[Noisebridge-discuss] notice of intent to ragequit

Ronald Cotoni setient at gmail.com
Fri Feb 7 01:38:44 UTC 2014

Thank you danny and very well said.

On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Danny O'Brien <danny at spesh.com> wrote:

> Almost all of it is automated at this point. I need to find out
> exactly what details our accountant needs and deduce that as much as I
> can from our existing records, which will be a bit scary. By far the
> hardest of Kelly's job was doing this, and I have not maintained her
> system (but hopefully maintained all the records I need to create an
> easier automated system).
> There's a bunch of non-job related maintenance that I don't do any
> more -- wiki-gardening, making sure pony's secretaribot scripts run
> regularly, and perhaps less obviously herding things to consensus and
> trying to gently encourage people to be less dickish while
> simultaneously not having people coming after me with axes.
> My honest feeling -- and I hope people reading this will understand
> that this is a generalisation that may not include them -- is that
> there was very little that Noisebridge did, and very few people who
> spent their time at Noisebridge, who I want to spend time with.  I
> love art and artists, but I don't really see myself as one, and I know
> better places to hang out with them. I like helping people with their
> problems, but not when they constantly demand that the problems are
> with other people, not partly in their own behaviour, in the face of
> many others. I don't know how to deal with entitlement. I like rules,
> but people who wield rules without the awareness of their own
> incentives are frustrating to deal with. I find trolls funny and a
> release, but the endless stream of negativity without an understanding
> that their are real people at the end of email, twitter and even
> in-the-space conversations, was depressing.
> The cultural DNA of Noisebridge since its very beginning, with Jake
> and Rubin and dozens of others, is one of joyful blunt confrontation,
> "we game and troll", and i see how it has worn down others, and worn
> down even its greatest fans. It is not a driving cultural force, but a
> clumsy self-medication of anger management, and in the face of
> creating a better society, it just seems childish to me.
> I know that this is something where people will roll their eyes and
> say it's just Noisebridge: but it's not just Noisebridge. The people
> who were the fiercest critics of Noisebridge seem to face the same
> problems. As I've said before, when Noisebridge was at its most
> lovely, I still watched people talk on twitter about it being a
> cesspoo -- people who did nothing to help, and who we often helped.
> While quiet people worked hard to make their spaces a success, their
> loudest members would rail about other hackerspaces and target us for
> abuse. I got bored of people lecturing us about how PC we were, or
> insufficiently tolerant, or how we'd let political activists destroy
> our hacking ability, or how our hackers weren't open-minded enough,
> and then watch those people exhibit horrible behaviours in the space
> and in their own spaces too. People who'd sneer at the assistance we
> give the homeless, and then get on their high horse when we threw out
> one of their friends for behaviour that would get you thrown out
> anyone's home. People would be shocked when we threw people out, and
> do nothing when predators run or monopolised their own communities.
> I am cogniscent that some of this is due to some bad ideas in how
> Noisebridge is managed, and I understand the portrayal of it now as an
> experiment went wrong. I'd just point to how many of the strongest
> advocates for some of Noisebridge's ideals have now moved on and
> started their own exciting and vibrant successor projects, like
> DoubleUnion, and Type A machines, and sudo room, and --- yes, even
> places like Ace Monster Toys. Those places struggle with different,
> but very similar issues. The best seem to learn from the mistakes of
> Noisebridge, but their flaws seem to be in believing that those flaws
> can be ceremonially buried with consensus, or 24/7 or having ideals,
> or by ignoring your wider community, or hiding in your own economic
> class.
> I think when and if people want to put a chapter break on this period
> of Noisebridge, they'll strongly tie it with Occupy. In the months of
> struggle after Occupy collapsed, the people trying to throw "occupy
> people" out of the space seemed to forget that they'd identified and
> worked with the movement just months before. Like Occupy, Noisebridge
> was asked to solve all the problems, and stepped up to do so. That it
> didn't solve all of them, and struggled with the ones that hackers had
> never had to think about before, is neither surprising nor something
> people should condemn. It's better to have tried and learned, then not
> to have hacked at all.
> I also think that Noisebridge has a great future ahead of it as a
> place that isn't afraid to rebuild or re-imagine itself. There's a
> bunch of people now who are stepping up to transform Noisebridge
> again. Like Doctor Who regenerating, they'll be very different, but
> will inevitably remain at heart the same Noisebridge -- the same mad
> people in a little box in the Mission. It's just important to
> recognise that trying to fix problems isn't the burden of a
> hackerspace, it's the challenge, and it's what makes it exciting. And
> if it's not longer exciting, remember to leave quickly, and leave some
> documentation.
> Okay, burbling over, thank you everyone!
> On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM, Adrian Chadd <adrian.chadd at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > On 6 February 2014 10:57, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Thanks for all your help Danny. Nobody really understands what a
> mountain of
> >> work the treasurer and secretary have to do until they are buried under
> it.
> >> :)
> >>
> >> Do you think splitting up Treasurer duties among different people would
> help
> >> or just create a lot of overhead? Like, a separate person for filing
> taxes,
> >> tracking membership dues, tracking donations, compiling weekly Treasurer
> >> reports, paying rent & utilities, compensating expenses. etc.
> >
> > Automate, don't delegate. The communication overhead between all of
> > the above would (correctly) force you to document things in a good way
> > and track things correctly, but there's a lot of overhead in doing
> > this. It certainly makes transitioning to new treasurers easier.
> >
> >
> > -a
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> >
> >
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Ronald Cotoni
Systems Engineer
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