[Noisebridge-discuss] proposal to increase membership at noisebridge by changing the rules

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Mon Oct 14 04:32:43 UTC 2013

On Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 12:21 AM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
> i welcome your alternate solution to the problems I have listed.
> the alternative to that being... the status quo.  forever.  on its current
> trajectory.

Surely just because you have proposed a proposal, that does not mean
other proposals do not exist?

Really, at this point I am trying to debug your proposal, not throw it
out. I know we have gone over this disconnect-of-tone between us
several times, but given I'm just giving some mild thoughts here (and
was the person who steered your last proposal to consensus when you
didn't even turn up to discuss it), you should probably say thank you
and rub my back and tell me how awesome I am for participating rather
than just opting out. I'm not even the people who are going to block!

As it is now, I will adopt the standard mode of unemotional nitpickery
for which geeks are famous.

> on a lighter note, i expect that if we do accept the proposal i've made, it
> will be a fountain of cooperation and increased valuation of noisebridge,
> which will increase the population of people we can count on to fund the
> place, and increase the participation in the operation of the space.  I
> don't think we should be worried about overparticipation.

Can you give me some reasons why you think this? Just stating it as an
expectation does not make it so.

> that is, unless we don't believe in consensus.

Well, note that if you have a lot of members, getting consensus is
harder because any one of them can block. I believe that's one of the
reasons why being a member is so hard to get. Given that's the *only*
value to being a member at Noisebridge, why would enlarging the
membership help other problems? (These are genuine questions -- I'm
trying to understand why you think this would help)

> I have assumed that ending someones' membership can be achieved by consensus
> minus one.  is that not the case?

No -- I believe the rules(!) are that we have consensus, and that
members can block. So a member could block his/her own ejection from
the space. We could fix that too. But you would need to add it.

You might want to read the policy at https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Membership

> even if it weren't, i think that waiting for someone to stop giving
> noisebridge money is a really sad way to trim the membership rolls.

I am sorry it makes you sad. It is the traditional way membership
rolls are trimmed, in that when people do not like something any more,
they stop giving it money.

I suspect you are going to get much more pushback than me from people
who are used to the idea that membership is usually governed by paying
money. You will I think get people saying this is another one of those
crazy Noisebridge ideas, rather than taking your idea seriously. In
particular, you will -- mistakenly -- be tarred by the brush that this
is a "plot by the oogles to take over Noisebridge", because it removes
the one filter that someone who is assiduously using Noisebridge as
somewhere to stay rather than somewhere to hack on might have against
staging a takeover. I might be wrong though!

If it makes you happier, we have a few members who are on hiatus for a
very long time, who are waiting to come back.



> -jake
> On Mon, 14 Oct 2013, Danny O'Brien wrote:
>> I'm not averse to the idea behind this -- we definitely need to fix
>> the problem of the membership as absentee landlords, and divorced from
>> the everyday community, but I'm not yet convinced this is the way to
>> do it. A couple of problems as I see it:
>> * The number of people who I know aren't members because of money is
>> heavily outweighed by the number of people who aren't members because
>> they're scared of being blocked/the consensus process/the time and
>> hassle it takes.
>> * People always assume that it's the membership that funds noisebridge
>> (and so therefore they don't have to donate) but I don't think that
>> will actually be fixed by completely divorcing membership from
>> payment. I think that people will *still* think membership funds
>> noisebridge, but now it really won't at all.
>> * Mildly worried that people would just stop paying membership fees,
>> which would put our already slightly deformed finances completely out
>> of whack.
>> * One of the biggest deal-breakers for this proposal for me though, is
>> that the payment system is the only way we ever get non-attending
>> members to ever stop being members. If you don't pay for three months,
>> you stop being a member (unless you ask to be put on hiatus).
>> If you had this system, members would be members forever, which would
>> actually *increase* the number of people who could just turn up and
>> block, etc. Unless you have some check or balance in there to allow
>> old members to fade away, they'll just sit around being even more
>> distant and status quo-ey, which seems to be what you are trying to
>> avoid here.
>> d.
>> On Sun, Oct 13, 2013 at 9:38 PM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>>> currently noisebridge is used by 99% non-Members, 1% Members.
>>> currently, 99% of noisebridge Members do not use noisebridge.
>>> currently, Membership at noisebridge requires ongoing cash flow into
>>> noisebridge either by tradition or rules, it is not clear which.
>>> I think this is not working out.  Noisebridge's rent gets paid but the
>>> people who come to noisebridge have zero motivation to become a member,
>>> and
>>> so they don't bother.  We should be adding several new members weekly.
>>> Membership at Noisebridge should be a valuable tool to encourage
>>> cooperation
>>> and a sense of belonging, while reinforcing accountability and support
>>> between users of the space (including Members and Guests)
>>> There is no reason for membership to be tied to giving money to
>>> noisebridge.
>>> If someone is excellent and wants to be a part of noisebridge, and no
>>> Member
>>> blocks them, they should be allowed to join. Members should remain in
>>> good
>>> standing regardless of their financial contributions as long as they are
>>> remaining excellent and accountable for their actions, and those of their
>>> guests.
>>> I propose that Noisebridge change the rules of Membership to do away with
>>> the cash flow requirement, and to expressly do away with the informal and
>>> inappropriate "bribe", which defeats the purpose of asking the potential
>>> member to step out while their membership is consensed upon _or_not_.
>>> We agreed last week to close noisebridge to non-Members from 23:00 to
>>> 10:00
>>> every day, with the exception of guests of Members and
>>> Members-in-Application who have two signatures.  We will be able to take
>>> advantage of this policy by encouraging more SUPPORTERS of noisebridge to
>>> become Members.  We can do this by removing the payment requirement.
>>> If people want to support Noisebridge with money, they should feel free
>>> to
>>> do so, whether they are Members or not.  If people want to support
>>> Noisebridge with their presence, excellence, and accountability to one
>>> another, they should feel free to do so, whether they are in a position
>>> to
>>> supply cash or not.  I think this should be obvious.
>>> I ask that absentee Members, who have been unable or unmotivated to offer
>>> their support in the form of their presence, excellence, and
>>> accountability,
>>> please stand aside from this proposal if they have objections (or offer
>>> friendly amendments in the spirit of problem solving).  People who are
>>> not
>>> regularly using the space should not stand in the way of improvements to
>>> be
>>> made by those who do use and contribute to the space regularly.
>>> The proposal should be worded as follows:
>>> Membership to Noisebridge should no longer be dependant on a person's
>>> ability or willingness to pay money to noisebridge, or to bring food or
>>> beer
>>> to a meeting, but only on their ability to acquire sponsorship signatures
>>> and be consensed upon at a meeting, after leaving the meeting to give
>>> opportunity for any objections to be discussed before they return.
>>> Members will thus enter and remain in good standing without regard to any
>>> financial contributions they do or do not make in that time.
>>> -jake
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss

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