[Noisebridge-discuss] Kevin's proposal to expire the Associate Member role.

Al Sweigart asweigart at gmail.com
Fri Dec 13 23:52:02 UTC 2013

Kevin, the obvious difference between this proposal and the anti-harassment
and keypad proposals (and going further back, the tor-node proposal) is
that the expiration clauses were all part of a compromise for passing the
*original* proposal. There is no precedent to adding an expiration date to
a policy after the fact. What we *have* done before to undo policies is put
forward a consensus proposal to directly undo them.

But I do agree, policies need to have a large amount of buy-in from the
community to be seen as legitimate. That something could easily pass one
week but not the next simply because a particular single person wasn't
there to block is a big failure that's unique to the consensus process.

Gregory, last meeting I had to make a VERY unpopular block (as proxy for
another member) on two memberships because I was the only capital-m Member
(g'uh, I find that term distasteful) there. Even I wasn't in favor of
blocking, meaning that it was unanimous of everyone there that Sam and
Robin should have become members but that didn't happen due to consensus.
And since associate members can't block, they'd never be able to dictate a
decision like that. Second-class is exactly what that is. As JC loudly said
that night, that's bullshit.

On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 2:53 PM, Gregory Dillon <gregorydillon at gmail.com>wrote:

> please don’t call me second class, I’m happy with my associate membership,
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 2:14 PM, bfb <bfb at riseup.net> wrote:
>>  Al, please consider an alternative interpretation of this proposal
>> based on the following claims.
>> Great changes to noisebridge standard operating protocol:
>> 1. benefit from a trial period
>> 2. benefit from significant (unanimous) community buy-in
>> 3. benefit from the learnings made during the trial period
>> In addition, this particular policy suffers from perceived lack of
>> legitimacy due to the small present member count (4) and poor adherence to
>> process (member dues amendment).
>> Finally, the proposal in question follows precedent set by the button to
>> keypad consensus and the anti harassment policy.
>> -Kevin
>> -------- Original message --------
>> From: Al Sweigart
>> Date:12/13/2013 13:52 (GMT-08:00)
>> To: noisebridge-discuss
>> Subject: [Noisebridge-discuss] Kevin's proposal to expire the Associate
>> Member role.
>> So Kevin proposed a consensus item at the last meeting that would expire
>> the Associate Member role on January 29 unless it passed a second round of
>> consensus before then. This is basically the same as the previous consensus
>> item that was blocked on 12/3 to invalidate the original Associate Member
>> consensus item, except the invalidation takes place in the future with the
>> opportunity to prevent the invalidation of the consensus item by re-passing
>> it through consensus. (Insert Inception joke here.)
>> I'd like to talk about two things:
>> First, I think that Noisebridge having two tiers of membership is kind of
>> crap, especially for all the non-hierarchical rhetoric that is preached.
>> Associate members are second-class citizens that can't block, meaning they
>> have no power whatsoever in actual decision making. (And influence is no
>> substitute for power.)
>> But I also understand why it was created, rather than just easily let
>> people become Noisebridge members. Being a member gives someone the Nuclear
>> Option of a unilateral veto, which the membership wants to be very careful
>> with. But this ends up excluding a lot of people (again, which goes against
>> the "radical inclusiveness" rhetoric we preach). Sam and Robin's
>> memberships getting blocked at the last meeting are examples of this.
>> Second, Kevin's proposal is a hack. With Noisebridge's current political
>> structure, it's far easier to block something then pass it. So if you want
>> to abolish Associate Members, it's easier to add an expiration date which
>> would need consensus to avoid, rather than try to get consensus to directly
>> abolish it. Kevin's proposal effectively tries to do the same thing as the
>> last proposal, but in an indirect way so that it will be less likely to be
>> blocked.
>> Consensus is problematic. It encourages Noisebridge to be closed off to
>> new people, it creates an "old guard" of members who hold the actual power,
>> and it encourages people to circumvent it anyway. It's no wonder why
>> there's so much drama at Noisebridge.
>> Any thoughts on consensus, associate members, and/or Kevin's proposal?
>> -Al
>> _______________________________________________
>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> --
> Let's stay in touch.  Greg
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