[Noisebridge-discuss] adult themed posters in a do-acracy

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at appelbaum.net
Tue Jun 2 07:22:30 UTC 2009

njc4523 wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 9:32 PM, Jason Dusek <jason.dusek at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  We have no choice but to H-Bomb this thread. Like Hitler in
>>  1938, it shows promise of becoming a brutal, expansionist
>>  thread that will sap the life from surrounding threads.
> Very well.  I certainly didn't mean for it to be so divisive.  Let's
> lay it to rest.  


> Suffice it to say that there's at least some dissent
> when it comes to the display of adult material.  I suspect some people
> just don't feel comfortable bringing this up.

I am certain that there is some dissent. However, it's a tough call. Is
the steam powered dildo displaying adult material? Or is it just the
posters? There is also a very strong culture of so called adult issues.

Noisebridge is a confusing space socially. Some number of people
involved have worked in the sex industry and many continue to do so.

Will we, as a group, need to tone down their projects and their
interests in the space?

I really hope that this isn't the case. I find that idea pretty sad
actually. This is a core part of our roots as a group. There are many
other parts of course but please understand that it's something related
to many people here.

> Jeffrey, thanks for your thoughtful response.  The posters have been
> an issue for me for a while, but it's only the recent thread about
> kids in NB that made my thoughts on this take full form.  I was
> introduced to hacking as a kid by a mentor I'm eternally thankful to,
> and I'd like to do the same for a child I serve as a role model to.
> I'm not comfortable exposing her to adult material though.  I
> personally don't care about profanity, and she's exposed to plenty of
> that, but neither I nor her mother want her exposed to adult material
> of a sexual nature.

That's a totally reasonable concern. I'm curious and I ask this with all
 the respect possible: Why do you wish to bring her to Noisebridge
knowing that we have adult themed material around?

I sense that you like some parts of the group but wish to adapt the rest
of the group to your other needs. This indicates to me that you're
unfamiliar with how Noisebridge works. We generally try not to enforce
the will of others on the entire membership body without a binding
consensus. Additionally, by default, we're a go for most things.

The phrase that really sums up how we roll is best said in German:
"Nicht ist verboten, alles ist erlaubt." - Translation: "Nothing is
forbidden, everything is permissible."

We're not a permission based organization. We don't enforce things from
a rule book. We don't have a censorship board. We decorate the walls
with things that fit the group. The Arse Elektronika poster I put up was
a project of many people involved with Noisebridge.

> Your second point really gets to the heart of what I'm talking about
> -- whose rights reign supreme?  Yes, I'd prefer to restrict those
> who'd bring adult material into the space.  That does indeed infringe
> upon their rights.

How do you propose that will work?

> However, they're free to enjoy adult material at
> the Power Exchange or the Porn Palace or wherever such things are
> entirely appropriate.

You raise an amusing interesting point. The Power Exchange is closed,
the Porn Palace moved down the road to the Armory and together, many of
us created Noisebridge. This has historically been a place where we can
enjoy and sometimes create (such as the steam punk vibrator) adult
material. Though, I'm not sure any of those posters even remotely count
on a scale of zero to hardcore.

How is it not an appropriate place for such material? Because you've
said so? Because society at large says so? I am honestly curious and I
invite you to reply. Or if you'd like, bring it up at the meeting
tomorrow as a discussion point?


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