[Noisebridge-discuss] Access

Henner Zeller h.zeller at acm.org
Tue Nov 11 21:00:58 UTC 2014

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TLDR; I think you worry too much at this point.

On 11 November 2014 12:26, N <jpk at pobox.com> wrote:
> I hope it works but I have seen people excluded for no demonstrable or
> evidentiary reason, i.e. for what appeared to personality or political
> conflicts not for anything they did to harm the space, its operation or
> goals.
> And even worse I have experienced an amount of abuse from some regulars who
> may or may not be members.

Yes, that has been the case, and it was reacted to it.

> I have always respected the space and purposes of Noisebridge ever since
> Mitch Altman introduced me to it five years ago by way of the HOPE
> conference.
> With this new policy who is overseeing the overseers?

Don't get hung up on 'overseers' and 'members' and labels like this.

It is mostly about responsible people that work actively on making the
community work, making sure that people know each other, respect each
other and the equipment. If there are disagreements on how this should
be implemented resulting in some people mis-interpreting this as a
chance to 'police', I am certain the Noisebridge community will find a
way to address that, as it has in the past.

> I don't wish to be subject to the whims of members when I have always
> respected the NB space and intend to continue to value it.

I think if you ever run into trouble with a particular person in the
space (which is independent of membership), make sure to involve other
people as well, so that you are, in fact, not at the whim of one
particular person.

> On the occasions I have seen people arbitrarily excluded from NB by action
> of the GA it never made any sense to me. I fear this arbitrary policy of
> members "vouching" for non-members is dangerous and will lead to abuse and a
> further deterioration of the goals of NB.

Again, there has been abuse, but these are addressed. Excluding
someone only can be the answer to extreme abuse or actively making
people uncomfortable. If members/regulars have been found to exclude
others just on personal preference, they are called out for that.

> NB may be making things worse not better.

Well, so far, we have a _much more_ lively and active hacking going on
in the last couple of weeks, because people feel welcome again.
If your hypothesis that things might get worse, they will be addressed.

> NB has always been a free-floating space in a constantly shifting San
> Francisco (and global) tech, mentioned tech, demographic.

.. and it had people staying there over night, not contributing
excellence, trashing equipment and relationships. A year ago, people
hanging out there, didn't know each other, the core contributors had
left in despair, there was no sense of community anymore, only that
there is some 'free space', that 'can be used' to hang out but without
sense of contributing to keep it welcoming. Broken window theory was
confirmed in the outcome.

Like in any community, you have to make sure the openness is not
abused to a point where the people building the community and
contributing to it don't feel this is the place they want to be
anymore. That happened, and now people try with much energy to get to
a point that there is a working soldering iron or drill or tablesaw as
well as a friendly, welcoming community so that hackers actually want
to be there.

I think the formulation quoted by Patrick 'as open as possible' nails
the goal: keep Noisebridge welcoming but making sure that things don't
The slight change to require responsible people around while the space
is open will help keeping things in better shape.

If the community grows due to this, there will hopefully be enough
people around the clock to keep the opening times long. But you have
to start growing a well-functioning community for that to happen.

> It might make more sense to try this policy out for a limited period of time
> such as six months to see if it makes any difference.

Don't worry: as usual, the community is watching its own policies with
close scrutiny and will change when things don't pan out.


> N
> At 11:51 AM 11/11/2014, you wrote:
>> On 11 November 2014 11:26, N <jpk at pobox.com> wrote:
>> > What's the purpose of this radical change in access policy?
>> What do you see as radical change ?
>> The policy essentially just makes sure that there are responsible
>> people around while the space is open; from what I gather is, that
>> this essentially has been meant to be always the case, but if you have
>> been in Noisebridge in the last year or so, you can see that the lax
>> implementation made the space detoriate that nobody wanted to be there
>> anymore. The reboot wants to fix that.
>> -h
>> >
>> > At 05:06 PM 11/10/2014, you wrote:
>> >
>> > On 10 November 2014 16:42, N <jpk at pobox.com> wrote:
>> > Have the rules for access to the Noisebridge space changed?
>> >
>> >
>> > The whole infrastructure regarding opening the gate and the upper-stairs
>> > door is being redone to work with RFID. Work in progress.
>> > So whatever code used to work before on the gate is not working anymore
>> > at
>> > this stage (if this is what you are asking).
>> >
>> > So it is work in progress - upstairs RFID reader is not working yet and
>> > the
>> > terminal with the user-interface is actively
>> > being worked on. Hopefully most of that will be working sometime this
>> > week.
>> > Goal is to have it much easier to hand out access to the space so that a
>> > member can
>> > easily give a regular user access without too much hassle of configuring
>> > a
>> > file somewhere. Depending on (future) consensus decisions
>> > this might just be RFID going forward because it is so simple and
>> > hassle-free compared
>> > to PINs (also harder to transfer), with temporary pins given out for
>> > certain
>> > occasions (such as classes).
>> >
>> > Soon, there will be a terminal that allows members to add new users to
>> > the
>> > access, also a bunch of key fobs should
>> > arrive soon. So hopefully a member will be able to add new users soon.
>> >
>> > -h

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