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

Jake jake at spaz.org
Mon Oct 14 05:03:14 UTC 2013

> 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!

you are awesome and you know that i know that, and backrubs are not 
allowed at noisebridge so you'll just have to take my word that i 
appreciate you just as you are.  I already see that you are merely playing 
the devils advocate (which you do so well) just to draw me out and explain 
the benefits of this proposal, which I am too lazy to do without prodding.

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

yes totally objective, of course.  You can interpret my previous message 
as being harsh and accusatory toward the concept of stagnation and 
entropy, and certainly not directed toward you or your ideas.

>> 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.

When people feel no membership with a community, they hold no loyalty to 
it.  All the best people who come through noisebridge and are never 
invited to become a member because there's no need, they hang out at 
noisebridge for months or years and never take ownership.  Most of them 
never get to the point where they feel that it is their place to say 
soemthing or do something on behalf of the greater good of noisebridge, 
because they say to themselves and to me, "But i'm not a member!"

If we accepted this proposal, all those excellent people coming to 
noisebridge would be regularly invited to become a member: "Hey, good to 
see you again!  I'm buzzing you in.  Let's get you signed up to apply for 
membership so you can have your own door code when you get up here!"

And all those excellent people would shake hands and meet people by name, 
and sign up and become members.  They would have their own code, and they 
would feel comfortable coming to NB any time, day or night, and they 
would.  And when they saw asshattery or harassment, or excess entropy, or 
misuse of the space, they would feel empowered to say something, as a 
Member of noisebridge.

And if the situation called for more than just their voice, they could 
turn left and right to the other Members of the space, whose names they 
knew, and ask them for help in solving whatever problem came up.

And those Members would team up, solve the problem, three-way high-five, 
and then get back to awesome hacking!

> 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 think you're missing the point.  If we are literally believing that the 
ability to "block" is the only benefit of Membership of noisebridge, then 
we're throwing away all the potential of consensus decisionmaking, and 
keeping only the very worst part.

Blocking is a very serious act, made only after exhaustive discussion and 
attempts at amendment fail.  Blocking as a means to defeat or silence 
a fellow member's concerns or aspirations is a move made in bad faith. 
The purpose of the right to block is like the purpose of nuclear weapons, 
which is to <S>create boondoggles and waste money</S> encourage good-faith 
negotiations toward a mutually workable solution.

You knew this, but you're just making me spell it out.  Very clever.

The real value of membershit is far greater than having a safe shelf in 
the locked member-shelf area, or having your own door-code with which you 
can grant access to yourself or someone you love or have never met.
The real value of Membership at noisebridge is being a PART OF A COMMUNITY 
that works together to make amazing things and an amazing place.  To do 
what no one has done before!  And to do it with other people.

>> 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

very well then.  For those who are reading this far, I hereby add to my 
proposal that henceforth any member can be removed from the membership 
rolls by a consensus action, from which they are blocked from blocking.

or would you word it differently?

>> 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.

that's pathetic.  We can do better than that, and if we can't then i give 
up.  Noisebridge should definitely be above and beyond such a primitive 
and capitalistic tradition.

> 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!

I hope you are wrong, as you always are when you oppose me.

also, noisebridge has often embraced "crazy" ideas in the past.

> 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.

I have almost no connection to the current concept of membership at 
noisebridge, and it does nothing for me or for the space, or even for 
itself.  What would make me happy would be to see the positive changes 
that I think will result from my proposal.


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