[Noisebridge-discuss] door "security": culture, not policy.

Sai noisebridge at saizai.com
Thu Mar 21 17:26:23 UTC 2013

One idea raised in earlier discussion (not mine, but I've forgotten
who): rather than locking the bottom door, we could lock the top door.

Then anyone could come up freely, and they'd just knock on the top
door. Then if you're letting them in, you necessarily have an
interaction with them, opportunity to ask if they're new or want a
tour, etc.

- Sai

On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 9:51 PM, Naomi Most <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:
> Due to recent thefts and other unexcellent (and frankly disturbing)
> issues, apparently the idea is circulating that "we" "shouldn't"
> "just" "open the door".
> I just had a sort of aggro conversation with some people sitting
> around talking about this here at NB.  There seems to be a disconnect
> for some people who are not used to acting perceptively versus
> judgementally (I'm using the Myers-Briggs qualifications here).
> If NB starts consensing on things that have to do with setting
> Policies of any kind, heuristics that tell us how to surveil and
> police ourselves, then NB is becoming a very different place, and I'm
> not really interested in that.
> If on the other hand we will keep on with not setting explicit
> Policies (as I would expect and hope), but we still do want to start
> initiating some measures of change that will create a more secure
> environment, then I would suggest that Culture evolve towards the
> following General Template of Door-Answering:
> 0. Doorbell rings.  Like a well-trained dog, you think about opening the door.
> 1. Ask yourself:  Do I know this person?  If not, do I feel like
> *greeting* the person in some way?  If you don't feel you have the
> social or emotional health at the moment to greet a person (and that's
> totally okay), then maybe you shouldn't answer the doorbell.  You
> could suggest that someone else open the door instead.
> 2. If you do want to answer the doorbell, you are now "on the hook"
> for greeting that person.  You are agreeing, in a way, to be that
> person's Sponsor.
> 3. The person comes up.  You greet them.  Ask their name, whether
> they've been to NB before, if they're looking for a class, etc.
> Hacker small talk.  No required information -- you are simply
> humanizing Noisebridge and initiating empathy in the new person.
> 4. ...Profit.  By which I mean experience a lot less crappy shit happening.
> Notice that at no point do I talk about checking the person out to see
> if you "like" them, or if they look shady or whatever.  That doesn't
> matter.  Perfectly decent-looking human beings have been known to do
> really shitty things.  And come on, how many of us *don't* look shady
> at least 50% of the time.
> What matters is that you make the effort to build a bridge of empathy
> (however small and superficial), because studies show time and again
> that this simple act of humanization reduces crimes of opportunity
> (e.g. petty theft) by huge margins.
> I hope it makes sense why I talk about this being Culture Not Policy.
> And fortunately, the above heuristics completely obviate the need to
> make snap judgement calls about anybody.
> I'm not talking about laying down any laws, or designating anybody
> with special privileges, or setting Policies that every individual
> must follow.  Rather we are talking about the Noisebridge organization
> agreeing to form new cultural Habits.
> I can talk more about the behavioral psychology behind the above, but
> at the moment I have a lot of ice cream to eat, so I'mma go do that.
> Cheers,
> Naomi
> --
> Naomi Theora Most
> naomi at nthmost.com
> +1-415-728-7490
> skype: nthmost
> http://twitter.com/nthmost
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