[Noisebridge-discuss] Cooking in the space, update

Praveen Sinha dmhomee at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 20:58:45 UTC 2014

I got a couple of emails off-list questioning my judgment on this, so I
thought I would follow up with some other thoughts I had...

The other night, I was walking back from consensus in the cold downpouring
rain.  I could see my breath and I was soaked.  I know for east coasters,
this mild california weather is nothing, but the fact is, SF get's COLD.
It was COLD and WET.  I saw at least one person huddling in a corner trying
to stay dry.  I looked at him and remembered the times when I was that cold
and hungry and alone -- I was miserable, it was the worst lonliest feeling
in the world, and the only thing I wanted was to be in a warm place.

About a year and half ago I saw an email to nb-discuss from a young woman
who had come to SF recently and had no place to go for the night, and she
was escorted out in the middle of the night after being woken up from her
sleep.  She related that she was terrified of being out in the streets
alone at night in the mission.  I'll happily take the flak from many
noisebridgers to help someone stay warm on a cold rainy night.  To me,
being human is about finding ways to bend the rules and share resources for
human benefit.

You all are right, NB is not a homeless shelter.  I don't have all the
answers.  Maybe all of you are totally in the right that we should be
locking down.  We aren't equipped for it.  I'm not even necessarily arguing
on these points.  What I am saying is that people at noisebridge are
PEOPLE.  Everyone has feelings, everyone has needs, everyone needs to be
approach with, as James Sundquist just said - with dignity and conversation
and benefit of the doubt, and not dehumanized and stereotyped.  WHAT WOULD

Or more importantly, how do we give everyone SLACK,


On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 8:58 PM, Praveen Sinha <dmhomee at gmail.com> wrote:

> Awww thanks!!!  I actually think the both of you are quite adorable too!
> What I think will take a longer time to write up than I have at the
> moment.  I'll save that for a future post.
> In so far as the lease:  I really don't think it's as big as a bogeyperson
> as people are worrying about.  That's not to say we should have people
> living in elevator shafts...
> But more than that, I do think we should be focused on building positive
> consensus:  if we focus too much on rigid rules and not enough on the
> people, then we just get bunch of miserable people:  as much as we wish
> that legal systems could be like code and we could get it debugged and
> working like a machine, it's just not that way.  We are people not machines.
> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 6:38 PM, Will Sargent <will.sargent at gmail.com>wrote:
>> It's pretty clear that Praveen either doesn't care or can't conceive of
>> any repercussions to Noisebridge as a result of his actions.
>> People doing drugs at the space?  Fine.
>> People offering drugs at the space?  Also fine.
>> People sleeping at the space?  Not just fine, Praveen will actually give
>> you an invitation.
>> The idea that Noisebridge might actually lose its lease is just not
>> there.  The idea that there might be people adversely affected is not
>> there.  There's not even a balancing of good versus bad there -- Praveen
>> thinks it's good, everyone who thinks its bad must be wrong and unexcellent.
>> Will.
>> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 5:45 PM, Ceren Ercen <ceren at ercen.com> wrote:
>>> "Blah blah I got caught living at the space and so i will ramble enough
>>> and act confused about how this violates and endangers NB's lease, people
>>> will get distracted discussing hypotheticals about a live-in docent. Blah
>>> blah. "
>>> Praveen, you're adorable, but no, no living at the space. The lease
>>> agreement should be the end of the story. Go start another space if you
>>> want a hacker space with a lease that allows for a live-in person. Good
>>> luck with that.
>>> For the record, I wouldn't consider someone for the position who had
>>> already pointedly ignored the community rules, based solidly on the
>>> agreement with the landlord that NO ONE LIVES IN THE SPACE.
>>>  On Apr 2, 2014 8:16 PM, "Frantisek Apfelbeck" <algoldor at yahoo.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hi to all,
>>>> Just shortly about my involvement, I'm repeating my self but well looks
>>>> like the old story is being loved to come out again :-) It is not directly
>>>> connected to the current cooking in the space, so skip it if you are just
>>>> sorting out this issue.
>>>> Tastebridge was great fun and it was more or less keeping the back of
>>>> the Noisebridge (bathrooms and kitchen) operational and because I like
>>>> things clean and organized it was in general taken as a positive direction.
>>>> Sometimes we had a screw ups like over fermented bottles of kombucha
>>>> spraying people around, some stuff not cleaned on time and fridges having
>>>> out of day items. However in general it was kept well, we did catering for
>>>> 5 min of fame events, member meetings, underground markets etc. promoting
>>>> our activities from that and getting also part of our budget.
>>>> Al's announcement that I'm moving out with my name in the subject was a
>>>> good show of how not to do stuff in that time in the community, caused a
>>>> lots of drama and Al was shouted at a lot. The main reason was because he
>>>> did not give me time and space to talk about that, especially not with
>>>> mediators or few members being present from both yes and no sides. This was
>>>> really pity I think because I would definitely not endanger my position in
>>>> the community with such a fopa especially when I had another options, which
>>>> I had. So in another words big drama which could be sorted quite quietly.
>>>> To be absolutely honest it was maybe better that it become a big issue,
>>>> because I feel now much more with the people who are targeted in a similar
>>>> manner for variety of actions even when things can be sorted in a
>>>> reasonable way. Public mop. However again in that time, the resolution was
>>>> found very quickly and I could continue with my activities without any
>>>> issues, so concerning the work no harm done, for the integrity of the
>>>> Noisebridge community not the best. Now after the years with keeping an eye
>>>> on the activities in the space from around the world through the discuss
>>>> and talking to friends I have still the feeling that the main target by Al
>>>> was actually me not directly my activities, that is at least my opinion.
>>>> After being active in many hackerspaces around the world I think that
>>>> having separate living quarters/areas for people involved in community
>>>> places is a good idea and I vote for that, really looking forward to help
>>>> out the build up of by Mitch promoting hacker residency programs. If people
>>>> live in their working places it gets often too intensive, they become too
>>>> obsessive and if someone doesn't like someone else it is blocking the
>>>> energies/flow in the place. So I'm now more for separate accommodation and
>>>> living arrangements seems to me neater.
>>>> This paragraph you my skip it is too long for many just quick personal
>>>> explanation :-) Concerning my sleeping/living in the place, it intensified
>>>> especially at the end of my stay in SF when I have found out that I have to
>>>> sort out with the immigration my stay because when I entered the USA the
>>>> last time they did not give me the stamp on the border and when I left the
>>>> time before they did not signed me off, so it looked like that I'm in the
>>>> states nearly for 2 years which is not exactly what my PhD. visa for 6
>>>> months would allow. If I had to leave immediately the states I would have
>>>> to train a new brewer in Three Stone Hearth Kitchen where I was a master
>>>> brewer and that would be an issue, because at least month or so should be
>>>> needed. So when I realized what issues I'm potentially facing I had around
>>>> one week or 10 days more or less to sort that out, with possibly leaving
>>>> the place immediately after. That cause way more than 16 hours working days
>>>> and me staying in he place. I've stayed in the place in the months before
>>>> over the night, which sometimes meant finishing up around 3 am brewing
>>>> class and getting up before 7 am to leave for Berkeley to brew. However
>>>> majority of the time, and that means 5-6 days per week I was happily
>>>> sleeping somewhere close to the beach, in the park, out of the town, with
>>>> friends couch surfing, name it. That I liked, staying at Noisebridge over
>>>> the night was kind of must and I tried o avoid it both because of potential
>>>> troubles and not doing me well. Believe it or not I do not like to overstep
>>>> if I know that the community doesn't approve of that in general, but well
>>>> in this case I did and I appologised. However as I said especially at the
>>>> period when I had to sort out my issues with the immigration I was staying
>>>> around more and that was not good for anyone.
>>>> Well I think that would be enough for recapitulation, have a good time
>>>> and I hope you manage to keep the place running nice and open, based on
>>>> consensus with active community showing the direction. It was possible
>>>> before, it can be done again.
>>>> Sincerely,
>>>> Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck
>>>> biotechnologist&kvasir and hacker
>>>> http://www.frantisekapfelbeck.org
>>>> "There is no way to peace, peace is the way." Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
>>>>    On Thursday, April 3, 2014 3:26 AM, daravinne <daravinne at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>   when i first started doing 5mof a few years ago, part of the ritual
>>>> was getting there from work and taking a nap in a comfy chair before i
>>>> started doing event-related stuff.
>>>> frantisek was one of the first people i ever encountered at the space
>>>> and his implementation of tastebridge was focused and well-run.  i didn't
>>>> really see it as a problem that he was living at the space, since i noticed
>>>> that after he was ejected, less productive and helpful people replaced him,
>>>> and the overall cleanliness and good working order of the space declined.
>>>> him being there most of the time was a great benefit to the space, because
>>>> he did genuinely care about the state of the space he was using and made up
>>>> his use of resources by providing the intangible service of near-constant
>>>> management.  i do read all his emails, and i agree with praveen that his
>>>> insights are valuable, possibly more so than other people who are currently
>>>> overseas and continue to post to the list.
>>>> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 10:15 AM, Johny Radio <johnyradio at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>>  Some of the best nb hackers have slept at nb once or twice.
>>>> Nb has only ITSELF to blame. When you open the door to all comers,
>>>> don't be shocked at their behavior.
>>>> ------ Original Message ------
>>>> From: "Ceren Ercen" <ceren at ercen.com>
>>>> To: "Jeffrey Carl Faden" <jeffreyatw at gmail.com>
>>>> Cc: "Frantisek Apfelbeck" <algoldor at yahoo.com>; "NoiseBridge Discuss" <
>>>> noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net>
>>>> Sent: 4/2/2014 8:53:41 AM
>>>> Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Cooking in the space, update
>>>> Seriously.
>>>> Frantisek, you covertly squatted in the NB space, and got all
>>>> apology-tastic when you got caught.
>>>> You should have the sense and humility to recuse yourself from all
>>>> topics that are addressing the serious problem of  "how do we stop people
>>>> from trying to live in the space".  Even if it's your pet "I like to
>>>> ferment things" workspace.
>>>> Somehow, you don't have the clue or grace to back the fuck off. So I
>>>> will suggest it for you. Back away from this thread, no one read your
>>>> rambling email. If you're distressed, consider that it's actions like YOURS
>>>> that made it impossible for Noisebridge to have a pleasantly luxurious
>>>> kitchen. Great job.
>>>> - Ceren
>>>> On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 11:43 AM, Jeffrey Carl Faden <
>>>> jeffreyatw at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Reminder: biotechnologist & kvasir and hacker Frantisek Algoldor
>>>> Apfelbeck from Kasiri, Jeju repeatedly slept in the off-limits south
>>>> stairwell at Noisebridge, so anything he has to say about proper use of
>>>> facilities should be taken with a grain of salt.
>>>> Jeffrey
>>>>  On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 5:55 AM, Frantisek Apfelbeck <
>>>> algoldor at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>>  Hi to all,
>>>> Just few notes on the kitchen, I have run and helped to equip many
>>>> around the world and on variety of hacker events especially in last few
>>>> years under the Food Hacking Base project which the Tastebridge was a first
>>>> step I would say. It is interesting to see so many hackerspaces going
>>>> forward on biotech, food hacking and brewing with Noisebridge being one of
>>>> the forerunners with amazing set up around 2010 and 2011 and now well ...
>>>> stove - crucial. If you do not have a stove you can not cook most of
>>>> the meals and brewing is an issue for many types of beverages, also you
>>>> will have really problem to sterilize - pressure cooker works fine if you
>>>> have one. Kitchen without stove is close to not being a kitchen, biotech
>>>> applications need sterilization most of the time and heat treatment of
>>>> ingredients is often crucial (and microwave is not a cure for everything).
>>>> fridge - very important. To keep you perishable food ingredients,
>>>> cultures and of course nice cold drinks it is more or less necessity, at
>>>> least for reasonable food and beverage hacking. Kitchen without fridge is
>>>> doable but quite an issue.
>>>> preparation place - working bench if you like, crucial. Having some
>>>> space to work on is crucial especially if you want to work fast and safe.
>>>> Do not underestimate the height of the bench it hits your back if is too
>>>> low or too high. This one is really important on hands on workshops.
>>>> sinks - crucial. For keeping the place clean and the work flow
>>>> continuous sinks and preferably running water are really a key. If you do
>>>> not have it, you are in trouble. Dishwasher works too, but well sink is
>>>> sink.
>>>> storage - for dry ingredients especially. If you want to play around
>>>> you need your ingredients and they need to stored properly. Stainless steel
>>>> or glass well sealed work very well, plastic is a good cheap alternative.
>>>> Insect and rats may be an issue if they get out of hand which was a case in
>>>> the building many times so this one has to be kept in mind.
>>>> The answer to how to keep the kitchen clean is both simple and
>>>> complicated. The way which works for me and projects in which I'm involved
>>>> is to get together people who enjoy playing with food, hacking, brewing,
>>>> biotech and consuming&enjoying the products of their efforts and let them
>>>> to organize the spot, sometimes poke them a bit if the things go out of
>>>> hand. Better environment you have from the point of view of
>>>> equipment/infrastructure and funds, more likely you are to form a nice and
>>>> vibrant community around it and enjoy their achievements. Note as most of
>>>> the things in community the social interactions are really important and
>>>> preparing and sharing the meals and drinks brings together people really
>>>> well.
>>>> Best of luck with your kitchen plans, try to keep it nice and
>>>> functional, it will pay off eventually. However even if you decide to
>>>> destroy it, which I do not consider wise because it will not touch a core
>>>> of the current problem, when the time comes, it will be build again, it
>>>> will just require bit more dedicated people than if it is already standing
>>>> and ready to be used.
>>>> Sincerely from Kasiri, Jeju,
>>>> Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck
>>>> PS Just a note, yes the Noisebridge community has a major social issues
>>>> and to start to resolve them lots of time and energy from people who are
>>>> socially developed and sensitive will be needed, the question for you now
>>>> is how to get them involved and enjoy their work and being productive. 091
>>>> labs in Galway, Ireland are running for a brewing classes for a while and
>>>> it is generating lots of positive interest. Add some tech related project
>>>> like the experimental incubator build up and you can start to move the
>>>> things forward in a sound way - friendly, social and organized.
>>>> biotechnologist&kvasir and hacker
>>>> http://www.frantisekapfelbeck.org
>>>> "There is no way to peace, peace is the way." Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
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