[Noisebridge-discuss] Upstairs door latch mechanism?

Shannon Lee shannon at scatter.com
Fri Feb 10 22:27:21 UTC 2012

To be clear, the criteria we used was "Do you recognize the guy?  No?  Me
either.  So, in this case, we would hypothetically not let him in, yeah?
 OK, let's not buzz him in and see what happens."

When he arrived at the top of the stairs, I greeted him, shook his hand,
asked him how he heard about Noisebridge ("From this guy") and what he was
doing ("It's great, I just want to use the internet.").  He did live in an
SRO, he was noticeably smelly.  I explained that Noisebridge was for
hacking, what hacking was, and that we sort of discouraged people from just
using it as a place to use the internet and hang out.

He then tried to sell me his old computer; when I didn't seem interested,
he wanted to know how much I thought it was worth.  Then he left.

I'm a big guy, I speak in an authoritative tone, and he was
extremely deferential in exactly the way you'd expect from someone meek
unexpectedly encountering an authority figure, and I still found the whole
thing extremely awkward.  Even though there wasn't any "unpleasantness," in
the sense that nobody yelled or was confrontational, it was still extremely
socially awkward, put me in a position of uncomfortable power distance, and
was also very time consuming -- I think it was a ten or fifteen minute

This was sort of a "best case scenario" for encountering someone who
matches our definition of an "oogie" or "muppet" and barring them from
entry through social interaction, as prescribed elsewhere, and it was
pretty awful.  I have to report that I would not want to do it regularly,
and that I don't believe that we can expect this to be a workable
"gatekeeper" strategy.


On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM, David Estes <d at videst.es> wrote:

> Right, we definitely shouldn't be using "Hispanic" and "wearing a
> baseball cap" as criteria for rejecting someone.
> 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?
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> >> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> >> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> >>
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > ------------------------
> > 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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Shannon Lee
(503) 539-3700

"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science."
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