[Noisebridge-discuss] Consensus and the "old ways".
aestetix at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 02:48:34 PDT 2009
Anyone who is entering a new social system is expressing an interest to be a
part of it. There is always an initial period of "normalizing" where people
make mistakes as they acclimate to the new environment and learn how the new
social group differs from their old one. I speak as someone who has made
such mistakes and learned from them.
If you are new to a group and don't understand why people react the way they
do to your actions, the proper response is to ask questions. This helps you
to better understand *why* the status quo is such, and better define your
own reasoning and actions within the group. It also shows active interest in
becoming a more critical part of the group, and builds up trust with which
you can later help new people achieve similar understanding.
Consensus is actually very important in encourage a do-ocrary. The harder it
is to come to a group decision, the fewer the items that will be brought up
for such a decision. This reduces overall clutter for the group and
encourages people to decide actions for themselves, rather than relying on
the acknowledgments of others. For the decisions which *do* require the
consent of all members, this ensures that every concern will be addressed.
Before complaining, ask yourself the following questions:
- What items have come up for consensus (not discussion)?
- When has a block ever been used?
- How often do people "threaten" to block? (Compare this to how many
people say they're going to do a project and don't)
- If you have better ideas on how things could be run, have you seriously
approached a board member with them?
- How much effort have you made to understand why the current status quo
is? (I recommend reading through all the previous meeting notes on the wiki,
including those from before 83C existed where the different processes were
Fear and social capital are present in any social group. We are not created
equal, and this is why we need to work together. Some people are better at X
than others, but they suck at Y, so they need to work with people who are
great at Y but suck at X. Some people are great leaders, some are excellent
If people could do everything on their own, social groups would not exist.
And yet, we are so passionate about our places in them that we thereby prove
we need them.
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:59 PM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
> nope. he says "possibly"; and anyway, he's expressing
> his opinion clearly and unambiguously. he's probably okay
> with anybody interpreting his way or the highway (i'm
> guessing), but no one has to cave in.
> seems to me people newly joining in have to accept the
> status quo, even if they intend to make changes.
> do we have consensus on consensus?
> On Thu, 2009-10-01 at 17:57 -0700, Jason Dusek wrote:
> > I would be interested to know how many other people take
> > Jake's missive as something like "My way or the
> > highway.".
> > --
> > Jason Dusek
> > Den 01.10.2009 kl. 16:00 skrev Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at appelbaum.net>:
> > > Leif Ryge wrote:
> > >> There is an inherent conservative bias in consensus decision-
> > >> making. If
> > >> there is no consensus about how or if a thing needs to be changed,
> > >> that
> > >> thing should generally stay the way it is. This is a feature not a
> > >> bug.
> > >> ~leif
> > >>
> > >
> > > That's pretty much spot on. It encourages people to join the group who
> > > like how we're already doing things. If this principle isn't fitting
> > > for
> > > you, it's possibly a core value mismatch. We're not for everyone.
> > >
> > > If you want to dump oil on beaches, you probably shouldn't join
> > > Greenpeace. If you want to be an integrated part of Noisebridge,
> > > you'll
> > > have to agree to our consensus process and the consensus decisions.
> > > It's
> > > a big part of what has made this entire community possible.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Jake
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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