Meeting Notes 2014 10 07

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These are the notes from the The 329th Meeting of Noisebridge.

Note-taker: User:Patrickod Moderator: User: Daravinne.

  • Let's seriously reconsider the role of membership in the space. What it means to the members but also the space.
  • Noisebridge needs a new "Great Pyramid" project such that the space and community come together again.


  • Matt - Yeah!
  • Patrick - Software hacker w/ hardware intent.
  • Torrie - I document things
  • Jane - Psychology
  • Steve - Machine learning, science, nutrition
  • Rayc - Raycor. Hacks on layer 1 and layer 2 of the 5 layer OSI model
  • Monad - I tinker
  • Daniella - Coming here over 2 years.
  • John - Works w/ Book scanning group & Five Minutes of Fame! Optimize your dog!
  • Naomi - Member since 2009. Interested in striking all members from the roles
  • Signal - I found a reference to an alternative energy company in the meeting notes of ago.
  • Daravinne - Participates in conspiracy.
  • Mischief - I like plan9


Naomi - Going to put stickers on the lockers saying if you don't email such and such an address within 45 days we'll cut the lock. The dude who did the lockers is gone! Let's not cut 19.

Torrie - We have tags with paper & wire. There's 4-5 bags of them up front. We have 18-30k of them. We need them to tag broken things. Tag w/ name, contact info and date plz. Also you can try fix it too.

Signal - Yesterday on the mailing list it came up that we need new projectors. For things that are valid use of IGG funds we should use them to fix and upgrade NB. It's a valid use of funds. We have priced lists of things from Rubin and Daravinne.

Patrick - Please help tomorrow w/ the network and cleaning out the basement.

Rayc - I did tech for Arse Elektronica. It went well. We now have a 3d printing station. Come on Thursday to check it out.

Signal - We should make more announcements that *are* working in the space

Naomi - Journey to the end of the night! It's a running catching game w/ checkpoints and stories. Noisebridge is being considered as a checkpoint. I'm one of the organizers and we should discus it to see if it's an appropriate thing to do.

Daniel - Congrats on the space fix up. I'm a person who didn't edit the NB wiki to edit the Art & Tech meetup. It was a valid social discussion.

Membership Binder

Daravinne - There's 3 member sheets. Daniel Lewis, Tristan Mosbey, and Torrie Fischer

Torrie - Can I block?

Daravinne - Let's not bother w/ membership and have that discussion in the meeting.

Daniel - Am I still in there ?

Financial Report

There's approximately $52k in the bank.

Matt: We got $10k for noisetor before the reboot.

Consensus Proposals

Proposals from last week

There are none

Proposals for next week

Striking all members from the role

Naomi - That we strike all members from the roles.

Naomi - We have 40-50 members on the books. Not sure how many are paying. It's arduous to look. It doesn't really matter to me. We have 40 or so people who essentially have, "stock options in a job they never show up to work for". The only power w/ membership is blocking ability. The observed behavior is people sending in "proxy blocks" without having been present for discussion. Some are great, some are bullshit. We have this list of people in whom we're supposed to have some trust. We've revised our definition of "Trust" in the community in recent times, especially with regards to new people. We've taken the idea of it should take up to 6 months to get to know the NB community as well as having the community knowing you. Seeing if there's some mutual benefit to you being a member. The question is : what does it mean to have 50ish members that never show up and who pop in every now and again?

Funding Rubin's priced list of AV equipment

Let's allocate funds to buy all the materials that Rubin suggested on the mailing list.

Discussion Items

Striking all members from the role

Steve - You don't want to do away with membership but rather wipe the list? Do you recognize value in blocking?

Naomi - That's a separate discussion

Daniella - If you remove them they can become members again.

Monad - Wouldn't that require consensus ?

Kevin - What's the kernel to repopulate the member roles w/o members to consensus on new ones

Signal - In the reboot phase we wanted to see how long it'd take for us to "require" to become members. It didn't become necessary. It became a question of keys and whom we trust to open the space etc. It has nothing to do w/ the list of members. Matt Torrie and I have been having the discussion of "would we ever need to become members ever?" Her application is a beta test of the member application

Daravinne - I think it's a good idea to reboot the concept of members itself. I say this without a clear idea of membership. The previous meaning needs to be reexamined. Striking the list in some way seems like a good idea. As a community we have to rethink the idea of what community means, how we're creating and bettering community through the schema.

Signal - I think it'd be great if we had some amount of time to pose the question: what does it mean to be a member? What responsibilities and duties do you have as a member? How do we figure out a process where our trusted people where our trusted people and assigned members are not the same people?

Matt - It's become the member shelves and lockers, where it's residual. Nobody has stepped up to dissect who's still involved over time. Membership has become the thing to aspire to rather than coming to work in the space and work on the space. People go the official route instead of the communal route these days.

Steve - Positive social things are good requirements for membership. The space needs some amount of work to maintain. Being cool thing is great, but it's a cooperative space where labour is required. Maybe have some minimal labour requirement to guarantee participation.

Naomi - In a proper model there's no need to coerce membership involvement. If it's a value from the start we get to a much better space than forcing people into it.

Signal - I'm more used to the membership model, that labour model. I'm just looking for someone to make an argument of what good membership does

Monad - What is a member? We haven't defined what that means. Responsibilities, benefits?

Kevin - I believe strongly in consensus and I'd like to speak to benefits. I think it's critical to making decision. There's other more less tangible good w/ institutional knowledge & dues.

Signal - How does it help w/ institutional knowledge

Kevin - It's associated with being around the space a while. Getting to know it

Torrie - I think as a response to minimal labour, I don't think it has anything to do with it. I come from an OSS background. In KDE we have this EV where nobody knows who's in there. There's also contributor. It's a title that others give you from work, not something that you call yourself. It's something only given when other people recognize your efforts.

Daniel - To briefly touch on what Kevin said. The archive goes beyond that. What did you bring, what was the value? Why do it again? If the information becomes unimportant that's ok. There's an activity happening that transcends the time.

Matt - It's not about membership & what you do as a Member. It's about what you do as a participant in the space. I recognize that people want structure but I think NB's great asset is its loose structure. There's work being done to document what's happened at NB, what will happen. The membership thing is more a communal thing, less a formal thing. It's the nice fluid way of noisebridge that's been its strength.

Daniel - It's something to take when people are messing with things.

NoHat - If you take someone like Napolean and why it came to power it's about his fluidity in wielding his power as compared to traditional structure. The chain of command within the army was great w/ smaller autonomous cores. Rules create bottlenecks. What is a more fluid model that allows more mobility.

John - For a long time I've been thinking it'd be great to have more members in here working on things, interesting projects and having ownership of the space. All they have to do is work on a cool thing. I like the idea of scrapping membership and working from there.

Naomi - I'm proposing not scratching membership, but just cleaning the list of members. The membership being fluid is a great strength. I would definitely promote the fluid interpretation of membership, community involvement, understanding, participation, building the space. Can we all just stop talking and build a thing? Can we get back to hacking?!? I don't think we need to rewrite membership, just to reboot the community with a sense of "we have to keep engaged of what a member is" - that's the reboot! Not the written point, just how we approach it ongoing.

Mischief - If all the members were removed, how would one become a member?

Naomi - Not sure yet.

NoHat - I agree with a lot of what I'm hearing. There's one thing I don't like though. In the community things are polarised due to consensus. A reoccurring theme that I see is "I spend more (time, energy) here than you". If you want to do something new you have to respect the history, the lessons etc.. If you do come up with a new approach use the past, use science. I've been pondering a science based approach to it. It's almost there and I'd like some help with it. I think not going greenfield would be bad.

Naomi - You weren't here and don't know the effects. I've seen cycles of NB, many of them. NB wasn't polarized in the beginning. Occupy came in and squatted the *FUCK* out of NB. Like really. Organizations with analogies to interpersonal relationships. You don't immediately move in with someone you just met. Occupy came and moved in immediately with NB. People left. We lost people. People came and overnight turned the space into somewhere where Members didn't want to be. The ongoing PR effect of people not coming to NB is still present.

Daniella - I did occupy for the record without shitting on NB

Signal - I was arrested at occupy which I only say because in some ways it did well, without membership and structure. It had fast consensus. Some groups were better than others. It came from good community not rules. The membership bit wasn't important.

Daniel - A small lesson from CL bootcamp. If you think of NB without profit, where does thank you come into it? There's a relationship with membership and you have to inform the success of that relationship.

Matt - I'm just lost in it :)

Kevin - I want to affirm my support for doocracy and hacking, but I think NB Tuesday meetings are great. I worry that we need to figure out a solution that Tuesday meetings occur around membership, that consensus works only with members. I'm open to the idea of consensus w/ those present.

Signal - This is Tuesday, and we don't want to get rid of the Tuesday meetings. We're asking what does a member mean, what responsibilities etc.

Torrie - I just wanted to say that the most reliable indication of a "good member" is just look around and ask whom you trust to run the space. I remember many discussions of "do we have enough members for a quorum" but membership is more participation.

NoHat - With the last meeting's immune system analogy. We need a definition of the boundary to have a boundary. There have to be doors within the boundaries we define.

Steve - I think that's too complicated. I think it can be felt out. You're over-theorizing.

NoHat - I'm just hoping to get people w/ different mindsets together to think about it, critique it etc.

Rayc - Altruism. People do things selflessly. Membership is kinda related to altruism, to help support the space. "I want to passionately be a part of this space" Where do we want membership to go?

Kevin - If we value Tuesday meetings how do we get consensus w/o meetings.

Naomi - Does anyone know what this is about? Can we close this out? It's getting unproductive.

Daravinne - Let's close this.

Matt - One quick comment.

Naomi - You weren't here and don't know the effects. I've seen cycles of NB, many of them. NB wasn't polarized in the beginning. Occupy came in and squatted the *FUCK* out of NB. Like really. Organizations with analogies to interpersonal relationships. You don't immediately move in with someone you just met. Occupy came and moved in immediately with NB. People left. We lost people. People came and overnight turned the space into somewhere where Members didn't want to be. The ongoing PR effect of people not coming to NB is still present.

Matt - All it is so that we can put keys back in the hands of those who will do well.


Signal - People gave us money to upgrade the space. Don't think that you always must use your own funds. Let's have a good way of knowing what's good for us to buy.

Matt - Pertinent to the Mailing List projector discussion that's been going on for months. Don't assume that it hasn't come up before. Do research. Let's *us* make it happen w/ NB funds.

Daravinne - Going to be handled soon. I'm picking it up from Rubin

Rayc - Historically NB has not used other funds for specific things. Historically if you wanted something funded at noisebridge, i.e. a lasercutter, get a bunch of people together to donate and make it a side project.

Signal - You're wearing my sweatshirt! Secondly we also didn't have 30K given to us specifically to make the space better. We have a responsibility to spend some of that in a timely fashion to show results

Kevin - Why not allocate funds to all of rubin's sheet? *hand waving*

Matt - If you want to fund projects independently do so. This is a unique situation where we've not had the rent paid before but have money to do nice things for our community. We should disperse time effort and money into the community.

Rayc - I like the idea of doing events to fund raise for specific things.

John - I think a projector is in "basic infrastructure" that should be covered.

Daravinne - Yes!

Daniella - We should have some mics.

Matt - read the wiki!

Daravinne - There's a list made out with items per room and prices. We can't all buy it all at once. We're going to buy out one room at a time. We can manage doing an installation of a whole room and then move onto the next room. That's a reasonable goal.

Daniel - Where's the information?

Daravinne - Wiki, mailing list

Kevin - This is the first week of the consensus proposal "cover the costs of rubin's sheet of things"

Matt - The AV booth has taken a bit of time. There are other things that took priority. It'll happen in the next couple of weeks. We have an almost complete soundsystem! We have a crate of good cables and wires that we could utilise.

Torrie - Another project that people want to get done here is a good set of bookcases in the library. Wood isn't cheap

Signal - It's in the category of infrastructure

Daravinne - Wood can be had fairly cheap from OAK scrapyards. If people have vehicles and time let's collaborate

Matt - I'd love to see a plan for the library. Let's not half-ass it! I just want inspection done.

Kevin - I have some friends who do carpentry. They made the hacker stacker pods @ NB. I'll contact them

Matt - Bring them in!

Adrian - How many do we need?

Matt - ~10 bookshelves.

Signal - One more point RE lockers. It wouldn't kill us if we had more new ones. There was a bunch of LED stuff brought last weekend and there was nowhere to leave it securely in the space. I'd be motivated to have bigger things here if we could store it.

Adrian - We had a storage space which sucked.

Matt - That's what'll happen in front of Telsa.

Signal - Parking tickets and parking permits which'll solve the issues.

Naomi - i'd like to tail up with a big "all positive" concept! :D I've been saying for at least a year that we need a "Great Pyramids"

Daravinne - Please define!

Naomi - A wonder of the hackerspace world that we build! Like hanging gardens, a great pyramid. Our own satellite space station. Something big and audacious that we all have to work on.

Daravinne - People in other hackerspaces know who we are

Signal - Sicsy Grid was a great project with 60 people that took months and months on end.

Daravinne - That was a BM project. Had no idea that it was a hackerspace project.

Naomi - I was there when they were planning it. When it was dreamed up and it was to be the project for the year.

Daravinne - He should come here to help with our stuff.

Naomi - I'm trying. The fact that folks came from Ardent and had a good time at the party was a great success! The point of doing something like scissorgrid with everything like electronics, and other disciplines working together. We have a lot of distributed disciplines around the place. The things that have multiple disciplines that we did are still the headlines of NB. Spacebridge and 5MoF

Rayc - On the order of these things. We thought about things like cool OS thing for all hackerspaces to learn from. Help hackerspaces w/ stuff. We're in a hackerspace mesh. we need to navigate it better. The Aaron Schwartz hackathon is coming up. It'd be great if people could collaborate alongside each other.

Signal - We're looking to the EFF to name a date for the hackathon.

Julia - Random acts of kindness quickly hacked together an SMS program after the Haiti earthquake to help first responders. We could help with things like this. I don't know what they're doing now though.

Matt - We have our own projects going. The base and PBX setup that we want to get going. We have starting points.

Rayc - I know we're getting up and running but how could we get together with other hackerspaces w/ tools for the mesh.

Matt - Work out the bugs so that we can send working OSS to everyone else.

Naomi - We have things like Circuit Hacking Monday and Machine Learning class that we should offer the ability to build kits to further the goal in some mesh of a way. Like things that contribute together in a mesh.

Daravinne - Let's save Patrick from note taking! I'm closing the meeting.