[Noisebridge-board] [Noisebridge-announce] Board Meeting: Next Friday 2013-06-28
rachel lyra hospodar
rachelyra at gmail.com
Tue Jun 18 19:52:18 UTC 2013
I've been pretty checked out of involvement with noisebridge since moving
to the east bay, but still hold it dear to my heart, and have been
following its fortunes with increasing awe, woe, etc. If some awesome OG
Noisebridge folks were participating in a reset i'd be interested in
helping; in general I am less interested in NB lately because I tend to get
harassed or otherwise end up fending off too many mouthbreathing
douchetards. But if people I know and like (that's you!) are investing
time in a reset process, i'd be willing to put in energy & time as well.
I believe deeply in the social experiment that noisebridge represents, and
have been changed as an organizer by encountering this wonderous, mystical,
cantankerous entity. All good things must end, too, and I think it is
plausible that Noisebridge now might need to be killed to save it.
Noisebridge is dead, long live noisebridge!
I think there are two primary social tides at work here.
-First, the changes taking place in the bay area that make SF less tenable
for marginalized people (rent in the surrounding neighborhood has basically
doubled in the decade since I moved to the area). San Francisco is
changing. This isn't something we can really address, per se, except by
moving noisebridge, which seems like a Really Big Deal.
-Second, and more interestingly for me as an organizer, is The Asshole
Problem. When the Jesse Z sexual assault case came to light, I talked with
chicken john on the phone for about half an hour. He verified for me that
Jesse's behavior had been predatory, that he was already flagged as That
Guy because of his drunkenness etc, and that chicken wasn't surprised at
what had happened. (Perennial bartender/bouncer types can, it turns out,
spot predators a mile away.) We talked about predators, jerks, and their
influence on communities. He declined to come to our meeting about banning
jesse, but was disturbed when I told him that Jesse was part of our
community. (to accurately represent his views, I'll note that he was not
in favor of excommunicating Mr. Drunkyangrypants McZ.) We talked about the
effect that That Guy can have on a group.
It's something I have talked about with other types of organizers, and the
gist of people's experiences go like this: groups that grind to a halt, or
disband, often do so because of a very few people, acting as Bad Apples
(...important to note that this is related to behavioral patterns, not
intrinsic personal qualities). The bad apples come to dominate the
experience of interacting with the group, lots of 'good folks' slowly
quietly leave, until the entire nature of the group shifts to make room for
more of the lowest common denominator.
(Here is the article that I have used to name this pattern
It is a pattern I have heard of or seen played out in a lot of different
settings. I don't care to pick sides in noisebridge turf wars, and
certainly bear my share of whatever blame anyone cares to sling around, but
my funny little internal hackervoice sees a pattern of system behavior that
can be examined and perhaps subverted or redirected.
This is the kind of conversation i'd be interested in having, although I
fear verbal abuse too much to just go by the space and try to have it.
On Jun 18, 2013 5:56 AM, "Danny O'Brien" <danny at spesh.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 01:55:39AM -0700, Andy Isaacson wrote:
> > On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 09:16:13PM -0700, Snail wrote:
> > > I am not planning on attending at all. :P
> > >
> > > I was planning to not attend.
> > >
> > > And today I got a discuss list full of racist apologetics and creepers
> > > y'know what I'm still not going to attend.
> > >
> > > These are the days when all the terrible people on the mailing list are
> > > really real people who are in the space, sometimes 24/7, and some of
> > > are actually dues-paying members.
> > >
> > > I stopped going to Noisebridge over a month ago because the space was
> > > routinely full of people I wanted to avoid rather than people I wanted
> > > talk to and I got tired of fighting against it. I give up.
> > >
> > > There. That's your presidential speech.
> > Pretty good speech, really.
> I am getting pretty close to burn-out too, to be honest. I'm happy (and
> should) closet myself away with the accounts and make all of that work
> nicely, but I think we need to convene the membership and actually come
> up with a plan.
> Right now, the space is semi-functioning, but there's a *lot* of people
> who really don't seem to be able to look after themselves, nor have a
> way of making anything productive come out of their lives. A lot of the
> very basic maintenance is done by people who need the space because they
> need a roof over their heads, and a lot of the paying membership don't
> visit or conduct any community work or basic services themselves. I
> don't see either of those numbers changing in the right way as we go
> A few people have separately come up with the idea of closing the space
> for a couple of weeks, resetting it and starting as afresh as we can.
> I think we need to frame that as less a throwing out of people and more
> of a bunch of new people coming to help look after and hack the space
> again. I can help a bit (and will be around more after this week), but
> I'm not the world's best completer-of-tasks, and am feeling a bit
> personally useless to fix things right now.
> Sorry to be a bummer :(
> > -andy
> > _______________________________________________
> > Board mailing list
> > Board at lists.noisebridge.net
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/board
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