[Noisebridge-discuss] Noisebridge is now Members and their Guests only, 24/7 please read and learn about it

Leif Ryge leif at synthesize.us
Thu Oct 31 19:51:14 UTC 2013

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 06:19:02PM -0700, Jake wrote:
> The front page of the website is a wiki.  You can edit it if you
> think it needs to change.  When did you stop being a hacker?

As I told you on IRC (before you sent this email) I'm not editing the front
page because it seems to me that the text there accurately reflects the policy
you wrote.

> This policy hasn't been in effect a full day yet, and yet you're
> full of criticism for it with ZERO constructive suggestions.
> [insert joke about constructing bunk beds here]

The first version of your policy went in to effect a few weeks ago and has
already resulted in lots of people feeling unwelcome, and in someone feeling
justified bringing the police into the space to remove a non-member who was
being asked to leave solely for being a non-member.

> as for killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, apparently more
> people believe that to be true about people who refused for so long
> to do anything about the downhill slide that noisebridge has been in
> for a long time.  Geese can die from lack of care you know.
> As for being surprised that members passed this, another way to word
> it is that after weeks of discussion about this issue, all of the
> members who decided to show up agreed that it needed to be done.

Your representations of what other people believe are frequently (as in this
case) gross misrepresentations. At least one of the four members at the meeting
very much did not agree that this needed to be done (although he did consent to
it, with reservations which you seem willfully ignorant of).

> problems are not solved by blocking or criticising efforts.
> Problems are solved by making changes until things work better.

Problems *are* solved by critically examining drastic changes before and while
they're being made. Saying that criticism doesn't solve problems doesn't
address the criticism.

> As for noisebridge's public image, I empower you to publicize the
> subtle concept that the general public is welcome to stop by and
> that they will almost certainly be invited in and given a proper
> introduction and tour, and that we are eager to see them.

Your policy says "A member or associate member may at any time invite a person
into Noisebridge and host that person at Noisebridge as long as that member or
associate member remains at Noisebridge. No other person shall be permitted at
Noisebridge at any other time."

You've repeatedly indicated that you believe this won't have a significant
negative impact because it will only be used to kick people out who are "doing
something bad" (your words on IRC). Meanwhile, people at the recent meetings
where your proposals have been discussed (which you have not attended) have
repeatedly put an emphasis on *not* having selective enforcement of this
policy. You're either being disingenuous or you're totally unaware of how your
proposals are being received by the members of Noisebridge.

In either case, selectively enforced policies are abhorrent and antithetical to
the culture that Noisebridge was built and has thrived on.

Cowardly authoritarians use arbitrary policies as a crutch: "sorry, I don't
make the rules..." etc. When people are "doing something bad" you could already
ask them to leave. I think using a technicality like "you need a sponsor to be
here" actually makes it harder to address whatever bad thing they're doing.
What happens when they get a sponsor? (I know: then you'll feel the need to try
to ban their sponsor too, and on and on).

TLDR: Authoritarianism is lazy, and toxic to a culture of being excellent.

Proposal for consensus: Revoke the previous two members-only consensus items
are return Noisebridge to being a place where people are welcome to do
excellent things without asking for permission from anyone.


ps: Noisebridge should select a new secretary. Tom told me a while ago that he
is tired of the work, and I'm tired of seeing him attach the title to his email
signature as if the position means something other than that he is responsible
for doing some paperwork on Noisebridge's behalf. Any volunteers?

> While you're at it please tell them that we are working hard to
> replace our current perception by the public as a place you would
> never WANT to go with one where you WILL want to go and hack.  And
> if you refuse to recognize the reality that the golden eggs don't
> WANT to go to noisebridge because of its radical inclusivity, you're
> ignoring a lot of people's opinions.
> -jake
> On Wed, 30 Oct 2013, Leif Ryge wrote:
> >On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 11:41:14AM -0700, Jake wrote:
> >>in every practical way nothing has changed at all.
> >>
> >>[...]
> >>
> >>Noisebridge continues to be open to the public 24/7 just as it always was.
> >
> >Do you actually believe those two statements? I almost expect you to say "not
> >wittingly" next!
> >
> >The front page of the website now says "Noisebridge is open 24/7 to Members,
> >Associate Members and guests thereof".
> >
> >It seems pretty obvious that people who don't know anyone there would, upon
> >reading that, get the impression that they can't just drop in. I think most
> >people (by a large margin) who have done awesome stuff at Noisebridge didn't
> >know anyone physically present the first times they visited the space. So, I
> >think this policy will have a significant negative impact.
> >
> >As I've said before, I think you're killing the goose that lays golden eggs.
> >
> >I am especially disappointed that this extremely drastic change
> >was adopted at a meeting with only four members present. I hope
> >the membership of Noisebridge will reconsider this.
> >
> >~leif
> >
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