Meeting Notes 2014 12 09

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These are the notes from the The 338th Meeting of Noisebridge. Note-taker: nthmost; Moderator: tdfischer.

  • We passed our electrical inspection!
  • Steve Young is now a Member of Noisebridge.


  • John Shutt - book scanners, web apps, other stuff.
  • Rus - slave for, graphic design company. Holiday cards. I like programming, love NB community.
  • Harry - Angular.js, here to pick up IGG perks to deliver.
  • Patrick - software dev, photography, security related stuff and hardware too. Here to learn and help NB prosper.
  • Teapot - IOS devloper. held here against my will by the cabal that's running Noisebridge.
  • Torrie - full time crypto anarchist. here b/c i was told there'd be beer [because you brought it --Signal]
  • Gary - vet filmmaker, fundraiser journalist, activist, doing startups, looking for engineer partner.
  • Mohamed - here for the meeting b/c it's important to meet and make decisions together as a community.
  • Ramon - work w/ Python, Linux, keep on learning and making. Here to talk about the space being open during Xmas
  • Jarrod - I like to make things and that's why i'm here. please leave the space better than you found it!
  • Steve - scientist and developer
  • Daniela - been here for 2-3 years, Food Not Bombs, activist, work on inventions here -- Polyglot keyboard. HEre b/c I love NB.
  • Signal - i like ML, nat lang processing, community development, hacktivism, let's reach beyond our grasp and improve the community
  • Nthmost - cryptofascist bent on taking Noisebridge down.
  • Campbell - trying to be a better programmer. it's either not very exciting or extremely exciting.
  • RAYC - i hack for open access and equality among all people.
  • Egon - just heard about NB, i'm a hacker/hacktivist. want to change the world and make money doing it.
  • Dr Andrew - doing my postdoc here, ML, programming in R, Linux. trying to do some community research on pesticides. Hackathon coming up! contact me. OCR, book scanning, etc.
  • Tyler - just came to SF with a backpack, exploring.
  • Kevin
  • Walter

[Pizza arrives]

Short announcements and events

  • Harry - thanking the space for letting us hold "How to Start a Startup" meetups here for the past 3 months.
  • Patrick - IRON BLOGGER - people agree to either write 1 post a week, OR pay beer money. Then everybody drinks the beer and maybe writes a blog post. Demonstrating to the world that NB has humans here who do things.
  • Gary Krane - I do fundraising. Building an app trying to get 1-2 million ppl willing to be arrested. have 5-page mockup, user stories. Need 1-2 engineers to implement.
  • Walter Funk - Taking over Turing to do 3d art installations during GodWaffleNoisePancakes.
  • Daniela - the Polyglot keyboard is on display at TechShop. They're also having a Maker Holiday Fair - Dec 13, 2-6pm (Free). Maybe Noisebridge could do this too.
  • John Shutt - Let's finish packing up the IGG rewards. Just a few more to get through and then they're done!
  • Dr Andrew - We do book scanning on Tuesday and Thursday, ping me if you want to get involved.
  • Gary - check out New Organizing Institute.
  • Patrick - at CCC there will be a "assembly" for Noisebridge, basically open tables to show off your stuff.

Membership Binder

John Shutt et al: you don't have to be a member to do cool stuff! Membership gives you two things: you pay dues, and you can fully participate in the Consensus process. We have a standardized process involving paperwork and a nonstandardized process that is cultural (general getting-to-know-you).

  • Signal (week 1) - 2 sponsors.
  • Steve Young (week 4) - 2 sponsors.
  • Sam Topper (week 3) - 2 sponsors.

Steve Young's Interrogation:

  • Patrick: what made you become a Member?
  • Steve: i heard about NB around 2009 or 2010 b/c of Wikileaks. I started paying more attention to the computer underground during graduate school. I saw NB as a place representing hacktivist values, so when I came to SF I decided to come to NB.
  • Jarrod: please explain the NB Consensus process.
  • Steve: Lots of things... we're an anarchist space, so that means we eschew official leadership. Hard thing to do unless you have a tight-knit group of ppl who support each other. How we do this is by Consensus. Everyone should know and agree together on a piece of policy. The way Consensus works quantitatively is that, when there's an idea that we want to make official and act on, we announce it at a mtg and see if anybody objects. we only give certain people, Members, the power to object. This is an EXTREME amount of power, because any one person can keep Consensus from forming. So we are very careful about bringing people in as Members. If you disagree with a consensus item and think
  • John: what cool projects has NB helped you work on? How would you enable NB to help you in the future?
  • Steve: I've done one cool thing called V Forms, i gave a presentation on it 6 months ago. It's an app, like an augmented reality app on a tablet, allows you to write stuff in a screen and organize things in a node-like structure. Hopefully releasing a new version soon. I'm hoping that more artists and hackers will come back to Noisebridge, to help Noisebridge gain reputation as a place that makes cool shit. I don't know how I'd change the space in order to get more of those people, other than to encourage ppl on an individual basis to come in and be awesome here.
  • RAYC: we've done a lot to improve the community & protect against threats and perceived threats. Do you think Membership itself could be a threat to the community, with its members-only hours representing inequality and...?
  • Signal: I have a principled objection to this question.
  • RAYC: storms off.
  • Signal: the question is disrespectful to the prospective Member and to the group.
  • Steve: Well, I'll take the question. Yes, that is possible. RAYC has talked to me about this before. I actually don't side with his opinions on this.
  • Kevin: Why do you want to become a Member now and what do you see as your role when you are one?
  • Steve: I think being a Member will make me more inclined to protect the space.
  • RAYC: I think you're awesome and i think you should be a member.
  • Jarrod: What do you think are the responsibilities of a Member of Noisebridge?
  • Steve: Responsible for keeping the place from burning down, responsible for the people you bring in and sponsor. We don't have security guards. Ideally everybody should take responsibility for the space, but I think Members are more beholden to that.
  • Signal: can you describe some checks and balances baked into the Consensus process, and what they mean to you?
  • Steve: Can't think of anything off the top of my head...
  • Signal: why do we have Consensus? what does it do for us?
  • Steve: hmm...
  • Nthmost: may I offer -- ponder the relationship between Do-ocracy and Consensus.
  • Steve: ah. you shouldn't get bogged down in bureaucracy if you can just go do a thing. I feel like Consensus should be a very minimal process. Like if we were a very small tight-knit group, we wouldn't have to make formal decisions, we'd already agree. Consensus is a minimal decision-making structure for a larger group.
  • Patrick: Why consensus over traditional majority votes?
  • Steve: I can't answer that, i don't know a lot about what anarchist means yet. I've been learning about it. I don't know why Consensus over voting. I'll say this: we vote, majority wins, ok so 48% of the ppl are unhappy. So Consensus, we suppose that everyone is happy with a decision, but it's not really true all the time. Like if
  • Harry: I don't know what are the relevance of these questions. Seems like we are not quizzing him on how things are but debating opinions of how things might be. Why are we spending time like this?
  • Kevin: Because it's important to discuss these things, and we want to hear how Steve thinks our culture works.
  • Steve: If you guys don't "vote me in as a member" I won't be offended. In fact if you don't think I get things here, don't vote me in.
  • Torrie: That is extremely excellent. [lots of agreement]
  • Steve: [tells a funny personal story about living at a co-op] That was my first political fuck-up but not-fuck-up because I saved my co-op.
  • Marcel: Outside of NB, what is the thing you've done for the community that you're most proud of?
  • Steve: when i say in my blurb i have had experience in community living, i'm talking about holding various positions in grad school co-ops and also being a big band geek and leading my section in those groups. I tend to eschew "official" leadership, because i feel i accomplish more when i have less "official" responsibility and more degrees of freedom.
  • Marcel: Something in particular you feel proud of?
  • Steve: Yeah, I... in marching band, the Stanford Band, we organized a whole theme of "UC Mexico" for a Battle of the Bands, cooked a bunch of mexican food and wore costumes. Now it's carried on every year! I started a tradition of the UC band dressing up in a theme. I'm pretty proud of that.
  • Torrie: What makes you happy?
  • Steve: Working w/ really smart ppl on badass projects. That's my dream, upping the bad-ass-ness.
  • Torrie: What is one concrete example of Excellence you have seen at Noisebridge?
  • Steve: You (Torrie) and you (Naomi) stepped up to save the space.

[Steve leaves. Discussion follows.]

Conclusion: Steve Young is now a Member of Noisebridge.

Financial Report

Patrick: Fixed outgoings are $5k month. Last month we made $1700. We have 3 months of operating expenses.

  • Randomly every month, PayPal takes 10% of our subscriptions and cancels them. Sends us notifications that don't indicate whether the subscription was canceled intentionally or not.
  • We need to reactivate people paying their dues.
  • Incredible goodwill for Noisebridge from people around the world. Let's tap into that again.
  • Classes -- people should solicit donations from their students.
  • Employer matching donations!
  • We need a fundraiser!!!! Word of mouth, grassroots. Let's kick it off before the end of 2014.
  • Signal: This man [Gary] knows how to do this. Can we look at you and smile?
  • Gary: Yep.
  • RAYC: Maybe we can drum up some support in Germany [during CCC].
  • Torrie: Let's do some breakout discussions after the meeting.

Consensus items

Proposals from last week

RFID proposal

  • Jarrod: I think this is well within the realm of Do-ocracy. This is a roundabout way to discuss Access Policy, which I don't think is consens-able AT ALL.
  • Signal: I might kiss you.
  • Torrie: Conclusion we came to last week was that we couldn't consense on this.
  • Kevin: After having read last week's meeting notes, it was my understanding that this would be dropped. but the reason i started this discussion hasn't gone away. I'm not entirely comfortable w/ pushing the discussion away. Concern is that the upstairs door is locked with a key that only half a dozen or so ppl have, and I don't think that's a very good way to run the space.
  • Jarrod: I think that is a separate issue, and I don't want to see this Consensus item stay on this list.
  • Torrie: Can we remove it from the list of Consensus items?
  • Kevin: I'm happy to withdraw it, but i'd like a moment to speak on why i brought it. Instead of focusing on RAYC's massive critique of the status quo, I was hoping we'd begin to think about distributing access with fewer technical limitations. Anyway, proposal withdrawn.

Conclusion: Withdrawn.

Proposals for next week

RAYC's Massive Critique of the Status Quo

  • RAYC: If you're going to close the space, it cannot be done as a small group of people, it has to be done by Consensus.

[Due to Jeff Del Papa's presentation, we attempted to move the meeting to the back of the space. Discussion splintered into small groups instead and the meeting never re-convened.]

Discussion Notes

Discussion cut short in favor of Jeff Del Papa's presentation, How to Build a Siege Weapon.