[Noisebridge-discuss] Who do we want to exclude? [Drama]

D J Capelis mail at capelis.dj
Tue Apr 9 22:33:19 UTC 2013

On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 12:32 PM, Ken M. Haggerty <kenmhaggerty at gmail.com>wrote:

> 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*.

As much as that's a beautiful piece of work[1], I think it's important to
remember that social norms are influenced by social privilege and social
standing and social norms that some people and some groups find reliable
for them are things other people and other groups find don't reliably work
for them.  It is probably important to cultivate a community that strives a
set of social norms that are as consistently reliable as possible for
everyone working in the spirit of noisebridge's mission of doing loosely
defined awesome things.

For instance, many people at noisebridge are delighted to find a community
where they can rely on a series of social norms that include assuming other
people are technically skilled, friendly exchange of ideas and valuing
people by their technical skills.  Other people can come to the same place,
and because of one factor or another, experience exactly zero of those
things as reliable social norms in the space.  There is a danger in
assuming that the social norms we are offered by a community are also
extended to others.  It often leads people to assume that since they can
rely on those social norms, others can too and equality is seemingly doing
pretty well.  (I think we are all optimists more often than we suspect and
I think in many ways, that is commendable, but obviously, in this one,
people just end up with blind spots more often than not.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is while the brilliance of a self-regulating
social system is attractive, implementing a culture in practice requires
careful consideration of the edge, corner and side cases and careful
consideration of the truth that how we perceive the culture to work for
ourselves will invariably differ from how others are able to interact with
it.  It is a good thing to take a self regulating system (as really,
everything is at some scope or another) and determine which cases aren't
being probably dealt with in ways we want and what simplest elegant
mechanism might exist to try and correct them.  Careful analysis and
correction of places where organic processes are yielding rotting products
instead of local fresh cultivated products is an important part of actually
implementing something real.

tl;dr: Yield rates are important.


[1] And by the way, thanks for sharing it!  I enjoyed reading about it here.
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