[Noisebridge-discuss] Consensus yummyness

Leif Ryge leif at synthesize.us
Wed Nov 16 01:37:00 UTC 2011

Admittedly that is a bit TLDR for me at the moment, but after looking it 
over I have a small request: when you want to copy+paste blocks of text 
into the wiki, I think you should attribute the source of it and leave 
some sort of note (on the wiki) explaining what you're putting it there for.

In this particular instance I would appreciate it if you would add some 
clarification for readers that this text is not exactly descriptive or 
proscriptive of the consensus process at Noisebridge!

I definitely agree that we should have more text explaining consensus on 
the wiki, and I'd be happy to help distill this into something that 
better describes Noisebridge's process when I have some more time.


On 11/14/2011 07:41 PM, rachel lyra hospodar wrote:
> hey all,
> i did some pretty brute-force information-cramming on the wiki
> https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Consensus_Process
> https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/More_Consensus_Info
> Haven't done much formatting and whoever wrote the bike-shed
> explanation (it seems pretty rubin-esque to me) probably will feel sad
> that i crammed all this info above it, feel free to integrate what i
> pooed on top into the page better.
> This info came from a document compiled by Steve Leeds, a Quaker.
> below is the email that accompanied it.
> I'd love to have more conversation around this.  not sure when though.
>   Tuesday meetings are hard for me to make right now (peanut gallery
> performance last week notwithstanding)
> <3
> R.
> Hi Tom:
> I believe you called the SF Friends (Quaker) Meeting a few days back
> about the consensus process and requesting someone come to the GA.
> Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I couldn't hear the cell
> number you left on the phone machine.
> I've attended quite a few GA's and pretty much decided it wasn't my
> best use of time anymore. I'm working on Occupy in other areas
> and am in camp generally every day until this past week when work and
> responsibilities intervened.
> A few thoughts: Quakers have been using the consensus process for 350+
> years. It's a process that requires
> patience and ongoing commitment to work through differences and only
> block if you have huge moral objections to an idea/proposal
> that will drive you from the group. Pure consensus works best in small
> groups (action/affinity groups where the individuals have
> had a chance to get to know each other and build community). For a
> group like the GA in OccupySF, I suggest modified consensus, 80% or
> 90% coming to unity.
> Or even two-thirds. Unity is not unanimity. My observation of GA's I
> attended are way too often many people block consensus and the process
> is frustrating for many people, particularly new people who are
> present for the first time. I believe there is a deep misunderstanding
> of the consensus in both language (as an example consensus isn't like
> an individual voting so when the facilitator says let's vote, I
> believe the language perpetuates  and elevates the ability of one
> person to keep the group from moving forward) and  process (it
> requires deep listening, takes time, and shows us the whole group is
> more important than the individual)l. Learning this and collective
> responsibility is a sea-change for all of us as the mainstream culture
> has inculcated and brainwashed us with the paramount importance of our
> individuality. I see this everywhere in the culture, including in
> Occupy SF and the GA.
> Honestly, I don't know how the GA decision-making process is working
> most recently. I have  included some links and a PDF below of some
> resources..
> Feel free to contact me. I've been away and will be at camp tomorrow
> late afternoon. Hope the resources below are helpful.
> Regards,
> Steve Leeds
> Some resources:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_decision-making#Quaker_model
> http://legacy.earlham.edu/~consense/howwks.shtml
> Consensus Process
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