[Noisebridge-discuss] Questions and Concerns with the Proposal to Strike All Members from the Roles

Mitch Altman maltman23 at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 14 19:36:37 UTC 2014


Warning: positive rant about consensus process follows:


tl;dr -- blocking is *not* OK.   Disagreeing *requires* helping everyone in the discussion to come up with a proposal everyone is happy enough with.  

The one exception is in accepting a new Member at Noisebridge (where any Member can block for any reason, even if they can't articulate why). 



Long version:

As discussed in the really good discussion-group at the BACH Unconference, for consensus process to function, it is never OK for someone to merely block.  Blocking means: "If this proposal is approved as-is, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to be a member of this organization."  That is a very strong stance to take.  

If a consensus discussion is facilitated well, it should never come to this -- a call for consensus should not happen if there are people in disagreement.  The facilitator can detect that there is disagreement, and  encourage further discussion.  Alternatively,  the facilitator can ask the group if the discussion should be continued off-line from the meeting, and postpone consensus on the proposal till a future meeting.  Or ask if the proposal should be dropped altogether. 

If someone disagrees during a consensus discussion, it is never OK to simply say, "I disagree."  To state a disagreement during consensus discussion, the person disagreeing is *obliged* to state how the proposal can be changed to make it OK enough for them *and* for everyone else to be happy enough to proceed. 

The one exception to this is in accepting a new Member at Noisebridge:  any current Member (in good standing) can block acceptance of a potential new Member for any reason, even if they can't articulate why. 

With this in mind, (except for accepting a potential new Member), "block by proxy" in an email is never OK.  That would be abuse of the consensus process. Stating disagreement in an email is OK as long as they add how the proposal can be changed to sincerely make everyone happy enough to proceed.  

Better than an email is real live discussion with real live human beings.  If a proposal is up for consensus at a meeting that a Member can't be present, rather than try to explain their position (and how to change the proposal to the satisfaction of all Noisebridge Members), it would be way better to explain all of this to another Noisebridge Member, and entrust that Member to explain their concerns, and add to the discussion on a positive way at the meeting. 

Best, 
Mitch (who also has never blocked). 

From: maltman23 at hotmail.com
To: d at vidfine.com
Subject: RE: [Noisebridge-discuss] Questions and Concerns with the Proposal to Strike All Members from the Roles
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:33:34 -0700




tl;dr -- blocking is *not* OK.   Disagreeing *requires* helping everyone in the discussion to come up with a proposal everyone is happy enough with.  

The one exception is in accepting a new Member at Noisebridge (where any Member can block for any reason, even if they can't articulate why). 



Long version:

As discussed in the really good discussion-group at the BACH Unconference, for consensus process to function, it is never OK for someone to merely block.  Blocking means: "If this proposal is approved as-is, I cannot, in good conscience, continue to be a member of this organization."  That is a very strong stance to take.  

If a consensus discussion is facilitated well, it should never come to this -- a call for consensus should not happen if there are people in disagreement.  The facilitator can detect that there is disagreement, and  encourage further discussion.  Alternatively,  the facilitator can ask the group if the discussion should be continued off-line from the meeting, and postpone consensus on the proposal till a future meeting.  Or ask if the proposal should be dropped altogether. 

If someone disagrees during a consensus discussion, it is never OK to simply say, "I disagree."  To state a disagreement during consensus discussion, the person disagreeing is *obliged* to state how the proposal can be changed to make it OK enough for them *and* for everyone else to be happy enough to proceed. 

The one exception to this is in accepting a new Member at Noisebridge:  any current Member (in good standing) can block acceptance of a potential new Member for any reason, even if they can't articulate why. 

With this in mind, (except for accepting a potential new Member), "block by proxy" in an email is never OK.  That would be abuse of the consensus process. Stating disagreement in an email is OK as long as they add how the proposal can be changed to sincerely make everyone happy enough to proceed.  

Better than an email is real live discussion with real live human beings.  If a proposal is up for consensus at a meeting that a Member can't be present, rather than try to explain their position (and how to change the proposal to the satisfaction of all Noisebridge Members), it would be way better to explain all of this to another Noisebridge Member, and entrust that Member to explain their concerns, and add to the discussion on a positive way at the meeting. 

Best, 
Mitch (who also has never blocked). 

> Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:31:14 -0700
> From: d at vidfine.com
> To: noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Questions and Concerns with the Proposal to Strike All Members from the Roles
> 
> It sounds like the problem you're trying to solve is bullshit absentee 
> proxy-blocking. Please propose an idea to address that problem instead 
> of tinkering with membership. You might start with changes to when and 
> how proxy-blocking is allowed.
> Signed,
> A member from Ye Age of Myth who pops in from time to time but has never 
> blocked.
> --D
> 
> On 10/14/14, 10:08 AM, Torrie Fischer wrote:
> > I feel that some of your questions and concerns can be addressed by doing some
> > noisebridge spelunking. Here's a mention of bootstrapping membership from Ye
> > Age of Myth:
> >
> > https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Meeting_Notes_2008_10_07
> >
> > And the work done by the previous Membership Team:
> >
> > https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Membership_Team
> >
> > Here's some various links to discuss:
> >
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/2008-October/001493.html
> >
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/2008-October/001357.html
> >
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/2008-October/001386.html
> >
> >
> > On Tuesday, October 14, 2014 04:39:23 PM kjs wrote:
> >> Dear Noisebridge,
> >>
> >> It was proposed last week that Noisebridge should strike all members
> >> from the roles [0]. The reasons stated include [1]:
> >>
> >> 1) We have 40 or so people who essentially have, "stock options in a job
> >> they never show up to work for".
> >>
> >> 2) The only power w/ membership is consensus-blocking ability. The
> >> observed behavior is people sending in "proxy blocks" without having
> >> been present for discussion. Some are great, some are bullshit.
> >>
> >> 3) What does it mean to have 50ish members that never show up or who pop
> >> in every now and again?
> >>
> >> My questions and concerns:
> >>
> >> 1) To add a new member to the roles requires two member sponsors and the
> >> consensus of Noisebridge. What's the kernel to repopulate the member
> >> roles w/o members to consense on new ones?
> >>
> >> 2) With regard to number 2 above, I need some more convincing that
> >> Noisebridge has seen sufficient numbers of bullshit proxy blocks to
> >> warrant the proposed action. Can we produce a list documenting proxy
> >> blocks in the past year? And scrutinize the list to discern the bullshit
> >> proxy blocks from the good proxy blocks?
> >>
> >> 3) What is consensus with a quorum of zero?
> >>
> >> Sincerely,
> >> A concerned denizen of the Peoples' Republic of Nosiebridge
> >>
> >> [0] https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Current_consensus_items
> >> [1] https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Meeting_Notes_2014_10_07
> > _______________________________________________
> > Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> >
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
 		 	   		  
 		 	   		  
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/attachments/20141014/05d78c84/attachment.html>


More information about the Noisebridge-discuss mailing list