[Noisebridge-discuss] proposal for noisebridge membership changes

Praveen Sinha dmhomee at gmail.com
Tue Oct 1 22:32:57 UTC 2013


Can't make it to consensus tomorrow night due to a meeting... BUT I think
this a very very fine line, and I think it may be good to experiment with
it first.

First, having to have sponsors to come into the space can for sure
adversely affect our openness to new and totally legit people.  I recently
had an experience in Berlin where I wasn't allowed into C-Base because the
only 2 people at the space did not feel like hosting any outsiders at the
time.

I personally think our commitment to openness is what makes Noisebridge
truly unique and special and valuable -- frankly on the whole damn planet
as far as hackerspaces go, and I'm willing to go through a lot of pain to
keep it that way.

That said, I do see your pain points with shit walking out the door Jake,
so I wouldn't neccesarily block... But is there some way that we can have
an experimental period?



On Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 2:10 AM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:

> Last week it was proposed that Noisebridge make changes to our access
> policy.  The basic idea is that if someone is a Member or Associate Member
> of Noisebridge, they are allowed to be in the space at any time (with the
> usual exception of leaving when asked for conflict resolution purposes)
>
> Further it should be that if someone who is not a Member or Associate
> Member of the space, they can be in the space if they are the guest of a
> Member or Associate Member who is present.
>
> In most ways this will cause only a subtle ripple in the way Noisebridge
> has been working until now.  If a person is in the space and the person who
> let them in has left, if they are not doing anything objectionable it is
> unlikely that anyone will even ask them if they have a sponsor.
> However, if someone is being unexcellent and there is no one present who
> is their sponsor, it is now possible to ask the person to leave due to no
> fault of their own.
>
> This is very valuable, because up until now it has been necessary to wait
> until someone does something fucked up, and then try to use that as a lever
> to get them to leave.  This generally leads to unpleasantness, especially
> since you are inherently asking someone to admit to wrongdoing by the act
> of leaving voluntarily.  This has been nothing but trouble the whole time,
> and 90% of the time when someone is being shitty, our response is to let it
> continue because the alternative is getting in an argument with an asshole.
>
> From now on, with this new arrangement, Noisebridge is by default open
> only to Member and Associate Members and their guests.  Of course anyone
> who rings the doorbell is very likely to be let in by a Member or Associate
> Member, and is sponsored by the person who lets them in until that person
> leaves or ends the sponsorship (in case of a bad fit for that person at
> noisebridge).  If a person without a sponsor is present and a problem comes
> up, any Member or Associate Member can volunteer to be their sponsor if one
> thinks they should stay and continue hacking (after solving the problem
> with their new sponsor's help).
>
> I see this as a win for all visions of Noisebridge access policy, since it
> takes away nothing from what we can choose to do, and it gives us so much
> more freedom to do what we need to do without insulting people who need to
> leave.
>
> I think the most important aspect of this arrangement is the concept of
> Accountability.  If a Member or Associate Member does something
> questionable at noisebridge, there is definitely a way to contact that
> person to discuss the situation, and almost certainly a friend of theirs
> who is also a Member or Associate Member who can help facilitate problem
> solving.  This is how we maintain the excellence of our community and
> environment, by Accountability.
>
> With Guests, there is no inherent accountability.  When someone walks in
> the door and is greeted by no one, and answers to no one, they have been
> told no rules and there is not even a person who they can ask questions
> about what is appropriate for our space.
>
> With this new system, every person who is let in the door is likely to be
> introduced to a specific person who will explain, "You are my guest here,
> and if there are any issues such as with another person, you can come to me
> or use my name as your sponsor, as long as I am here." This means that
> every new person is immediately granted accountability to our network
> through a Member or Associate Member as their proxy server.
>
> Any guest who, for example is told that they should not be sleeping on the
> couch in the library, will either answer by correcting their behavior
> (hopefully), or they will involve their sponsor somehow (perhaps by
> invoking their name as a defense of their activity).  At that point their
> sponsor, who as a Member or Associate Member has accountability to the
> community, can be asked to solve that problem in a productive way.  When
> they come to their Guest and affirm that their invitation did not extend to
> permission to sleep in the library, the guest sees it coming from the same
> person who originally let them in and thus has the right to make them leave
> if they don't stop fucking up.
>
> If the person sleeping in the library isn't able to produce a Member or
> Associate Member who is present at the time, and none who are present want
> to sponsor them at that time, they can be asked to leave due to no fault of
> their own, but simply because it is noisebridge policy.
>
> One justification for this policy is that Noisebridge Members and
> Associate Members look out for one another by protecting the space and the
> people in it from those who are not excellent enough to attract a sponsor.
> We do that for each other so that we can benefit from the improved culture
> and environment, as well as decreased entropy and theft, that resluts.
>
> I am out of town so i won't be able to participate in the meeting,
> but two things I wanted to emphasize are:
>
> 1:  I don't think we should do it this way part of the time, i think we
> shoud be this way 24/7 all the fucking time.  anyone who comes in the door
> gets introduced to a person who will sponsor them at that time, or
> alternately give them a quick tour and then an invitation to come back
> another time, or perhaps there are no members in the space who want to
> sponsor a guest at that time and the person doesn't get to come in.  I
> think this last option will happen very infrequently but if it does, I
> don't think we're losing anything.  If a person was going to come to
> noisebridge but there was nobody there who wanted to give them a
> tour/introduction, they are better off coming back another time.
>
> 2:  Remember that this is a subtle change.  The biggest practical effect
> is that it makes it possible to tell someone (who has NO sponsor) that they
> have to leave due to no fault of their own, but simply because of policy.
>  This is a problem-solving feature and a de-escalation strategy of which we
> should recognize the value.
>
> So, come tuesday, pass the fucking thing and don't limit it to certain
> hours.
>
> -jake
>
> P.S. the typo was on purpose to see if you were paying attention.
>
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