[Noisebridge-discuss] Banning Patrick from Noisebridge

Mark Cohen markc at binaryfaith.com
Thu Feb 24 16:37:13 UTC 2011

I've not attended noisebridge meetings in a long, long time.. As I found that it was rarely productive of my time. (sorry) And I will not likely attend the next meeting to discuss this important issue, I'm finishing up a large colo move here in the city.

That being said, I only ask the following. 

* When banning an individual, please set up a time period. (Can be years)
	 Think about how you were in your mid-twenties and how you might be if you're (like me) in your 40s
* Take into account any medical reason for the behavior of the individual.
	 In the case of Autism, for example, an individual might not be able to pick up on subtle (and not so subtle) reactions by targeted people. 
* Not saying that this is the case here, but it is easy for any group of individuals to, through coercion or group agreements to decide that someone has got to go and come up with reasons to do so. (As the character on "House" says... "Everyone lies")

I've not met Patrick, I've only "known him" though email on this list. I'd like for him to address his accusers issues. Explain his actions, and possibly apologize to those whom he might have offended by his actions and behaviors. 

What I ask the group is, should he stand and face those who would ban him to address these serious grievances, and apologize, would he be forgiven? Would he be given an ample opportunity to change his behavior? 

Finally, think to yourselves, should you be accused by a group and be put in his position, how would you react?


On Feb 24, 2011, at 3:09 AM, Will Sargent wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 1:24 AM, Zedd Epstein <zedd.00 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> So, I guess it's my turn to defend the actions of the people that did,
>> instead of the people that bitched. I'm way too lazy to actually try and put
>> this in paragraph form, so I'm just going to put it in a bulleted list.
>> *Officially Patrick hasn't been banned from the space. There are a number of
>> us that will remove him if he comes to the space, and we put our names on a
>> convenient list so he knew who he should try and avoid. Remember, there are
>> no rules at Noisebridge. I can say that you can't come to the space, and I
>> expect you to tell me to fuck off.
>> *This letter was part of the discussion process. Consensus is the last
>> resort. This is us applying as much social pressure as we can to explain
>> that we feel his actions are wrong.
> This.
> There was a long and involved discussion about the difference between
> "do-ocracy" and consensus, and I also went through the Vision
> statement at https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Noisebridge_Vision.  As
> I understand it, Do-ocracy is individuals trying to be excellent to
> one another, and Consensus is the process by which Noisebridge makes
> official decisions.
> Do-ocracy does not require permission or an official consensus
> decision: it's entirely up to the individuals concerned to exercise
> their best judgment in being excellent.  What happened yesterday was
> that individuals (lots of them) agreed that the most excellent thing
> they could do was to tell Patrick he wasn't welcome in the space,
> effective immediately.
> We've already done bullet points, so I'll do Q & A:
> Q: Is it officially Noisebridge's decision?
> A: No, that requires consensus.
> Q: Is it temporary until consensus banning happens or doesn't happen?
> A: No, even if consensus banning doesn't happen, I believe individuals
> (like me) will continue to believe that the most excellent thing we
> can do if Patrick shows up is to say he is not welcome in the space,
> and make it clear he should leave.
> Q: Are there any advantages to consensus banning if you're just going
> to be all do-ocratic?
> A: Yes.  It sends a clear message that this is an official Noisebridge
> decision.  As far as I can tell, no-one likes the status quo.  It's
> just all we have right now.
> Q: What if individuals decide, after weighing all the evidence, that
> they want Patrick to be in the space?
> A: If individuals have thought about it and they really truly believe
> that it's the most excellent thing they can be doing, then -- absent a
> consensus decision -- there's nothing stopping them from letting
> Patrick into the space.  If you're seriously considering it, it would
> be polite to let everyone know beforehand of your intentions, so that
> people who might object can object, and people who don't feel safe
> around Patrick can absent themselves.
> Q: What if Noisebridge makes an official decision through consensus
> that Patrick should have free and open access to the space?
> A: Uhhh. Assuming consensus (which is a BIG if)... then as I
> understand it... individuals who are impeding that access should cease
> and desist immediately, or leave if they do not feel comfortable with
> that decision.
> Q: Have people ever been banned before?
> A: Sure, with Dr. Bobbie.  He was disruptive, of unsound mind, and a
> potential danger to himself and to Noisebridge as a whole.  He was
> asked to leave and not come back by individuals acting in do-ocracy.
> Q: Why is your name on that list?
> A: Come to the meeting next week and find out.
> Will.
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Mark Cohen
markc at binaryfaith.com

Science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.
-Carl Sagan, 1996

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