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

peter phm at riseup.net
Mon Feb 23 05:15:32 CET 2015

On 22/02/15 05:40, Red Davies wrote:
> Peter,
> 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.

/I see that they get annoyed when people tell them exactly why they are 

But I don't think that telling people clearly and respectfully why 
they're wrong is a bad thing.

Is that what they think I've done wrong?

I'm banned cos I said stuff that they didn't agree with?

> 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?

This is not relevant. I wasn't stopping them from doing anything. There 
was nothing to compromise about. If they didn't like my posts, they 
didn't have to read them or reply.

> 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.

I don't know why you think this.

They didn't make any points that convinced me that I might be wrong.

I change my mind all the time, when smart people say smart things that 
had not occurred to me.

> 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.

This is not what was happening. I was not saying 'I like it, so you 
should like it too'.

The reason I mentioned that I liked it was to make it clear that I 
wasn't doing it nastily.

The argument was: I speak in this way using these ideas and language, 
and you can speak how you want.

I don't dictate to others which language they should use and how they 
should speak.

> "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?

No. I was being nice by offering to teach them a different way of thinking.

I didn't have to be nice. I could have just said 'If you don't like my 
ideas or how I present them, then don't talk to me'

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

I wasn't forcing anyone to talk. They kept replying and I kept telling 
them why they were wrong.
What they wanted was to say 'shut up. This is what we think, and we're 
right, and you must not try to tell us otherwise. now shut up'

> 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
> minutes."
> 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 have good reasons for suspecting this was the case.
(I know roughly when it was done. I know who was in the space at the 
time. I know who didn't do it. I've spoken to other people that say this 
guy has done spiteful, petty things to them. And if he was just cleaning 
up the fridge, it's odd that he didn't touch the raw chicken or other 
stuff that had been in there for ages.)
So it's not a pure guess.

>> 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?

/I do this a lot./ That's how I know I can defend everything I've said. 
Because I was very careful with everything I wrote. I was well aware 
that people can misunderstand things.

>> 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
> annoyed.
>   d. Continues to argue the issues even after those people want to just
> walk away and get on with their life.
> Serious question.

If they didn't enjoy the discussion, why did they keep on reading and 

> 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.

One of the 'trustees' is a larger gentleman whose nick is 'Sol' :-)

> Good Luck,
> Red
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