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

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Mon Oct 14 06:06:28 UTC 2013

There's also a precedent at .... some German hackerspace (CCC?), where
I believe you're expected to put in some (very low) number of hours of
work every *year* to keep your membership.

I wish there was some less painful way of going through membership
than a full, in-front-of-everyone, consensus. One time I quietly let
someone know that I wanted to talk to them about their membership
application, and they went on complete strike about doing anything in
the space (until they stopped). I also know somebody who was
approached about their behaviour, and decided then and there not to be
a member, even though I think they would be an AWESOME member. I'd
really much prefer something where people have to go through some
elementary training and guidance, which involves other people actually
talking to them. The current method really does not eke out much info
from prospective members, and revolves mainly around their
understanding of consensus rather than contributions and attitude.


On Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 2:56 AM, Nicholas LoCicero
<nick.locicero at gmail.com> wrote:
> I was in a coop sailing club in Berkeley that cost $20/month and 2 hours of
> work every month, but you could get free memberships by just teaching
> classes. Everything was free. Classes, borrowing sailboats, etc etc. I think
> that system would work very well at Noisbridge. Everyone at noisebridge
> should have to be a junior member to get wifi, etc. To be a junior member,
> all a person has to do is volunteer, teach, and pay a little dues. Simple.
> What noisebridge has npw is a invitation fpr disrespect, theft, and abuse by
> allowing anyone in and setting zero standard for them.
> On Oct 13, 2013 10:03 PM, "Jake" <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>>> 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.
>> -jake
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