[Noisebridge-discuss] Upstairs door latch mechanism?

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Fri Feb 10 20:43:24 UTC 2012

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 09:06:30AM -0800, Casey Callendrello wrote:
> It is being proposed as an imperfect but doable solution to a known
> problem: gate riders. We saw it happen last night, thanks to your video
> camera (which, btw, is awesome). It was someone who lived in a SRO and
> been told that Noisebridge was "a cool place to sit and use the
> Internet." We told him otherwise, that NB is for projects, and he
> wandered off. It happened to be myself, Shannon, and WillS. I would not
> have felt comfortable with these sorts of confrontations alone, every
> day, and I don't think that's weird.

I want to just touch on this event, actually, because I think it shows
some of the many social complexities of the camera, an access code
system, and other ways of applying more social pressure.

What happened, as I saw it, was the guy was buzzing to be let in. A
group of three people (Casey, Shannon and WillS) were standing by the
camera, discussing its use, and pretty much decided not to let him in,
based partly I think on the experiment of not letting people in, and
partly because his appearance: he was a hesitant-looking hispanic guy,
in a baseball cap. I can't think of any other way that you'd be able to
judge who should come in apart from appearence using the current system.

Anyway, just as everyone was deciding not to let him in, he got buzzed
in anyway through the pony.noise/gate button. 

I wasn't paying much attention to the details of the conversation that
ensued, but from Casey's description, Will, Shannon and Casey managed to
get from this guy that he lived in an SRO, and asked him what he wanted
at Noisebridge, and then he left. From the outside, it was three guys
pretty much being bouncers at the Noisebridge top door.

Afterwards, there was a general discussion about how fantastically
awkward and somewhat upsetting doing that whole thing was. I think that
was true for all parties. 

I don't know whether he was gate riding -- when I got there, he had just
buzzed and was waiting to be let in.

Here were the conclusions I drew from this:

1) A camera means that people may end up deciding not to let people in based
solely on their appearance. 
2) Not everyone is going to agree with that decision, so people are going to be
let in anyway.
3) Somebody still has to act all bouncerly. Unless we tool up MC
Hawking, somebody still has to Not Let Someone In, which is actually a
far more active thing to do than it sounds.

I guess I'm going to continue to think and act more on improving 3) than
other stuff. I do want us to think more about how to preserve our
diversity -- there's no reason why we can't maintain our boundaries and
also be welcoming to people.

My immediate suggestion for 1) is to maybe put the 86 list
https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/86 by the camera, to make it clear that
it's supposed to stop *certain* people coming in, not certain *classes*
of people in.

anyway, that's all.


> I think it is impossible to solve access solely in the sidewalk gate,
> but agree that it would be preferable. Can the glass doors be brought
> back in to service? More important than the physical security gained by
> locking upstairs is the message it sends: that Noisebridge is a place
> that cares about who enters.
> Lets be honest: By disabling all but one lock mechanisms, and buzzing in
> whoever had the hacker skill to ring the doorbell, Noisebridge
> essentially relied on security through obscurity. Every hacker knows
> that, at some point, obscurity cannot last. That time for us has passed.
> On 02/10/2012 02:34 AM, Jake wrote:
> >
> > We need to focus on bouncing people at the sidewalk door.  If you are 
> > having trouble understanding this concept, please ask some people whose 
> > opinion you trust before continuing with this idea of locking the upstairs 
> > door.
> >
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