Meeting Notes 2016 07 12

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These are the notes from the The XXXth Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: July 12, 2016 Note-taker: Trent; Moderators: Scotty.

  • One or two bullet points of high-level meeting summary.

Meeting Summary[edit]


  • Announcements:
  • Finances:
  • New members:
  • New philanthropists:
  • Consensus Items:
  • Discussion Items:


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'."

Frank - Noisebridge is a 501c3 nonprofit focused on doing things.

  • Introduce any experimental or unusual moderation techniques that may be using during the meeting like: direct responses, limited speaking time, orderless stack, &c.
  • Round of introductions (remember, announcements come later):
    • What's your name
    • What do you do
    • What do you maintain at Noisebridge?
    • if you are new: how did you hear about Noisebridge?

Torrie - In and out randomly, right now am working on a quilt and planning a trip to China for hacker in residence in Tsinghua university. Roger - Working on noiseboard RIGHT NOW. It's a programmable LED board above the exit. Frank - On a journey to learn what the methods are WRT broadband connectivity, telephony, broadband data communications. Knowledgable about the equipment, the methodologies I've studied and trying to inculcate the interests and some of the rumor mills; some of the legends that are out there. Sometimes WAY out there. Carl - Working on a conway's game of life for the Flaschen Taschen Adrian - Today I was working on the CNC mill and helping to organize the hack shelves. Trent - I run the Python class and am taking notes Scotty - I have been doing a whole bunch of stuff with ESP8266 and have been working with Adrian on the hack shelves. Jason - I want to be a programmer. I am an electrician and happy to be here, eager to learn. I'm going to take my time and try to learn. Jarrod - Mostly woodworking and the space is my construction sandbox. Alex - I do gamebridge Tuesdays.

Short announcements and events[edit]

  • Cool new projects? Something you'd like people to know? Say now, but keep it short! One or two sentences please!
  • Any happenings at the space of which members should be made aware.
  • Don't hog everyone's time since we all just want to hack!

Trent - Python Class will be run by Scotty for the next four weeks. Not every week is Guaranteed to have a class. Please check Noisebridge group for details. Frank - SemiCon is happening in Moscone Center today, tomorrow, and the day after. Scotty - Adrian and I carefully organized a bunch of stuff off the hack shelves and put it on the ewaste shelves. Please see the wiki(wiki/Donations) for stuff that we don't need, this stuff is in that category. Trent - If you want to help organize the library - there's lots of work to be done, cataloging and sorting. Talk to trent for more info. We want to filter out books that we use less often, and put them in "cold storage" in boxes. There's a list of books on the wiki we'd like to have. Jarrod - Thursday if you want to clean up metal tools in the shop and help move all the really heavy stuff, I'd like to start moving tools into the SparkleForge Thursday after the ToDoOcracy Meeting.

Safe Space[edit]

Note: This section is experimental. We discussed it at Meeting_Notes_2016_06_28. We're going to try it for the next meeting, and see how it goes, and then discuss in the discussion section how it went, and how we'd like to tweak it.

Noisebridge is a safe space. Invite a volunteer to describe what that means.

Some specific points you might prompt the group to touch on, if it doesn't happen naturally:

  • What to do if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Noisebridge strives to be radically inclusive. What does that mean?
  • Noisebridge has an antiharassment policy. What does that mean?

Jason - We practice best methods and policies to have cohesion and inclusiveness and safety measures included to some degree. Scotty - We strive to be radically inclusive. Frank - Noisebridge is learning now we are expanding on the idea of being excellent to one another. One of the hot button things now is avoiding the harrassment angle. Torrie - Basically inclusive of race, gender, sexual orientation. Scotty - There is an anti harrassment policy that discusses these things. Scotty - What should someone do if they feel uncomfortable at Noisebrige Jason - Find a senior member and talk to them Scotty - Find someone you trust in the community and discuss it with them. We specifically don't discuss the stuff at meetings. We have a recently renamed channel on slack renamed #space-guardians - it used to be called #no-fly-list. There is also a safe spaces working group to discuss safety here and figure out the right response. There can be a range of responses from talking to someone to asking them to take a break to asking them to leave permanently. Adrian - There is a sign saying you could ask someone to leave and come back at the next meeting. Is that outdated? Scotty - Yes, Trent and I have worked on that and it hasn't been really fully fixed up yet but yeah.

Membership Binder [edit]

  • Invite a knowledgeable volunteer to describe membership, and the application process.

Being a member of Noisebridge is not like being a member of a gym or your local chess club. Anyone can come to Noisebridge to hack and learn: you don't need to be a member for that. At Noisebridge, membership is something different: it means taking responsibility and committing to help to maintain, improve, and govern Noisebridge. As a member of Noisebridge, you don't just come here to hack and learn, you actively work to improve what you see around you, help to deal with problems, and make this community and space better than it is today.

  • Read off any names from the binder for the past month. Mark down a check or other indicator on every open application to keep track of how many weeks they've been read out.

Adrian - Would anyone like to describe membership?

Scotty - Membership at Noisebridge (not his application text) - Nobody needs to be a member to participate in noisebridge. Members are like caretakers. The members are sort of like board members. The real board are more of a token group that have agreed not to do anything. They have pledged to guide the community and make sure it stays on track. To become a member you fill out a membership form and ask 2 members to vouch for you. Your application is read off for four weeks. After four or more meetings anyone can ask you questions during the meeting. You leave the room and a number of people discuss membership. You find a bribe like beer and a lime and come back when it is done.

Trent - One addition - everyone is encouraged to participate in the discussion about the prospective member, and everyone also can participate in talking about the prospective member when they leave the room. The membership are the people who concense on that but still need to hear things from the broader community.

[Adrian reads Scotty's application]

  • Anyone eligible to join this week should
    • introduce themselves,
    • answer any questions members may have for them, then
    • leave the area in search of gifts (traditionally beer and a lime, or cookies) for the rest of the group.
  • The rest of the meeting should reach consensus on whether they may join.
  • Remember to applaud new members when they return.

Jarrod - Is there anything you want to add before we ask you questions?

Jarrod - Scotty - you say that members are like caretakers. Could you elaborate on what you believe the role of a member of Noisebridge is?

Scotty - Sure, I view members as caretakers essentially. Sort of like custodians of the community itself. Most of the time the community functions pretty well without people in a full member capacity. Members are responsible for help keeping the community on track when it veers off course. I think most of the time that this can be done without being a full member. But members have concensus and blocking as a safety measure to keep members from going too far off course. For example, to make sure concensus is not happening too quickly when there is still strong dissent or there is too much discussion and there are perhaps alternatives that are more palatable to everybody.

Jarrod - Do you agree with the anti harrassment policy that we have?

Scotty - I do. I would like to understand a little better what people mean. There has been some discussion about turning it into a full code of conduct. I would like to see why people are saying that, and maybe help to make it a bit broader and contribute to it being a safe and welcome space.

Alex - What do you think would be necessary to block and how would you go about it?

Scotty - I don't see blocking as a way to stop things directly but rather a way to make sure we have a healthy discussion. I see blocking's purpose as to make sure that we have more time rather than to stop the process entirely. I don't expect to have to use blocking (any time soon). I see the utility of blocking in its abstract concept rather than the actual use of a 'block'. Blocking helps people remember that they need to discuss until they have broad community buy in. That cultural understanding prevents blocking from becoming a tool that they have to use directly. I think that's really healthy instead of a model where the block is actually used regularly.

Alex - As becoming a member, you've been involved in a couple projects already. Do you want to get involved in more projects? Do you see your projects as bringing other people into noisebridge and that would cause you to eventually sponsor them to become a member as well? In other words, bring more great people to noisebridge.

Scotty - You mean sponsoring philanthropists? I think there are a lot of people here that we should get more involved. A few very involved non philanthropists that should become philanthropists. A few philanthropists that should apply for full membership. I also don't think those 2 roles are the first step. Rather I think getting people involved is the big thing. As far as other projects, I feel like I already got involved in a bunch of projects I am already really excited about.

Jarrod - What do you think is Noisebridge's current biggest failing, or a big failing? What is something you are not thrilled about or ashamed about.

Scotty - I think we need to do better on safe space stuff which is why I have been putting energy into that. I don't think we are as inclusive or safe as we think we are and I think we need to work harder. The first steps towards cultural things are usually just talking about it, which is why I suggested adding that to the meeting format. It's still evolving, we'll see what happens as we experiment. There's more work to be done there. We are much better at filtering people that are physically dangerous or who might steal but we are not as good at filtering out people who make people uncomfortable, particularly people who are a minority in the community.

Carl - What have you worked on that you had the most fun with or that you are most proud of?

Scotty - I had tons of fun with the bookshelves. I did the design for the bookshelves, Naomi's originally design - I sketched them up, maybe 5 of us put them together. I really enjoyed working with that. I also had fun putting the LEDs on and debugging that and whatnot. Flaschen Taschen all the things.

Jason - I have a 2 part question. What is Noisebridge? What is Noisebridge to you?

Scotty - Noisebridge is a hackerspace. I think it's a bunch of things. it's a community of people that are all passionate about what they are into and making things and taking them apart and learning and teaching and sharing them with others. Also it's the Physical Space. We are a place that provides tools and space and infrastructure for people to explore what they are passionate about, specifically around making and learning. Wow, for me - noisebridge is a lot of things. I started comign here about 5 years ago when I was living in the South bay. I would come up whenever I could, every week or two. I started just working on projects and just sat in the corner and wasn't very integrated. It's almost become a second home now or almost like a living room. When I am here, I am usually living in a different place but noisebridge is a constant where I come to hang out and work on projects and stuff. Noisebridge is also directly or indirectly the cause of me going independent and starting my own company and no longer working for the man. It's really significantly changed my life. This gave me the freedom to really explore what I am passionate about and sort of live the full time hacker lifestyle.

[Scotty leaves]


The members have concensed that Scotty Allen shall be a member of Noisebridge HEREFORTH!


  • Invite a knowledgeable member to describe Philantropy, and the application process.
  • Read off any names from the binder for the past month. Any applicants must have their sponsor present to vouch for them.
  • If there are no objections, they're a philanthropist! Their pledge should be handed over to the Secretary posthaste, after which their token will be updated to give them the 24/7 access they've earned(?)

Philanthropists should have an idea how to manage to space to some degree. how to greet people, close the space, answer the door and give a door and know when to ask some one to leave. And to some degree they are expected to do these things. A philanthropist is not a membership and it is not membership-like. In order to become a Philanthropist you ask a member to endorse that you can handle those responsibilities and fill out an application. Your application is read at the next meeting and unless there is a strong objection, you become a philanthropist, begin donating, and receive that 24 hour access.

Financial Report[edit]

Consensus and Discussion[edit]

  • invite a knowledgeable volunteer to give a brief primer on consensus process
  • It is important that everyone in attendance understands at least:
    • Blocking with verbalized principled objections.
    • Why we use consensus over other approaches to decision making.
    • How consensus isn't a legislative process
    • Why consensus isn't applicable to some things like conflict resolution, resolution of time sinks, and the like.

Proposals from last week [edit]

(Add any items which are consensed upon or someone has raised a principle objection for to the Consensus Items History page.)

Proposals for next week [edit]

(Add any new items for consensus to the Current Consensus Items page.)

No new concensus items.

Discussion Items[edit]

Jarrod - We should talk about the laser cutter fundraiser at some point. Maybe not a discussion for tonight. Jarrod - Jim is eager to have his punk rock band play at the fundraiser. Trent - Naomi is planning to organize this. Scotty - She is a force to be reckoned with. Jarrod - If anyone wants to help we have a lot to do. Carl - Noisebridge's birthday is october first or something. Or september or october. Adrian - Noisebridge blog says October 1 2008 at the first location.

Yay the meeting is over!

If any important discussion happens, it should be happening after forward progress is made during consensus.

End of Meeting[edit]

  1. Return the membership binder to its rightful location.
  2. Discuss any items for which there was not time during the meeting.
  3. Enjoy the company of your fellow hacker, robot, or robothacker.

Note taker posts the notes[edit]

  1. Clean and tidy the meeting notes including removing all these really verbose instructions.
  2. Fill out the short summary at the top listing just announcements, consensus items, discussion topics, and names of new members and philanthropists.
  3. Copy paste the notes to the next meeting page. (They will become Last meeting at midnight.)
  4. Email the meeting summary to Noisebridge Discuss and Noisebridge Announce lists.
  5. CC on the email and if there are new members and philanthropists.
  6. Edit the Current Consensus Items if anything is proposed for consensus next week.
  7. Edit the Consensus Items History if anything was reached consensus or failed to reach consensus this week.

Fun things to do after[edit]

  • Reprise of the Hackernationale. [This is anarchy - we do what the wiki says!]
  • PGP Key Signing could happen now (if it doesn't happen before any given Meeting). Ask others around the space or check the list to see who wants in on the action.