Meeting Notes 2014 09 16

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You should read the meeting instructions forthwith!
Don't forget to post the meeting notes to the wiki and e-mail the discussion list with a short summary.

These are the notes from the The 326th Meeting of Noisebridge. Note-taker: User:Patrickod; Moderator: User:Rayc.


  • Rayc - likes to hack on NB. Has been helping out w/ reboot.
  • Bill Hill - co-operative sociology
  • Mike - starting his own tinker space. trying to make science useful and interesting to folks
  • Jay - Been in the bay 6 months. sysadmin by trade. Owns a truck!!!
  • Lydia - BUilds social platforms - recently moved back to the bay area
  • Dasq - works on various art projects.
  • Tycho - tagged along w/ Bill to cehck it out
  • Monad - I tinker
  • Cory - here to write and learn
  • Ramone - trying to put linux on a camputer
  • Kevin - here on Wed for neurohacking. Lately interested in writing Python & MPI
  • Evie - first time here. a tagalong. Makes things by night in ceramics etc.
  • Harrison - first time. Interested in helping teach python course
  • Phaedrus - first time here. dropping by to help out.
  • Kurt - Recent UCSB physics grab. Interested in getting into CHM and 3d printing.
  • Matt - Into GIS and crypto. Opengeodata like OSM.
  • Jack - first time @ NB. Sculptor and works a lot w/ microcontrollers
  • James - musician. Encouraging folks to come to NB Tues @ 6pm for hack & tell.
  • Jade - Studied CS and psychology. tutoring python
  • Torrie - I do computer things. Computers are the worst
  • Matt - I for one welcome our robot overlords.
  • Patrick - trying to keep up w/ typing.

Description of Noisebridge

Jay: Noisebridge is a place where you come to teach, create, learn and do other cool stuff. Only official rule is to be excellent to each other. There are no presidents, rulers or other authority figures. We use consensus to make decisions.

Short announcements and events

  • Kevin - thursday is 5 minutes of fame. this months theme is biohacking. lots of exciting projects to show. On friday there's a group named citizen keynote coming in from Berlin to give a presentation amongst other things. Starting 7pm Friday.
  • Ramone - wants to mention the "Internet's own Boy" movie
  • James: November 22nd - party (non-fundraiser) everyone welcome. Encouraging everyone doing anything in any space to come and be involved. Few performers but mostly workshops for all. Lets make it awesome. All able to get demos of everything going on in the space. 4 bands and a pro sound guy! Also a costume party. Come as something fun and hackery. Check out the "Hacker holiday" wiki page.
  • Torrie - Oct 11-12th there's the BACH Bay Area Consortium of Hackers "unconference" in the OMNI collective. Google it. It's a fun conference about hackerspaces. Come learn how they work and discuss issues and solutions.
  • Kevin - Saturday, TAHOE-LAFS workshop setting up a storage grid. TAHOE-LAFS is a secure online storage grid.
  • Matt - Organising an anniversary party of being in 2136 Mission. First Saturday in October. 5 years ago this October we moved into the space. Let's celebrate it. Also on the 5th of November there will be an all-day podcast broadcast from the space. Inviting all hackerspaces and peoples to be involved. Focussed on political hacker issues. Come and give an hour. Trying to get Mutiny radio on board. More solid plans to come.

Membership Binder

Membership operates under do-ocracy in Noisebridge, as long as it's excellent towards others. Want to get something done but think you can't do-ocratically do it? Seek consensus. Come to a meeting, propose it and seek consensus to get it done. Don't need to be a member to "do noisebridge". Membership only gives you the power to block. This is to be used when you have a deep objection to something. This the *only* advantage. You get a bunch of responsibilities but nothing else. Don't try it! You don't have to be a member to pay dues. We are adopting the policy that you hang out for a little while and get to know the community and vice-versa. This is an awe inspiring place and it makes people want to be involved. We want this but we ask that you get to know what you're getting into first. We want to make introductions to you and likewise. If you want to be a part of the process, just write an application (find forms in the binder) and place it in the binder. Find 2 members to sponsor you and it'll sit in the binder for 4 weeks. At this point your membership becomes a consensus item and it's discussed without you present. The most common reason people aren't members is that people don't know them. There's plenty of examples of this where people have applied having been here only 3-4 times. After 12 weeks your application is tossed.

There were 2 levels. Associate membership was deprecated ~month ago.

  • Daniel Lewis - 5 weeks. Loves the atmosphere @ NB and wants to contribute. No sponsors.
  • Tristan Mosley - 6th week. I can create and collaborate. I work and innovate for social change so that all may thrive. No sponsors.

Financial Report

We don't know how much monies we have. We do know that we have enough. The lights are on. We paid our trash bill. Not broke. Raised ~$27k from the indiegogo. We must first cover reboot costs out of this. One cheque did get cashed. We need to check the mail.

Consensus items

Kevin: Consensus is a paradigm shift. We live in a world of voting. We don't vote. We bring items for discussion. We mention concerns to each other. Every concern matters in consensus. We need agreement amongst ourselves. This gives birth to meaningful new developments. Must be a consensus item for 2 weeks before it can be consensed.Everyone is welcome to contribute, however only Members have the ability to block and stop an item from happening.

Torrie: No consensus items on the table. Sudoroom reciprocal bans was in fact consensed last week.

No current consensus items.

Proposals from last week

Proposals for next week

Discussion Notes

Reboot update? Specifically relating to Neil and the 3 or 4 things that Jean-Jacques mentioned last week. What is the reboot? Noisebridge built up a *lot* of entropy. We shut down noisebridge to fix this. Physical and cultural reboot. We are empowering people to feel that they own the space and steward it; making it safer, better etc...

We guesstimate 85% completion WRT electrical work. A few light switches, outlets, projector related things.

We have come a long way in the process. A lot of the main areas that needed to be sorted and have stuff put in them are now back. Stuff has been taken out of the pile and put back in space. Working on an art area, lounge area, library. We want to do a permanent shelving system, but it's as yet in flux. The design principal behind the library is "will entropy reverse itself? when someone takes a book from the disarray will things be sorted on replacement" The reboot is all doocracy w/ commmunity coordination. We've been completing areas, we have a lot of the electrical done, network drops but more yet to do. If you have an idea you want implemented, please collaborate with some of the core reboot folks to get them done. We want to get to a state of maintenance instead of development. We're ~75% there. If you want to help, join the email groups, slack and find out info on how to help.

We should have a list of things that need done high up on the wiki.

What's needed? sheetrocking, sanding, painting. That's very immediate need, along with finishing of sorting of items into area. Bunch of walls needs sanding, takes about 2-3 people an hour to finish each wall. Anywhere between 1-3 hours work. Could knock out 90% of stuff needed if we had a large workday party. Come in any time and throw in labour. We're pushing for one work day, this coming Sunday 21st to help with everything. Dusting, painting, general cleaning, drywall, for any amount of time. Bunch of volunteers. There's the build@ mailing list. You should subscribe and discuss.

Noisebridge is awesome. It's been around around 5 to 7 years. A bunch of things happen here, studying, old friends gathering, projects, collaborating. We are an infrastructure provider for the community around teaching technology. We like to hack things together. By helping w/ reboot you're helping a hackerspace flourish. You get to be a part of something that's really awesome. It's a lot of fun working & collaborating with people. It's more fun together and alone. Lonely sheetrocking sucks :(

The wall frame for the AV nook needs drywall. The frame has been idle for ~month.

We could also use another bookshelf or two. Had issues finding studs to mount bookshelves on the wall. We will try find free bookshelves and pick up w/ Jay's truck.

There's another vehicle w/ decent capacity volunteered by Torrie. Jay appreciates it being volunteered.

Bill: There's a bunch of things that don't exist anymore that are still on the wiki. Dead groups. The electron microscope, the kitchen and spacebridge and a bunch of other things. This Thursday 18th, 7pm Documentation working group! Hack the wiki! Take back the wiki! Fix it! Document it! Here Thursday @ 7pm. Possible conflict w/ 5mof.

Rayc: There's a bunch of wiki entropy that we can hack away. The wiki is open to editing.

Matt: It'd be good to have it somewhere. It was a valuable resource to get read up on the space when Matt joined. We don't want to trash it. There's a noisebridge Manual which has a bunch of this. If you find a page that's not linked from anywhere on the wiki, plz to be putting it in the manual.

Bill: The obsolete stuff should maybe put on a history page and a history calendar page. If someone wants to get on that that'd be awesome.

Kevin: Regret bringing this up crisis mode. Noisebridge has a board of directors. We're a CA 501c3. The board is the legal interface w/ the world. The board is just a legal entity. Makes very few decisions in the day to day of Noisebridge. Question: how can I ask them for a reason. What's the process for asking about something? Specifically: How was the most recent decision made. Subject matter. Not too long ago a newly elected board make consensus obsolete. The NB community were not amused. Title: Board Accountability.

Board Accountability.

Torrie: I'm the acting secretary. My responsibility is to make this accountability happen, to take notes. We don't know the exact minutes to the incident to which we're referring. We're working to make this happen. Please help if you want.

Matt: The board are just members as well. There should be no reason taht you can't approach them and ask. This was a unique case where this was specifically not the case. It was build on exclusion. Thankfully that didn't fly. This is also a cultural reboot. We don't want it to happen again. Many of the decisions I've seen made by the board, few and far between are discussed before in public.

Rayc: Two different subjects. Accountability for the board, and accountability for specific actions. For all the newbies there's entropy. We hack this.

Torrie: It's my responsibility to fulfil the accountability requirements and documentation.

Rayc: One datapoint. The point of the board is to do as little as possible.

Bill: Any nonprofit corporation also has a mission statement and bylaws. I'd think the bylaws would explain woh's a member, how it's run, how consensus works. This should trump the board.

Kevin: Consensus is not spelled out in the bylaws.

Bill: It's not mentioned in the bylaws.

Corey: It doesn't need to be.

Monad: The board was voted in with very explicit explanation that they'd be activist. Many thought consensus brought paralysis. After the board was voted in they did as they said they would. They made decisions that consensus couldn't make. There was fallout between that and other factions. I assume that the positions were not filled.

Corey: They were filled by ballot.

Rayc: Anyone want to keep this alive?

Torrie: We do have bylaws, and they mention the boards decision spectrum: "everything". It's been discussed to change before, but it's beyond the scope of discussion right now.

Corey: That's not the whole story. There are bylaws but also public facing policy. The membership category of non-profit has specific laws relating to this.

Matt: This is all true. These are all laws and responsibilities taht we have to live up to. If we take them too seriously we have issues. Remember simplicity. It was founded on Anarchist principles. We fulfil our legal obligations. We create records and the like but we don't want to take that too seriously. We took most drama out of the Tuesday meeting to make it lighthearted and discuss the space and area. It got hijacted into drama. Some people take full advantage of a forum presented to them.

Rayc: The discussion portion of the meeting is just for discussion items. They encompase anything that someone wants to discuss. In this case kevin's board accountability topic.

Matt: A lot of consensus items come out of discussion. It's the informality that gives rise to these items.

Rayc: It's 8:30. We have had an hour. We can continue if we feel the need but we like prompt hour meetings. Can we continue offline.

Torrie: DWG would be perfect venue.

Kevin: My concern specifically rises when the board acts and it could have been done by consensus. This lies outside teh scope of the board.

Rayc: Do you believe your item can be discussed offline doocratically?

Kevin: I like the DWG and talking w/ board members personally. Would like a board mailing list where decisions are made public.

Torrie: there is a board mailing list, public. Acting as board watchdog is a goal.

Rayc: The wiki is a little bit tough to use. Takes practice. I've given up. Personal viewpoint: we can approach this as a "how to" so that it's clearer for folks. Let's create process. We haven't had concrete ways for doing $thing. Let's make them. It's all doocracy.

Bill: Issues with consensus brought paralysis. From observation I believe it to be the other way around. I'd like to know how they came to that conclusion

rayc: there's a lot of data in meeting notes. Too much for this discussion. 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.