Meeting Notes 2016 11 15

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These are the notes from the The 437th Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: 2016-11-15 Note-taker: Alex Peake; Moderators: FIXME THEIR NAME HERE. One or two bullet points of high-level meeting summary. [edit]Meeting Summary FIXME FILL OUT AT END OF MEETING AND SEND TO MAILING LIST TLDR what happened at the meeting: Announcements: Finances: New members: New philanthropists: Consensus Items: Discussion Items:


  • Blake - hangs out here and does programming stuff fight facism
  • Steven - interested in ML and robotics.
  • Mitch - one of these "cofounder" guys (really we love him)
  • Juan - software stuff and programming and chatting and learning
  • Ryan Sternlicht- Noisebridge philanthropist, been coming here quite a while. Taking gamebridge class, planning to teach laser cutting techniques class in 2017
  • Steve - moved to san francisco interested in privacy and attended cypherpunks write code ( to get input to activists and designers who want to help design encryption stuff.
  • Bana - Aspiring music producer and vocalist. First time here!
  • Ryan - make things an generate art
  • Mark - Game development and help out with unityversity classes on tuesdays, game hacking event once in awhile
  • Travis - stopped by for the last few years intermittently. occasional drop-in
  • Sally - from Luxembourg. Working to give startups funding from UN
  • Mark - first time, software dev, and electroniccs
  • Trent - teaches python monday nights at 7
  • Sam - moved to SF a month ago. Software developer by day and security person by non-day
  • Nate black - software guy. Interested in 3d printing, gamedev
  • Andy - EE first time at noisebridge. Came for gamebridge
  • David software eng, occasional hackerspace user and here for the biz
  • Frank - studying data communications and broadband tech
  • Nick - dev and uses the woodshop
  • Steve - theoretical physicist & software. been here 3-4 years
  • John - background in electronics and programming. been coming intermittently for years
  • quintessa - come around now and then, make music, sing and produce and make random MacGuyvery things
  • Alex - teaching gamebridge for the last few years. now it's a bootcamp !
  • Adam - mostly software, and interested in functional programming & logic
  • Zephyr - spams IRC for responsibly sourced computers (check out ). "Just another programmer"
  • Lizzie - does computer security. been coming for about a month
  • Drew - interested in social and labor organizing, here to make friends!
  • Vicky - does things sometimes. coming for ~2 years
  • Emily? just moved here from france, doing a phd with materials and uses fablabs first time
  • emil - phd in machine learning first time
  • Taopa - recently second hand assistant harrasing us on IRC
  • Patrick - what do i do, less administrivia more hacking
  • don - I litterally just moved to the area over the weeekend, I'm a game dev. I love games. Loves gay stuff.
  • Jeremy - datascience, kaggle, audiobot on a pole. please help
  • matt - french, recently moved to SF, learning to code
  • Kevin -
  • Yana - (arrived after intros)
  • Felix - (arrived after intros)
  • Kevin - software engineer, here for unity development meeting, Participated in hackerspaces in NY
  • Francis - making time banking timespree system to help noisebridgers trade work on each others' projects. back from NY.
  • Mark - (arrived after intros)
  • Roger - (Arrived after intros)

Invite a knowledgeable volunteer to explain what Noisebridge is about

Alex - Noisebridge is a hackerspace, not a makerspace. We have an ethos, not just tools. Everything can be made, remade by everyone. This is a space to take part in the community, governed by all of us as a non-profit. This place is an extension of your ability to change the world. It's all editable. Steve - We have referred to ourselves at times as an anarchist hackerspace. In the context of what we'll discuss later that's important. One importance of anarchism speaks to us having a resistence meeting. Mitch - as an anarchist space we have no leaders but one rule. Does anyoen know what it is ? Everyone - ** Be excellent to each other **

Short announcements and events

  • Zephyr - my spam is that there are many manufacturers of electronics changing sourcing practices. There's ongoing conflict in regions where minerals used are mined. Often the proceeds go to supporting corrupt power schemes. I'm compiling a list of ethical computer manufacturers


  • Mitch - trump preparedness workshop next Tuesday at noisebridge. Come to learn about how to enhance your privacy. (Geared towards both non-technical people and technical people who want to improve their practices)
  • Steve - 3 weeks from now Cypherpunks Write Code ( will have their first hackathon. So if there are things that we need for resistence then we should collaborate.
  • Alex - laserbridge fundraiser was a success! Great game demos, dj'ing. If you want to help out w/ future parties come join our music group or make games!
  • Mitch - 3 day event in Oakland starting tomorrow: ; Event page:
  • Ryan - ill teach people how to get involved, making sure we'll go down the righ. Trump needs to succeed at creating JSON APIs for IOT platforms.I
  • Trent - python class is restarting next monday the 21st at 7 PM
  • Mark - spawing out of the laserbridge party, we want extend the game thing, maybe a 5MoF reboot.
  • Nick - 19th at meta, data viz thing hackathon

Safe Space

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

  • Blake - noisebridge should be a spafe space for oppressed people. In my opinon, don't advocate for Trump, it makes people feel unsafe
  • Alex - there is a process and way to make people feel safe. Guidelines for dealing with conflicts with people can be found at and
  • Mitch - if you don't feel safe, tell someone and we will collectively make it better. on going process.
  • Trent - diversity noisebridge working group talk. we need a champion who wants to understand or understands Noisebridge culture at large.


  • Steve - Noisebridge is open 10am-10pm during the day but that relies on people being here. But if you're coming here a while talk to a regular about getting an RFID tag for the door system which will allow you in during these hours without anyone else. These are anonymous and last 30 days. We cycle them out for social and safety reasons. Beyond that we have two tiers of participation and involemnet. You don't have to be either to use anything at noisebridge or take part.
  • Blake - anyone can attend or hold your own class if you'd like for free.
  • Sam - What's the deal w/ Slack?
  • Blake - Slack is group chat for people physically present in the space frequently. To get access you need to be coming around as much as you would to get an RFID token. Not something you get your first day. Generally the folks who give this out have a lot of discretion.
  • Mitch - once you're here a few times then it's easy to get both (RFID and on Slack)
  • Kevin - if we want to put a class together. what do we do?
  • Blake - put it on the wiki. email -announce -discuss, bring it up at a meeting.
  • Alex - there's a "HOW TO" page on the wiki about how to do this.
  • Mitch - it's super easy. The more cool events we have the better so just ask if you haev questions.
  • Alex -


  • Alex - there's a mural over there how much you love noisebridge and how much it costs. If you want to give noisebridge $40/month or $80/month regularly and have folks who want to vouch for you, you can do so tonight. You fill out a form, pledge to keep the space safe (close up when you leave etc...) and otherwise take care of the place. Justfind one member to vouch for you.


  • Nick - membership comes after philanthropy. Usually by the time your membership comes up you're already kinda an "unofficial" member. People know you, you contribute things. The process is you filling out your membership application, getting 2 member sponsors, and having your application read out at 4 meetings. You get the power of concensus
  • Alex - two benefits: sponsoring new philanthropists, and also having a say in other people's membership applications
  • Trent - Philanthopy is not a strict stepping stone to being a member. They're separate ways to participate that are both equally valid.
  • ZV - 1835 days later.... he wants RFID god dammit

Financial Report

We have ~$60k+ in the bank. Figures incoming.

Consensus Items

  • Mitch - we make all the formal decisions through consensus, which means that all present members must agree with something for it to pass. Usually proposals change to accommodate people. We rarely use it, only for large things like when we moved into this space (funding, planning, etc...) It works by bringing an item to a meeting, it's discussed, and written down. Then next week it comes up for discussion again. If it remains unchanged and everyone agrees then we can pass the proposal. It must be stable for two weeks before this can happen. Objections must come with a counter-proposal for it to be considered. RE: "blocking". Blocks are super duper serious. They basically mean that you'll leave if it passes. They're generally considered the nuclear option and are symptomatic of bad things. The only exception is for new membership. Blocks without a counter-proposal are accepted here given the importance of membership & extending consensus.
  • Mitch - consensus is super slow, so we do most things through do-ocracy. Follow the one rule though: be excellent to each other, and if someone objects to your excellence you must be willing to undo it.
  • Don - can you apply for membership multiple times?
  • Mitch - yep totally ok.

Discussion Items

  • Mitch: I left the country 4 months ago and came back to amess. Three days the mess was decided to ensue for the next four years.

(On slack and in the space) A lot of people have a lot of strong emotions as aresult of the election going in various directions and some people are very scared, concerned, and not many people in our community (or our country) are happy about our country or optimistic about how things are going for the next 4 years.

During discussions, people are wondering things abstract specific and hypothetical about how we should respond if certain things happen.

It got emotional on slack and it isn't really a good way to discuss emotionally charged issues so we decided on slack to have an in-person meeting to discuss these things.

One issue: What if someone comes into NB with a trump T shirt. What do you do about that? Some people said kick them out. Other people said if we kick them out for having an opinion, that's not cool. I (Mitch) have an opinion about that opinion, I don't think that is an opinion in my opinion. Someone said if we're intolerant of intolerance we're intolerant. In my view I'm proud of being prejudiced against prejudiced people. We started Noisebridge with one rule be excellent. If someone violates and is willing to change behaviour excellently they can stay but if they're not willing they have to go faster than sooner. That's some of my opinion together with my perception of why we're having this meeting.

ZV: I think that is totally true and NB, if we're to perpetuate excellence, we must be intolerant of other intolerance. I think there's a divide about where we should stop people at the door regarding how strongly people express intolerant beliefs. I'm frightened when someone like Otter gets kicked out for saying mean things about techies. Sometimes someone posts saying someone said something mean on twitter suggesting they should be excluded. This oculd happen to any of us saying something that someone else disagrees with. We need to figure out where in the spectrum of belief we should accept people who say they voted for trump to the most extreme elements.

Blake: I understand what you're saying ZV, I think that figuring out the border about where we will or wont kick someone out is a cloudy thing and we have to rely on discretion of awesome people to figure it out, at the end of the day they'll need to make a judgement call about if they're making someone feel unsafe. Having a discussion about what they could or couldn't do is difficult. This already kind of happened and it already crossed a line and we asked someone to stop and they apologized and we're okay with them being here on that basis. That's what I had to say. I personally want to fight fascism and fuck Trump.

Kevin: What if someone is excellent here but has a hateful opinion voiced out in the world.

Blake: If someone's behaviour outside NB made me feel unsafe, I wouldn't want them to be here. If you were harassing people on the Internet and being quiet here, we would side-eye you wondering what you might do next.

Trent: We recently kicked out someone who was spreading anti-gay stuff on Twitter (at the space)

Steve (new cypherpunk): I understand why Trump seems like a fascist with a list of 200 reasons why. A week or so someone put a trump hat here and someone thought it was appropriate to steal his property and destroy it because he disagreed with it. I think that's not okay to destroy people's stuff. There's more to why people have certain beliefs and why the beliefs are held I don't know how much to get into it but there are people who are racist and feel unsafe around black people so if the only criteria is to say anything that makes someone feel unsafe. For example of criteria: Property destruction maybe not okay.

Blake: I destroyed the hat and I feel good about it. It was hung up like a display on our wall and up for hacking and that was no longer someone's private property it was propaganda. If I were an undocumented immigrant who came in I would feel this was an unwelcoming place so I got rid of it. What you said about safety is true, if someone felt unsafe around black people it is racist and unexcellent and we would ask that person to leave. We have discretion.

Mitch: To elaborate on that, it is totally fine to tell someone to leave if you feel unsafe at Noisebridge. We have our own culture here, one that we come together to create, and we have one rule purposefully subjective: be excellent to each other, we don't have an official list of examples, because they can quickly become rules (where we need exceptions, etc.) that can become dogmatic. It is continually talked about and our culture for 6 years or so has become strong. People who belong here are people who both benefit from and contribute to our community while following our one rule. People who belong and feel that they belong here are observing that one rule. If someone feels unsafe because someone is not following the be exellent rule, it is okay to ask them to change their behaviour or ask them to leave if they're unwilling to change. If necesary they should be asked to leave. In response to ZV, it isn't that someone said something mean on Twitter once, but they might be asked and given a chance to modify behaviour. Otter was given plenty of chances. She was being a total dick. She's never contributed to our community, even a little.

Frank: What was her cause? Mitch: She had her own version of fighting gentrification which was printing flyers saying "DIE TECHIE SCUM". ZV: She was really nasty, no doubt about it. On principle I agree she should have been kicked out of the space, I think that the discourse surrounding it was not what I would like to see. I think that the idea that we come to a consensus or ask someone to leave without an external reason just please come back next time. That is something so enshrined in Noisebridge is essential to NB. If someone harbors views counter to NB safety, they should be kicked out.

DON: If someone says something on social media, persona don't persist across social media platforms. What people post is in context of the platform and what you think your audience is. You're not the same person online as you are sitting face to face at the table or at home. Someone being nasty outside here may have a reason we don't understand. Good to get full situation before judging someone as nasty with a warning first.

Francis: Make sure someone isn't impersonating someone and faking their comments on a social media platform.

Mitch: It's not just one instance, people have a chance to change behaviour and if they can they can change and stay. If unwilling and unable...

Steve: Does wearing a trump shirt or hat here constitute disruptive behaviour mean someone should get kicked out?

Mitch: They have to be given a chance to change their behavior

Cryptosteve: Is wearing a shirt "behavior"?

Adam: The question about shirt: I think the person bringing a shirt here might be trolling and trolling is not excellent. On the other hand, while I agree about intolerance of intolerance I'm queasy about presumption that anyone supporting Trump is intolerant. I think its eveidence taht it is more likely but needs to be established.

Lizzie: At that point it is on them to make that clear if you wear a Trump shirt its yours to explain.

Adam: It is trolling to try to get a reaction at a space like this so there are differences of behaviour. Some people say "I voted for trump" as a discussion, other people wear things to troll.

Frank: Regards slogans, who has the right to own a slogan?

Trent: Don, the thing you brought up what is bad behaviour outside the space? The test becomes someone who uses a megaphone to espouse a hateful view and if they do that in public the consensus (small c) was no. Versus if they say something just as a personal statement that is less of an issue.

?? (Guy in the back with a top hat): I want to draw a line here... I think there's 2 kinds of trump supporters: There are those that believe that his policies make the country better, and there are those who actively want to make the lives of many americans worse and make them feel unsafe. If you feel unsafe, why? We can say that Trump support in this community is not acceptable, but Trump support*ers*?

Steve Wilcox: Also if someone comes into the space, we're not going to ban them without knowing their political views and knowing what they really think. IF they're promoting the sort of vitriolic propaganda that was part of the campaign... This is an open-minded space and we're not trying to ban discussion in the space but more or less to ban the kind of actions that marginalize people.

Cryptosteve: I get what [top hat] is saying... There's a principled libertarian view that argues that you should vote for who supports your economic best interests. I find this reprehensible, that you can ignore everything else. But it is a belief, and are we going to ban libertarians now? :mlady:

Steve Wilcox: This is not about someone being nieve, this is about someone who wants to actually talk about the state of affairs. But if someone pushes an ideology in the space about marginalizing people...

Cryptosteve: Mitch said someone in a Trump shirt is unwelcome.

Blake: If we asked someone wearing a Trump shirt for economic pragmantic reasons it goes beyond personal beliefs.

Cryptosteve: Even if they support trump for Economic reasons? If they clarify?

Blake: it isn't up to them that they're making people uncomfortable. If you're bothering people and saying "well I'm not intending to bother people, we say be considerate and if you make them upset by wearing the shirt... if someone walks in who is muslim or undocumented they are just going to see that and leave feeling uncomfortable..."

Trent: I...

Blake: I would ask them to be considerate and offer them another shirt to be able to participate without upsetting people.

??: If someone walked in w Trump shirt, a question would be "Do you consider yourself racist" it matters. Explaining this is a safe space for everybody if you're not transphobic or whatever. Be ready to answer questions if you do that.

Patrick: For people who've not been around NB, there's been emotional labor about this because NB doesn't have a police force. It is a community that puts effort into doing the right thing in personal conflicts. NB owes you nothing. This is a community space. Also Noisebridge is overly accomodative and late to react when it comes to changing someone's behavior. A lot of energy goes into resolution. This discussion has a lot of wheels spinning... Noisebridge does not run as a system.

Fineline Steve: we've all listened to what trump said. His words are explicitly racist, explicitly misogynist, explicitly violent. He takes back what he says every second. The damage has already been done. All of which are the antithesis of what Noisebridge is about. For somebody to say "for economic reasons" that they support Trump, implies that they either are blind to this violence or complicit. It's such a stupid position and so far from excellence that I do not think it belongs in the space.

I might say something like "Oh, Trump's a fascist". One thing about fascism is that fascists aren't interested in having a dialog, or how they can come to a compromise. They are very excited about using violence to get their way. It is not something that we can support, whether they are naive to it or not.

Lizzie agrees with there being no

Mark: I met a practical trumpist. I just want to say that it was an "interesting" conversation, but I would fully support any effort to ask him to leave.

Fineline steve: I appreciate the comment. I want to revise the statement. I don't want to imply that all trump supporters are fascist, but through their claiming of support, they are sending a message to people who know what fascism is, that they are complicit. They are supporting violence against people [who know what fascists are]

Mark: If you came up to us when we were having this discussion, I would feel fine helping you ask these people to leave

Chris: I agree (to a degree) that people cannot be reasoned with, but I think some people can be convinced by rational discussion. In this community, we should keep things to slack. I knew a hardcore fascist, and when I asked him why he believed what he did, and after a discussion, I was able to convince him that fascism was not the outlet he was looking for. Rational discussion helps tremendously

Fineline steve: I 98% agree. I don't think we should convince the guy here. Talk to them, instead of kicking out, but then if it doesn't work out, kick them out.

Francis: I want to split things up here: We have the sloganeering, the economic trump supporters, the question of whether this discussion belongs in the space, but personally I'd be troubled if we created a thoughtcrime out of Trump support. Wearing a shirt is less controversial. You're publicly showing that you support this racist guy. I'll say that we probably aren't talking about this thought/political test. But consider if we had a community member that was incredibly anti-abortion. What would we do then?

???: The best way to avoid political tests or anything like that is to stick to ground rules.

ZV: Blake and Patrick have excellent points as to how these rules are actually implemented. But there are people who know people who have been killed by drone strikes. The point being that <sorry guys I forgot the point help me plz>

Lizzie: Noisebridge is problably not the place to have a rational conversation with a fascist. I don't want to be here when it happens. It would probably ruin my day!

Trent: Clarify rational vs adversarial? Some conversations are constructive and some are adversarial.

Lizzie: Even a civil conversation is not going to happen at noisebridge. It shouldn't happen at noisebridge. It's cool to try to convince people, but it still has an impact on the space.

Mitch: If it's between a fascist and Lizzie, I'll choose lizzie every day.

???: I let someone in who was from an Arizona hackerspace and made a snide comment about a protest that revealed a deeper set of beliefs. Our ocnversation started out as rational, but inevitably started disturbing others. It's difficult to do that.

Ryan: What we can do for the community at-large & make it so that we are making a positive 4 years. I definitely agree that there will be problems, but encrypting our computers is not the limit of what we could do. We could be a polling place. We need to solve Democratic turnout issues.

Vicky: Compassion, empathy, are the intelligence work necessary to combat against bigotry and hatred. I firmly believe that being just as extreme as they are will bring nothing but bad things. I honestly think that we need to approach things calmly and this is coming from someone with anxiety. But we need to approach it calmly and not just burn trump hats.

John: 501.3c should avoid positive politics. Political discussions get heated, people will rapidly realize no president can govern alone in the US. Calling for armed rebellion or hate is not going to solve anything. We need to avoid hatred and minimize drama, and everything is going to be ok-ish.

cowlicks: We're going to pass around a list. Add any political/activist organizations you know of.

trent: We are against violence and hate, organizationally. We should be more explicit that we are anti violence and anti hate

alex: people should be able to hack here and be free from listening to politics. It's really good and respectful to treat a political discussion like power tools or loud music. We have rooms with doors, you should feel free to ask people to move to those rooms when discussing. We've established a great range of opinions on how to deal with people expressing hate. Let's end the meeting at some point and let people privately get to talking about what they feel is the right thing to do politically.

lizzie: Is there a limit as to what noisebridge can legally do? John: My understanding is that 5013c should avoid supporting a candidate in an election. They should spend no more than 5% of their budget on political advocacy. lizzie: I think noisebridge should be a space to have political discussion and political planning.

John: noisebridge supports EFF, but supporting trump or clinton is outside what the community is about.

??: It Resistance: Ryan: [expresses regret for not being active in protests]

John: Noisebridge is a 501c3 and we're not supposed to engage in signs up...