[Noisebridge-discuss] Twenty-three theses (was: Re: To the @#$er that broke into my member shelf...)

Mitchel McAllister xonimmortal at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 25 02:10:37 UTC 2013

I think what it comes down to is how each of us wants to represent Noisebridge and what each of us thinks Noisebridge is.

It's not how "we" want to represent Noisebridge; I'm not sure that is possible.

But individuals that feel that Noisebridge is a social space will use it that way (pretty much exclusively). Those who feel that Noisebridge is a collaborative space will actively seek to collaborate with others. Those that think it is a party pad will use the space to reflect that. Those that believe Noisebridge is a co-working space will come here to work on their projects.

I personally believe Noisebridge is supposed to be a balance of all the above, but each individual who wants to use the space exclusively the way they see it pulls it away from that balance point. And that is where misconceptions about what Noisebridge is occurs, as well as conflicts between individuals with different perspectives.

If someone is using the space as a place to work on their projects is sitting next to a person who believes that Noisebridge is all about partying, there's going to be conflict. A person who sees the space as for collaboration may not get along with people who see this as a social space.

The more conflicts arise, the more new-comers and visitors will develop a skewed perspective on what Noisebridge is, what behaviors or activities are encouraged (or allowed), which behaviors are considered "unexcellent", etc.

The model that Noisebridge seems to be based on is great for encouraging a more free-form environment. However, there seem to be a lot of individuals who see it as being of the "anarchy means I can do what I want without consequence" model. And if there are no consequences, then theft is automatically condoned, at least to the people inclined to do so.

The other issue with the free-form model is that if the space is ever-changing, people coming in for one specific purpose may enter to find that there is no space for that purpose. If the people present are all interested in social and/or party purposes, the next person coming in to work on their project is not going to find a quiet corner or table to work at.

My instinct is to get people together to figure out how we can accommodate these different perspectives, while not ostracizing any of them. One of the obstacles to this is that I foresee people getting upset if certain areas are set aside for socializing and others designated as quiet areas.

The other obstacle, as I have said before, is that not everyone understands the concept of being excellent. Our society is currently based on a couple of paradigms that excuse rude and obnoxious behavior. I've seen more than a couple examples of the attitudes of "other people have to be excellent to ME", "I'm cool, therefore everything I do is excellent", "anarchy [sic] first, then excellence", "I have more right to do what I want than other people have to ask me to stop", etc.

I believe that the more we educate people on what excellence really is, the less likely people are going to find excuses to not be excellent. The more we educate people that selfishness and anarchy are not synonymous (not to mention chaos and anarchy), the more people will be able to present Noisebridge as a place that can embrace all the perspectives I mentioned earlier.

And the more we emphasize excellence, the less we will see acts of theft, vandalism, and other selfish acts.

Then again, maybe I am just crazy or stupid.

- Reverend Mik McAllister
Purveyor of Subversive Fiction

--- On Sun, 3/24/13, Naomi Most <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't see how any of this "how do
> we judge people" is really of use.
> Behavioral economics and evolutionary psychology tell us
> that we're
> really pretty bad at it.   End of story.
> If Noisebridge is interested in solving the problem of
> making NB a
> better place, we ought to be looking elsewhere.
> --Naomi
> On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM, Mitchel McAllister
> <xonimmortal at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- On Sun, 3/24/13, Brandon Edens <brandonedens at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 08:43:56PM
> >> -0700, Mitchel McAllister wrote:
> >>
> >> > Frankly, I am getting tired of people
> suggesting that
> >> Noisebridge exclude
> >> > individuals based on their character, rather
> than
> >> actual behavior. I want to
> >> > know what magic tin foil helmet they've found
> that
> >> allows them to divine
> >> > another person's character. Is that powered
> by
> >> room-temperature fusion, or
> >> > pixie dust?
> >>
> >> Huh? character versus behavior? This is
> confusing...
> >>
> >> I think the society-wide notion of how to judge
> people
> >> within the framework of
> >> modern values is to judge people based upon the
> content of
> >> their character not
> >> by superficial means such as their gender, color of
> skin,
> >> eye iris, etc...
> >
> > Perhaps you would like to give a class on how to
> determine character. Please, bring your Ouija board, magic
> eight ball, Kirlian camera, and copy of Malleus Malleficarum
> to demonstrate.
> >
> > Unlike those of you who are so spiritually and
> intellectually advanced that you can see and weigh such
> intangibles, I can only judge people based on their
> behavior.
> >
> >>
> >> Begin random assortment of quotes.
> >>
> >> 4. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not
> bogus
> >> criteria such as
> >> degrees, age, race, or position.
> >> - hacker ethic
> >
> > Hacking would be behavior. Not character.
> >
> >>
> >> I have a dream that my four little children will
> one day
> >> live in a nation where
> >> they will not be judged by the color of their skin,
> but by
> >> the content of their
> >> character.
> >> Martin Luther King, Jr.
> >
> > Too bad King didn't pass on his ability to determine
> something intangible and invisible by the simple laying-on
> of hands.
> >
> >
> > - Reverend Mik McAllister
> > Purveyor of Subversive Fiction
> > http://www.prismandink.com
> > http://www.lunatextpublications.com
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> -- 
> Naomi Theora Most
> naomi at nthmost.com
> +1-415-728-7490
> skype: nthmost
> http://twitter.com/nthmost

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