[Noisebridge-discuss] In Defense of Consensus

Matthew Senate mattsenate at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 21:03:02 UTC 2014

First and *very important*: What is "Noisebridge"? What is "Sudo Room"?
What is a community? Is it the same as the mandated corporate structure
that allows one to receive certain designated benefits and constraints from
the state as a corporate entity or for that matter a non-profit corporation
or further a 501(c)3 or other specific form of education-focused or similar
federal tax-exempt entity? Or does this corporate entity exist in order to
protect a community from liability? What is a "mission" versus a dynamic,
reinventing, practical reality grounded in interpersonal interactions,
physical infrastructure, social webs, cultural protocol, documentation,
bureaucracy (both good and bad), institutional knowledge, etc? Is every
action grounded in some abstract "mission" or does the "mission" rather try
to capture and explain to particular audiences what a community is
generally about that could never really fully be captured?

Also *critical*: Why was the Noisebridge mission written? Why were the
By-Laws made, and the board of directors formed? I can tell you that the
board exists because it was a hack--a necessary hack in order to continue
existing in the current dominant system. To incorporate. To file paper
work. To become a federal 501(c)3. There are benefits, and there are costs,
risks, liabilities, protections, opportunities. Trade-offs. Sudo Room is
using this hack too given the constraints and the current state of affairs.
There are other options, but we've chosen this path and are accepting the
risks, with resolve to counter negative effects.

Your responses are provocative along several very different assumptions
about my arguments, fun! Perhaps you should read sudo room's Articles of
Association first and get back to me after that:
https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Articles_of_Association Especially read our
values section, including "do-ocracy over bureaucracy" pasted below as well.

Any participant who contributed to breaking an oscilloscope should be held
accountable and there should be an easy system to replace infrastructure
speedly--not everything needs to be a centralized decision. Purchase order
wiki page? Reimbursements for low-cost items? Internal insurance process
for high-cost items? However, in my opinion, for those things that could
not easily be sorted on their own, if all else fails, an ultimately
democratic consensus process should be used.

*sudo room* is an open, collaborative community of creators and
practitioners working toward positive social change. *sudo room* chooses to:

   1. Value open, public discourses over closed, proprietary processes.
   2. Value access and transparency over exclusivity.
   3. Value solving real problems over hypotheticals, while respecting
   visions of the future.
   4. Value community and collaboration over isolation and competition.
   5. Value human judgment over automation and efficiency.
   6. Value do-ocracy over bureaucracy.
   7. Value safe space over ideology.

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:35 PM, Johny Radio <johnyradio at gmail.com> wrote:

>  ------ Original Message ------
> From: "Matthew Senate" <mattsenate at gmail.com>
>  By making decisions more "effective", I mean hacks to more accurately
> represent the interests and sentiments of the individual participants
> I think you're saying that your priority is to make sure everyone has a
> "voice". For me, effective means creating a project that fulfills it's
> Mission. If NB's Mission is to provide technical infrastructure, and it
> fails at that, then the process is not "effective"-- even if everyone has a
> "voice."
>  Otherwise decisions can be hasty, rough around the edges, and
> misfitting.
> Well, we already have "rough around the edges, and misfitting" at
> Noisebridge-- if we're talking about technical infrastructure. I sense you
> don't much care about that.
>   I personally contend that efficiency and speed are not always the most
> important aspect of a decision-making process
> i contend that if an oscilloscope is broken, i'm very comfortable
> delegating the authority to get it fixed or replaced to someone else. I
> don't need a "voice" in that. What i need is an oscilloscope.
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