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

matt matt at nycresistor.com
Thu Jul 3 19:54:46 CEST 2014

Still want to see someone run a hackerspace as a SuperPAC.

On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 1:53 PM, Pete Prodoehl <raster at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> Pete
> 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>
> 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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