[Noisebridge-discuss] [Drama] Fwd: [Noisebridge-announce] Important Noisebridge Procedural Changes

rachel lyra hospodar rachelyra at gmail.com
Wed Mar 26 21:04:54 UTC 2014

Al, I never said we had to live with people selling meth at noisebridge,
I'm afraid you made an assumption that since I think meth users are worth
compassion that I support meth transactions happening at the space.

I just think it's important to examine what the fuel sources of the fire
are, and try and move them further from the source of heat.

In other words,

I think that addressing the problem (and I do think its a problem) of
people transacting for meth in the space starts in a different place than
you do.

If you are interested in my further thoughts on this I am happy to share
them but please try this: don't tell me what you think I think, but ask me
if you understand my thoughts correctly. It may seem an irrelevant minor
style shift in communication to you, or an unnecessary slowdown on the path
to expressing your own opinion, but to me it actually seems like a brick
with which we can lay a foundation for a meth-less Noisebridge.

I am suggesting that any system is abusable, and that one of the reasons we
are wary of absolute rules is because they aren't relational. When anyone
can call anyone an asshole how do I decide who is an asshole? The guy who
gives me the side-eye and called the cops on a homeless person who is
nonviolent but non-neurotypical? Or the peg-legged squatter punk who
welcomed me to Noisebridge and taught me more about hacking hardware than I
ever learned from anyone else (except maybe miloh who slept on a couch once
while we hacked all night)?  Who incidentally still helps me anytime I have
a hardware question? Even though we've had big disagreements where maybe I
was an asshole, or called him out for one?

How do you decide who is an asshole? Any way you choose. You might, Al,
think I am being an asshole right now. I could explain to you what a gift I
believe sharing my extensive knowledge and experience in the area of human
interaction to be, to you who are at our place of learning trying to hack
on same. You might not be interested in learning from me, or disagree,
that's fine. Nobody requires you to read my emails. I am replying to you
because I think you are worth talking to, I think you are trying. I don't
think you Get It yet but that's OK. Keep trying.

I personally find it useful to examine how someone treats the people around
them who have the lowest social status, in order to determine if they are
an asshole. I have found it a useful metric, feel free to discard.

Inclusivity has its drawbacks but if having a technology space where I am
welcomed means I am on the side of the non-neurotypicals then count me on
that team.

 On Mar 26, 2014 9:08 AM, "Al Sweigart" <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:

> Rachel, we've never made people buy beer when they become members. That is
> not "built-in" to the membership process, and is just a joke. Often times
> members do not buy beer when they come back, and I always speak up and say,
> "Actually, you don't have to and fine if you don't, so don't feel
> obligated."
> Anyway, I'm not even sure what this thread is about anymore. First it was
> discussing the recent procedural change, then Rachel makes claims on
> Noisebridge's "charter" (not to be confused with "bylaws"), then Will
> brings up the problem of people trying to sell meth in the space, then
> Rachel says that to solve the meth-selling problem we should "build a
> better society" (that will be... a bit of work) and that we will just have
> to live with meth-selling at the space, then Rachel talks about how "safe
> space" can't be defined in an un-abusable (if I'm wrong about that, I'd
> really like a practical definition of it from Rachel)...
> We can address all of these issues, but it's going to involve a lot of
> work because as nice as "be excellent" is, people are going to have sincere
> disagreements about what that means. That's why we have to sit down, write
> out whatever small part of excellence we propose, and come to agreement on
> it. Otherwise, this is just a long-winded thread where much is spoken but
> not much is communicated.
> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 11:43 AM, William Sargent <will.sargent at gmail.com>wrote:
>> I've thrown out many people, including Jake 2.0.  But since you bring it
>> up:
>> Cynthia put down Noisebridge as her place of residence, which is against
>> the terms of the lease.   This was mentioned at both meetings.  Jesse and I
>> asked her to leave and come back at the Tuesday meeting, the very next day.
>>  She refused.
>> Then more people asked her to leave.  Then, once there were six or seven
>> people, they started shouting at each other.  At that point, calling the
>> police was the best way to deescalate the situation, believe it or not.
>>  She locked herself in the bathroom once she heard the police were coming.
>> The Tuesday meeting the next day had multiple people, including Kelly say
>> she felt safer in the space for not having Cynthia in it.   When weev, who
>> still had his trial lined up, says that he wanted the Police to come into
>> the space and remove her, I feel pretty confident about having made the
>> right call.
>> I didn't know that Jesse smoked pot outside until after the second
>> meeting.  Likewise, I didn't know about Jesse sexually assaulting someone,
>> because it hadn't happened at that point.
>> Will.
>> On Mar 26, 2014, at 11:29 AM, rachel lyra hospodar <rachelyra at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> This metric unfortunately falls apart when in a situation like I was in
>> with Jesse z, who was emphatic that smoking only certain types of dried
>> plants on the public sidewalk outside of Noisebridge was acceptable & safe
>> , while being so intoxicated on his own personal blend of drugs as to be a
>> threat to his own safety as well as that of others.
>> This metric, while having noble goals, can be gamed by any perpetrator
>> pointing their own finger, forming a circle of people claiming their safety
>> is endangered.
>> Seeking to provide a safe-as-possible space occasionally means deciding
>> if someone is being an asshole.
>> I'll mention now, since I cannot help but think of it every time I think
>> of Will, that he and Jesse z called the cops INTO the space once to evict
>> cynthia from the bathroom.  She wasn't in there doing drugs, just hiding
>> from the actual people obligingly fulfilling her paranoia. This was during
>> I time when I regularly saw groups of people rally to kick out someone who
>> was say, stealing, or sleeping frequently at the space. Cynthia wasn't
>> doing those things, she was just a harmless nutjob.
>> I am sure, Will, that you have many good qualities but good enough
>> asshole metrics to reference off of might not be one of them, nor a cool
>> head in a stressful situation.
>> One tool I found particularly striking from Sudo room (god help me I am
>> suggesting Sudo room is doing something better than Noisebridge) was this
>> phrase - we value safe space over ideology. This phrase was incredibly
>> valuable because it suggested the hierarchy of relative values of two
>> things we hold dear, and thus was a machete in a thicket of arcane rules
>> that were being endlessly quibbled by 3 dudes who wrote them. People who
>> like to argue with each other should be allowed to do so, but.
>> When the rules are too complicated they are the domain of those who
>> maintain and understand them. A vital part of the Noisebridge screed is
>> built around keeping it simple enough to be understood & debated by
>> everyone. Whatever 'it' is, and whatever you crazy kids are up to with
>> yours, and whatever you are calling it nowadays.
>> R.
>> The bad kind of drugs are the kind that make people feel unsafe in the
>> space.
>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM, rachel lyra hospodar <
>> rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Have you ever actually put out an actual fire? Do you know how in theory
>>> or in practice or both?
>>> Is the goal here to put out the fire?
>>> Then fucking act like it, and take a minute to think about how to remove
>>> the fuel instead of running around like chicken little bemoaning how the
>>> sky is falling because the bad kind of drugs are taking over from the good
>>> kinds.
>>> One of my first all-night-hack sessions at Noisebridge in 2009 or so was
>>> accompanied by a quiet little hiss-crack all night long from goth kids in
>>> the library having a nitrous death guild afterparty. Why does Noisebridge
>>> have the wrong kind of people offering you the wrong kind of drugs now?
>>> What are the wrong kinds of drugs?
>>> Meth is bad, don't get me wrong. It's provably toxic to people who use
>>> it. I think it's interesting to try and contextualize increased meth use in
>>> the space with shifts in the broader socioeconomic context that supports
>>> nosiebridge.
>>> Want less homeless drug users doing drugs that make themselves worse?
>>> Build a better society.
>>> R.
>>> On Mar 26, 2014 7:09 AM, "Will Sargent" <will.sargent at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> What Jessica said, in spades.
>>>> Noisebridge not only has people sleeping in the space on a regular
>>>> basis, it has people being offered meth in the space.
>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/2014-March/043062.html
>>>> What I find really damning is not even that someone was offered meth in
>>>> the space.  It's the reaction that Monad had from the people in the space.
>>>>  No-one helped him.  Only one person even offered to identify him, and one
>>>> guy expressed the opinion that no-one should *ever* be banned.
>>>> If this is normal, tolerated behavior in the space now, then yes: shit
>>>> is on fire.
>>>> Will.
>>>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 9:12 AM, Jessica Ross <jessica.r.ross at gmail.com
>>>> > wrote:
>>>>> I hate to say it, but, from here, it looks like you guys are on fire.
>>>>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 11:03 AM, rachel lyra hospodar <
>>>>> rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> I would argue that a very fundamental part of Noisebridge charter is
>>>>>> to in fact listen to and attempt to incorporate rather than override a
>>>>>> dissenting opinion.
>>>>>> There is always time to mull things over, unless something is on fire.
>>>>>> Also, I would like to note the difference between formally and
>>>>>> formerly and humbly submit a pull request to the whole announcement due to
>>>>>> whiplash and confusion. What the fuck kind of members are we talking about,
>>>>>> formal ones? If I wear a tuxedo on the sixth Tuesday of a given month do I
>>>>>> get a say in how Noisebridge works?  Ah yes, do-ocratic voting. I hereby
>>>>>> decree a new class of Noisebridge members, the formal kind. Please discuss.
>>>>>> R.
>>>>>> On Mar 25, 2014 8:48 PM, "Al Sweigart" <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> Why did you reply to this thread if you didn't want to talk about
>>>>>>> this publicly? You can't just say "Disregard" and expect that no one else
>>>>>>> will comment on this commandment.
>>>>>>>  I told Tom that I agreed with the proposal, so it's 4 out of 5.
>>>>>>> Your humble opinion aside, decisions do not require a unanimous vote
>>>>>>> of the board. The bylaws of Noisebridge don't say it does and have never
>>>>>>> said that. "Naomi does not agree" is not "the board does not agree".
>>>>>>> -Al
>>>>>>> On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 11:19 PM, Naomi Most <pnaomi at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>>>>>> Oh goody, let's make this public.
>>>>>>>> Al, the issues in question were proposed 7 hours ago, during which
>>>>>>>> time I was at work. Then I went to yoga.  Then I found when I
>>>>>>>> decided
>>>>>>>> to check my email that about 10 different issues were all lumped
>>>>>>>> together in a single "proposal" and that 2 people had voted "+1" on
>>>>>>>> it.
>>>>>>>> 2 + the person who proposed the changes = 3.  3 out of 5 is a
>>>>>>>> positive vote.
>>>>>>>> These changes were then implemented *immediately*.
>>>>>>>> IMHO, the board did not "agree", because "agreement" cannot occur
>>>>>>>> in a
>>>>>>>> situation where discussion did not take place.
>>>>>>>> I have already put in a proposal within the board that proposals
>>>>>>>> can't
>>>>>>>> be voted upon and carried out until one full week has passed.  I
>>>>>>>> can't
>>>>>>>> believe I had to do that, but apparently some people think that
>>>>>>>> "agreement" can be reached without discussion.
>>>>>>>> Membership: discuss.
>>>>>>>> --Naomi
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>>>> --
>>>>> Jessica R. Ross
>>>>> jessica.r.ross at gmail.com
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>> _______________________________________________
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