[Noisebridge-discuss] Structural Nihilism

Johny Radio johnyradio at gmail.com
Thu Dec 19 21:43:12 UTC 2013

On 12/19/2013 12:04 PM, jim wrote:
>      My take was to have faith in others and don't try to fix problems--
> let the group dynamics take their courses and hope for the best
> (and get active with respect to things that impinge directly).

Jim, i have not found anything in the archive supporting "have faith in 
others" or "hope for the best". But you're correct about not fixing 
problems before they happen. Here's a post from Mitch, 2008:

"I think we all agree that we want as simple a set of bylaws as possible,
finding an organizational structure that meets this balance:
making it as likely as possible that the organization moves forward smoothly into the future,
while not trying to solve too many possible awful problems that may arise in some dystopian future."

As a designer, I believe the simplest, most uncomplicated system is 
BEST. So, I applaud Mitch for that. Mitch is by the way an impeccable, 
professional designer.

I also found some interesting quotes from Jim, 2008:

    i raised the topic of having a financial policy. two members asked that i do create one. so i took on the job
...policies should not include specific implementation details (e.g. The statement "NoiseBridge will have a checking account and maintain a CD ladder."
    i am currently unemployed and have been for months; i like it that way, but money is tight.
it looks like you've erased everything//i'd originally written./

  Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
	/It's been rewritten to be what has been discussed and largely agreed//upon to death in (endless) meetings.
	//while I'm totally happy with you making suggestions,//I//understand that you've been to just a single meeting.

/  Jim wrote:
    i joined the mailing list august 4 and went to one meeting (at muddy waters) since.


There too, one gets a sense of a desire to keep things simple.

A simpler foundation requires something noisebridge lacks: structural 
adaptability. The ability to easily and quickly self-correct (eg, if a 
process or procedure is failing to achieve it's intended function, it 
can self-improve as needed, not as-"approved").

Doacracy was maybe an attempt to give us that: "Don't ask permission". 
Which is great, but basically individualistic. Doacracy does not produce 
"all of us as a group agree to follow an equipment donation-process." It 
doesn't produce community-wide teamwork.

Software can write highly planned, designed software which never 
changes, where the designers look ahead and try to predict various 
risks. This has strengths and weaknesses. Vs self-correcting, 
self-modifying code, inelligent code, which starts out completely 
formless. Also has strengths and weaknesses.

Noisebridge could use some of both. Problem is, some Noisebridgers want 
neither. They want structural nihilism; they equate organization, agreed 
community standards, structure, procedure, and process with Fascism or 
bullyism. Personally, I really do NOT see what structural nihilism has 
to do with hacking. Strucural nihilism seems like the OPPOSITE of hacking.

Might be partly due to concerns about surveillance. The Sun Tzu "be 
formless" thing.

Johny Radio

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