[Noisebridge-discuss] Noisebridge as "facility"

kjs bfb at riseup.net
Mon Apr 28 06:42:55 UTC 2014

I approach Noisebridge expecting the best, while anticipating the worst.
If something that I like to use is broken, then it is a good idea to fix
it if I know how. If I don't understand the thing that I am trying to
fix, then I might ask around intending to learn from someone else how to
solve the problem.

The same thing that happens to the sewing machines, happens to the
network. Trying to fix something, without knowledge, patience,
documentation, etc. often compounds the problem. I like to give shared
resources a little more attention. If I don't know how to fix the thing,
and no one wants to help immediately, then perhaps I will work on
something else or do some more research.

I like to see Noisebridge as a shared laboratory rather than a facility.
Suckas that don't want to lean about the things they like to use can
lean to use other things when the things they like to use break.


On 04/27/2014 01:24 AM, Naomi Most 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

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