[Noisebridge-discuss] I support a change to a more active board- please explain more though

Naomi Most pnaomi at gmail.com
Fri Mar 14 09:19:52 UTC 2014

Cool.  OK.  Here are my perspectives as a board member (this year).

> I'd like to hear an articulation of the guiding principles of that would be
> the basis of a more active board.  What goes to consensus what is decided by
> the Board.   And I don't think that deciding the time of the monthly cleanup
> counts.

I think in general, *most* decisions about the space should still be
made at Noisebridge meetings, by consensus.  But that statement has to
be put in the context of the next things I'm going to say.

What was unanimous in attitude regarding decision-making was that
people-related stuff -- e.g. decisions to ban, suspend, etc -- should
not be subjects for the General Meeting and should not be brought
under the banner of consensus.

I'm very much in favor of the "Community Working Group" approach, as
is Tom Lowenthal, who has been drawing up a CWG draft and will come
back to the board with a recommendation on an approach as soon as

(Come to think of it, we never discussed deadlines.... :)

Getting the drama crap out of general meetings will make Noisebridge
meetings a far more reasonable place to hold decision making

Hey maybe we'll eventually get back to talking about cool stuff we're
working on and events we're planning.  Yeah!  People used to do that
at Noisebridge meetings and it would take up like HALF of the meeting.

> A more rubber meets the road example is one  candidate took the position
> that consensus can not be grounds for having the board do Illegal things.
> Well how is that applied to residence living at the space, which appears to
> be illegal, but hardly a matter of priority for the police and authorities.

There's a difference between legality and enforcement, which is what
you're alluding to here.  Just because a law isn't being well
enforced, doesn't make it not-illegal.

To take the example of sleeping/residence in Noisebridge:  we can't
expect police to enforce this law -- and in fact, we wouldn't want
them to, because it would be Noisebridge and the board coming under
fire for the sleeper's actions.

WE have to make it a priority to say NO to sleeping in the space, and
enforce it ourselves.  How we enforce it is kind of the core problem.

The easy part is saying "NO".  The hard part is enforcing it.  If
enforcing it were easy, the police would have shut us down already.

To wit:  the board has every right to *decree* that there is no
sleeping or "living" in the space allowed, and that the board has that
right due to its extra-organizational dependencies.

That is:  the board only exists because Noisebridge exists, which is
manifested in this physical form that happens to be attached to X, Y,
and Z laws.

Therefore, by the transitive property of bullshit, the board may
decree for Noisebridge anything that happens to be a law attached to
the physical or legal entity that is Noisebridge.

See? That was easy.

The harder problem is, how do we keep this space awesome while
enforcing the rule.

One proposal might be closing the space overnight.  Counter argument:
that just makes *easier* to sleep, once you've found a good hiding

Another proposal would be impose stiff penalties (suspension, ban,
etc) when caught sleeping.  This may deter some, but won't stop people
who have nothing to lose*.  That's not a counterargument -- deterring
is great -- but if you DO have a lot of people with little to lose,
you're going to be spending a lot of energy enforcing penalties.

Enforcement is messy, and success should be considered statistical
rather than boolean.  Just making laws doesn't make the problem go
away.  Not even fascist dictatorships get this right.

Naomi Most

*nothing stops people who have nothing to lose.

Naomi Theora Most
naomi at nthmost.com

skype: nthmost


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