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

Rachel McConnell rachel at xtreme.com
Thu Mar 21 18:23:23 UTC 2013

Is the upstairs door from the elevator room extant these days? I remember taking off a gate there a long time ago in order to move some large object through. We'd need a lock there too, but making that happen as well as for the main door probably isn't too hard.


On Mar 21, 2013, at 10:45, Snail <snailtsunami at gmail.com> wrote:

> I will give you a virtual {{hugcoin}} because this is exactly what we should do.
> And yet, so many people have tried to get others to do these exact
> same simple steps in the space to no avail. Maybe we can figure out
> why.
> Challenge: Part I
> Lessons in social interactions for people who don't know how to do the
> social stuff.
> A few times, I tried to greet people I didn't recognize and introduce
> myself and ask for their names. People would act really weird and
> sometimes annoyed because they were regular visitors, not strangers,
> and I just had no idea who they were. They were not bad people, and
> honestly I would be annoyed if someone tried to introduce me to the
> space every time I walked upstairs or asked me why I was there.
> The WORST thing you can say is stuff like, "Who are you? Why are you here?"
> The best way to phrase this is not an inquisition, but to just say,
> "Hi, I'm _____, are you new?", and then it's easy for people to say
> "No" or "yes, but I'm meeting someone here" and the ACTUALLY new
> people are really happy to be greeted and will usually ask you
> questions, instead of the other way around, which is how it should be.
> Just practice that sentence and everything will be O.K.
> Challenge: Part II
> How do you re-train an existing culture that was introduced to the
> space just by being buzzed in with no greeting.
> One case: the other night, one guy [who I don't know his name or
> really recognize him] growled at a bunch of us angrily because we were
> standing in sight of the door buzzer and weren't walking over to let
> in immediately whoever was downstairs. He hit the button and walked
> away, shouting at us, "You heard the buzzer!!", or somesuch statement.
> Maybe I should have talked him and explained that not everyone lets
> people in without greeting them, and that we're not obligated to do
> this every 5 minutes for every person, that maybe he should do this,
> too, instead of just yelling and hitting the button and stomping
> around.
> Maybe if I did these things I would know people's actual names instead
> of having to refer to them as "grumpy yelling dude #1", "grumpy
> yelling dude #2", etc. etc.
> 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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> -- 
> -Snailssnailssnailssnailssnailssnailssnails
> ............. _ at y
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