[Noisebridge-discuss] proposal for noisebridge membership changes

jim jim at systemateka.com
Wed Oct 2 02:56:40 UTC 2013

    Your intention may not be the reality, as 
in unintended consequences. I believe Leif's 
description is credible and likely. 
    We cannot legislate problems away; we 
have to deal with them. Yes, it's frustrating. 

On Tue, 2013-10-01 at 18:59 -0700, Jake wrote:
> 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.
> -jake
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