[hackerspaces] Hackerspace drama, oh my!

Naomi Most pnaomi at gmail.com
Thu Jul 3 03:56:24 CEST 2014

"I just get the impression that in the five-years that you and others at
Noisebridge have neglected to take off the rose-coloured glasses and
think that the solution is to just pile stuff on top of each other."

You have no idea who I am or what I believe.  If you're interested in
a dialog, you could try focusing on a single issue and asking what *I*
think about it, rather than arguing with the Noisebridge Straw Man.

"Piling on" indeed.


On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM, Colin Keigher <general at keyboardcowboy.ca> wrote:
> If Noisebridge was a great example of "...how organisations [...] [with]
> minimal policy can easily shift..." then why the need to adopt an
> anti-harassment policy?
> Here's an example of Noisebridge's policies:
> https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Community_standards
> It's very convoluted and is a symptom of ill-planning.
> When I look at your entrance and membership section, I see two key
> points that are ignored quite often:
>> You should take responsibility for the actions of anyone you invite or
> let into Noisebridge.
>> If you are a regular user of Noisebridge or participant in our
> community, you should consider becoming an associate member.
> A lack of accountability for anyone inside of Noisebridge seems to exist
> here. So what do you do about those associated with ill-fated members?
> Then there is your anti-harassment policy:
> https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/The_Anti-Harassment_Policy
> Why does this need to be a separate policy? If you have an element in
> your space that warrants this policy and you're not removing them then
> that is the problem.
> Here's what VHS has listed for policies:
> https://vancouver.hackspace.ca/wp/about/
>> 1. Be excellent to each other.  No racism, no sexism, no homophobia,
> no classism.
>> 2. VHS projects are group projects, not individual projects.
>> 3. Freedom is good.  Group projects are open projects.
>> 4. Eager willingness to learn is all you need.  Expertise is not
> required.  It’s always OK to ask questions.
>> 5. Full Disclosure.  Disclose your motives and affiliations.
> Very simple rules to abide by. Why can't Noisebridge make it this clear?
> VHS hasn't had the need for an anti-harassment policy and because of the
> lack of an open-door policy, I can count zero members being booted and
> only two visitors being banned for reasons not relating to
> harassment--one at the request of myself specifically. None of these
> visitors have been to the space since then. It's not a utopia to say the
> least, but I can safely say that we've never had anyone found sleeping
> on top of an elevator or something.
> Full disclosure however, for legal reasons there is a constitution and a
> set of by-laws (this is dictated by the Societies Act):
> http://vancouver.hackspace.ca/wp/about/constitution-and-bylaws/
> But it's rare that we have to fall back on them and VHS only has them to
> keep the government happy.
> I just get the impression that in the five-years that you and others at
> Noisebridge have neglected to take off the rose-coloured glasses and
> think that the solution is to just pile stuff on top of each other.
> If you have a poisonous element within your space, it should be removed.
> Failing to do this makes you part of the problem regardless of whatever
> half-hearted solutions you throw at it.
> On 02/07/2014 6:25 PM, Naomi Most wrote:
>> The "meta point" being that no one should model a hackerspace on Noisebridge?
>> That may be true.  I have no stake in that particular game.
>> There are dozens of ways to model a hackerspace, and I wouldn't say
>> Noisebridge has the best one.  It's an interesting model, and one I
>> feel is worth pursuing because it is hard, and I perceive there to be
>> payoffs in figuring it out without compromising its ideals.  You may
>> disagree.
>> But the original point *I* was addressing was the assertion that if
>> you start with a community and then build an organization, that the
>> rest will basically follow.
>> I used Noisebridge as a counterexample to THAT point.
>> Noisebridge is a great example of how organizations based on culture
>> and minimal policy can easily shift, even pushing its original members
>> out, simply by being unaware of how the rapid influx of new people
>> (ANY new people, not the oft-demonized Occupy and so on) changes the
>> culture by sheer weight.
>> That's not the only lesson learned from the last 5 years at 2169
>> Mission St, but it is one of the biggest ones.
>> Again: if you guys can't see past "at least we aren't Noisebridge",
>> you're never going to be able to learn from our mistakes.
>> --Naomi
>> On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 6:08 PM, Al Billings <albill at openbuddha.com> wrote:
>>> Naomi,
>>> sudoroom has the same problems as noisebridge because it explicitly modeled
>>> itself on noisebridge with consensus decision making, an open door policy to
>>> the street, and a political, social justice mission. They've gone as far as
>>> to say a space isn't a real hackerspace if it isn't political.
>>> Your counterexample proves the meta point...
> --
> Colin Keigher
> http://afreak.ca
> http://twitter.com/afreak
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Naomi Theora Most
naomi at nthmost.com

skype: nthmost


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