[hackerspaces] Hackerspace drama, oh my!

Torrie Fischer tdfischer at hackerbots.net
Tue Jul 1 18:30:27 CEST 2014

On Tuesday, July 01, 2014 12:24:31 matt wrote:
> 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.

Absolutely correct. Thats what we've learned from SYNHAK. We're applying that 
to Hackron now.

When we started SYNHAK, we *did* have a tight knit community. Our big move 
across town caused a lot of those community bonds to break apart and we saw 
just how weak some of it was. Unfortunately it happened that the folks who 
wanted infrastructure over community had the power to eviscerate the community 
through board actions.

> -Matt
> 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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