[Noisebridge-discuss] draft of Signal to Noise, a NB newsletter
jtfoote at ieee.org
Tue Jan 4 19:02:43 PST 2011
Certain graybeards of an Anglophone bent might remember NTK, which was
possibly the best bloody email newsletter on the planet. It was funny,
subversive, informative, and co-written by none other than Dany. (For
a flavour sample, see ntk.net.)
I miss it terribly.
So anything even remotely similar from the pen of Mr. O'Brien has my
vote. I'd even volunteer to write/edit. Make it so.
On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 5:06 PM, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:
> Briefly, my sense talking and polling people right now is that there's
> a huge amount of activity going on in and around Noisebridge that
> people (and the public) don't know about and is not easily
> discoverable. (Also that the NB community is now far larger and more
> diverse than it used to be, which means the time and resources need to
> maintain one-to-one conversations with everyone to maintain social
> coherence and spread news and mutually groom one another's silverback
> pelts and prevent [or at least adequately publicise] HUGE FIST FIGHTS
> is growing steadily greater. If this was a TED talk I'd start
> bullshitting about Dunbar numbers, but this is nb-discuss so you would
> start throwing PBR cans at my head, so I won't.)
> Anyway, at last week's meeting I mused that one way to help fix this
> would be to have a regular Noisebridge newsletter, which would pull in
> some of the threads of this larger social group, and have a simple way
> for everyone to keep in touch with what's going on, and feel a warm
> glow of self-regard at being in with all the in shit, and thing.
> Below is my first stab at this. I went around the mailing lists,
> talked to people, interviewed one Noisebridger at length, and then
> through it all into an old ASCII email newslettter format I happen to
> have around (some of you may know I co-wrote http://www.ntk.net/ a
> decade ago. Yeah, I dusted that off. Kill me)
> The content is pretty much what I could imagine writing every
> fortnight with some help. It certainly wasn't hard to find cool stuff
> that noisebridgers do; it was harder to decide what not to put in. I
> didn't spend much time on formatting nor tone or voice (ie this is the
> special No Actual Jokes edition), because that takes a while to get
> right and for this first go I wanted to concentrate on purest content.
> It's very rough though.
> I'm sending this one out only to noisebridge-discuss for your comments
> and criticisms. In the real world, it would go out to nb-announce. I
> want whatever finally goes out there to that to be sustainable long
> term however. Realise that if you're a regular nb-discuss reader you
> probably know much of this, but there are plenty of people who do not
> (most NBers I've spoken to don't know that the financial mess is not
> so dreadful these days, for instance.)
> My acute self-criticism is at the bottom of it, under the ASCII <HR>
> tag. I welcome comments, yeah even from you.
> .-'`-. Signal
> z !/| To Noise
> z !\| V11.010000000(Beta)-rc7
> `-'`- 2011-01-04
> In this issue:
>> NOISEBRIDGE SAVED FROM REPO BOTS
>> THEY CAME FOR OUR TEA ROOM
>> HEART SPARKS AND TRON GUYS
>> DISTILLING NEURAL NETWORKS INTO BRAIN BROTH
>> HUMAN OF NOISEBRIDGE OF THE MONTH:
>> Meredith Scheff-King is ALL SCARF, ALL THE TIME
>>>> NEWS: NB NO LONGER DIVIDING BY ZERO
> This February, Noisebridge will not disappear in a white hole of
> debt, anguish and sheet rock dust. You all stepped up, and in a few
> weeks we went from having little cartoon flies buzzing out of the
> cartoon wallet, to touching the rim of our canonical hackerspace
> float of three months costs in advance ($15K).
> Noisebridge has historically paid its bills with about 2/3rds from
> membership dues, and the rest from casual donations. We're mostly
> fixed the overdue dues problem thanks to Kelly's excellent financial
> forensics, but Noisebridge is still prone to economic boom-bust on
> the rand()*(donations) front.
> A lot of you drop a few bucks in the box when you come by, and thank
> you, you're awesome. But just as you don't have to a member of
> Noisebridge to use the space for whatever, you don't have to be a
> full member to make a pre-programme regular donation. Turn those few
> bucks into a monthly electronci payment of just $10 or $20, and
> you'll always have a Gentlemen And Ladies Space Within Which To Hack.
> Plus less of this irregular NPR-style pledge-drive spazzing. Go on!
> Do it! IT'S JUST MONEY. YOU'D ONLY WASTE IT ON OIL.
> - We'll give you Ira Glass's perineum in a totebag if you give us a fifty
> - mfb broke into our PayPal account and wrote a script at it
> - $10 dude! You pay more than that in dropbox or Ritual or watercress
> or something!
>>>> STUFF THAT GOT DONE
> Noisebridge's Scanning Electron Microscope is getting better
> every day: Mike and Andy got it working up to 20,000x.
> Schematics and pics uploaded to:
> THE TEA ROOM is no more! Zed and Shannon went on a
> stairs-constructing rampage and constructed a space you can
> walk up to, on your legs. It still works for tea drinking.
> That BUILD-OUT MESS by the touch-panel was magicked away
> into the Even Darker Room (aka the Scott Memorial Storage
> Room). The ADA BATHROOM got grab-bars c/o Miloh!
> ELLIPTICALLY ORBITING PROJECTS
> Eric and Chung-Hay of Sensebridge launched their HEART SPARK
> heatbeat-sensitive necklace to universal Internets acclaim!
> Eric's in Toronto now, hanging out with our hacklab.to
> sisters, but C-H is still about, and working on new
> projects, including a heartbeat scarf. Scarfs are cool.
> MC Hawking, the wheelchair robot, now has an embedded PC for
> a brain, and is possibly conspiring with our IRC noisebot.
> He is actually deadly.
> Sean made a Tron suit out of 190 proper LEDs and not boring
> EL wire like you thought. He's like Tron Guy : Legacy!
> (From the Cyborg list:
> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/cyborg )
> All the usual events at https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Category:Events plus:
>> Sean's Distillation Class
> Wednesday, January 5th @ 7PM
> "I'll teach you how a still works, go over some options for 'rolling
> your own', and the best part of the whole thing? We'll actually
> distill something, and try the results! Plan on the class lasting
> about 2 hours."
>> Neural Net Workshop!
> Wednesday, January 26, 2011
> Mike Schachter says: the Machine Learning group at Noisebridge wants
> to teach you! We're holding a workshop on constructing and using
> neural networks, to raise Neural Network Awareness (NNA) and money
> for Noisebridge. Bring laptops!
>> Noisebridge Book Club!
> Miah implies without explicitly stating: "I'm starting a NB book club
> on Goodreads. We can be virtual or have actual meetings":
>>>> HUMAN OF NOISEBRIDGE OF THE FORTNIGHT
> MEREDITH SCHEFF-KING won the Awesome Foundation's monthly $1000 award
> for her proposal to make 30 scarves in January. Signal to Noise
> caught her attacking her third scarf in the space, and plagued her
> with dumb questions:
>> So is this three scarfs of the day or one you're making right now?
> It's one; the scarf of today is reconfigurable with one or two or three
> free-floating sections.
>> Are you planning out the whole month beforehand, or are you taking
> it one scarf at a time?
> Well, I went into it with more than thirty scarf ideas, but
> ultimately I'm making them one at a time. I don't want to plan too
> far ahead. I work better spontaneously.
>> How much your time are you setting aside for this?
> All of it. I'm not doing much else but making scarves this month. At some
> point I'm going to have to get groceries, I guess.
>> Okay, I have to ask. Why scarves?
> I love warm, fuzzy things. I'm sort of a chilly person. I grew up in
> the Central Valley, where it's over 100 degrees a lot of the time, so
> it's always cold by comparison. And I like making art that I wear.
> With a lot of my work, like the cartooning or the construction you
> don't know if anyone sees the end result. It might be that noone sees
>> But if you're wearing, you get to see the reaction?
> Yes! Also, people know what they're seeing. It's not like an artwork
> where you have to explain to the audience what they're seeing first.
> They already know it's a scarf. They know what it's supposed to do.
>> I saw that you were agonising on your Twitter stream about keeping two craft
> centers, one at your home and one at Noisebridge. Where do you think you're
> going to spend most of your time this month?
> Well, this is scarf three, and the first one I'm making at NB. It
> gets lonely making stuff at home. I'm very distractable, but it's
> easier to avoid that here, strangely. Like, I can choose not to bring
> my computer here, but I can't *not* have it at my apartment.
>> Does it help you finish a project when you have a clear goal like this?
> A bit. Mainly, though, it's the publicity that encourages you to keep
> going. When the Awesome Foundation mailed me I'd won the award for
> January, I'd actually almost forgotten I'd applied. And then they
> told me all the blogs and people that they'd already told. I was like
> "uh-oh, I guess I'd better actually do this". Then of course, the
> economics of taking a month off for $1K doesn't work out, so I
> started a Kickstarter project to get the rest of the money, and I
> thought "Whoa, now I really *really* have to do this."
> I guess it sounds kind of bad, but I do like it when my projects do
> the rounds on the Internet. Like the Northskirt -- that was such a
> lot of work, and so is this. It makes me happy to know people see it.
>> Do you know where you're going to show all the scarves yet?
> Actually, no -- I haven't had a moment of time away from scarves to
> call around galleries.
> (Miloh shouts from the kitchen that Meredith's rice is boiling.
> Finally distracted, she runs off to grab five precious minutes of
> non-scarf scarfing.)
> Meredith's Kickstarter project is here:
> Okay, that's that. My self-criticisms/thinking aloud:
> I finished this last night, and when I read the nb-discuss this
> morning, there were already a bunch of worthy new stories (vending
> machine! tardis!) that I hadn't included. The newsletter is already
> slightly too long, I fear that once I actually get stuff sent in, it's
> just going to grow even more. I don't think I could stand to write
> this weekly or even a shorter time-period though.
> Would a what you young people call a "weeb-log" or "b'log" work
> better? Maybe: certainly if we ramped up the NB weblog, I bet we'd get
> a lot of coverage and relinking from Maker blog, etc. What isn't so
> great is ownership and ritual with blogs. The advantage of a regular
> periodic mailout is that people look forward to it, and if you write
> it well (this draft isn't written well) people will sit through and
> take it all in, and feel like they're an exclusive subscriber. Also we
> can print it out and put it in the space somewhere. Blogs are less
> easy to attach ritual to, and the level of control that you can exact
> on a broadcast-only news format often feels inappropriate for blog --
> ie saying "We" all the time, not having comments, etc. It might just
> be a style thing. I will talk to people about this.
> My actual sese right now is that what we have here is a bunch of nice
> potentially aggregatable mini-features: Noisebridge Human of The Time
> Period, Project Updates, Infrastructure Diffs, General News, that need
> to be in one place, and quickly digestible, rather than scattered over
> dozens of mailing lists, inside people's heads, and as wikisplatter. I
> think one output of all of those mini-features is potentially a blog,
> one is an email newsletter to nb-announce, and one is a printed
> pamphlet that can be on the wall entering Noisebridge. But just
> writing and collating this text is hard work -- piping it into
> different media needs either an automatic process, or a bunch of
> people working together consistently. Wait, would people be interested
> in a Noisebridge press club?
> I WUV YOU
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