[Noisebridge-discuss] Why Consensus Kills Community

John Ellis neurofog at gmail.com
Sat Dec 14 20:06:29 UTC 2013

Hi Mike,

I hope the ML meetup went smoothly. I was trying to wrap up a project so I
wasn't able to make it.

I do agree that it can be disheartening to other potential members,
although I'm not sure the reasons why a particular member was blocked. I'm
also wondering if instead of strict consensus, make it 2 to block would be
more appropriate. Another option would be make all new members have a
post-consensus trial period, which automatically promotes to full
Membership after a period of time (1-6 months?), unless subject to
consensed action.

Attending Tuesday meetings is one of those things that isn't always
practical, and if you feel strongly about a particular item, ask somebody
who feels similar to you to discuss this at the meeting and possibly block
the item, or at least provide for further discussion.


On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM, Mike Schachter <cubicgoats at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think that dealing with what you perceive as "oddness" is a part of
> dealing with a diverse set of people at Noisebridge. Sometimes while
> teaching classes, certain individuals come to dominate discussions with
> things that aren't on-topic. 100% of the time they were politely dealt with
> (cut off) and the class continued. I'm not saying that my experience
> teaching classes is the same as what happens at the meetings, only that I
> understand how things can easily be sidetracked during a group meeting.
> I think Madelynn's suggested approach for Freeside-like meetings are
> viable, and in addition all meeting discussions should be heavily
> moderated, enforcing strict time limits for discussions and debates. I'm
> very enthusiastic about the idea of members voting on things remotely as
> well. If I don't go to the meetings, it means I don't have time to go to
> the meetings, it doesn't mean I don't care about Noisebridge.
>  mike
> On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM, Adrian Chadd <adrian.chadd at gmail.com>wrote:
>> On 14 December 2013 11:01, Mike Schachter <cubicgoats at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Thanks Madelynn, I appreciate your post.
>> >
>> > When the associate member thing came around, I had to make a decision
>> > whether to try to become an associate member or capital-M member. I
>> attended
>> > a Tuesday meeting, and Hillaire was up for captial-M membership.
>> >
>> > I was very surprised and disappointed to see him, or really anyone else,
>> > rejected! It really turned me off to Noisebridge's entire membership
>> > structure, and made me want to do the absolute minimum to be "accepted"
>> into
>> > a community which I've participated in for years.
>> >
>> > It doesn't make sense to me for new members to be accepted by consensus.
>> > There is obviously a conflict-of-interest in the case where there are
>> > opposing viewpoints between an existing member and a new one, and that
>> keeps
>> > Noisebridge's membership structure from being inclusive.
>> >
>> And I've been to a couple of Tuesday night meetings where the
>> inclusiveness ended up with some very .. odd and counter-productive
>> arguments. There's such a diversity of people that seem to show up to
>> Noisebridge and pull it in a variety of directions that may arguably
>> be good for the space as a whole.
>> It swings multiple ways.
>> -adrian
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