[Noisebridge-discuss] Apologies for the inconvenience

Tom Lowenthal me at tomlowenthal.com
Wed Apr 2 19:35:02 UTC 2014

Contrary to the extensive rumors, I am not a Cylon or any other type of robot.
* Pros: I am not secretly infiltrating human society as part of the
advanced scouts for an invasion fleet.
* Cons: I occasionally make mistakes.

I'm sorry about that, and I'm especially sorry about making mistakes
which make your life harder.

I think that I have a pretty low error rate, but I do a lot of
Noisbridge malarkey. That means I'm going to make a relatively
constant number of errors. I would very much like it if you could
interpret  my mistakes acts of a reasonable & well-meaning person who
messed up. If you know about things I've already done wrong, please
tell me about them. That's the only way I can help fix them.

The best way to do that is by email. You can send one to
<me at tomlowenthal.com> if it's about me, or <secretary at noisebridge.net>
if it's all official-like. Please write clear emails with descriptive
subject-lines¹. Explain what went wrong and what I should do to make
it right. If I don't answer after a day or two, send me a follow-up.
Please be understanding if I don't resolve the problem immediately.
Noisebridge isn't my job, and doesn't have an SLA. Even I need
wrangling to get stuff done.

* * * * *

Dealing with membership is one of the hardest things I do. Our
membership workflow is a work of mad genius: fragile and prone to
breakage. It's not very transparent: I'm the only person who can check
my work and that's a recipe for mistakes. This is one of the reasons
I'd like the member list to be less secret. When I make inevitable
mistakes, I'd like someone else to be able to catch them sooner rather
than later.

Other Noisebridge processes are similarly brittle. When you see me do
something wrong, is it a mistake, a misunderstanding, or malicious?
It's hard to tell. That's why I want to write more stuff down. If we
write things down, we know what we've agreed, and then there's less
room for mistakes & misunderstandings.


P.S. I'm not going to be at the next few Tuesday meetings because of a
neat workshop series at Stanford CIS. Next week I'm running a workshop
on using TorBrowser. On the 18th, I'll be in the audience, as Bruce
Schneier tell us how to fix mass-surveillance. On the 22nd, I'll be
running another workshop, this time on GPG. The events are all open to
the public. You should come.

April 8: <https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/events/cis-tech-workshop-tom-lowenthal-browsing-tor-online-anonymity-outsmart-nsa>
April 15: <https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/events/nsa-surveillance-and-what-do-about-it-evening-talk-bruce-schneier>
April 22: <https://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/events/cis-tech-workshop-tom-lowenthal-email-encryption-pretty-good-privacy-even-when-someones>

¹ If your email doesn't obviously distinguish itself from
(all-to-real) complaints about how Noisebridge is in league with the
tin-foil lobby to compromise the integrity of protective headgear, I
may well miss it. Seriously. My inbox gets a lot of truly
off-the-rails nonsense with a Noisebridge theme.

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