[hackerspaces] Hackerspace drama, oh my!

Torrie Fischer tdfischer at hackerbots.net
Thu Jul 3 21:03:50 CEST 2014

On Tuesday, July 01, 2014 12:24:31 matt wrote:
> 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.

If anyone is curious at all, here are the public archives of SYNHAK's 
discussion since we started it three years ago:


Feel free to troll through it and figure out how the culture changed outside 
of the core members who founded it.

Also to note: From what I can tell, very few if any of the first 12 or so 
members are still involved with SYNHAK since this happened.

> 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.
> -Matt
> On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM, Buddy Smith <buddy.smith at ieee.org> wrote:
> > Saw this on /r/hackerspaces/
> > 
> > https://medium.com/@tdfischer_/rip-synhak-7093ade6b943
> > 
> > Anyone involved care to comment? Has something similar happened to other
> > spaces? How did you get past it? How could it be prevented?
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > Discuss mailing list
> > Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> > http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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