[Noisebridge-discuss] Upstairs door latch mechanism?

David Estes d at videst.es
Fri Feb 10 21:43:37 UTC 2012

On Feb 10, 2012, at 12:43 PM, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:

> 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 believe this was me.

I'm not equipped to handle vetting anyone who happens to be standing
in front of the gate. I also don't feel safe enough in this city to
directly tell people on the street not to follow me inside, especially
when they've heard we let "anyone" in.

What would have been a better response to this situation?

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