[Noisebridge-discuss] why i am complaining

Jake jake at spaz.org
Thu May 8 19:34:44 UTC 2014


Adrian,

when i was participating in the discussions around associate membership, a 
lot of people were getting involved and choosing to be part of noisebridge 
through associate membership.  they were coming to meetings and learning 
about cooperation and accountability.

this is the only way a project as big as noisebridge can succeed.  There's 
no way any one person can, for example, enforce agreed-upon community 
standards onto the volumes of people who come through the door every day.

and the people who come through the door are heavily influenced by the 
word on the street, which is based on our collective resolve to uphold the 
culture that we agree on.  If we don't do that, other culture takes over.

When I say X is broken, such as the shelves being a mess, i am not 
suggesting that I couldn't fix it.  I am pointing out that a result of our 
social policies is that normal maintenance by people who care is being 
outstripped by entropy from people who don't care.

Look at cause and effect.  People abuse the space because there are no 
quantities of people, present at noisebridge, who feel that they have 
agreed-upon values of excellence to uphold.  If someone is asleep at the 
space and I try to wake them up, other people will come up and argue with 
me that it is not prohibited so i should fuck off.

In a healthy noisebridge, a person who was trashing the shelves or 
habitating in the space would be confronted by three or more people who 
agreed on our standards, and could easily convince the person to stop. 
But this is only possible if Noisebridgers can agree on what our standards 
are.  This list is one way for people to try to agree on such things.

It sounds like you are suggesting that if something can only be achieved 
with the entire community's participation, then it should not be bothered 
with.

-jake

On Thu, 8 May 2014, Adrian Chadd wrote:

> Hi Jake,
>
> The alternative is "just do it."
>
> You may see enumerating problems to the list as a cry for co-operation
> and I used to do the same on other projects. I've learnt a harsh
> lesson - people don't work that way.
>
> If you or anyone else want to get people to change, you can't just
> simply pass some rule changes and expect that'll work. See the whole
> scenario lately with Rayc being banned from the space but .. well,
> almost everyone who's around during the day just letting him in to
> help Sid.
>
> It turns out that if you want to see change, you can't just change the
> rules. You have to have everyone think that said rules are awesome.
> You have to keep coming back and doing the things you want to see
> changed. This crowd is definitely not the "we follow rules like good
> little sheeple, we trust our leaders, shut up" kinds of people. I
> don't see why anyone would think that getting a rule changed would
> magically result in things changing.
>
> It's a shame that you and others feel disempowered to effect change.
> Just grab Johnny, come into the space and do awesome stuff. You have
> to accept you'll be fighting against apathy and entropy. If you want
> to drag people into making things better, you can't just say "X is
> broken!" You could better say "X is broken, we can fix it by doing Y!"
> but it still comes across as trying to tell people what to do. Neither
> of those will fly in this crowd.
>
> I encourage you and others to grab some people, keep coming and doing
> awesome things and push back at the apathy. Making rules won't cut it.
>
> -a
>
>
> On 8 May 2014 12:09, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>> 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.
>>
>> -jake
>>
>> 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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