Meeting Notes 2013 09 17
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These are the notes from the The 283rd Meeting of Noisebridge. Note-taker: Merlin; Moderator: Adam.
- One or two bullet points of high-level meeting summary.
Short announcements and events
- Rayc: turning laser comp. into 3d code compiling station; dropping a lower-use comp. into its place.
- Jarrod: NB TRASH DAY is happening this Thursday, probs. around 7am, leaving when Monad brings his trailer around. Bring stuff to general meeting area or coordinate w/ Jarrod
- yesac: Vinyl for cutter has succumbed to entropy. Collecting donations for more! Bitcoin accepted.
- JC: This Thursday is 5MOF! Here, 8pm. If you're not @ EFF for some thing that nobody plans to describe for us (EFF Pioneer Awards) (thanks yan)
- Rayc on behalf of moderator: second weekly movie night this Friday around 8pm! Double feature, second one usually Hackers!
- Adam: Looking into idea of an offsite camp, not official Noisebridge, but guides for people who need close-by infrastructure so you don't feel compelled to use Noisebridge's
- Please don't burn pans. If you did, talk to the people who use the kitchen and learn how to use the cooktop.
- Circuit Hacking Mondays are really popular, so let's try & extend that.
- Weekly event: T-shirt Hacking Tuesdays! Make washable electronic lights for your shirts, incl. nametags!
- Weekly event: Wednesday evenings: basic shell scripting
- Weekly event: Machine fab Thursdays: want to have somebody start classes, but we're trying to theme the days, hooray!
- Trying to film an orientation video so people can watch that & learn on Fridays how to give tours, etc.
- The name of the applicant, the week of their application, and their sponsors.
- Funds in bank:
- Noisetor (See the bulletpoints at the bottom of http://noisetor.net/finances/#summary):
(Add any items which pass or are blocked to the Consensus Items History page.)
- SuperQ (Ben Kochie) (via MCT): Noisebridge should not renew its lease when it expires; NB should attempt to exit the lease as soon as possible.
- When does the lease expire? - In about 2 years; has no provision for early termination of any kind.
- What does "no provision for ..." mean? - There is nothing in the lease that allows either party to provide a certain amount of notice and terminate the lease. So, it cannot be terminated.
- Although we could leave tomorrow (and pay the full remaining amount)
- Or we could negotiate directly with the landlord
- Mitch: is this relevant? We definitely have at least one member who would block.
- Adam: While proposal may be blocked, its motivation should be discussed.
- this was proposed among a small circle of members, none of whom objected.
- at the time, did not know when the lease expired
- A number of current members are no longer coming here.
- Part of discomfort stems from last week's failure to ban someone.
- Attempts to renew the space appear to have stalled/failed.
- Stems from thinking about what we've learned over the past couple of years, and what changes we would make.
- Main issue is that is sexually harassed here. People have been accused of being sexual predators who are still here. It is no longer hospitable. Some people don't want to come here anymore because of that
- mess, smell, cleanliness
- Harassment isn't resolved by moving. You can't tell in advance who is going to be a harasser, so we can't lock them out in advance.
- What we need is actual policies against harassment, etc.
- hasn't stalled out: check out what Adam is doing
- NB has played vital role in life
- places like this will always have problems
- we persisted & failed, because didn't have energy. But these people here have the energy.
- We have 2 years left on the lease
- we can ACTUALLY MAKE RULES (about harassment, sleeping, etc.)
- I have an alternate proposal: we could do something in-between: change our access policy
- Could look like: greater emphasis on difference between memb. & non-memb.
- Defined by commitment to the community
- Wouldn't be like "oh this guy was here & did some stupid shit" - would be "oh XX did some stupid shit and we should talk to them about it"
- Have people willing to handle that communication
- There are no rules; there's no requirement of any kind, so people take advantage
- Proposal: all-hours access given to Members, but others are allowed as guests of Members; welcome them, ask what they're doing, introduce yourself, are they a member? Who is sponsoring them?
- It's a community issue, an infrastructure problem.
- Many people come because they hear they can work on stuff here; waste an hour looking for tools & materials. It's a headache (find a screwdriver, connect to internet via ethernet, etc.)
- Make the laser cutters, sewing machines, Makerbots work!
- Work to address the sexual harassment issue
- Don't just buy a shiny new Mac!
- Starting a mentorship program!
- what we're looking at is very misleading: you would probably see 10% this number of Members
- it isn't an Average Day At Noisebridge; average days aren't as represented by members
- Members need to start showing up
- not here: oogles don't come on Tuesdays
- Lower barriers to membership. Make the committed people able to be members.
- Drop fiscal barrier if we are to restrict access.
- We've gotta pay rent: blah
- Have keycodes for fridge, shop, bathroom, etc. - beat the tailgaters
- If you're against closure, you can put your code on the wiki (still a barrier to entry)
- a curb "this high" is enough to stop water flowing :)
- We have a policy already in place for sexual harassment.
- Need to be a property owner, rather than a renter.
- I don't think we want to maintain radical inclusion. We need to get rid of toxic people.
- The policy doesn't work. "Gonna make you my bride"
- Clear issue with culture: when people are being victimized, nobody speaks up. This needs to change.
- I am usually confident, but felt victimized.
- I agree that the culture here seems kinda fucked-up regarding sexual assault. I tried bringing this up, but was ridiculed. Feels like rape culture.
- Deeply problematic. Air of "you have harassment problems? oh! no wonder there's no women in here"
- Clutter problem
- Smell: Cleaning parties! Burn incense!
- Agree with Hannah & Merlin
- Support radically inclusive culture // in order to have that, some people must still be excluded
- We would include more people by excluding problematic people
- This is a surprising proposal; weren't we rebasing?
- Hearkening back to the individual describing being battered: we have a culture of not calling the police, but normally, does not the community feel that it's okay to call the police in such situations? Would the community put down someone who did call the police for that?
- To clarify rebase: those meetings have stopped, because they weren't being attended, but many people were connected by those who are still doing awesome things
- There's gonna be a lot of déjà vu... The people who have been here since 2008/9
- we're just tired of going through this cycle. Would be nice to start fresh.
- Police: they are problematic; reinforces patriarchy?
- If it's at the point where we need to call the police, something is obviously wrong
- I am also not a fan of authoritarianism
- a person expressed desire to harm themself outside the space; there are some times when it's completely appropriate to call the police
- this kind of thing, you /should/ always call the police
- We should not try and DIY law enforcement.
- If somebody's wavin' a knife/gun around, we want police
- If we're not at the point where people can say "stop that", we're not at the point where we can call the police. Have much more fundamental issues to address.
- we've closed off the spaces where people would camp stuff out
- we have the noisebridge discuss list
- maybe if we have a "problems" list & a "discuss" one -- could quarantine the drama
- we're stuck with this system now, 'cause can't block, so gotta come together & start coming up with solutions
- Is the best way to address this -- not renewing the lease in 2 years?
- Jump on the efforts to fix it
- Or let the people who will, do their thing, and support them
- Or make your own proposals for policies
- 95% of people who started space are not here, because...
- Energy to put in required to fix space = overwhelming. that's why
- Re: alaric, they have 30 people
- It's easier to start over, rather than refactoring something that's already in place
- It doesn't feel like the original space & you're not going to get the old members to pitch in
- Hannah: saw stilts, they were awesome, took video (with permission!) - everybody rushed past me
- I wanted regulars to help me tell you
- When something happened, I had no idea, & it made me feel awful
- That will probably continue to be the case
- When it's happening to you, a lot of people just shut down. Easy to say "you should speak up"
- I've been harassed also & shut down.
- Would like to play orientation video my sister made about rape culture
- If somebody wants to come discuss with me, about a new policy, please do
- Would be much better if there were an anti-harassment policy: voted on, consensed, very clear & articulate, includes that they are no longer welcome in the space.
- Makes very uncomfortable that don't have such a policy that everyone's agreed that they will uphold.
- I would like to make such a proposal
- Re: Naomi - Did Linux come from Unix?
- We have this OS. Maybe we're building a new one right out of it. Could be the next big hackerspace thing. Who knows!
- So, Members are tired. They don't want to deal with it.
- I would like to sit down with them & ask what the problems are; what we could do to improve.
- Harassment policy ++
- Also: do-ocratic best practices
- The community has been fragmenting; we are now defragging
- I expect Members will come back, on their own time, just to see what's changed/improved
- Open-door policy: I'm new to SF, from the Philippines. If I'd had to know a member, never would've come in here.
- There are other places where I could go, but I come here b/c like energy & vibe.
- The one thing that would help fix a lot of things: strong guided-tour system. Nobody showed me around, explained the RULES!, don't break stuff, instead got "Who let you in?!"
- Clean up after selves, don't break stuff: having better people in the space
- Problem isn't "people come in" - just they aren't addressed
- Re: lack of policy on harassment violence disrespect - we have policy "be excellent to each other"
- I haven't seen it fail before
- you could already put up that sign, right now!
- when people would be let in, Member giving them a proper introduction, incl. Wall O' Shit You Shouldn't Do
- Putting up a list on the wall doesn't make people here feel they've all agreed on it
- Just back off! Don't be touching people, constantly aggro on women, showing porn on computer, making lascivious comments
- You won't necessarily hear people doing it
- SF Women Against Rape give free seminars
- Objections to anti-harassment workshop are on NB list
- Obviously something is broken; saying "be excellent" doesn't fix it
- This is a hackerspace culture problem too; it's a good start for us to lead the charge & work toward it!
- Ambiguity of "excellence": someone's friend was accused of something that could harm that person's reputation - could be "unexcellent"
- There are many grey areas that could make dealing with problems difficult, particularly given existing friendships
- People like to bring up the idea that "anybody could just throw around accusations, for fun"
- take care with speech
- this should be a caringspace before it's a hackerspace: a Safe Space, perhaps.
- nonviolent communication ++
- affinity groups to tackle these?
- Move that we consider that the proposal to stop the lease has been blocked
- That discussion on this has many different paths; it is 9:30 and we might have more traction moving onto the proposals for consensus items for next week
- To members paying & not coming: Many groups come in just to see what NB is all about. It's the 2nd American hackerspace? (Rayc: it's the first!) (Orange: then go edit wikipedia!)
- If you wanna kill the lease, killing the legacy
- We have worked hard on this space. We shouldn't be told to abandon it, and/or keep paying for it even though we don't agree with its direction, or else be blamed for its downfall.
(Add any new items for consensus to the Current Consensus Items page.)
- Norman: I'm point person for the radio station! We need the FCC to know who we are. I need to be officially appointed by NB to talk to the FCC. (need an FRN / federal record number?)
- Adam: You need to be on the board or a signor with power of attorney
- Tom: The FCC needs NB to correspond with it. Should delegate that authority to Norman. Name you our Radio Officer & empower you to talk with FCC
- First, need the number; then, get permission from FCC to build something; then, need permission from FCC to use it
- Proposal to appoint Norman our official "Radio Officer Empowered to Liaise with the FCC": not blocked! Up for approval next meeting.
- "as soon as that station gets licensed, I'm outta here!"
- Noisebridge has an EIN (taxpayer number)?
- No members are blocking;
Noisebridge adopt a policy, posted on wiki & location of porminent viz w/in space - penalty of expulsion
"Noisebridge is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of people at our events or space in any form. Sexual language and imagery should be only be used for women-positive purposes in accordance with best practices advocated by professional sex educators (if you’re not sure what those are, don’t do it). People violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the space or the event at the discretion of any Noisebridge member.
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. People asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately."
- Rhodey: Retroactive or proactive? - Hannah: proactive
- Norman: Does that mean that if he looks at me funny, I can say he's harassing me & his ass gets kicked out? - Hannah: if you ask him not to & he persists - Norman: it is worded very vaguely - Tom: yes, and that's a feature. If you think that about me, and tell me, I should leave. - Norman: draconian - Tom: More unreasonable to force people to be subjected to leering, than vice versa
- Discussion to follow, next week
- JC: Would you propose anything for reporting this, so that membership could enforce these things? - Hannah: any member can ask somebody to leave - Tom: email@example.com for reporting things; arrange for it to be monitored/dealt with
- Jarrod: Other hackerspaces have very clear anti-harassment policies; NB does not. Maybe it is time that we have a clear, strong one - right after "be excellent to each other".
- Rayc: I think good idea, but shouldn't happen. I'm not trolling. Do-ocracy: all that should be printed, put on front door, etc. Why don't we start now? - Tom: we can do it now. Yes, I do it now. We can propose it too.
- Adam: Policy of harassment falls under "be excellent..." Goal is better served by an orientation. Give people an opportunity to think about what IS excellent, vs. what IS NOT excellent. People need space to grow. It's easy to kick somebody out who has social experience of an 8-year-old. Need to understand what people's intentions were. - Tom: Purpose of policy is to make it clear, so that you DON'T accidentally harass someone.
- Hannah: I do-ocratically put it up on wiki 6 months ago. I'm still being harassed. Want discussion on NB mailing list. Either it will pass, or it will be very clear that there is a serious, serious problem at Noisebridge. Totally in favor of orientations, as well. But we need a clear policy.
- Rhodey: Orientations are expensive - time, other resources. Putting a policy down is "cheap". We don't have a lot of resources right now.
- Snail: A lot of people seem to say "agree that policy is excellent, but..." Why are people afraid of setting in stone some definition of excellence? That seems to be what people are against. But apparently people DO need that defined for themselves - because they don't understand that touching people without their consent isn't excellent. So why can't we just tell them?
- Jarrod: Consensus is the only thing beyond "be excellent..." that has any teeth @ NB. Do-ocracy doesn't have any power behind it. Consensus does, & this should be behind an A-HP. Even during an orientation, there should be a policy that has been consensed, so that it is real.
- Does anybody have A Problem with having A Policy?
- Rayc: Do-ocracy does have its limitations; this needs more do-ocracy, in addition. A sign would be hugely positive. I have a problem b/c we just need to make it more apparent that it isn't acceptable. It's a sensitive subject, but we should emphasize how much more paramount sexual harassment is than other issues. I'm actually for a policy - I just think we could do it more clearly with do-ocracy.
- Naomi: Want to examine why writing down what "excellence" is makes people uncomfortable. I think it's because it implies that there will have to be consequences enforced, and more work done. And that is legit. Want to dovetail: Ever start using vi? You've got a file with loads of hosts, or whatever, & want to change them, but don't know how to use s/ for search & replace? Lots of work. That's what do-ocracy "only" is. We want search & replace; work smarter, not harder. Policy performs lots of computational work on the culture, compared to the one-to-one of do-ocracy. - Re: lots of members not here: NB is diverse population. This room isn't representative of usual daily/nightly population. Rayc, other do-ocrats aren't going to be here all the time. There's no core of people to constantly enforce that: it's a giant wave of people against 1-2 people who are here on a regular basis. In lieu of that, need a search-and-replace... which is... I don't like the policy as written (implies the need for a mediation process - or else no enforcement); perhaps encourages inaction. SudoRoom has a good policy, spent months on, addresses Norman's problem re: spurious accusations. Having policy in place w/out mediation procedure = problematic.
- ??? featherhat: somebody says NB is known for harassing women, but want to let women know that there are men here who don't tolerate that. There's a diversity of people in here. I came in and someone was cleaning: the thing is, care for your area. I've seen people come in who aren't involved in anything like hacking. This is good progress, having dialogue. But we need to care for the space, & speak up about stuff if you see someone being harassed. It shouldn't take putting a sign on the wall. If you see somebody wandering, give them something to do! We need to be aware of the people coming in, tidy up a bit.
- Pigeon: Gendered pronouns are good to respect, but minor in regards to sexual assault - policy is a great thing
- Rayc: This is a place of education; there needs to be a way people can get this kind of knowledge (how to introduce yourself, etc.).
- Norman: I don't get up to NB often, and when I do, I've (more often than would like to remember) seen people buzzed in who end up looking around, nonplussed. I give them a guided tour, & would like more people to do the same thing.
- Jake: re: membership
- Propose that from now on, make it policy that people @ NB who aren't members need to be able to identify a sponsor, & if there isn't one, find someone who will sponsor them, or let them know about the next NB meeting & our lists & stuff & help them on their way. Only Members should have codes to get in door &/or buzz others in. But would also need to edit Membership so it's not in lockstep with monetary contribution. Should hinge on accountability to other members.
- Dante: How do you know someone's doing things for the community? - Rhodey: Would need to trust current members to be responsible with that, able to find cool people.
- Norman: If that were enforced 1 1/2 years ago, I wouldn't be here. I came up because you had a benefit & it sounded fun. Found out later that it's a fun place to be. But if I have to have a member who's my sponsor, I won't be here.
- Monad: Maybe there should be a probationary period: show up for a few weeks, limited amount of time, then need a sponsor. - Norman: Are you gonna keep track?
- Rayc: Good idea, but we could vote on it. Maybe just in the evening hours - not during the day. Most problem seems to happen at night. Do pilot program, see how it goes?
- Kevin: has objections but isn't immediately prepared to propose alternatives. Strong thing for NB: its openness, fact that door is always open. - Jake: It's not open; it's locked. - Kevin: I value that we aren't member-oriented, & my biggest concern would be that haven't detailed new membership process that doesn't involve money, & how it would work... 2 sponsors on an application? Those people are accountable? - Jake: You only have to have one sponsor Member who takes responsibility for you while you're here. - Kevin: Even if you had 2 sponsors on a membership app? - Jake: no, need 1 who is there - Kevin: That makes it incredibly hard to start knowing people & become a member.
- Rhodey: Having the door open brings people here; having the door closed keeps them here. I think it's not our strongest benefit.
- Rayc: What is keeping you here now? - Rhodey: The food is a lot better here than it is in W. Oakland; otherwise, would be at Sudo Room! The $5 sandwiches! What's keeping me here is the sandwiches; what's keeping me away is the people playing viddya games & not devving; people sleeping; dogs.
- Jarrod: Think it's lovely. People coming into space should be encouraged to seek out the members, learn how NB works. One rule, yes, but many community standards that flow from that. This sounds like a fairly gentle way of doing that.
- Rayc: We may not even need to go there yet. I have a bunch of ideas for encouraging people to get hackery & build stuff. I fear that it'll
- Jarrod: Just good for people to know who you are, & that you're cool in the space. Doesn't require weekly meetings or whatever, just encourages you to
- Merlin: Yes, and: do-ocracy /plus/
- Rayc: But we have awesome 31337 Russian hackers who come at 3am and don't know any members
- Adam: Everything you guys are talking about is going to be part of the door. It is going to be FUN to be stuck outside! Is there a human behind this robot, or IS IT JUST MESSING WITH YOU??!!?!?!?!1 - You can come here & learn about hacking, but amenities are for members.
- Rhodey: You're spreading yourselves too thin... bringing up your own projects as alternative solutions isn't gonna cut it. It's about the community getting involved, not just a few individuals taking care of it.
- Hairguy: It bummed me out the other night: was operating the door & somebody called him an elitist asshole because he asked them how to list the contents of a directory
- Adam: I usually ask somebody if they're a hacker, & as soon as they make a noise, I open the door :3
- Jarrod: Dante was previously asked to leave b/c disrupted a meeting; is back to discuss this.
- Dante: I came in to advocate for a friend who was being mediated for something else. Was laughed at & asked to leave. Want to come back & use the wifi once in a while. Didn't realize that was kicked out until came back later & was told that that was the consensus.
- Adam: People stated their problem with you, & you understand what it was? - Yes.
- Rhodey: it was very informal, there was no consensus; it was ugly
- Jarrod: It was bad timing.
- Adam: he has spoken for himself & there isn't currently a proposal to ban him. Anybody have problems? Want to propose ban? Dante is aware of what the unexcellent behavior was, & that it was unexcellent, & he Won't Do It Again.
- Okay he is cool
- Rayc: GREAT MEETING GUYS NICE JOB
- Kevin: We began engaging in mediation w/ Dru last week - probs. 7 of us @ 18th/mission for 2 hours - so it's begun.
- Naomi: Wat
- Rayc: I was there & ...
- Naomi: Is the meeting over
- Adam: Yes
- yesac: WHO WANTS TO SIGN GPG KEYS
- Adam: working on a front-door robit here; iOS apps as hobby; being helpful
- Kevin: Python for an EEG device from NeuroSky; spends time @ collaboration station
- JC: docent on monday nights; hacking on microcontrollers w/ accel.-driven data
- Norman: mostly online; point on the radio station, w00t!
- Jarrod: NaM; architecture & making things in the shop
- Russell: NaM; game server & music-listening
- Naomi: bioinformatics eng'r; distributed network & messaging system that is radio-capable in Python
- Bud: making game in Unity
- Sri: NaM; embedded tech, computers, system that does something "I don't know what". ad-hoc wireless networks?
- Art: is late for the LED thing
- Mitch: just got back from Chile! workshops, talking, hackers, Santiago
- Casey (yesac): vinyl cutter needs donations/vinyl; likes LEDs
- Ozzie? & Rachel: journalism grad students, interested in learning abt. space; talk to them
- Dan: LEDs!
- Hanna(h): science teacher
- Liz: hack things! mozilla!
- Lilia: hack things!
- Jake: eating popcorn
- Rayc: patching noisebridge omg Rayc slow down um infrastructure dependencies something
- Dante: here to resolve a thing; wifi
- Rhodey: privacy, security, robots, space
- Andres: first day!, 3d slicing program, small power kites
- Dan: programmer, yay noisebridge
- Darius: LEDs yay, missed meeting but blinking!
- Michael (MCT)
- Andrew (Dru): NB app; ticketing system on android; integrating juran's door app
- Jade: Python, neurohacking
- Monad: tinkering
- Pigeon?: lockpicking, mapmaking
- Yan: physics; tech @ EFF
- Tom: TOR
- Merlin: taking meeting notes so I'm slow; hardware hacking, musical instruments
Now that the meeting is over, don't forget to post the meeting notes to the wiki and e-mail the discussion list with a short summary.