[hackerspaces] Hackerspace and hackerspace

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Mon Feb 26 18:43:45 CET 2018

I'd add... actions speak louder than words.

We run the risk in any discussion such as this of falling into the trap of
parkinson's law of triviality ( oft referred to as bike shedding ).  what
we call something is only important in so far as public messaging is
concerned.  in a way labels themselves suffer from their own strength.  as
the term hackerspace entered the common technical vernacular so did it
immediately begin to dilute in terms of clarity.  Many attached the
terminology to resumes, grant proposals, requirements lists... as they are
often want to do when randomly scoping stuff such as us monkeys are so very
enamored with.  While this has been regrettable, it has had no real
relevance to the growth and execution of decentralized hackerspaces.

The benefit here of decentralization has been that all spaces can choose to
wear the badge of hackerspace or *space or their own unique brand as they
see fit... and thus avoid any broad generalizations that may rear their
head.  In a way, there is tremendous flexibility attributed to spaces due
to their geographic centric nature.  They can integrate into their local
geographic community as they see fit, with no real consequence to them on a
larger scale.  The trouble with a federated identity ( be it national or
international ) is that it tends to limit the capacity of a hackerspace to
adapt and survive in it's own environment.

Not to espouse some sort of support of social darwinianism, that would be
off base and somewhat ridiculous in this context, but in a way the future
of the hackerspace movement will not be defined in this discussion or on
this list.  It will be defined by the spaces that survive and flourish, if
they survive at all.  And, so as time marches on the relentless shifting
sands of time will change what hackerspaces are from region to region, and
generation to generation as well.  And that's a necessary state change to
accept and plan for accordingly.

A hackerspace by any other name is still a hackerspace and would smell of
solder fumes, saw dust, and if you are in some east europe spaces... of


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 12:32 PM, Nate B <myself at telcodata.us> wrote:

> This is a can of worms, but sure, I'll jump in:
> I use both "hackerspace" and "makerspace", but I think they're almost
> orthogonal.
> I think "hackerspace" refers to philosophy and management style. If a
> place is run by the people who use it rather than a top-down authority, and
> generally endorses the hacker ethic as described by the CCC, it's a
> hackerspace. This has nothing to do with the presence or absence of
> specific tools, though many hackerspaces accumulate significant tools in
> pursuit of that hands-on imperative.
> Whereas "makerspace" is about tools and capabilities. It generally implies
> some combination of 3d printers, laser cutters, and a great many more.
> Calling something a makerspace tells you nothing about its management
> style, and there are tons of makerspaces operating under different models.
> (The term "makerspace" is also more readily co-opted by corporate types
> who want to sound trendy, and schools that regret eviscerating their
> shop-class decades ago. It's only a matter of time before someone slaps it
> on the door of a coffee shop with a 3d printer in the corner. Ref.
> https://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/2015-Septem
> ber/010760.html )
> Not all hackerspaces are makerspaces, and not all makerspaces are
> hackerspaces, but there are plenty which are both. In i3Detroit's case, we
> started grass-roots and continue to be run by the community we serve, and
> along the way we've built a substantial shop, so I believe both terms apply.
> So, specifically to your question Sébastien, I think the words "community
> driven" are the salient part. There are lots of other places where people
> can come to build stuff, but if such a place is community driven, then it's
> probably a hackerspace. That's how I use the terms, anyway.
> -Nate Bezanson-
> On 2018-02-26 11:38 AM, Sébastien Gendre wrote:
>> Hello from the moon.
>> When someone describe what a hackerspace is, she/he commonly say: "It's
>> a community driven place where people can come to build stuff". But, is
>> it all? I mean, why calling it a hackerspace if the goal is only to make
>> stuff? Why not call it a makerspace or a DIY club?
>> I'm interested in the hacker movement since more than ten years and for
>> me a hacker is not only someone that build stuff in community. Building
>> stuff is an activity, not the finality. From what I understand, the
>> hacker is someone that want to liberate from the technics by study it,
>> experiment with it, share his knowledges and experiences, build with it
>> and divert it. And doing this empowerment with ethics, those listed by
>> the CCC [1]:
>>    - Access to computers - and anything which might teach you something
>>      about the way the world really works - should be unlimited and
>>      total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative!
>>    - All information should be free.
>>    - Mistrust authority - promote decentralization.
>>    - Hackers should be judged by their acting, not bogus criteria such
>>      as degrees, age, race, or position.
>>    - You can create art and beauty on a computer.
>>    - Computers can change your life for the better.
>>    - Don't litter other people's data.
>>    - Make public data available, protect private data.
>> How I always seen it, a hackerspace is a place for a community that fit
>> into the hacker movement. A hacker space. But based on what I read or
>> ear from some peoples around me or in Internet, it's not.
>> So, what is exactly a hackerspace? What define it? What differentiates
>> it from a DIY club?
>> [1] https://www.ccc.de/en/hackerethik
>> Regards
>> ————
>> Sébastien G.
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