Meeting Notes 2016 11 29

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These are the notes from the The 438th Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: November 29, 2016 Note-taker: Roger; Moderators: Mitch

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

Meeting Summary


  • 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'."

  • Mitch: Noisebridge is a hackerspace, one of thousands! I just came back from China and did a bunch of hackerspaces there!
  • Alex - NB is here to help people learn, help each other, help find out what else NB can be. If you have a commitment to be excellent and hack the planet, come by!
  • Mitch - We have the 1 rule: be excellent to each other.
  • 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?
  • Mitch - Founder
  • Roger - Member. Also taking notes and writing this as we speak.
  • Lizzie - Been coming for a month and a half. Talks a lot on the internet.
  • Trent - Teaches python class on Monday
  • Matt - Likes doing metal stuff
  • Bruna - I was working, but now I'm in the meeting? I'm building something in the woodshop. just moved from Boston.
  • Calean(?) - Here from Germany on a gap year
  • Peter - Here because Mitch is here. Just moved back to town.
  • Dan - Engineer/Musician/Occasional noisebridge. I have several development kits and displays. Paperwhite displays and stuff.
  • Mark - Game development stuff.
  • David - Here for a year doing random stuff
  • Marcus - Music
  • Alex - Showing up sporadically. Interested in how to extricate ourselves from slavery using technology.
  • Juan - (Missed it)
  • Vlad - Going to c3. Doesn't know how to dress for Hamburg winter
  • Nick - First time in here. Into VR. Here for the Unity class.
  • Jonas - I was part of creating the space, but then I left the continent. I'm happy that this is still here. When I quit my high tech job, where can I meet interesting people?
  • Jeremy - I've been helping build out the audio side of Mary Poppins
  • Conrad - In a group called "Beautiful Machines"
    • (?)
    • (?) - We do stuff like building our own lights, etc.
  • Steve Phillips. - Security, privacy, cryptography, Cypherpunks Write Code meetup, etc.

Short announcements and events

  • 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!
  • Jeremy - We rebooted 5 minutes of fame. It's a place where we talk about cool hacker stuff, in brief. Look up 5MOF on the wiki. If you want to sign up, check out the wiki and find the first opening.
    • Jonas - Google 5MOF and it comes up.
  • Trent - Still working on the NB library. There's a web application in python. If you're interested in helping out, lmk.
    • Mitch - I added a few books and it worked quite well.
  • Jeremy - Me & Lizzy were planning on starting this network of pi-powered acrylic lockers. Come talk to us if you're interested.
    • Lizzie - Ideally, you will do all the work for us.

Safe Space

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?
  • Alex Peake - Safe space = if anyone makes you feel unsafe, there are a variety of things
    • 1. If there is an immediate issue, you can ask someone to leave.
    • If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, you can tell them that they are being unexcellent. If they don't respond well to being talked to, this is a sign that they should be asked to leave.
  • Trent - A safe space policy is like earmuffs. If you're using a buzzsaw in the woodshop, you use earmuffs. If you're talking about something like domestic violence, let people know.
  • Mitch - We want NB to be a place that is safe for everyone, of all genders, races, ages, etc.


Invite a knowledgable volunteer to describe who can participate at Noisebridge, including:

  • Describe how to get an rfid key for the door system
  • Describe how to get access to slack
  • Matt explains.
  • Mitch - We used to have the door totally open, but people ended up taking advantage of the space. So now we have a lock, albeit with open hours.


  • Invite a knowledgeable volunteer 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(?)

Membership Binder

  • 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.
  • 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.

Financial Report

  • Funds in bank: $65,000 / $25,000 in the general fund
  • Noisetor (See the bulletpoints at the bottom of $9,000 of that for noisetor
  • Any other details by those participating in handling our financials
  • $25,000 in the matching fund. Thanks, Google!
  • Also we have the money that technically Google's
  • We are in a good place, but we need more money and we can make a down payment.
  • What's our monthly expenses?
    • Mitch: Annual expenses: $70,000.
    • Mitch: Our rent is $4,400/month
    • Free internet
    • Electricity is... larger than it should be.
  • Steve - What do you mean when you say 2 years from now there's uncertainty?
    • Mitch - Well, in 2 years they could jack up the rent!
    • What's market rate?
    • Probably like 5x, right?

Consensus and Discussion

  • 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

(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

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

Discussion Items

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

  • Jeremy - Is anyone interested in a Group Buy? Like a whol bunch of raspberry pi or microusb cables?
    • Roger - Just be cautious that any time microusb
    • Jeremy - We could put it in the vending machine
    • Mitch - So I am a vendor for Adafruit and *ruffles through bag* I have a raspberry pi and a screen. Also, Adafruit told me that they normally do not take bulk orders but they'd be willing to make an exception for noisebridge
    • Sweater dude - Are these zero's or 3's?
    • Steve - If I'm interested, how do I get in?
    • Mitch - Try Slack. It tears me apart to use a proprietary piece of software. And all the open-source variants suck.
    • Jeremy - Join the group-buy channel
    • Sweater dude - side note- are they encrypted?
      • Mitch - No, and Slack holds everything
    • Dude with a scarf - You could check out
  • Steve - I'm interested in starting a hackathon on December 17th with Cypherpunks writing code
    • Mitch - Reminder: Noisebridge is a great place for stuff like this. If you can find a time, you can just do it.
  • Mitch - Let's talk about being Asked to leave, and talk about red flags. I wanted to bring up some historical context of what we have done when someone was being problematic...
    • For years, NB went fine without kicking anybody out. Because anyone besides a sociopath will leave.
    • Some time after occupy, a bunch of sociopaths started hanging out at Noisebridge, and things spiraled downward really horribly, accellerating around 2013, when people were being homophobic/racist, stealing and breaking stuff.
    • After a bunch of things failed, we ended up doing a "Reboot". We shut down noisebridge for a month. Only people who were coming in were people who were taking out the garbage, sanding the floors, etc.
    • Importance of a cultural immune system
    • After the reboot, we made some changes:
      • New access policy (11-10pm, door controls, etc.)
      • A lot of rules are subjective, which is necessary for a community. A community is hard work, and it is important to put in work to keep it running.
    • In a perfect world, people will be comfortable enough to ask people to leave. The world is not perfect.
    • We have a mediation process, but Noisebridge is not a government, so we do not have a grievance process. Sociopaths gamed the grievance process, so we don't do that anymore.
    • If no one wants to help mediate your case, you are out of luck.
    • In sum, **If someone is being problematic, please do not ask them to come cto a Tuesday meeting. Any information to the contrary is out of date.**
    • I gave a talk about this at CCC last summer, so if anyone is interested, feel free to look up "Hackerspace Design Patterns 2.0"
  • Frank - - A community that strives to be free of censorship.

End of Meeting

  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

  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

  • 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.