[Noisebridge-discuss] proposal for noisebridge membership changes

Jake jake at spaz.org
Wed Oct 2 01:59:13 UTC 2013

On Wed, 2 Oct 2013, 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"

The intention behind my proposal AND my full expectation of its outcome is 
a 0% reduction in admittance of guests and a 100% ijncrease in the proper 
introduction and induction of those guests, resluting in a 1000% increase 
in respect for and understanding of noisebridge's culture of excellence.


More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list