Meeting Notes 2011 07 12
Note-taker: Danny Yo Brien
 Introduction and Names
- What Noisebridge is about: "Noisebridge is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides a space for creation, collaboration, and learning about technology and creative projects. Noisebridge provides space, power tools, and infrastructure to help the public learn new skills and create cool things. Noisebridge continues to exist through and depends entirely on membership fees and donations. Our code of conduct is 'Be excellent to each other'."
- Round of introductions: What's your name, what do you do, and if you are new, how did you hear about Noisebridge? Start with the moderator and go left.
- Al -- python HE WROTE A BOOK
- Rachel -- do different things
- Liz -- also do different things I'm small press publisher
- Danny - I'm writing down what I just wrote
- Michael - ""
- Aestetix - I steal stuff and sleep here
- Cynthia -- retired physicial and kitchen
- Alex - games
- Ramone - startup
- Bill - not the droids
- Mike -- working on the timebank
- Oliver - programmer, maker
- Elijah - programmer, game developer from Atlanta, looking for stuff
- Bre -- still learning!
- Evan -- working on timebank
- Geoff - I hack python, django
- Jesse -- automation, CNT
- Dan -- sysadmin
- Mitch - turn off tvs, and teach people to make things
- Mike -- technomad, know physical stuff, not a coder
- Alex -- runs internet
- Leif -- internet utopian
- Espin - learning about woodwork
- Francisco -- food!
- Ross -- learner
- Laura -- creator of the daleks
- Crutcher -- you have been educated stupid and are too dumb to know it
- Jason -- functional programming
- Al -- I'm the loop
A brief primer on consensus process: We agree and so should you! Only paid-up members can block consensus.
 Short Announcements
Cool new projects? Something you'd like people to know? Say now, but keep it short!
 New or Stale Events
Francisco's cooking class at Wednesday, 5.30pm! Be there!
C Class going on Tuesdays, Jim at Tues/Thurs 7pm
 Financial Report
Funds in bank: $17,690.02 ($19-20K)
PG&E bill: $710
 Membership Binder
- Read off any names from the binder for the past month. Write a check on every open application.
- Anyone up for joining this week (ie have four checks by their name + have two sponsors) should introduce themselves then leave the area in search of gifts (traditionally beer and a lime) for the rest of the group. The rest of the meeting should consense on whether they may join.
 Consensus items
(Add any new items for consensus to the Current Consensus Items page.)
Up this week:
Noisebridge should sponsor an official project to provide Tor nodes and accept donations, such sponsorship to include a Wells Fargo account paypal account and email address established under the Noisebridge domain.
 Discussion Items
Update from Danny on Thurs meeting with Jorgen and Warren from Free School.
Summary from me: Jorgen and Warren were sensitive to the issues of keeping stuff here, cleaning up the kitchen, sleeping here, and were going to pass the message on the rest of the Free Schoolers. Went pretty well.
Mitch: we had a discussion about what is good for Noisebridge, just hanging out not excellent.
Al: not good at Noisebridge to treat it at as a residence.
Crutcher: I think that beyond the we don't want people sleeping here, or leaving kitchen so messy we need to bring a cat here, if we say that space is open to anyone, we leave vulnerable to colonisation by gregarious people -- not musical academy, not culinary academy. Do we want someone runing a hippy school in the back room? We're not going to have a clean cut set of things we are or are not. It's an ongoing discussion. I'm not okay with saying that everything is acceptable.
Aestetix: Reframing what Crutcher said: that's your personal position.
Crutcher: That's my particular position. Don't want to be in a state of paralysis.
Al: One of huge problems is that we say do whatever. Doesn't resolve the conflicts.
Claudia: What about thieves?
Cynthia: If you're all going to have a policy to protect against theft and craziness, you need to have people who sleep here. Power napping is useful!
Danny: Just want to clarify what thefts we're talking about -- two laptops, a hard drive, an airgun, cellphone, two cameras. (Anything else? I didn't write notes of my own bits)
Rachel: What are we talking about: increase in the amount of people over last 6 months. Culture is being diluted. Fundamentally the problem is theft, hippies doing massage underfoot while you're doing work. Culture needing to assert itself. What could we do, including disappearing, address ways to propagate the hacker culture. One thing is: Committees to address areas.
Al: just suggesting member + guests only hours from 10AM - 8AM.
Aestetix: how do you intend to enforce that?
Al: Kicking people out unless..
Aestetix: ... unless they have a membership card?
Dan: Seen a lot of things. People should just come here and hack. And people who don't hack, will feel uncomfortable and leave.
Aestetix: Draw an analogy, September that never ended. September of 1992: new people came online. LINK
Liz: I'm not all that worried. We have a big influx. Not necessarily associating with particular people. We could use more positive education. Orientations. Committees. Personally setting boundaries. Haven't seen someone kick someone out. Want to assert there are situations where people can ask people to leave.
Cynthia: I have buzzed somebody up, and when I asked them they said "Oh I thought there was an ATM". No, say come back during the day. Also, somebody turned out the lights, and said "get out of here" and I thought that was unexcellent because I was taking a little nap.
Alex: What kind of things are fitting with our mission? Teaching a religion doesn't fit.
Danny: Except the Singularity.
Miloh: Point of information: I was concerned when the Shrine was activated rather than just an item. So I decided to sell it on Ebay for Noisebridge funds.
Alex: I know the buddhist guy, he's a nanotech guy, and teacher in the Free School. I agree that's it off that he set up a shrine. And I should have told him to stop it. We should tell them that's there a place that's better down the street. I think that cooking is something that hackers do, and cooking is science for eating. Sewing was a new thing, for instance, and we don't disapprove of that now. Banhammer for people who aren't members. One of the worst mistake other hackerspace's do, and saying that this is a member's only space. This is a limitation. Extremely dangerous idea, which would reduce the utility of noisebridge.
Al: Come here 7AM and kicked them out. 3 people the first time, 0, 2, 7 -- all time high. Feel like a total asshole. Okay, everybody you have to wake up. Came back 45 minutes later and they were all there. Feel like I'm pissing off people. Because it's not an official policy. We had a guy living in lasercutter room.
Crutcher: Shrine was pulled out, and then put back in place. It's been returned. It is my personal plan to do-acrat the shrine to pieces with powertools tonight. Free School people that constitute a large enough group that our opinion has no effect on them. This idea that we can outhack them is crazy. I don't want anyone sleeping in this space. I don't care if you clean, don't care if you bias a building. I did not like the fact that Frantisek sleeping here. We couldn't say it to someone else. We should put up a sign saying no sleeping here.
Aestetix: I want to remind everyone we do have a rule: to be excellent to each other. Follow your instinct. Rather than try to make a list of what they shouldn't do. You can tell them not to do something. To bounce off Rachel's point: we look for people to contribute to the community. It's difficult to draw an objective standard.
Aestetix: I want to remind everyone we do have a rule: to be excellent to each other. Follow your instinct. Rather than try to make a list of what they shouldn't do. You can tell them not to do something.
Claudia: On the topic of sketchy people, unliberal ourselves.
Liz: We have to be careful not being classist, racist. What I wanted to say: I want to be able to find the people. People said that they were sleeping. I never knew who they were. But we need to name them. We don't need to use full names.
Al: I got a lot of crap for naming people. It took months of agreement, but nobody wanted to do something. I think Noisebridge: technology, craftmanship, science and engineering. I don't think 10PM - 10AM would be very large gate taht would be insurmountable. We can bring people in. 10PM is not super-early.
Leif: I do-acratically declare myself moderator because Al is too involved in this debate!
Leif becomes moderator. Miloh halped.
Crutcher: So in direct response to Aestetix. I'm not proposing a consensus item. I'm specifically saying: we should have big signs making clear what's ok. Your delegitimising the entire discussion. I think "we as a community need to come to rough working agreement what the standards are". Otherwise you have an asshole-ocracy of people who are brash enough to achieve stuff. I think there's some real disagreement about whether we sleep here.
Aestetix: A point on the proposal for hours: Basing things on membership is unenforceable. Attempting to enforce that in a formal level, and would cause due harm. Setting policies that enforce the idea of membership, gives power to the membership rather than the community. Better to be excellent. Not trying to delegitimise, and emphasise personal freedom, don't need structure.
MCT: I have spent a lot of time here over the last two weeks, working very late at night. Good things happen until 4AM. Removed most of the couches. Kept people out. Last two weeks this has been happening. Think it is getting better.
Rachel: I think it has been worse recently. Sleep issue not worse thing. Theft issue has been growing. Greater perentage aren't doing it from being tired from hacking. Asshole-burnout. Spent a lot of time being the asshole. It sucks. Any system that requires people to be the assholes is going to burn out, is making members going away. We need a system that doesn't require that. Preventative rather than immedial We need enforcement without assholedom.
Mike: We had a problem with movie-watching, and we moved the couches. What do they sleep on? What if we got rid of them? That's a hardware problem. Only the love seats.
?: Somebody *built* a bed in the lasercutter room. That's a problem.
Ramone: Last 4-5 months. A lot of this stuff stemming from the thefts. A lot of the paranoia -- this person is on drugs, it might have been them, homeless person, it might have been them. I've been here late night. Ended up sleeping here because I'm here late. I do dishes, I've been involved in this space. What if we had designated people stay up. Not with a taser. Just a designated person. Just one person a night.
Crutcher: Clarification: it's not about theft. It's about culture.
Al: Signs kind of work. We had a sign that you should wear shoes. Wasn't really paid attention to.
Danny: Those weren't very good signs!
Al: Enforceability, we can't enforce the time rules. We can do. The big issue of sleepers/stealers. Three psychotic people 4-5AM, people who wanted them out the space, run powertools, until finally they worked them out. But it didn't feel it was their place.
Aestetix: What's the advantage of having a rule?
Al: You don't have to feel like it's you personally telling somebody personally. Everybody knew F. was sleeping here, but nobody did anythig about it.
Aestetix: What was the problem if everybody was okay with it?
Al: Everybody as against it. Asshole burnout. I think Noisebridge is pretty shitty at the moment.
1. Actually, I think Noisebridge is pretty awesome at the moment [RAPTUROUS APPLAUSE AT WISDOM OF THE NOTE TAKER]. I came here when I though it was at low ebb. Wasn't actually that bad, and it's getting better.
2. Cynthia, don't sleep here.
3. I'm willing to name people who sleep here. Secretary@noisebridge.net, I'll report it to the list. I'll make it so it's not googleable. I'm happy to take the flack.
4. I don't think we need hard and fast rules.
5. Do we want to put up the 10PM-10AM members-and-friends rule for consensus/
(Answer: yes, Al will propose it)
6. I propose a committee: Technical Solutions to Social Problems for people's ingenious hacking ideas. Will take names.
Crutcher: I don't think the rules have to cover every cases. If someone sleeps her.
Aestetix: Will that help people, or just get rid the fear.
Crutcher: I disagree with your position about self-actualisation. I think they're a shitty way to run a group that is so big it has sub-cultures. Big enough sub-cultures are large enough to ignore your opinion.
Aestetix: Do you have a specific suggestion.
Crutcher: HEAVY HOUSE MUSIC ALL NIGHT.
Robert: I AM SO DOWN WITH THAT.
Alex P: I saw this on the mailing list, someone suggested it's easier to tell when new people if more people who participate have a key. We should hand out all keys. When people turn up, we need to have a way for them to start. If we have a culture of weaving a banhammer, then we'll scare those people off.
Robert Y.C: I'd like to say I've slept at Noisebridge. In addition, all the people are waking people up I am totally in favor of, and here's the reason why I'm in favor. What is noisebridge for -- it's for building community, educational purposes, tech development, etc. I don't understand where sleeping can fall under that list. If we're not following what NB is for: that's unexcellent. It's potentially not being used for the right purposes. Those last two things feel under commonsense. Noisehours? I have a night schedule. If it's members only, we need some way of coping with people who are cool non-members.
(I have no notes here, but I wrote "CRUTCHER IS 0WNED", so I think Robert answered a Crutcher point effectively)
Robert: I've goofed off, I've slept. Make signs!
Rachel: Noisebridge has grown a lot, and needs further structure. Al says rules give people backup. I think that structure could also be the same thing. Example: Ramone decided to practice massages. I asked them to move. They didn't understand. I didn't have the right words. I need tools. Structure, not rules.
Ramone: I didn't understand.
Rachel: Still uncool. I need better tools for this.
Mike: What do I do if there are people who are unfamiliar. I feel imprisoned if people are staying here who I don't trust late at night. What do we do?
Jason: Al, I have a sense that you're doing something because Noisebridge needs it. We don't need a rule. We are having a communication here. Al you have a mandate.
Al: It took a long while to get to this point though.
Crutcher: Are you suggesting Patrick situation was small and contained?
Kelly: So: I'm paid-up to date member, and I will block any rules you make. Codify structure. Totally unacceptable to sleep in the space over the hour if you are older than ten years of old. The only way to disseminate our culture is by when you see someone, say can I give you a tour. I use the word consensus and anarchy and to scare off control freaks.
Lief: Revisit the Patrick thing. Lot of people was complained that was too quick, too slow. I think it was just right. Notion of saying NB is closed to non-members, a lot of people who are not members. It would involve kicking out awesome people. I have slept at NB.
Al haggles over exactly when would be good times not to sleep at noisebridge.
Aestetix: Almost anarchy vs structure. People doing stuff, what is the nature of a rule. If I write something on a piece of paper, why does that make it easier for Al to implement it?
Rachel: I wonder if you are mischaracterising Al.
Aestetix: BDSM culture. Somebody won't do something unless a master says it.
Rachel: I think you're misunderstanding Al.
Crutcher: WHAT IS LOVE?
Al: Aestetix thinks that people should be allowed to sleep. And he tries to stop rules by delegitimising. The reason I want a rule, is so I'm not going off as a loose cannon. I'm flying blind.
Jason: Why is it not enough and come and talk to people? The reason I ask: this is an experiment in loose, tribal interpersonal ways to organize things, and it loses that quality if we move in the way of codification.
Al: Because we're doing consensus by charisma.
Jason: So you're saying that this is a mob? [SAID IN FRIENDLY, CLARIFYING WAY]
Liz: I don't like the idea of rules, I like structures and consensus. That's not because I secretly want people to sleep here.
Cynthia: If you want the wakefulness. They turned off the lights.
Liz: Do you sleep here a lot?
Cynthia: Not a lot.
Liz: If someone object, do you think it's wrong?
Cynthia: I sometimes don't want to walk home late at night.
Dan: You could ask us to walk you down.
Schuyler: We used to have blankets. I like a guarantee that blankets can stay, because I get cold. I'd like to keep a blanket for ((medical reasons omitted for privacy)).
Kelly: That's totally a reasonable need. Let's talk about getting some shelfspace for your blanket.
Miloh says: BRAINSTORMING TIME:
Consensus decision process for new rules
Ramone's idea of a sentry -- a night shift crew
People who will commit to check in early in the morning -- not just Al.
Tell free school people hold classes, yoga events, spiritual events elsewhere
Claudia -- last person out, should ask them all to leave
Robert -- list of phone numbers for people to call, signs
Gathering more data
Broadcasting the sleepwatch
Creating hacker livingspaces nearby, encouraging people to join
Elijah: you should have a taskforce not a committee
Crutcher's best practices and Robert's recommendations
Mitch: if each of us sees someone doing something unexcellent, do it
We need a committee to help Al!
(Massive consensus! It is mandated that we tell Al this. He is so told)
Duncan says: I was glad to help him.
Miloh wraps up.
Danny: I am passing around a piece of paper, please sign on one side if you want to help Al with physical rounds, etc. Sign the other if you'd like to join my Technical Solutions To Social Problems list.
Liz: This is productive. More people feel empowered to act.
Big round of applause for awesomeness!
Leif says give out more keys!
 End of Meeting
- PGP Key Signing could happen now, check the list to see who wants in on the action.
- Put back the membership binder by the Shrine.
- Save the meeting notes to the wiki.
- Send a copy of the meeting notes to the discussion list.
- Copy the Meeting Notes Template for next week's agenda and update the main wiki page's link to it.
- Enjoy a cocktail with your fellow hacker or robot.