[Noisebridge-discuss] catching up with "what's wrong with discussing things at the Tuesday meeting"

Naomi Most pnaomi at gmail.com
Wed Mar 26 23:59:59 UTC 2014

I am so, so with you on the "as light as possible" idea.

I'm not anti-change.  But I would prefer to change towards things in
an incremental manner, watching to see what the effects of any one
change have on the community before pushing out a bunch of other ones.

Right now, the item on the board's docket that is the least well
supported by convincing arguments, IMHO, is the concept of moving to a
"democratic" vote at meetings.

Consensus is a construct that certainly struggles to accommodate all
of the bullshit we're trying to pipeline into it.  I don't think the
correct response is to increase the throughput of the pipeline.  We
should be seeking to eliminate (or greatly reduce) the bullshit.

Municipal planners know it all too well that whenever you increase the
throughput of a highway, you get increased traffic to match...


On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 3:55 PM, rachel lyra hospodar
<rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for this thoughtful answer Naomi.
> Perhaps folks will continue playing with ways to scale the meeting which
> address these issues.
> In other circumstances, I have seen 'scaling'  related to 'more structure'
> in a pretty inevitable way, but still the most successful scaling attempts
> were the lightest-handed, adding the minimum possible addition, making the
> minimum viable changes.
> So my suggestions and input to that conversation would be around meeting
> structures that I have seen used, and help kicking around ideas on how to
> implement them (or other structures) here at noisebridge.
> I'd be open to that discussion in person, sometime in April. I'm available
> most Mondays and Tuesdays in that month if anyone wants to put something
> together to which I could be invited to input or attend or even help
> organize I'd be thrilled.
> I recognize that many people have worked on this issue, and I both respect
> their attempts and don't have any particular solution in mind. But I do have
> lots of experience at organizing with humans with many varying degrees of
> success and I'd be happy to share my learnings in the hopes of helping us
> all be in a situation where we learn more together about how to run our
> learning-place.
> Meta, dude.
> R.
> On Mar 26, 2014 11:56 AM, "Naomi Most" <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Rachel asked:
>> > Is there some problem with using it as a venue for coming together to
>> > build
>> > comradery, discuss our issues, and try to consent to each other's ideas?
>> Yeah, there's a bit of a problem... *sigh*
>> (TL;DR -- Drama, retrofitted into a consensus policy process, easily
>> breaks the meetings!  But I believe the board is working on a good
>> solution, and it involves the Community Working Group.)
>> What you've enumerated are all good ways-of-being rooted in real
>> experiences.  But the latest version of "the Noisebridge experience"
>> turns these old ways into obsolete technology.
>> Here's the reality:
>> Because so many social issues have been, by convention, pushed to
>> consensus discussion -- the group has to pick and choose which issues
>> it wants to work on.  That means that there's no guarantee that an
>> issue you care about comes up for consensus at the meeting you made
>> time in your schedule.
>> Further complicating things: we have a convention about an issue being
>> "up for discussion" for a week, with the following week being the
>> first time an issue CAN be consensed upon.
>> There's no guarantee of either of the above things ("up for
>> discussion" or "up for consensus") occurring on any given week or even
>> in succession.  Why?  Because SO DAMN MANY issues at noisebridge have
>> been pushed to the general meeting, that the moderator generally has
>> to take a "straw poll of interest" just to whittle the number of
>> consensus items down to a reasonable number that we can discuss (say,
>> 4 -- and I think that's too many!).
>> So, the affected / interested parties on an issue have no way to plan
>> around their involvement in a thing, other than to come back to the
>> meeting Every Single Week.
>> Personally speaking, I will *DIE* if I go to a Noisebridge meeting
>> every night.  I mean I will mentally break down and probably start
>> crying uncontrollably.  Not because NB is such a bad place.  But
>> because I am a single mom (for those of you just tuning in) and I only
>> have 3 nights a week of free time to work with to destress from my two
>> jobs (the kid and the job).
>> Systemically speaking, this "structure" has had devastating
>> consequences.  For example, social issues that really should have been
>> solved in other ways (which don't exist at Noisebridge -- yet!) have
>> been able to wash out more practical and mundane proposals.
>> Sometimes social issues push aside other social issues, which -- when
>> you put it to a straw poll -- results in a classist and racist
>> prioritization of issues.
>> Please see the whole "Lee Sonko" saga (documented in the mailing list)
>> for how this process can go Very Wrong.
>> And I think the unsung subplot-problem in the Lee Sonko case was that
>> there were several very pressing social issues that didn't come up for
>> discussion, involving what turned out to be very problematic
>> individuals, despite an advocate's dutifully putting the issue up for
>> straw-poll-to-discuss for many weeks, BECAUSE it was (apparently) so
>> urgent that we ban Lee Sonko.
>> Final note:  I'm not sure "every week at the same time and place"
>> qualifies as "maximum accommodation" -- the case of Lee Sonko
>> providing a stark example to the contrary.
>> I know that discussion is what the weekly NB meeting was designed for.
>>  But the engineers didn't plan to have to scale.
>> --Naomi
>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 2:30 PM, rachel lyra hospodar
>> <rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I encourage everyone to get together in person whenever they like, as
>> > often
>> > as possible.
>> >
>> > We have this regular Tuesday meeting. It serves many functions. One of
>> > which
>> > is this in-person thing which I think is a great idea. Its recurring
>> > weekly
>> > nature is designed for maximum accommodation of varying scheduling needs
>> > of
>> > peoples lives.
>> >
>> > Is there some problem with using it as a venue for coming together to
>> > build
>> > comradery, discuss our issues, and try to consent to each other's ideas?
>> >
>> > That's what it was designed for.
>> >
>> > R.
>> >
>> --
>> Naomi Theora Most
>> naomi at nthmost.com
>> +1-415-728-7490
>> skype: nthmost
>> http://twitter.com/nthmost
>> _______________________________________________
>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
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Naomi Theora Most
naomi at nthmost.com

skype: nthmost


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