[Noisebridge-discuss] Who do we want to exclude? [Drama]
Ken M. Haggerty
kenmhaggerty at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 19:32:18 UTC 2013
Hi Tom: Thank you for the very thoughtfully worded sentiment.
While Noisebridge is proudly anarchistic, I am of the opinion that anarchy
does not have to mean complete disorder but rather freedom from imposition
by others. (I am sure that others have better definitions and thoughts on
anarchy, but I digress.)
Something that seemed to work in my previous experiences in various groups
has been to establish *clear protocols of interaction*. This is a *universal
issue* that affects *all people* and that can be mitigated through *good
technology and design*.
Clear protocols does *not* mean prescriptive adoption of a single protocol.
Rather, it means that we ask of each other *the seemingly obvious questions
for which we often assume incorrect answers*. (E.g., "Do you need help?"
rather than assuming help will be received graciously; "significant other"
rather than assuming "boyfriend"/"girlfriend," monogamy, etc.)
A *friendly, clear, approachable web page* is an extremely effective method
for establishing such protocols. E.g.,
• What are the requirements for joining Noisebridge?
• What are the values of Noisebridge?
• Will I be accepted at Noisebridge?
• How should I behave at Noisebridge?
• How should I behave on the mailing lists?
• (and as Tom asks) Whom do we exclude?
Again, this does *not* imply so much a forced change of behaviour (that is
a different topic, and more towards what Tom discusses) as a clear
dilineation of behavior.
Along those lines, I would propose that we adopt *open management protocols*
• Establish *virtual offices* for managing Noisebridge
• Create *open mailing lists* for each of those offices
• Create *clear, concise, accessible documentation* of Noisebridge's
The wiki is an excellent way to do these more managerial / backend tasks,
and I would be very willing lead a study group to learn and maintain the
wiki, although I myself have only little experience managing wikis. The
format is less important than whether it works for people. I am sure we
will discuss this tonight at meeting.
There is an excellent artist named *Marina Abramovic*. In one of her works,
*Rhythm 0 <http://youtu.be/ennfeVSirDU>*, she stood next to a table with
objects of pleasure (rose, feather, grapes, honey) and pain (whip, scalpel,
gun, bullet), and accepted all liability for whatever happened to her. A
few people did try to hurt her, but every time the other guests in the
gallery would intervene and save not only her but each other. Noisebridge
is very much like that; through this freedom afforded to us by the
decisions of others, we must not be afraid to create our own limits. In
that, we are *limitless*.
On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 11:44 AM, Tom Lowenthal <me at tomlowenthal.com> wrote:
> It is a myth that leaving our doors open to any makes us welcome for all.
> When we admit those who think of women as anything less than
> autonomous people, we make Noisebridge unwelcome for women. When there
> are those among us who take what is not theirs, those who would
> construct projects with valuable components cannot do so here. When
> our library is used as a bedroom, it us unavailable and unpleasant for
> those who seek knowledge. When our tools are broken or lost, it is not
> possible to build. When people won't come to classes because they do
> not feel safe at Noisebridge, we need to address this.
> When some people walk though our gate, Noisebridge becomes unpleasant
> and unusable for others. When we are open to all, we exclude many of
> those we love most.
> Too many times have I heard "Let's meet at the Sycamore instead,
> people always hit on me when I'm at Noisebridge." or "I know it costs
> more, but let's build it at Tech shop, 'cause it'd suck if this went
> missing.". If you are a cisgendered man who works mostly at your
> computer, you may not notice these things. These issues may not affect
> you directly, but they affect those around you: your community. This
> weakens our social fabric, and excludes many of the most valued,
> thoughtful folks who should be the mainstay of our hackerspace.
> Without these people, we are so much less.
> We need to take a look in the mirror and decide what we want to be,
> because we cannot be everything to everyone. If we want to be the
> place that people go to build their next giant robot, livestreaming
> quadcoptor, community project, or enlightening class, we must be a
> place which invites, nurtures, and encourages this. We should strive
> to be the place that provides for that which we value most, and that
> means removing those things which are barriers to these goals.
> We have excluded so many who have come before and tried to make great
> things. Let us not exclude any more.
> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
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