[Noisebridge-discuss] why i am complaining

Jake jake at spaz.org
Thu May 8 19:09:41 UTC 2014

the reason that you hear me complain, or johny complain, or other people 
complain without doing anything is this:

no one person is capable of making the broad and systematic changes to 
noisebridge that are necessary to turn it around in the other direction.

so when people enumerate problems to the list, the implication should be 
that they are seeking cooperation to make large changes.

my experience with noisebridge is that when i do that, people take turns 
writing snarky "responses" to my complaints and don't address the problems 
at all.  Or they minimize the problem while boasting about their special 
way of being unaffected by them.  In short, people do the opposite of 
offering their support in making requested improvements.

For a while i was coming to meetings and trying to introduce carefully 
crafted changes to noisebridge that I thought would improve things.  I 
introduced associate membership so that we could discern between 
non-Members who wanted to be part of nb and non-Members who just wanted to 
take advantage of a place without rules or boundaries.

At some point one of my suggestions got implemented differently than I had 
envisioned, since I hadn't been at the meeting and honestly didn't expect 
it to get screwed up the way it did, but it did.

So I wrote a proposal to repair the wording to the "noisebridge is only 
for members and associate members" thing and sent it to the list 
repeatedly over many weeks, asking for concerns or suggestions from 
everyone.  No one had any problems with it, which was unsurprising because 
it was a carefully written proposal with nothing contraversial in it.

At the meeting, Tom blocked it.  I asked why and he refused to engage in 
discussions.  I asked him to meet with me at the time and place of his 
choosing to discuss his blocking and he stalled and ignored my emails.

Eventually I wrote a complaint to the list.  The flood of abusive 
responses to my complaint was the only result, with the exception of a 
couple of threads by good people pointing out "actually, blocking a 
consensus item DOES deserve explanation... what kind of process are you 
people running over there?"

You should be glad that people are "complaining-without-doing" when 
problems are too big to solve alone, because the alternative is giving up.


On Thu, 8 May 2014, Naomi Most wrote:

> I admit to being fairly annoyed at Johny's post (and yours, a little).
> Part of that comes from having taken too much modafinil this morning.
> The reason I am annoyed is that there's a pattern of
> complaining-without-doing that I would like to break.
> Jake, I know you have been frustrated in the past.  Positive changes
> are occurring in the Noisebridge culture that might enable you be
> effective in improving the space, should you feel you would like to
> participate.
> --Naomi
> On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 11:49 AM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>> sorry, i didn't notice that you were opening other threads and thought that
>> this was all you had to say about johny's complaints.
>> i still feel that there needs to be much better treatment of people
>> enumerating problems than there is, including your reception of johny's
>> post.  Being supportive of one another when we are trying to make
>> improvements is essential.  The alternative, what is happening, is that
>> people don't want to help because they just get yelled at.
>> -jake
>> On Thu, 8 May 2014, Naomi Most wrote:
>>> No, I commented that the majority of his grievances came down to his
>>> personal opinions of a handful of people.
>>> I have now devoted several new email threads TO Johny's complaints, in
>>> what I hope is a very constructive manner.  I'd say that's the polar
>>> opposite of dismissing someone's concerns irrelevant.
>>> On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>>>> Naomi,
>>>> when I read Johny's post I was glad that someone else was noticing things
>>>> that I consider problems.  Yes some of the things on the list might seem
>>>> less important than others, depending on who is reading them.
>>>> I believe that when a person presents a list of complaints like this,
>>>> rather
>>>> than telling the person that their grievances are invalid because you
>>>> don't
>>>> agree with some of them, we should try to talk about the problems we can
>>>> agree on.
>>>> The main reason I can't continue trying to help noisebridge is because
>>>> when
>>>> I complained about things, i was attacked and my complaints mocked.
>>>> you just told johny his list of concerns was irrelavent, in one sentence.
>>>> -jake
>>>> On Thu, 8 May 2014, Naomi Most wrote:
>>>>> Johny,
>>>>> The majority of those bulletpoints are your personal opinions about
>>>>> other people.
>>>>> --Naomi
>>>>> On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 12:47 AM, Johny Radio <johnyradio at gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> ------ Original Message ------
>>>>>> From: "Naomi Most" <pnaomi at gmail.com>
>>>>>>> I am asking because I want to see if/how Jake's perspective has
>>>>>>> changed,
>>>>>>> and whether he's aware of what's already changed in a direction that
>>>>>>> he
>>>>>>> might like.
>>>>>> Naomi, i'd sure like to know what's changed for the better:
>>>>>> -Tonight i went to NB to look for some mosfets. There were piles upon
>>>>>> piles
>>>>>> of garbage mixed with useful parts all over the floor, worst i've ever
>>>>>> seen
>>>>>> it (some dedicated Members cleaned and organized not long ago-- all
>>>>>> gone
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> crap).
>>>>>> -A non-member has, for a couple weeks or longer, been systematically
>>>>>> digging
>>>>>> through EVERYTHING in the Member stacks, taking what he wants, and
>>>>>> leaving
>>>>>> the rest all over the floor of the member stacks. It's now a complete
>>>>>> disaster in there.
>>>>>> -All the component storage cleanup and organizing i did over several
>>>>>> weeks
>>>>>> has also gone to crap. Useful stuff mixed with random junk all over the
>>>>>> floor, parts completely disorganized.
>>>>>> -A HACKER came to solder some cables (poor fool). He searched for
>>>>>> solder
>>>>>> amidst the piles of garbage for half an hour and, hey, found a couple
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> inches!
>>>>>> -I met a woman who informed me that she could not get a bed at a
>>>>>> shelter,
>>>>>> so
>>>>>> she came to Noisebridge.
>>>>>> -Various other non-hacking non-members were hanging out.
>>>>>> -I heard there's a new Kitchen Working Group, peopled by non-hacking,
>>>>>> non-member kitchen-users (appointed, Vee said, by Gregory Dillon).
>>>>>> Gregory,
>>>>>> i suggest you also create a group called "Sleeping Taskforce"-- you can
>>>>>> appoint some squatters.
>>>>>> -Vee said "people who use the kitchen have laptops-- isn't that
>>>>>> hacking?"
>>>>>> -I watched as a Member stretched an electric extension cord across a
>>>>>> walkway
>>>>>> (I guess he missed the email about not doing that).
>>>>>> So please tell us Naomi, where is the positive change you mentioned. I
>>>>>> can't
>>>>>> see it.
>>>>>> JAKE, is this change in the direction you'd like? Ready to come back??
>>>>> --
>>>>> Naomi Theora Most
>>>>> naomi at nthmost.com
>>>>> +1-415-728-7490
>>>>> skype: nthmost
>>>>> http://twitter.com/nthmost
>>> --
>>> Naomi Theora Most
>>> naomi at nthmost.com
>>> +1-415-728-7490
>>> skype: nthmost
>>> http://twitter.com/nthmost
> -- 
> Naomi Theora Most
> naomi at nthmost.com
> +1-415-728-7490
> skype: nthmost
> http://twitter.com/nthmost

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