[Noisebridge-discuss] misogynist loser visiting noisebridge

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Mon Dec 23 23:55:02 UTC 2013

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM, Johny Radio <johnyradio at gmail.com> wrote:
> My comments are not meant to insult the awesome people who created
> Noisebridge, i'm grateful to everyone who started the place, i'm grateful
> i've had nb to hack at. So, nobody should take critiques personally.
> Also, it's a long email, so anybody feel free to skip it.
> ---
> People cannot say "Noisebridge is great because lookit all the amazing
> people you meet there!" It's true, I have met amazing people at nb, who like
> me came looking for an awesome hackerspace. Because that's the advertising.
> And like me, they are disappointed by the dysfunctional infrastructure. So
> the dysfunctional infrastructure cannot take credit for the awesome people.
> They go away because of the dysfunctional infrastructure.
> If there's anybody who feels nb is just great as it is, they are non-hackers
> currently sleeping in Church, or making a mess in the kitchen, or using nb
> as a homebase for illicit activities. So it's great for them!
> Any actual hackers who fell nb is perfect as-is, there are countless people,
> i mean i talk to an endless stream of people including founding members,
> people in other hacker spaces, visitor who feel nb is quite seriously messed
> up. Are they all wrong?
> We can't just keep doing the same old and expect anything to improve.


> ---
> On 12/23/2013 1:09:50 PM, "Danny O'Brien" <danny at spesh.com> wrote:
>> The best way to understand this is to ask yourself how many rules does
>> Noisebridge have? If someone asserts that you can or can't do
>> something at Noisebridge (until recently), the general answer was
>> there's no *rule* stopping you, but you should try and think about
>> what people's reactions would be.
> If everyone thought about how their actions affected other people, the earth
> would not be on the verge of global crisis. Unfortunately, many people don't
> care, and some of the inconsiderate people keep coming to nb. So that
> anarchist/libertarian theory does work in reality.
> Anarchy applied to an immature community does not magically create utopia.
> It just lays bare common resources for the wolves to exploit or destroy. The
> reality of nb demonstrates that. Anarchy only works when the people involved
> have the maturity for it, and when they have common objectives.
> Anarchy would work in a noisebridge WITHOUT an open-door policy, because
> then you're talking about a closed, self-policing community, where every
> participant has been accepted unanimously by all existing participants.
> But, [open-door] + [anarchy] = [disaster]. These two aspects of noisebridge
> are at odds. Especially in the middle of a skid-row kind of area-- there are
> knifings, shootings, crackheads, meth-heads, ex-cons, gang-bangers right
> outside. As longhair Joe once said, "location, location, location."
> ---
> Users can only understand how their actions will affect others by what
> others tell them. What people have always told me is "member shelves are for
> members only". That's why they're called "Member Shelves"-- if not, let's
> stop calling them member shelves, and stop telling people they are for
> members only. Let's remove the tarp, remove the door, take down the camera,
> and say "These are other people's projects, but go ahead, do what ever you
> want." What do you think the result would be?
> Currently, member shelves seem to be one of the few aspects of nb which is
> respected, suggesting that telling people what's cool and what's not cool
> actually works.
> But some Members are dead set against telling people what's cool and what's
> not cool. Their theory is that left to their own devices, without any
> guidelines or orientation, people will magically treat each other fairly and
> respectfully. The reality of nb disproves this fantasy.
> New people are not going to ask themselves, "how many rules does noisebridge
> have?" and other intellectual meanderings. They are going to ask "what's
> cool here, and what not cool here?" If no one gives them a clear answer,
> they'll do whatever the f they please. Lack of clarity makes nb is a MAGNET
> for inconsiderate people.
> ---
>> A disagreement doesn't mean that there isn't a particular agreement in
>> place.
> Wrong. A disagreement by definition means lack of agreement. There's
> agreement to have shelves, sure. The agreement to have shelves does not
> speak to who may use the shelves and for what purpose. Your claim that
> "member shelves" are not actually for members-- this is the first time i've
> ever heard that.
> That said, i agree with you that instead of member shelves, we should have
> "Project Shelves" intended for everyone. Currently, i have to hide my
> projects.
>> You're probably right that complexities should be communicated,
> Do i take that to mean you agree to a new-user orientation process?

I *always* like that idea. I've proposed it myself.

The only problem I have noted in the past is the people who volunteer
to do this kind of docenting/redshirting occasionally turn out to be
some of the creepiest people at Noisebridge, and use it to assert
random authority on strangers and/or establish some pecking order  in
the social community that hangs out at Noisebridge.

>> The tarps and so forth are, I think, mainly a result of Rayc having
>> moved the entire hacker shelves one night in a fit of enthusiasm, and
>> then having to cope with the criticisms of that action.
> I think you're incorrect, the location of the shelves, the tarp, the door,
> the camera. I believe these all came into being over many months with the
> support of multiple people, not in one night, and not just Rayc. Besides, if
> there are no rules, then good on Rayc.
> What criticisms? Before that, multiple people were lamenting issues with the
> shelves. I know i'm not the only person who supports some kind of protected
> storage for projects (for everybody). Rayc enthusiasm is awesome and
> positive, and he takes action. Nb could use more of that kind of energy, and
> less of people saying why nb is great in theory, even tho it's not in
> reality. Thank you Rayc for actually DOING something.

Rayc moved all of the shelves from one side to another, and some
people felt that exposed their work and conflated the hack shelves
with the do-not-hack shelves. So began a long-term project to more
carefully mark and separate the shelves. The camera was Jake, as I

And, honestly, I did not enjoy having to deal with the psychic fallout
from Rayc's move, which is mostly the kind of action I do/did in the
space. It is a useful social skill to warn people of your actions and
to do it in concert with others, and also not completely freak out
when people criticize you.


> -jr

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