[hackerspaces] In defense of Noisebridge (even if I was never there!)

matt matt at nycresistor.com
Thu Jul 3 19:42:34 CEST 2014

Resistor has always had a 'leave the politics at the door' informal policy.

We don't tend to get involved in political shit.  I mean occasionally we
all agree something is bullshit, and occasionally someone vents some
political frustration.  But for the most part we've made sure to be
welcoming to all political positions.

As someone who was christened by the divine paw of the bunny budha and
anointed the one true ruler of the solar system and protector of the milky
way galaxy, I often find myself at odds with others political situations.
But I've always been accepted at Resistor in spite of my unique political

We care more about hacking than any shared mandate.

That being said, a community can form around many things.  Including social
and political causes.  I could see no reason something like code for
america couldn't become a community of like minded folks who cultivate a
community promoting a social and political agenda.  Would might maybe be
great, even without the blessing of his divine hoppiness.


On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM, Al Billings <albill at openbuddha.com> wrote:

> Is your space welcoming to people, regardless of personal politics or do
> you have to be a specific kind of lefty/socialist/anarchist/hippy/whatever
> in order to be welcome?
> I say this as a socialist but I don’t want there to be a political litmus
> test on whether people are welcome in a space. My space has members who,
> quietly on occasion, bitch about Obama and his “agenda” with an eye roll
> from some other members. We have a communist or two and probably more than
> a few anarchists. Generally, I know someone for a year or more before I
> even realize their personal politics. Why? Because we’re there to hack, not
> to form a political party.
> There are definitely spaces where this isn’t the case. If you aren’t on
> board with the specific local politics (which are usually a certain
> specific form of left leaning anarchism), you are shunned pretty heavily
> and “don’t fit in.” I’d rather have a Republican that wants to build a
> project from salvaged computers than an anarchist that just wants to hang
> out in the kitchen “food hacking.”
> Al
> On Jul 3, 2014, at 10:28 AM, Randall G. Arnold <randall.arnold at texrat.net>
> wrote:
> I disagree when you frame that as an absolute.  Sure, there CAN be
> negative outcomes when a maker/hacker space or organization has fixing
> societal problems as a goal, but it ain't necessarily so.  It all comes
> down to defining the goal(s), having people to support them and for members
> with different goals to be respectful of each other and not get in each
> other's way.
> If as a makerspace member I put together a special interest group that
> builds remote wildlife monitoring stations for helping horned lizard
> conservation, and I don't disrupt anyone else in the process, then I'm
> positively hacking the planet and no one gets hurt.  Win-win.
> Al Billings
> albill at openbuddha.com
> http://makehacklearn.org
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