[Noisebridge-discuss] think bigger

Curtis Gagliardi gagliardi.curtis at gmail.com
Sat Apr 5 03:18:37 UTC 2014

I'm at a cafe with a friend right now because he didn't want to go to
noisebridge because "it's basically a homeless shelter".  I want to
experience that noisebridge you describe with people hacking within it, but
it hasn't really been my experience over the last year.

 I wanted to meet other people hacked on software or hardware, not
sleep|food|housing (through sleeping, eating, and living at NB).  I'm
willing to accept that maybe what I think noisebridge should be isn't what
the rest of the community thinks it should be.  I would really like to
figure out what the rest of the community thinks noisebridge is suppossed
to be.

On Fri, Apr 4, 2014 at 7:33 PM, Praveen Sinha <dmhomee at gmail.com> wrote:

> The idea of noisebridge as an entity being constrained by leases and
> zoning laws is one that is frequently bandied about.
> Indeed, in some amount of time, our lease will be up for re-negotiation,
> at which point we may have to make our own hard decisions of whether we can
> afford a rent increase, or be zoned for the next block of luxury housing in
> the mission.
> To me, a community is much more powerful than mere contracts or money - in
> fact, it is the community itself that defines both of these things.  To me,
> a community (and movements in general) is most powerful when everyone has
> an ability to participate.  A lot of my off-time work is trying to deal
> with circumstances of  people on the margins of participation:  often times
> people who have lived their whole lives with a world that expects to
> apologize for they are.  I'll write more on that later.  We are all
> experiencing the first hand pains and momentous task of forming and growing
> a community.
> We have options to take on both our lease and our zoning.  It would
> require landlord buy-in, and it would require pulling connections inside
> the city:  both of these are doable - as an example, many of you may know
> my housing collective has been working with the San Francisco Land Trust  (
> http://www.sfclt.org/ ) to save our house from getting converted into a
> condoplex (and I highly encourage other people living in large collectives
> to look into this).
> We in the tech community in the bay area are blessed with a lot of
> political power and influence: and this doesn't just mean twitter or
> google.  Not only do we have observers from around the world, but we have
> observers and friends in city hall watching from a distance.  As chaotic
> and disenfranchised we may think of ourselves, in reality we all wield a
> tremendous amount of influence as noisebridgers:  we just don't know it yet
> (and this pattern of internalized political disenfranchisement is common
> not just amongst nerds but across many communities).
> So what does all of this have to do with our tiny collective?  Our kitchen
> issues?  Our disorganized circuit equipment?  In the span that I've been at
> noisebridge, I've seen and participated in:  people adding new senses in
> their bodies, people writing the next generation machine recognition
> software, people making next generation low cost printable circuits, people
> making at home gene amplification technology, people grow mushrooms on a
> wall, people getting fucked on a table by a dildo and spanked by bondage
> clowns, having knock down intersectional fights of race and gender,  being
>  a technological staging ground for the occupy protests, having our hacker
> home double up as a shelter for years at a time and still function.   We
> are creating and challenging the bounds of what can be done and is possible
> and not just technologically but socially.
> In that, I submit that our pains have not to do with mismanagment, but
> that we need to grow into our next phase for an even larger and more
> dynamic community:  I don't know what it's going to look like or what the
> outcome will be, but as everyone is shuffling about in this latest re-org,
> I think it's important to think bigger and more radical and more creative
> and more inclusive.  As a hackerspace, we can go in directions no other
> space or collective on the planet is capable of at the moment.  Keep it
> mind as we fight our battles, whatever side of drama you wind up on.
> Love,
> Praveen
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