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

John Withers jwithers at reddagger.org
Wed Apr 10 20:10:05 UTC 2013

On 04/09/2013 11:44 AM, Tom Lowenthal wrote:
> 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.
Tom, I think you have hit on a real point here, and it continues the 
discussion we were having a couple of weeks ago on the list. Without 
defining what NB is focused on clearly, some things get de facto 
excluded. Hardware hacking is one of the casualties for many of us. 
That's okay if that is a tradeoff we realize we intentionally are 
choosing to make to enable other parts of the community to flourish. And 
I think to some degree that conscious choice is present.

But I think it is possibly less a choice in some cases than a lack of 
focus or willingness to define the community. I was trying to meet with 
a couple of people with a neuro working group for a while. And it was 
quite difficult to find space for three people to sit and work on our 
project. I don't begrudge the classes or people hacking on projects, but 
I have to admit I found it a bit annoying the number of people checking 
facebook or in one notable case watching movies and taking up space that 
could have been used for education and trading knowledge. We tried a 
couple of different nights of the week and have since given up on using 
the space for this. Admittedly, due to work schedules and such we were 
hitting during prime time.

I don't have a solution to this particularly, and am not really all that 
hot about it, since as Danny has pointed out, there are other places to 
work and hack in the larger area. But I do think you have hit an 
important point that when we don't define our community as much more 
than universally inclusive, it does in fact exclude some segments of 
people who are trying to hack.


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