[Noisebridge-discuss] Membership Status and Consensus

Frantisek Apfelbeck algoldor at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 27 02:41:57 UTC 2013

Hi Jacob and all,
I think what is Jacob (Appelbaum) talking about (and several others) is the change or rather abandonment of the principles which Noisebridge was build on and which were at least around 2010 still quite sound and respected by new people joining community. They joined they changed but they understood that the place was created to serve some purpose and they respected that, even if they did not like it at times. 

The most important for me were: 

- the principle of excellency as the "rule" or again rather principle 
- open approach to the wider community, giving people chance to come to a hackerspace experiencing the hacker community without previous involvement - that inspired thousands and thousands of people
- do-ocracy when you did what you wanted keeping in mind the excellency, consensus being called upon just very rarely
- consenting on a "major changes"
- members being equal, many time again and again it was stated that the board members were just and only existing to keep the non profit status, only position being officially recognized as crucial was the post of treasurer  

Based on the reports and many voices on the discuss these principles are being challenged in general turning Noisebridge rather to a usual I would say "traditional" hackerspace with more closed membership structure of rather hierarchical dimension. This tendency was always there of course challenging the openest, equality and judging the excellency on your own no rules to help you, use your mind and heart.

I definitely do not blame Jacob Appelbaum and several others (as the emails from last several weeks if not months clearly show) for not liking these changes because that is not I believe what the place was suppose to be representing, it was much more and it was aiming to be much more. It seems to me that the recent membership policies connected to wikies etc. are just a representation of the trend in the place still being quite strongly opposed by many, active members included. I feel like that the consensus is failing, not just at the meetings but in general in the community. Knowing that people are against some change, that this change is being against the principles of what the place was build up and still going forward with that, well that is not consensus to me.

I've promised some time ago to give an alternative approach compared to the closing or restricting the access of public  to the place. I will try to do so soon, unfortunately my other involvements are restricting me now. As is my way it will be around the lines of welcoming people, bringing the community together and keeping the place well organized and clean, that worked in the past I'm sure it will work in the future if the people make it happen. The disadvantage of this approach is the time and energy investments and requirements for people who's social intelligence is quite developed to dedicated to the cause - I think that you really need to believe in the openness and excellency to make the change happen and enjoy it on the way (with bit of rain from time to time). 

I would definitely like to speak with the people who are coming from Noisebridge to 30c3, it would be very interesting. Would you set up something Jacob?

Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck

biotechnologist&kvasir and hacker


"There is no way to peace, peace is the way." Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

On Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:48 AM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at appelbaum.net> wrote:
Danny O'Brien:
> 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.

Thanks for that Danny.

> 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.

There are some things that concern me but generally, I think that this
is probably correct.

All the best,

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