[Noisebridge-discuss] proposal for noisebridge membership changes

jim jim at well.com
Wed Oct 2 00:27:12 UTC 2013


I agree with Leif! 
This is a bad proposal, albeit well-intentioned. 




On Wed, 2013-10-02 at 00:09 +0000, Leif Ryge wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 02:10:29AM -0700, Jake 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.
> 
> My impression is that most people who have become involved with Noisebridge
> over the years would have been prevented from doing so by this policy. People
> arrive, they don't know anybody, and the fact that they're welcome is usually a
> critical part of what causes them to do awesome stuff at Noisebridge. If they
> are instead told that they're only welcome when or if someone is being
> responsible for them, well, that would be a very different experience and I
> think it would lead to significantly less awesome happening.
> 
> This is literally[1] a proposal to kill the golden-egg-laying goose.
> 
> ~leif
> 
> 1: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/literally
> 
> ps: the wording on the Current_Consensus_Items wiki page is nothing like the
> proposal above; it says "modify open hours so that nights are open-access to
> Members and to guests of any sponsoring Member also present in the space"
> 
> pps: the misspelled word is in the first sentence of the 3d-to-last paragraph
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