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

GtwoG PublicOhOne g2g-public01 at att.net
Tue Oct 15 01:08:16 UTC 2013


Post-capitalism? Realistically we're in the early stages of a
social-Darwinist dystopia that worsens as population/consumption
overshoot of global resources continues, and ecological impacts
multiply. Think "supply and demand applied to the value of human lives,"
and don't blame the messenger. Eventually the level of chronic misery
hits a breaking point, but then which way does it go?

In Europe what we see, right now, as the result of the level of misery
produced by the 2008 depression, is the emergence of fascist parties,
some with overt Nazi symbolism, often with seats in national
parliaments. In the US, the rabid right wing is still strong enough to
shut down women's reproductive rights, shut down government, and dictate
policy. How do you expect to get from _that_ to post-capitalism?

Excellence is about _doing_, not _being_, otherwise charisma becomes a
substitute for action. Clearly, in-kind efforts such as teaching,
cleaning, making stuff that's of value to others, etc., count as
excellence. If someone is doing a hefty share of work and believes that
their work should substitute for payment, great. But the history of
collectives of all kinds shows clearly that there is a high risk of
exploitation by people who do neither, and just go along for the ride:
this is one of the leading causes of failure of collectives.

Re. "between jobs": That's a euphemism promoted by the powers-that-be
(notice that phrase: "the powers" only have to _be_, they don't have to
_do_). Call a shovel a shovel: unemployed, under-employed, economic
survivalism, near-poverty, poverty, homelessness, down-and-out, flat
broke, etc.

Re. directing energy toward bringing down the fatcats on Wall Street:
And let's not forget the fatcats in Silicon Valley who built the
surveillance empire that NSA uses as its source material. In the end,
the way to take down the fatcats is to starve them for money and data
(starting with easy targets such as boycotting Google and the bankster
banks) and to build alternative infrastructure (peoples' economic

Hackerspaces are part of the alternative infrastructure, along with
cooperatives and collectives of all kinds, credit unions and local
currencies, and anything else that enables people to live their lives
without vampires clinging to their back and sucking their life-blood.

The big breakthrough is the liberation of land itself. When single
parents can raise their kids without fear for the roof over their heads
and the food on their plates, without having to suck up to a boss or
"curate" their online presence, that will be real freedom. Economic
survivalism plus rhetoric is not that. We have to be realistic about the
amount of hard work and struggle it's going to take to get there.

Lastly, here's an example of something that worked. The "UXA" was a
successful example of post-capitalism in the Bay Area during the 1930s


"At the height of the Great Depression, a group of unemployed Oakland
workers decided to take matters into their own hands. The system wasn’t
working, so they set up their own system. Money was nearly worthless, so
they decided to live by barter. They called themselves the Unemployed
Exchange Association and they soon went on to write a remarkable chapter
in American economic history. This is their story...."



On 13-10-14-Mon 1:19 PM, Jake wrote:
> G,
> I believe we are entering a period of post-capitalism in the hacker
> community. This is a condition that is not new to humanity by any
> means, having been practiced by clans and villages and communities
> since before the epoch. But it is the direction we're moving and we
> should be.
> I want to disconnect the act of payment from the act of being an
> excellent member. The two are not the same. Plenty of people have
> given money to noisebridge without having the time to come to the
> space and help maintain it. Even more people come to noisebridge and
> make it an excellent hackerspace, but are between jobs or without the
> ability to pay.
> I am not bothered at all by people who do have the ability to pay and
> choose not to. If you are bothered by that i suggest you instead
> direct your energy toward the tea party and fatcats on wall street,
> who have a lot more to give and resist helping to fund the great
> society that made their success possible.
> -jake
> On Sun, 13 Oct 2013, GtwoG PublicOhOne wrote:
>> In your proposal you said "ability or willingness" to pay.
>> These aren't the same thing. Inability to pay = "can't," and
>> unwillingness = "can but won't."
>> What do you think of people whose attitude is, "I can afford to pay but
>> I won't"...?
>> Is "can but won't" fair to people who honestly can't afford to pay, and
>> to people who over-pay in order to cover costs for those who can't
>> afford to pay?
>> Seems to me that "can but won't" is an exploitative attitude, that
>> doesn't deserve to be supported, much less written into the membership
>> agreement.
>> -G.
>> =====
>> On 13-10-13-Sun 5:38 PM, Jake 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> sudo-discuss mailing list
>>> sudo-discuss at lists.sudoroom.org
>>> http://lists.sudoroom.org/listinfo/sudo-discuss

More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list