[Noisebridge-discuss] Upstairs door latch mechanism?

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Fri Feb 10 22:22:11 UTC 2012

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 02:02:01PM -0800, David Estes wrote:
> Right, we definitely shouldn't be using "Hispanic" and "wearing a
> baseball cap" as criteria for rejecting someone.

Well, I don't want to overplay that -- that's just part of my
description, not their determination. I can't tell why people weren't
letting the guy in, and everybody involved was sort of experimenting
with the camera and what should be done with it. It made everybody
involved uncomfortable, in the same way as cross-examining somebody at
Noisebridge about whether they intend to sleep there or something makes
people uncomfortable. I doubt that people are going to do it very often.

The problem is that it's actually kind of difficult to eliminate other
forms of profiling from the ideal of behavioural profiling. If you're
judging people from looking at them from upstairs (or through the
porthole), you're essentially having to judge them on a few seconds of
behaviour. Part of the reason why people are uncomfortable with that is
because they realise that it's not a great system for determining future

I also want to say that I don't think this is how Jake intended the
camera to be used. My impression was that it was a way for people to
spot and reject known troublemakers, rather than cross-examine people at
the door. If it is, maybe we should separate those two roles. Which
brings me back to the same basic question: how do we improve and make
better a system for doing that?

(I see this conversation, incidentally, in the same light as the one
about bcrypt trees. Nobody should think that this is intended to stop
them doing whatever they want.)


> On Feb 10, 2012, at 1:57 PM, Liz Henry <liz at bookmaniac.org> wrote:
> > I would let someone in who wanted to use the wifi and would give them a
> > tour, and do not care if they look scruffy or where they live as long as
> > they don't live at Noisebridge.... I have asked people to leave when
> > they behave badly. Here is hoping that we don't bar people from entering
> > because they "look homeless" whatever that means. Heinous!!!! Base that
> > on behavior.... Even if that is behavior as they're asking to come in.
> >
> > If they are drunk and loud and out of control or make some kind of
> > threat then find enough people to ask the person to leave all in a group.
> >
> >  - Liz
> >
> >
> >
> > On 2/10/12 1:43 PM, David Estes wrote:
> >> 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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> >>
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > ------------------------
> > Liz Henry
> > liz at bookmaniac.org
> > http://bookmaniac.org
> >
> > "Without models, it's hard to work; without a context, difficult to
> > evaluate; without peers, nearly impossible to speak." -- Joanna Russ
> > _______________________________________________
> > Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
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