[Noisebridge-discuss] In Defense of Consensus

Matthew Senate mattsenate at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 21:54:56 UTC 2014



'would be helpful if NB had a "real" mission statement like that -- in
addition to the fake legal one.'

There is no time like the present ;)

Note: "accountable" does not mean "criminal" or "indicted" or "penalized"
it could very well mean that the membership is entitled to say 'Hey, what
happened here'? and perhaps: even everyone who ever used the oscilloscope
maybe admits or accepts that, yes, used equipment breaks but that's why we
have insurance or a budget; or on the flip-side, a very negligent user can
say 'Oops, sorry, I'll chip in for the new one' or 'Jeez, I don't have any
money, but I just finished fixing the door system ;)' or 'I didn't know
what I was doing, it won't happen again!'

To which you can reply "I'll be happy to show you how the new one works."


I think we're at 99.9% agreement. I like this term "minor scaling problem"
it seems apt and more contextual than a divergent array of narratives I've
been picking up.

We perhaps agree more in my eyes because I simply think there are good
systems for inventory, but neither NB or sudo are currently using them. In
fact @Juul is working on a prototype of a decentralized inventory solution
for all hackerspaces--Mycelia https://github.com/Juul/mycelia-zero

Also, your general assessment of the situation is clarifying, helpful, and
courageous. The Board must then do near-nothing and defer to the
membership, acquiesce to consensus--and participate as members in their own
right! It is painful, but you build something more, you weave the fabric of
your community, and you reap what you sew.

*Quickly, to the oscilloscopes! We have to *hack* the *planet*.*

// Matt

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM, Naomi Most <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you for all of this, Matt.
> You and I agree about 99%.  The part where we diverge is what Johny
> brought up: that it would be nice if things could Just Get Fixed.
> I submit that we have a minor scaling problem (things get broken and
> it's very hard to hold anyone responsible, toilet paper is out, people
> are sleeping in the space, etc).
> We can solve these problems by assigning the elected board with
> certain power and responsibilities that fill in these "tragedy of the
> commons" types of gaps.
> But this minor scaling problem has been escalated in importance to an
> "OMG EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE" problem in which, suddenly, we need to
> have an authoritarian oligarchy.
> The majority of the board is now wasting no time in claiming powers
> that override the membership in every possible way, and which assign
> to the membership a merely symbolic gesture of deciding its own fate.
> Because if the board can always decide, by fiat, to rewrite everything
> about how Noisebridge works, what real power does the membership have?
> We should be getting on to fixing the oscilloscopes.
> --Naomi
> On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM, Matthew Senate <mattsenate at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > 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:
> >
> > Value open, public discourses over closed, proprietary processes.
> > Value access and transparency over exclusivity.
> > Value solving real problems over hypotheticals, while respecting visions
> of
> > the future.
> > Value community and collaboration over isolation and competition.
> > Value human judgment over automation and efficiency.
> > Value do-ocracy over bureaucracy.
> > 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.
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> >
> --
> Naomi Theora Most
> naomi at nthmost.com
> +1-415-728-7490
> skype: nthmost
> http://twitter.com/nthmost
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/attachments/20140327/76272d2d/attachment.html>

More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list