[hackerspaces] Hackerspace drama, oh my!

Ryan Rix ry at n.rix.si
Wed Jul 2 04:07:45 CEST 2014

matt <matt at nycresistor.com> writes:
> 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.

Well written, Matt.


More information about the Discuss mailing list