[Noisebridge-discuss] about policy vis-a-vis true excellence

Naomi Most pnaomi at gmail.com
Wed Mar 26 21:31:39 UTC 2014


Ridiculous, Hannah!  You're on the wrong side of the False Dichotomy.
Rules are for chumps!  "Be Excellent" 4 evar!

(mainly for the benefit of Al, whom I have understandably driven
crazy: yes, that was sarcasm)

On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 1:59 PM, Hannah Grimm <dharlette at gmail.com> wrote:
> People will rules-lawyer our rules, yes.
>
> People will also rules-lawyer unwritten community standards like "be
> excellent."
>
> "Be Excellence" didn't prevent people from groping me in the space.  It's
> not enough.  We've tried it, and we've had too many gropings and slurs and
> sexual assaults to pretend it's working.  Let's try writing down rules, and
> see how that goes for a while.
>
>
> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 12:21 PM, Naomi Most <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> (A new thread to continue the discussion; I don't want it to warrant a
>> [drama] tag; I am trying to prolong just this one particular strand
>> out of that horrendous thread.)
>>
>> to Al:
>>
>> I'm not sure that Rachel's point is that we will "just have to live
>> with meth-selling".
>>
>> I think her point has more to do with an assertion, based on a lot of
>> real-world observations, that the things you write down will always be
>> contorted and misused by bad people -- especially /smart/ bad people
>> -- and that it's "badness" you should be on the lookout for, not
>> people exhibiting a certain type of behavior that you have written
>> down as bad.
>>
>> And further, that the written policy can blind you to the existence of
>> real non-excellence specifically *because* smart-bad people typically
>> use policy to their own benefit.
>>
>> Adherence to a firm written policy ahead of calm, rational, and
>> empathic discourse is a trojan horse of a meta-policy that ruins
>> communities from the inside out.
>>
>> I hope some of you would consider reading Antifragile, by Nassim Taleb.
>>
>> --Naomi
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Rachel, we've never made people buy beer when they become members. That
>> > is
>> > not "built-in" to the membership process, and is just a joke. Often
>> > times
>> > members do not buy beer when they come back, and I always speak up and
>> > say,
>> > "Actually, you don't have to and fine if you don't, so don't feel
>> > obligated."
>> >
>> > Anyway, I'm not even sure what this thread is about anymore. First it
>> > was
>> > discussing the recent procedural change, then Rachel makes claims on
>> > Noisebridge's "charter" (not to be confused with "bylaws"), then Will
>> > brings
>> > up the problem of people trying to sell meth in the space, then Rachel
>> > says
>> > that to solve the meth-selling problem we should "build a better
>> > society"
>> > (that will be... a bit of work) and that we will just have to live with
>> > meth-selling at the space, then Rachel talks about how "safe space"
>> > can't be
>> > defined in an un-abusable (if I'm wrong about that, I'd really like a
>> > practical definition of it from Rachel)...
>> >
>> > We can address all of these issues, but it's going to involve a lot of
>> > work
>> > because as nice as "be excellent" is, people are going to have sincere
>> > disagreements about what that means. That's why we have to sit down,
>> > write
>> > out whatever small part of excellence we propose, and come to agreement
>> > on
>> > it. Otherwise, this is just a long-winded thread where much is spoken
>> > but
>> > not much is communicated.
>> >
>> >
>> > On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 11:43 AM, William Sargent
>> > <will.sargent at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> I've thrown out many people, including Jake 2.0.  But since you bring
>> >> it
>> >> up:
>> >>
>> >> Cynthia put down Noisebridge as her place of residence, which is
>> >> against
>> >> the terms of the lease.   This was mentioned at both meetings.  Jesse
>> >> and I
>> >> asked her to leave and come back at the Tuesday meeting, the very next
>> >> day.
>> >> She refused.
>> >>
>> >> Then more people asked her to leave.  Then, once there were six or
>> >> seven
>> >> people, they started shouting at each other.  At that point, calling
>> >> the
>> >> police was the best way to deescalate the situation, believe it or not.
>> >> She
>> >> locked herself in the bathroom once she heard the police were coming.
>> >>
>> >> The Tuesday meeting the next day had multiple people, including Kelly
>> >> say
>> >> she felt safer in the space for not having Cynthia in it.   When weev,
>> >> who
>> >> still had his trial lined up, says that he wanted the Police to come
>> >> into
>> >> the space and remove her, I feel pretty confident about having made the
>> >> right call.
>> >>
>> >> I didn't know that Jesse smoked pot outside until after the second
>> >> meeting.  Likewise, I didn't know about Jesse sexually assaulting
>> >> someone,
>> >> because it hadn't happened at that point.
>> >>
>> >> Will.
>> >>
>> >> On Mar 26, 2014, at 11:29 AM, rachel lyra hospodar
>> >> <rachelyra at gmail.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> This metric unfortunately falls apart when in a situation like I was in
>> >> with Jesse z, who was emphatic that smoking only certain types of dried
>> >> plants on the public sidewalk outside of Noisebridge was acceptable &
>> >> safe ,
>> >> while being so intoxicated on his own personal blend of drugs as to be
>> >> a
>> >> threat to his own safety as well as that of others.
>> >>
>> >> This metric, while having noble goals, can be gamed by any perpetrator
>> >> pointing their own finger, forming a circle of people claiming their
>> >> safety
>> >> is endangered.
>> >>
>> >> Seeking to provide a safe-as-possible space occasionally means deciding
>> >> if
>> >> someone is being an asshole.
>> >>
>> >> I'll mention now, since I cannot help but think of it every time I
>> >> think
>> >> of Will, that he and Jesse z called the cops INTO the space once to
>> >> evict
>> >> cynthia from the bathroom.  She wasn't in there doing drugs, just
>> >> hiding
>> >> from the actual people obligingly fulfilling her paranoia. This was
>> >> during I
>> >> time when I regularly saw groups of people rally to kick out someone
>> >> who was
>> >> say, stealing, or sleeping frequently at the space. Cynthia wasn't
>> >> doing
>> >> those things, she was just a harmless nutjob.
>> >>
>> >> I am sure, Will, that you have many good qualities but good enough
>> >> asshole
>> >> metrics to reference off of might not be one of them, nor a cool head
>> >> in a
>> >> stressful situation.
>> >>
>> >> One tool I found particularly striking from Sudo room (god help me I am
>> >> suggesting Sudo room is doing something better than Noisebridge) was
>> >> this
>> >> phrase - we value safe space over ideology. This phrase was incredibly
>> >> valuable because it suggested the hierarchy of relative values of two
>> >> things
>> >> we hold dear, and thus was a machete in a thicket of arcane rules that
>> >> were
>> >> being endlessly quibbled by 3 dudes who wrote them. People who like to
>> >> argue
>> >> with each other should be allowed to do so, but.
>> >>
>> >> When the rules are too complicated they are the domain of those who
>> >> maintain and understand them. A vital part of the Noisebridge screed is
>> >> built around keeping it simple enough to be understood & debated by
>> >> everyone. Whatever 'it' is, and whatever you crazy kids are up to with
>> >> yours, and whatever you are calling it nowadays.
>> >>
>> >> R.
>>
>>
>> --
>> Naomi Theora Most
>> naomi at nthmost.com
>> +1-415-728-7490
>>
>> skype: nthmost
>>
>> http://twitter.com/nthmost
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>
>



-- 
Naomi Theora Most
naomi at nthmost.com
+1-415-728-7490

skype: nthmost

http://twitter.com/nthmost


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