[Noisebridge-discuss] anti-anonymity proposals

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Sat Nov 16 01:11:44 UTC 2013

Well, respondingly seriously to this -- I think there's a *lot* of
narratives going on, and people attempting to use either existing
systems or proposed systems to exclude the people they think are the
problem. Just running through a list of observations quickly:

* I think one of the main incentives for the code of conduct was shock
among one group of members that Drew wasn't thrown out -- he's the
first person for which we went through most of the process, and that
didn't happen. Recently NB has erred on the side of asking disruptive
people to leave, and if that doesn't work, threatening to throw them
out. That process kind of fell apart with Drew, partly because I think
a critical mass of members who would normally shepherd that process
had already begun to disengage from Noisebridge at that point, and
(though I don't know the details) a member blocked the final banning.
Obviously, evil conspiracy, etc.

* Member/non-member tensions have been building for a while, I think
interestingly because non-members have felt that the members are
supposed to *do* something about bad stuff. The old Noisebridge system
specifically tried to eliminate any dististinction between member and
non-member so as not to fuel this sense that it's someone else's
responsibility, but we never had any educational process about this.
Usually the same people who would shout at me about members being all
sniffy and exclusionary would also demand that I, as a member, throw
someone else out at some point. It's a weird mix of resentment that
members should be doing something about problems (like throwing
horrible people out) and not intervening (because who the hell are
they anyway?). People don't realise that members just don't (or
didn't) have more power than anyone else to improve matters -- that
you really were supposed to be the person in charge.

* Adding to this feeling is the fact that there really aren't that
many actively involved members left. When I last really threw my hand
into save Noisebridge, it was because funding was running low, but a
side-effect of that is that now much of our money comes from monthly
donations from non-members, perhaps even non-members who don't visit
the space. As treasurer-of-last-resort I can probably concretely
confirm this, but my impression is Noisebridge is mostly funded by
"absentee tenants" at this point.

Jake's proposal I think was mostly intended to address all of the
above, by sucking as many people as possible into "membership" so they
felt that they had some responsibility. That got inevitably
misinterpreted as some sort of members-only policy. I don't think
Jake's lack of clarity or precision helps with this -- Jake keeps
saying that his proposal has been misinterpreted, but if it's
misinterpreted this much, maybe it needs to be made more clear. Also,
it leaves really unspoken and defined what "guests" are. The wish is
that they're just members we haven't met, but there's also an
implication that they're second class citizens -- and by expectation,
probably one of the old excluded "non-member" classes.

* Finally, most people want the creepy people to be placed in some
other group that doesn't include them, and for that other group to be
excluded, and not their friends. Most people don't realise that their
own friends include creepy people, at least from the perspective of
others. We've got a lot of edge cases in our space, and very little in
the way of shared understanding -- witness Jim's amazing belief system
just then.

Here's a question that I'd like to know the answer to: who *are* the
members of Noisebridge who are still actively present? I'm not -- like
others, I burned out dealing with Drew and Kim. (You should probably
bear that in mind when taking the above with a pinch of salt)

On Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 3:50 PM, spinach williams
<spinach.williams at gmail.com> wrote:
> anybody else wanting to point out how recent policies seem to actually
> target houseless people and recent victims of sexual harassment which had in
> most cases been perpetrated by known, well-liked and generally moneyed
> individuals? because there's some weird conflations going on in the list
> that don't match the experiences of people i've spoken to in person over the
> last couple of months who are being essentially muscled out of the space for
> "making people uncomfortable" by bringing up sexual harassment and assault
> and by confronting perpetrators.
> i mean, there's a reason a hackerspace down the street has been in the
> planning stages since before this members only policy and it definitely
> wasn't so some dudes could start a creeper den.

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