https://medium.com/@tdfischer_/rip-synhak-7093ade6b943
> Anyone involved care to comment? Has something similar happened to other
> spaces? How did you get past it? How could it be prevented?
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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