[Noisebridge-discuss] Noisebridge as "facility"

Naomi Most pnaomi at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 08:27:56 UTC 2014

Here's what the broken kitchen breaker box situation was like:


On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 1:24 AM, Naomi Most <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:
> I spent all day at Noisebridge today (Saturday).
> ---
> TL;DR:
> Should NB be considered a technological "facility" to be available to
> the wider community, or should we consider NB a place where everyone
> should be expected to learn and participate in technology?
> (For context, read the rest!)
> ---
> First off, today was largely extremely cool.   I came for the
> electrical cleanup but ended up hanging out all day, working on a
> hard/software project and (very unexpectedly) learning how to make
> lockpicks.
> Today was not, however, without its drama.  I am not going to name
> names here because who-did-what is really not the point.
> The drama was largely brought on by a mistake made in rewiring the
> kitchen breaker box.  The mistake was unnoticed until much later in
> the evening.
> At that point, certain people immediately leapt to a conclusion that
> certain other people were "sabotaging" the kitchen.  The fact that
> were was tape over the end of the copper main that should have powered
> the stove and fridge was taken as "evidence" that this was a
> deliberate act.
> What followed was a good 4 man-hours of time wasted in an argument
> over the fact that another member of the space was trying to fix the
> problem, that the problem was, probabilistically speaking, not
> deliberate, and that someone's attempt to fix it wasn't realistically
> going to affect in any way our plan to get a C-10 electrician in here.
> (By the way: we do have C-10 electricians coming in to inspect and
> give an estimate for the purposes of inspection-passing.)
> You know... in almost any other area of Noisebridge, a broken circuit
> would probably be met with groans at best.  But in the kitchen, it
> seems like a matter of life or death.
> This is not news, but --
> Many people see Noisebridge as a Facility more than, or even to the
> exclusion of, being a place where they make things happen.
> One person tonight complained that someone else wouldn't fix one of
> the computers when they asked. It turned out that the computer in
> question had lost its ethernet plug.  The complainer hadn't even
> attempted to figure out the problem.
> I get the sense that some people feel they are making an implicit
> barter agreement with their time when they clean up, or make food, or
> whatever, in exchange for the ability to use the computers at
> Noisebridge.  There's a growing sense of entitlement backed only by
> this imagined economic relationship; when this "relationship" is
> betrayed by reality, the drama falls out.
> So, what do you guys think?
> Should we make people who don't make an effort to understand the
> technology we are making available feel unwelcome, to avoid this kind
> of drama?
> Or should we embrace the idea of being a community facility, and
> honestly seek to keep available the "services" (such as public
> internet terminals) that some people have come to rely on?
> I'm not sure there's any middle ground here, but (as a fan of middle
> ground) I'd be interested to hear other opinions.
> One advantage to embracing the "public facility" notion is that there
> is grant money for this kind of thing. The disadvantage is, ugh,
> grants.  :p
> --Naomi
> --
> Naomi Theora Most
> naomi at nthmost.com
> +1-415-728-7490
> skype: nthmost
> http://twitter.com/nthmost

Naomi Theora Most
naomi at nthmost.com

skype: nthmost


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