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

Pete Prodoehl raster at gmail.com
Thu Jul 3 19:53:42 CEST 2014

Interesting side-note, I believe that in the US 501(c)3 non-profit 
organizations (which some spaces are) have to avoid politically 
supporting a party or candidate. Would this affect activities at a 
space? Perhaps not, as long as the space itself does not "officially" 
get involved or take a stance, and it's just members doing things, but I 
don't know.


On 7/3/14, 12:45 PM, Colin Keigher wrote:
> No. My response should be misconstrued as this.
> Political affiliations should have no bearing on your being involved 
> in a space--I am "centre-left" by Canadian standards (and probably 
> "pinko-commie" by American) just to inform you. What should be a 
> qualifier to your involvement in a space is laying out your intentions 
> on why you want to be a member. If you're there to create and do cool 
> shit, then you should be in; if you're there to further your personal, 
> political agenda, you shouldn't.
> As long as you're not spreading hate and making others uncomfortable, 
> politics should never play a role.
> VHS was asked by an IndyMedia clone to allow them to make use of the 
> space to work on their productions. We collectively said "no" and the 
> issue never came up again. We had to keep a neutral stance during the 
> Olympics while many of our members were being followed by the RCMP and 
> Vancouver Police due to their affiliation with anti-games groups. 
> Keeping VHS politics-free has been policy since its inception six 
> years ago and so far it has had success. We don't try to do anything 
> more than provide a space to do and make cool shit.
> - Colin
> On 03/07/2014 10:32, Al Billings 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 <mailto: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 <mailto:albill at openbuddha.com>
>> http://makehacklearn.org

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