[Noisebridge-announce] existential threats to Noisebridge -- please read

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Thu Jan 24 07:29:08 UTC 2013

TLDR: we need your money, your vigilance, and your love

In a meeting a few months ago, we Noisebridgians brainstormed a little
on the risks we faced as a group. On one point we agreed: Noisebridge
was engineered so that if it disappeared tomorrow for some reason, the
documentation and the drive of its members would be sufficient to build
something to replace it. But we also agreed that Noisebridge should die
from something spectacular: the Bussard polywell fusion reactor we made
of oyster mushrooms overloading, say, or the first stage retro boosters
applied to the foundations failing from poorly 3D-printed O rings.
Noisebridge should always go out with a (metaphorical) bang, not a real
world whimper.

Unfortunately we now have a few extremely boring threats to our
existence. Whatever we think of drama or hacking or each other, I think
we can safely say we are all opposed to boredom. If you care about
Noisebridge, or you just enjoy having our dramatic ways in your inboxes,
you can stop these threats and save Noisebridge.

1) Right now, we're short $3000 of our tradition three month breathing
room of $15,000. As ever, this has a bunch of factors. Drive-by
donations drop in the winter, because Noisebridge is coooold. Old hands
have moved on, and new ones don't realise how much Noisebridge depends
on their financial as well as practical support. Our rent went up in
November, and we just paid our $2K annual insurance premium. The economy
continues to suck.

Whatver the reason, we're not taking in enough right now, and that
cannot last for long. As it is, Noisebridge might not survive the
summer, unless you give some tax-deductible money. In particular, if you
use Noisebridge more than a few times a year, please set up a monthly
subscription of $160, $80, $40 or even $10. If you already pay, please
consider upping your donation (I just have). If you hate Paypal,
consider a far cooler bitcoin donation, or a bank order, or cash -- we
can give you the details. The more monthly donations we get, the less we
have to worry about seasonal donation instability in the charitytron

You can donate to Noisebridge here:

We accept Bitcoin at: 1B5sJQ6Wu6AmK9xG5YTic4Nszw4PS7UMAM

2) We got contacted by our landlord early at the New Year. Because of
our opening hours (which are infinite) and our open door policy (which
is always, and the actual gate was broken over Christmas), homeless folk
have been coming in and sleeping in the stairwell and possibly elsewhere
in the building. Our landlord likes us, but he's worried about the
safety and happiness of 2169's other tenants. We have to listen to our
landlord. We're going to have to, all of us, start making sure people
don't use Noisebridge as somewhere to sleep from the cold of San
Francisco. We're not going to make giant moats or spiked fences (well,
actually, we might, but that's a different project.) But we are all of
us, going to make sure we know who is coming into Noisebridge with us,
and be firm at asking those who are sleeping at Noisebridge to leave.
Remember, you can *always* ask someone to leave and come back to
Noisebridge's Tuesday meeting if you feel they are being unexcellent. 
You should always be responsible for those who you let into the space.

3) Finally, our biggest existential threat: the health of us all. As
many of us know, a close friend of Noisebridge's community, Aaron
Swartz, took his life two weeks ago. You're invited to a shared memorial
between Noisebridge and many others who miss him Thursday night, at the
Internet Archive.


We have had a moment's silence for Ilya Zhitomirskiy, who hacked on
Diaspora at Noisebridge. Before that we had a memorial, too, for Len
Sassaman, another brilliant companion.

One of our community's values is honesty, brutal honesty. That's why I'm
not telling you everything is fine. But sometimes what we think is a
healthy honesty hides our real vulnerability, or it is misused to
inspire vulnerability in others. 

Mitch was one of the first to use hackerspaces to set up meetings to
talk about depression among hackers. Noisebridge isn't just about
Arduinos and giant fricking lasers. We come here to support each other,
especially in our darkest times, and we work to support the wider hacker

Please take care of each other. If we die, it will not be by our own
hands, nor by those who might misunderstand us, but by giant robot
hands, hugging their fleshy creators just a biiit too hard for our puny
human tolerances. And we'll build it together, not alone.

There will be a hackathon to continue Aaron's goals at Noisebridge on

Be excellent to each other,

p.p. Consenso

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