[Noisebridge-discuss] Membership Status and Consensus

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Mon Nov 25 20:44:40 UTC 2013

Just as an FYI, I was moderator at the last meeting, and proxy blocked for
you Jake wrt the time requirement part of putting a wiki page up (as did
the other Jake). I said at the time that I see no point in discussing at
meeting a proposal that is being remotely blocked, and it would be more
productive to continue the consensus discussion between the proposer and
the blocking member outside of meeting.

I would add that you both seem to me to be acting in good faith, and are
closer to consensus than it might appear; your differences are being
accentuated by the mode of communication.


On Sunday, November 24, 2013, Jacob Appelbaum wrote:

> Dear Tom,
> Tom Lowenthal:
> > Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at appelbaum.net <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >> I directly told Tom that I wanted him to block this wikipage related
> >> outing of members as my proxy. He has failed to do so as a member and he
> >> did not represent my hard resistance, clearly, if this has passed any
> >> consensus process. What petty authoritarianism indeed.
> >
> > Hi Jake,
> >
> > You got in touch with me *after* we had agreed to make the membership
> > list no longer a secret. I proposed it one week, and we agreed how to
> > do it the next. Although it was my proposal, the way that we chose to
> > implement it was not how I'd imagined it. That's fine and good: that's
> > how consensus is supposed to work.
> I am objecting to forcing the wikipage disclosure. You are obfuscating
> the discussion by muddling the two issues. I am aware of the "consensus"
> issue that had previously passed and it was my motivation for speaking
> directly with you about my objections to similar future plans.
> >
> > You expressed your strong disagreement with the proposal to add a firm
> > horizon for members to make it clear who they were. We noted your
> > objections, and did not record that proposal as consensus. t
> I object to the specific methods of outing people, as well as the
> requirement for people to out themselves generally. I object to people
> being forced, especially during these turbulent political times, to
> losing their right to choose who knows about their associations. People
> who support Noisebridge have a right to do so anonymously and similarly,
> when there are challenges, we can solve the issues in a privacy
> preserving manner. Forcing, under threat or no threat of removal, the
> publication every member's status, name/nym and more on the wiki as the
> canonical source is wrong. As Andy has stated, it is fuzzy for a reason
> and your attempts to remove this fuzzy part of the system show a total
> disrespect for those reasons, as well as a total lack of acknowledgement
> about the harms that your "solution" presents to our community.
> >
> > If the torrent of abuse you threw at me by IM counts as a request for
> > a proxy then sure. Would that I were a time traveler, but going back
> > in time to proxy your objection is not within my skillset.
> >
> This is so riddled with inaccuracies, I'm not even sure where to start.
> Still, I'll try - I made it clear, via IRC, that I objected to the spat
> of recent "consensus" decisions, that I felt your "leadership" at
> Noisebridge was upsetting a lot of people and that I personally wanted
> you to block any forced outing of members on the wikipage. That was not
> a matter of time travel - it was discussing the recent past with a
> specific request to change the future discussions to be more inclusive
> and specifically to stop taking away the privacy of Noisebridge members
> in an effort to "do something."
> >
> >> Everyone should ignore this "consensus" item as it was clearly not a
> >> matter of Noisebridge consensus. If anyone is removed for not following
> >> these wiki related rules or they are not allowed to participate by
> >> someone citing these rules, I move that we remove these petty
> >> authoritarians from Noisebridge.
> >>
> >> This wikipage stuff is not in the spirit of Noisebridge, it is the
> >> spirit of someone who is vying for power and man, to do that at
> >> Noisebridge is really really sad.
> >>
> >> Tom - could you please knock it off?
> >
> >
> > Jake, I would have a lot more respect for your opinions on how to run
> > Noisebridge if you'd spent any length of time here in the past few
> > years, or planned to set foot in the space anywhere in the next half
> > decade. While I have sympathy for the difficulties which prevent you
> > from coming back, your absence limits your ability to experience
> > Noisebridge's current situation first hand.
> >
> Ah well, if you're saying that you lack respect for my views, it is no
> wonder that we are not reaching consensus. I respect that you see
> problems and I respect that you're trying to resolve them - if you lack
> respect for me, you will never be able to resolve these conflicts with
> me and probably you'll also have trouble with those who share similar
> views.
> With that said, when I feel safe enough to return to San Francisco, I
> will most certainly return to Noisebridge. If it takes me half a decade,
> I would appreciate that you not hold against me the fact that this is
> largely out of my control. I have long supported and continue to support
> Noisebridge in the ways that are available to me.
> I would appreciate that you respect that I have certain limits and not
> talk down to me because of those limits. If I were to reply with similar
> behavior, I suppose I could ask you to sink tens of thousands of dollars
> and thousands of hours into Noisebridge before you attempt to shift
> Noisebridge. That would be rather unreasonable - so please note, I do
> not make that request, I merely make it as an observation about being
> inclusive. Please recognize that each and everyone one of us makes the
> contributions that are possible - some with time, some with funds, some
> with ideas; we should try to respect what everyone brings to the table
> and use that to reach a consensus.
> > The fact is that in addition to being a global symbol of anarchist
> > utopia, Noisebridge is also meant to be a hackerspace. Recently it
> > hasn't been much of one. Frequent theft and vandalism[^1] have made it
> > near-impossible for anyone to reliably work on a project larger than
> > they can carry. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and a wholly
> > incredible number of literal rapists regularly using the space have
> > made it an intolerably unsafe environment for women and trans* people.
> >
> Yes, I am aware. You're building a strawman here, Tom. You suggest that
> your motivations are pure and thus, your solutions are correct. This is
> simply false. We agree on the problems, we do not agree on the
> solutions. You can repeat the problems endlessly but you will not make
> the space safer by removing those who have a deep passion for the space
> or by marginalizing those who feel uncomfortable with your solutions.
> > I want Noisebridge to be a safe and inclusive space where people can
> > work on interesting projects, learn about technology and society, and
> > meet like and un-like minded folks. But inclusiveness does not just
> > mean opening our doors and asking everyone in. Being inclusive is an
> > active and difficult process of making the space safe and inviting for
> > folks other than cis white able men. That's what I think whe're working
> > on
> There is great irony in that statement. Also, your straw man argument
> tactics are boring.
> Let us be very precise because the lack of precision in your handwaving
> is harming the discussion.
> >From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inclusive we see:
> in·clu·sive adjective \in-ˈklü-siv, -ziv\
> : covering or including everything
> : open to everyone : not limited to certain people
> : including the stated limits and everything in between
> If you wish to change this - it should be done by consensus. We have
> seen many changes that are meant to be open to everyone that follows a
> basic social contract. I agree that this is positive - we've always said
> that homophobes and rascists aren't welcome. However, we have tended to
> only *punish* or *impact* the harmful folks while generally leaving
> everyone else to their own business. Thus, we don't declare that
> everyone swear an oath on every entry that they're not racist or sexist
> or homophobic - we should not require the major of people to do
> something because a minority of people are actively harmful. We should
> mitigate the active harm and do so in a way that is reducing the total
> conflict in the space without radically shifting the space itself into
> something else without the consensus of the entire group.
> What you've told me about why you care about Noisebridge is also
> disturbing to me. I feel that you care more about the 501c3 status of
> the group than about Noisebridge itself. If you merely wish to have a
> non-profit to do things, I would ask you to please not hijack Noisbridge
> under the pretense of saving Noisebridge, when you seem to care more
> about the legal entity than the rest of it.
> >
> > If all the Noisebridge members who are so invested in their local
> > hackerspace that they come regularly to work and learn, who come to
> > meetings and actively and fully participate in our consensus process,
> > who try and make Noisebridge into an effective inclusive hackerspace
> > are a bunch of petty authoritarians, you're welcome to that opinion.
> > We're working on local solutions to local problems, and you're telling
> > us what we mustn't do from half the world away. I respectfully
> > disagree.
> >
> You are free to disagree all you'd like - this is part of the process of
> discussing things of this nature and scale; I respect that you disagree
> even if I do not want the solutions that you propose. I object to your
> specific solutions and I have a right to do so. I also object to how
> these decisions are being made - four people isn't a full consensus when
> many known community members are voicing concerns. You must convince
> others with reason, not by fiat or declaration; if you want to make
> changes that are grand and sweeping with the force of new rules in the
> space - we need consensus.
> All the best,
> Jake
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> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net <javascript:;>
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Sent from my phone
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