[hackerspaces] Leadership abusing powers. Bullying. Extraordinary General Meetings.

Red Davies noiddicle at gmail.com
Sun Feb 22 06:40:10 CET 2015


On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 8:58 PM, peter <phm at riseup.net> wrote:
> I still don't know what they think I've done wrong.

You know what, I believe you.  I believe you because the examples you
quoted paint you in a worse light than the leadership you're
criticizing.  If you recognized that then you wouldn't have quoted
those examples.

I think this is the root of the impasse.  A group of people say you
have a tail.  You don't see the tail so you argue with them about it
ad infinitum.  In a touch of irony, my guess is that this is the tail
they're referring to.  Maybe a group of people the other side of the
world telling you that you have a tail might make you look again.

The thing that jumps out at me more than anything from the threads you
link is that you're exhausting.  That sounds horrible I know so let me
try and break it down.  Four things:
 0. You are willing to die on every hill.
 1. You're not willing to accept other people's points of view or feelings.
 2. You don't disengage when people ask you to.
 3. You assume bad faith from others and expect them to consider your
comments with good faith.

0.  You're willing to die on every hill.

When you're in an organization with a shared space everyone has to
compromise - especially one the size of LHS.  Compromise doesn't mean
that someone convinced you of the merit of their position.  Compromise
explicitly means that they DIDN'T but you accept it for the greater
good of your community at the expense of your own interests.  You can
maintain a position of disagreement and still compromise by saying
something like: "I don't agree but go ahead and X and I'll do Y.
Maybe next time we can work on Z together...".  Community > Self,
otherwise why are you there?

1. You're not willing to accept other people's points of view or feelings.

The world isn't black and white.  You seem to hold to the point that
there is one absolute answer which is the one that you hold at the
time.  I don't doubt that with good arguments you're willing to change
your mind on things.  The issue is that you seem to crave that
everyone has one opinion (your current one).  Wag more, bark less.

Be a good member of the community.  The "it" saga illustrates this perfectly:

"I like de-humanising. I think it's a good thing.I prefer for people
to call me 'it'."

I have a friend who is an MMA fighter.  He LOVES being punched in the
face.  He says that the adrenaline rush makes him feel alive.  Going
by your logic he should be giving the gift of "feeling alive" to
everyone he meets even when they ask him not to.

"I think it's funny to call people 'it'. If it upsets them, it can
come and talk to me and I'll try to help it develop a sense of humour.
(and if it really can't do this, I'll stop calling it 'it' in public).

This is just insane.

You explicitly say that if something YOU DO to them UPSETS them then
you'll help them develop the ability to have what you do to them not
upset them while you do it to them.  Do you not see how this principle
borders on abusive?

The intellectual merit of whether "it" is a socially appropriate
construct or not is irrelevant at this point.  Your response is

A story:
When I was in school I had an amazing friend who I still love dearly
to this day but we lost contact when we went to uni.  I finally found
her a few years ago and tried to make contact.  When I did she told
 a. Thank you for your friendship, I love you and I really really
appreciated it.
 b. School was the hardest part of my life. I wanted to die.  I've cut
all ties to that time of my life and moved on.
 c. I love you but I don't want to re-introduce our friendship because
it will remind me of the painful memories of that time of my life.

I didn't say to her: "I didn't do anything to you like those other
bastards, let's meet up so I can help show you why you're wrong to
feel that way".

Sure, there was a part of me that wanted to (because the rejection
feels unjust).  No, as an empathic human being I recognized that
fighting that battle would have caused her upset and pain.  I let it

Telling people that you can educate them how they should be feeling is
arrogance of the first degree.

2. You don't disengage when people ask you to.

This is the biggest one I think.  When people don't want to talk about
it anymore then continuing to talk at them about it will just make
things worse.  If someone walks away then they don't want to talk
about it.  If you follow them to continue it even after they state
they don't want to talk about it that crosses a line.

Yes you want to be heard, I get that but if someone is telling you to
stop and you continue then you're talking AT them but they're not
going to hear you.  You won't be "heard" because the sound of who you
are at that point will be deafening them.

3. You assume bad faith from others and expect them to consider your
comments with good faith.

Your opening EMail said this:
"I suspect this was done by a 'trustee' as revenge for me suggesting
'doorbot' should not be blaring out loud music into the space every 5

The simplest explanation is that someone looked at the food and dumped
it before it would got moldy.  Instead of considering the possibility
that someone was being over-zealous in their cleaning (that's a
problem most hackerspaces wish they had!) you go straight to making
two bad faith assertions:
 a. It was a trustee.
 b. It was revenge.

Yet on the other hand you expect people to believe that you're not
intentionally trolling when you suggest that people can come to you
for emotional correction.

> I feel very confident that I can defend all of my posts. I was not rude or
> abusive. I was not trolling. They were my genuine thoughts. They were all
> relevant to the hackspace.

Instead of defending all your posts perhaps you should re-read them?

> It may be the case that they annoyed some people, but that's because some
> people find some ideas/people annoying.

Sure, and that's going to happen.

What would you call someone who:
 a. Knows the behaviour they're exhibiting that annoys people and
continues anyways because it's how they prefer to be treated.
 b. Informs them that they're going to keep doing it because they enjoy it.
 c. Advises them that they're willing to take time out of their busy
schedule to annoy them until they understand why they shouldn't be
 d. Continues to argue the issues even after those people want to just
walk away and get on with their life.

Serious question.

My advice to you is to "agree to disagree" and live in a separate
orbit for a while.  The organization has asked you to disengage so
break your pattern and disengage.  If you don't you're continuing the
cycle and pattern of behaviour which further cements their decision.

Live in that separate orbit for a while (a single rotation about Sol
is what they asked for) and after that period of time start from
scratch.  Time and distance will heal the wounds on both sides and
hopefully you'll both have an opportunity to start again.

Good Luck,


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