[Noisebridge-discuss] amendments to membership proposal - associate members and 24/7 hours

Jake jake at spaz.org
Wed Oct 23 02:57:34 UTC 2013


Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
  Indeed, why ask them to leave? As a matter of closing the space to
  people in the out group? It seems bad to create an out group that could
  ever include a productive, excellent hacker that isn't actively
  misbehaving in a way that is negatively impacting the space...

You haven't been at noisebridge very much in the past few years and I 
don't see you posting with any helpful suggestions for dealing with the 
problems we've been having, or even acknowledging them.  That includes 
this post of yours, where you criticize efforts to make positive change 
without offering any alternative solutions.

The answer to your question is that Noisebridge has been overrun with 
people whose needs have nothing to do with hacking and everything to do 
with living in San Francisco rent-free.  Their use of the space as a 
residence and nightclub interferes with and destroys the positive culture 
that Noisebridge has tried to foster.  The result is that people who would 
be collaborating and contributing to hacker culture and a cooperative 
learning environment have been displaced.  People are de-facto excluded.

Because the people who have been causing this problem have nothing to lose 
and nothing else to do with their time, they are very difficult to eject 
from the space without some sort of policy to point to.  When they are 
asked to leave as a result of them crossing the line and doing something 
fucked up, they will argue and resist and shout and eventually wear out 
whoever has been asking them to leave.  We need some sort of policy that 
makes it easier to ask someone to leave without having to get them to 
admit they did something wrong.

At first glance this policy may seem to be creating an "out" group but its 
purpose is actually something different - to maintain an environment where 
people coming to the space know that the community of noisebridge is 
present and will require excellence of everyone in the space.  Before this 
policy what we had was simple anarchy, where the loudest and most 
obnoxious would prevail, and those who wished to avoid primal conflict 
would simply not come to noisebridge.

  Are you saying that the policy results in the suffering of folks who
  shouldn't be suffering, so you'd like that policy to be an all-hours
  policy? That seems less than ideal. If people are otherwise excellent
  and then they're asked to leave, regardless of the time, it strikes me
  as a bad policy.

A lot of people have asked about this.  I never suggested that this policy 
would be a part-time thing, and I believe that the scheduled nature of it 
is causing problems and preventing it from working properly.  The goal is 
to make it so that there is an expected standard of introduction and 
accountability for people coming into the space, regardless of when they 
came in, and also to create a framework for asking people to leave IF they 
are causing a problem.

in other words, the problem was a result of this "11PM closing time" thing 
which I did not propose and I objected to, but it was passed by consensus. 
I am proposing to do away with "11PM closing time" does that make sense?

  This is really depressing here Jake - full-time Members? Next up, we'll
  have partial members? [...] We've always had a way for starving hackers
  to contribute to Noisebridge - some of our first members were full
  Members even though a number of them could not afford any money for
  Membership.

You don't understand at all.  I'm saying we should create a new path for 
people to be part of Noisebridge (more than guests) by becoming "Associate 
Members" which gives them important aspects of membership such as the 
right to be in the space without supervision, in exchange for not much 
more than their accountability and communication with the greater 
membership.  Associate Members will not have the ability to block 
consensus items and can perhaps be legally defined as "associates of 
members".

The treasurer (danny) has recently assured me that currently people who do 
not pay dues are automatically removed from the membership rolls, and in 
fact this is considered a feature as it is thought to be the only way to 
remove someone's membership.  I have also been assured that due to the 
wording of our bylaws, a (regular) member can block their own ouster, and 
that consensus-minus-one is not the rule.

If you disagree with the correctness or the rightness of the issues in my 
previous paragraph, please start a new thread because I am not in a 
position to answer your questions on those topics.

  They're not Members by law - they're literally a different legal group.
  It is a meaningless class - there are two classes of power - inside
  Noisebridge as capital 'M' Members and those who are merely visitors,
  guests or people otherwise unaffiliated with the space. The board is
  specifically designed to be a position of liability, not a position of
  legal authority that is free to decide things without the general will
  of the Membership. Changing this dynamic has legal consequences but it
  also has a major social impact.

You are correct, Associate Members have little real power other than the 
trust of the Membership to be in the space without supervision, and they 
even have the power to sponsor other people in the space, however 
informally they want to do that.  What you're failing to realize is that 
without creating this new class of Associate Membership, Noisebridge is 
left abandoned by the Regular Membership (like you) and there is nothing 
the community can do to promote excellence.

You seem to want to keep power consolidated in the hands of those who can 
pay cash to noisebridge even if they never attend the space, while denying 
the people who use the space from having any power to maintain the culture 
of cooperative learning and excellence that we all value.

If you want to help noisebridge, come spend some time here and see what 
it's like with and without the measures we invent to make things better, 
and help maintain the place.  Otherwise if you want to help from a 
distance, change the tone of your letters to be more helpful rather than 
just condemning things you don't immediately like without offering 
solutions.

Also if you want to have a better reputation from which you can launch 
your suggestions, avoid making promises to people that you can't or don't 
intend to keep.

-jake


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