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

Jake jake at spaz.org
Tue Oct 15 09:01:38 UTC 2013

Dear GtwoG,

When writing a long post to a public list, it is helpful to 
precede your message with a summary in the following form:

tl;dr [punchline and final meaning of your entire long post]

thank you,

On Mon, 14 Oct 2013, GtwoG PublicOhOne wrote:

> Jake-
> 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
> empowerment).
> 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
> depression:
> http://www.countercurrents.org/curl030510.htm
> "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...."
> -G.
> =====
> 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
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>> sudo-discuss at lists.sudoroom.org
>>>> http://lists.sudoroom.org/listinfo/sudo-discuss

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