[Noisebridge-discuss] Rooster watch, round 1 (documenting sleepers at NB)
jake at spaz.org
Thu Feb 2 23:30:28 PST 2012
> kelly wrote:
I think this is an excellent idea and I am disturbed that people object to
it. It is mere data collection on a subject that threatens to sap and
impurify Noisebridge. We all agree that sleeping at noisebridge is
Perhaps we need to be reminded about why sleeping at nb is a problem.
Basically, noisebridge was born free and pure. It was composed of
excellent hackers who had the highest goals in mind of creating a physical
space where people could come anytime and create things. We thought that
by renting a space with an open-door policy and inviting more hackers to
make use of it, the purity of the initialized meatspace would sustain.
Unfortunately, reality is an agressive dog.
Entropy takes place in many ways.
First, people sort supplies and tools and materials in the space, using
their understanding of what goes where, what is useful, what is communal
hack material, and what is e-waste. Then, other people come along and
move things out of their appropriate places because they don't know
better. This is a fact of life, and the people who spend their time
straightening up the place are willing to invest energy and time putting
things back over and over again, to compensate for newbies who are still
learning what goes where.
Socially, noisebridge is based on a highly ordered concept of personal
responsibility and excellence. This positive and productive social
structure was easier to maintain before noisebridge was discovered by the
general public. If we want to maintain what might be the most valuable
aspect of noisebridge culture, we have to be willing to clean up once and
awhile. Entropy has been taking its toll.
We have all agreed that noisebridge is not a place to live. When people
live at noisebridge, they are subtracting from the ability of people to do
other things with the space. Someone sleeping on the couch means
1. other people can't sit on that couch
2. people are less likely to engage in vibrant conversation
3. people are less likely to use tools or construction practices that make
a lot of noise
4. people are less likely to play upbeat and productivity-inspiring music
5. people are less likely to turn on more lights!
That is just one example.
When someone uses noisebridge as their residence, they are inherently
taking up more space than someone who wishes only to use noisebridge a
place to hack. How many times have you come to noisebridge to get some
work done, and rather than encounter like-minded folks building something
interesting, you get dragged into drama about people who are living at
noisebridge? Have you decreased your time spent at noisebridge as a
result of negative encounters with people who live or sleep at
Guess what people, it's a positive-feedback cycle. That means that the
more people who misuse the space and subtract from the culture of
excellence, the less people will spend time at noisebridge maintaining
Perhaps it is unavoidable that 2169 mission will inevitably shift toward
being a community center with people living there, collecting rent, and
enforcing only basic standards of interpersonal behavior (no fighting no
stealing but anything else goes) and all the creative stuff will be pushed
out, back to the closet (literally) for hackers living in apartments, and
the "noisebridge community" broken up and replaced with off-street housing
for people trying to beat SF rent.
But i think we should use our hackerly skills, such as databases, charts,
wiki pages and coordination, to instead reclaim OUR space from entropy.
Since the sleeper controversy seems to be especially problematic
lately, I'm trying to coordinate some data collection about the
sleeping problem. Clearly, once we can graph the problem, it will be
I've made a wiki page for the Rooster Brigade, a volunteer group of
noisebridgers who are willing to stand up (or sit down and type) and
name people who are sleeping at Noisebridge. The goal of this effort
is partly so daytime noisebridgers can learn about the nocturnal
community, but also so that the nocturnal community can learn about
the goals of the larger community. Hopefully if we pool our collective
knowledge about frustrating confrontations and habitual sleepers, some
sort of consensus can arise about how to address the problem.
Here's how you can help!
1. If you see someone sleeping at noisebridge, find out who they are.
This can be accomplished by asking others in the space, photographing
them and asking someone later, or waking them and asking yourself.
2. Write their name on the wiki on the day and time you encountered
them sleeping. A brief description of the situation is also helpful.
Were they faceplanted in a soldering iron? Did they have a sleeping
bag, luggage or houseplants?
Thanks very much for your participation. When we have enough data, I
will fit it to a general linear model and we can all argue about
correcting for multiple comparisons.
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