Meeting Notes 2011 04 26
Introduction and Names
- What Noisebridge is about: "Noisebridge is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides a space for creation, collaboration, and learning about technology and creative projects. Noisebridge provides space, power tools, and infrastructure to help the public learn new skills and create cool things. Noisebridge continues to exist through and depends entirely on membership fees and donations. Our code of conduct is 'Be excellent to each other'."
- Round of introductions: What's your name, what do you do, and if you are new, how did you hear about Noisebridge? Start with the moderator and go left.
- A brief primer on consensus process: We agree and so should you! Only paid-up members can block consensus.
- BAHA - will be hosting Dan Kaminsky for a talk about something or other. Stay tuned for your opportunity to hear this talk.
- BayCon - Noisebridge is the official charity beneficiary for BayCon, a 2000-attendee science fiction convention that happens in Santa Clara every year. We need some things to donate for the charity auction and could use at least one volunteer and maybe two to help us staff our Noisebridge booth there. We have less space at BayCon than we do at our Maker Faire booth. Dr. Jesus is coordinating our participation in BayCon, so please talk to him.
Q. What items should we donate for the charity auction?
A. Hilarious and/or shiny ones.
Q. Like items on the hack shelf?
A. More hilarious and shiny than those, if possible.
A. May 27-30.
Q. Maybe Dan Kaminsky could donate something? Like a signed item?
A. People at BayCon may not know who Dan Kaminsky is.
A. Or they might!
OpenAMD is doing RFID tracking of attendees at CCC. Talk to aestetix or visit openamd.org.
Funds in bank: $1,000 in corporate donations have come in recently! They will get deposited.
We have $13,080.16 in the bank after paying rent and before depositing the corporate donations. Pay your dues.
If possible, set up a regular recurring donation.
Q. Can we donate Bitcoins to Noisebridge?
- Read off any names from the binder for the past month.
- Anyone up for join this week should introduce themselves then leave the area in search of gifts (traditionally beer and a lime) for the rest of the group. The rest of the meeting should consense on whether they may join.
What's Going On at Noisebridge
Vegan pierogi and Snickers bars are being made in the kitchen right now!
Moving hack shelves away so that all shelving in the member shelving corner is member shelving. This requires about $300-$400 for new, additional shelves. Talk to Miloh. We might get more members if we had some member shelving space open for new members to enjoy!
Q. Have you mailed the list?
A. Please write to Miloh about this.
Q. We previously proposed using Noisebridge funds to pay for this. Shouldn't this become a consensus item? Wasn't it supposed to be a consensus item already?
A. The problem was that nobody who was a member attended except Kelly during the meeting where the consensus item should have been consensed upon. So it got dropped as a consensus item.
- Shannon was reluctant to use Noisebridge money for capital improvements rather than required expenses. However, people could realize a tax benefit if they donated money to Noisebridge for this purpose.
- However, you can realize a tax benefit for in-kind donations. If you donate something of value to Noisebridge, you can receive a receipt from Noisebridge for this item, by contacting the treasurer. Then, if applicable to your situation, you can claim this as a donation on your tax return.
- We will propose a consensus item for next week for appropriating a proportion of the money needed for this.
For next week: Noisebridge to pay Miloh for shelves in an amount to cover whatever part of the expenditure that Shannon does not raise via his fundraising efforts (somewhere between $0 and $300).
Isn't it somewhat difficult to determine what's going on here?
E.g., some meetups don't actually occur but they are still listed on the web site.
When people create meetups and events, they list them, but when they stop doing them, they don't remove them.
If you show up to something that doesn't happen, maybe you should remove it from the list on the web site.
Someone was trying to make the wiki automatically incorporate the items from the homepage into the meeting template so the events discussed in the meeting would actually be current (according to the website). However, maybe we also need a mechanism for people to actually try to attend an event to see if it's going on.
Maybe events should have contact names associated with them so that there is a way to contact someone to find out about the status of the event.
Cool, the wiki does pull the current item list from the home page. So one mechanism is that if nobody ever comes to a meeting with personal knowledge that something is still going on, we can remove it.
Instead of a name, we should perhaps have a contact e-mail address. And every group that meets here should have a wiki page on our wiki and an e-mail address that's listed on it.
However, maybe some people who host groups don't know how to edit the wiki. But some people think this is very easy and they should probably learn.
A particular change that we can try to make is to have a more detailed dialogue with people who come to weekly meetings wanting to use the space for an event. In particular, we can try to start enforcing a norm that when you come to a meeting wanting to use the space, you should actually take responsibility for documenting your event via a wiki page! There is sentiment in favor of this norm. It doesn't seem very hard and it seems like we could easily institute this norm and get benefits from it.
We can also print the events page out on paper.
If people want to use the space to host events, they should try to be in touch with the community to a sufficient extent that their events can be documented on our wiki accurately.
One idea is that the secretary should actively maintain the event list. People like this idea.
Is there a joke here?
I'm a frayed not.
Some time ago, we banned someone for the first time. We didn't have a formal process or precedent in place for this. This was a difficult process to go through. At the meeting where the ban was consensed upon, it was tense and it would have been difficult for someone to stand up in defense of the person being banned.
Perhaps we should talk about how we should do this in the future if it should seem necessary, to have a better process available for it.
At that time, Kelly had volunteered to lead a meeting or discussion about this issue. She talked to various people who had qualms with what happened and some of them were interested in talking about how to handle it in the future.
Q. What were people's qualms about what happened?
A. By the end of the process, there was only one person with major qualms, who refused to read the evidence. The other people who had major qualms read the evidence and then felt agreement with the consensus. There were many people who felt that it was poorly managed but was ultimately the correct decision; however, this could still be described as having major qualms with the process even though they came to agree with the decision.
- Indeed, many people were concerned with the process even though they agreed with the eventual decision. Some of these people felt that it was uncomfortable because they were strongly criticized for raising process concerns. They would like to be able to raise process concerns and other concerns without being attacked because they felt that these concerns were legitimate and should have been able to be aired.
- There is a recognized group phenomenon of "mobbing" where a group turns against a particular person in various ways. This group dynamic has been studied and Noisebridge's actions can be interpreted as meeting criteria for this dynamic. That doesn't mean that our decision was wrong but some people would like to see a means of avoiding relying on or repeating this social dynamic.
- Perhaps we should talk about what we would like to see in a process to use in the future.
- In fact, there have been four cases before this one where there were attempts to ban or exclude people from Noisebridge and in all four of those prior cases, someone stood up in defense of that person and the person was not banned.
- We make a point of being radically inclusive, so we generally feel quite reluctant to ban or exclude people.
- Maybe one concern is that there was nobody speaking on behalf of the person who was going to be banned. We already have an idea that if there's someone who wants to remain anonymous, someone can represent them at a meeting. Should we say that we should seek to have someone represent the person who might be banned?
- We should also have a way that people who may feel threatened to be able to see what the process is or how to bring something to the community's attention. Some people who felt threatened in the most recent incident didn't really know what they were supposed to do or how they were supposed to bring it to the attention of the community.
End of Meeting
- PGP Key Signing could happen now, check the list to see who wants in on the action.
- Put back the membership binder by the Shrine.
- Save the meeting notes to the wiki.
- Send a copy of the meeting notes to the discussion list.
- Copy the Meeting Notes Template for next week's agenda and update the main wiki page's link to it.
- Enjoy a cocktail with your fellow hacker or robot.