Meeting Notes 2014 05 20
These are the notes from the The 314th Meeting of Noisebridge. Note-taker: Jeffrey; Moderator: Torrie.
- Discussed Jake's associate membership wording.
- Discussed Tom's membership revocation.
- Discussed member name disclosure.
- Consensed to reinstate member dues
 Short announcements and events
John: Noisebridge is a non-profit 501(c)3 hackerspace where we make stuff, hack stuff, and so on. One rule: be excellent.
Corey: wants to discuss library.
Jeffrey: WebDev class happening June 2nd
Sid: announcement, according to board, Johny Radio's event is not moving forward. Wants to move it forward as a fund-raiser for NB. Looking for help.
Kevin: ToorCamp is happening this summer in July 9-13? Wednesday to Sunday?, looking to form a NB brigade.
Sven: Working on "Throwing Sound" to help computer understand speech. Working on delays via Bluetooth, being able to manage sound from all platforms.
Corey: Maker Faire happened. Booth was small, but it happened.
- Norman: We were next to HayHackers; they have no space but much better display.
- Monad: Ours was a last-minute thing.
Bill: brought more food and plastic container for food to prevent mice/rats/cockroaches. Would be good to review clean-up procedures and who is responsible.
Jarrod: two categories of membership. Ask certain people, there are 3. Associate members and Members.
Jarrod: Associate members come and use the space and recognized as being an official part of the community. Become assoc member by setting up wiki page with name/pseudonym that people can recognize you by. Get 4 A/M members to sponsor you in the space. Gets you 24/7 access to the space.
Jarrod: Members recognized to participate in consensus process. Can block consensus. That's the extent. To become a Member, you fill out a membership application in binder and find 2 other Members to sponsor you. Application is read for 4 weeks at meetings so you have a chance to meet everyone and introduce yourself through the meeting. On fourth week, you become Member of Noisebridge through consensus process.
Jarrod: Currently no mandatory dues.
Ron: Suggested $80, $40 for starving, $160 if you can afford it.
Jarrod: Anyone can set up a recurring donation.
Torrie: 5 applications.
- Qbit needs a sponsor. First read Februrary 25th.
- Hephaestus. Ron says we can pull his application.
- Kate Cligman: From Jan 2nd. Needs 2nd sponsor.
- Xavier Aberchan Mendoza: From April 4. Read 4 times. Needs 2nd sponsor.
- Sid Scott: Read out last week, has 1 sponsor on wiki, other sponsor is Mitch. Has a couple more weeks to go.
Corey: myself, Deja should be in there.
Jarrod: 4 more applications.
- Denise "Deja": NB's greatest accomplishments are yet to come. Very creative, innovative, well-socialized as well as grounded entrepreneur and DJ. Sponsors: Nthmost and ???. Week 2.
- John Ellis: To be an excellent member of community. To hack community's brains. Sponsors: Kevin and Naomi. Week 2.
- John Shutt: Gained from NB, wants to contribute to space as a beacon of weirdness. Sponsor: Naomi. Looking for second sponsor.
- Corey: Come here to learn program and improve technical writing. Membership is part of being active in community. Sponsors: Monad and Nthmost. Week 2.
 Financial Report
No one knows how much money Noisebridge has.
Noisetor (See the bulletpoints at the bottom of http://noisetor.net/finances/#summary):
- There are $5576.33 earmarked NoiseTor funds
- Colo service has been paid through Mar 7, 2013
- There are enough funds to pay for an additional 7 months of colo
- This information was updated at Tue May 20 21:00:02 2014
 Consensus items
Torrie: Items from last week. Item about revoking Tom's membership but he's not here.
Monad: Re-instate membership dues. Revert to minimum of $40, up to level you want. But members are required to pay member dues. None of the members I know that I've talked with thought it was a good idea to remove membership dues. Kevin, who proposed it, had second thoughts as well.
Kevin wants it re-instated.
Sven: $40/month makes sense. Shows you're willing and able. Donation question: who gives you tax credit?
Norman: That would be our absent treasurer...
Deja: Agrees that there should be membership dues, in regards to upkeep and other necessary items. But do other volunteer efforts count toward the dues?
Norman: Membership dues exhibit committment.
Corey: I feel like we're backtracking from last week. We spent :30-1:00 discussing this last week. We're ignoring what we talked about last week.
Jarrod: I like what Norman said. Looking forward to $80 standard, $40 "starving".
Sid: Lost train of thought.
Torrie: What are feelings about paying by cash and then case-by-case afterward?
Corey: When I paid for dinner two weeks ago, there was no consensus that I would buy the dinner. If people are going to step up to contribute, there's no incentive to do things because it's hard to be reimbursed.
Cynthia: Noisebridge is non-profit, we have a committment to arts/technical. Not here to serve food to the public. If you choose to serve food, you chose to do that. You need to get consensus that you will be reimbursed.
Kevin: People give a lot to Noisebridge. I believe that membership means participation in decision-making process. Should be open to many who meet rigorous standards of consensus. Getting consensus to be a member should be the hard part. That is why I proposed to revoke the dues. I remain open to the idea of a time-based contribution, but how are we going to keep track of these circumstances? It's easy to see that someone contributed monetarily with paper trail, but how do you keep track of other things?
Sven: Pay it forward. Part of being excellent.
Zack: Issue is accountability. If we could track money, look at open-source financial statements, we'd be able to track activities, spending. Everyone has the skills to do that, there could be a technical solution.
John: If someone hypothetically is always cleaning up and happens to be a consensed member, one of the options is to ask others to chip in for their monthly dues. Should be encouraged.
Ron: The BACE timebank is where you do stuff and accrue hours. We might want to ask them about how they track stuff, create a proposal. You should be cleaning, donating stuff just because.
Corey: But we have a lot of low-income people here as well.
Ron: You don't have to be a member to participate. If you really feel passionate, you're a consensus-based community. Members can proxy-block for you. Nothing barring you.
Corey: But we need fresh blood.
Ron: But we need money.
Torrie: Why should people pay dues? What are benefits/detriments to donating?
Sven: When it comes to accountability, certain people just come here to sleep, just to eat, don't know who regulates that. Hurts feelings that people say they don't care about that.
Torrie: Regarding proposal... haven't heard anything against it. Does anyone want to block or have last minute concerns?
Zack: Age exception - teenagers. Can talk about this later.
Ron: Any objections from anyone else?
Torrie: Any members blocking?
John: Question: How many consensed members do we have at this time?
(4 to 5 people right now.)
Ron: That's the process. If they're not here, they're not blocking.
Torrie: Proposal has been consensed.
Jeffrey: Jake's improved wording.
Corey: what does sponsorship mean? What about guests for classes?
Jarrod: more clearly states what currently exists.
Henner: if you have guests for class, give them a tour. Take them through Noisebridge as part of the class.
Norman: we talked about this in security meeting. Numerous times where small groups of people wandering around aimlessly, starstruck. Offered to give them a tour, but no idea who buzzed them in. Whoever buzzed them in needs to give them a tour. At least to know where the facilities are.
Torrie: Conversation is going toward responsibility and what sponsorship means.
Sven: Lately has been trying to give people buzzed in tour and trying to give philosophy. Mi casa es su casa. On group night, separate policy of circumstances addressing issue of what happens after you're done. Another idea: logbook so people can sign in so people can't just swoop in/swoop out.
Jeffrey: More info in Security WG. Join Slack or talk on NB-discuss about when next meeting will be.
Torrie: Concerning security issues, Security WG is a good place to discuss instead of bogging down meeting. Rewording seems to empower people to remove toxic people. Any comments?
Norman: For many years has worked at Whole Earth fest in Davis. Has dealt with similar problems. Interested in holding workshop on dealing with people you don't want to deal with.
Jeffrey: There is a Safe Space WG.
Torrie: Let's talk about wording and Naomi's concern about it being uninviting.
Sven: Anything that discusses inappropriate behavior?
Ron: There is an anti-harassment policy.
Kevin: The policy doesn't sound very welcoming. Doesn't like concept of associate membership. Wants to get rid of it.
Sven: Does seem uninviting and elitist but when you're here it seems quite the contrary.
Jarrod: Since we are broadening discussion, I agree that new wording is fine, old wording is fine, either one is fine in terms of what it describes. Thing that it describes - associate membership - is something that we should see if it's succeeded or failed.
Deja: This is supposed to be a non-profit org for the public to come in and learn. If anyone feels that this place is uninviting, that's something we should take seriously.
Torrie: What are thoughts on removing associate membership?
Norman: I am an associate member. Back in the day, members were supposed to pay dues. Without associate membership, how do we know who is trusted? Don't say the community will decide.
Kevin: Has always felt empowered to ask people to leave. Doesn't always have energy to do so, sometimes they come back. In order to have real change we need to have a more tight-knit community. Policy like this doesn't create it.
Torrie: Any more comments on trust?
Deja: There are 3-4 cliques, each of them has own opinions, some against one another. Makes it possible for there to be distrust within membership. They don't all come together and talk to each other. There is sometimes abuse of asking people to leave.
Jarrod: Excellence should guide our actions regardless of who is a member. Anybody could be unexcellent. Anybody can ask anybody to leave regardless of who they are. This has always been the case. It's been 6 months. We have 15 associate members. Not a lot of buy-in.
Ron: We've had some groupthink at meetings before. Take social currency out of it. It's a hard problem.
Zack: There should be a limit on who you should kick out.
Norman: not gonna work. You'd need someone who could keep track.
John: When someone doesn't have an active sponsor, A) be excellent. B) sponsor them if they're being an excellent hacker. Unless there's a compelling reason not to sponsor them, we shouldn't have a situation where people should not be sponsored.
Emerson: Should report that you asked someone to leave.
Jeffrey: That's what is supposed to happen on the mailing list.
Deja: Trying to take care of being excellent. Who in this group will benefit from being here? Are they a hacker? Will they become a hacker?
Torrie: What is sponsorship?
Deja: Show them around the space. Be responsible for who you invited in.
Norman: Sponsorship is: I'm bringing someone into the space. I'm responsible for everything they do, good, bad, or indifferent. If they made a mess, I have to clean it up.
Sid: The word we're looking for is "accountability". You are accountable for their actions.
Sven: I love being here. We need real-time discussion.
Jeffrey et al: We have this; Slack, IRC, mailing list.
Jeffrey: What do we do next week? Vote?
Jarrod: We have 24 hours to make those changes from right now. Otherwise wording at end of meeting goes to be consensed.
Kevin: Considered most excellent to make pull request to policy on noisebridge/bureaucracy.
Torrie: Proposal from Naomi - people should not be required to disclose their names on the Wiki or on Github. Proposal undoes this requirement so people do not have to say that they are a member.
John: Weren't we going to make the member list more available? The requirement to publicly self-identify is counter-productive, but then again, aren't they identifying anyway by having a wiki account?
Jarrod: One of the drivers of the proposal was that there weren't any more membership dues. But now that there are membership dues, this takes this proposal off the table. If people don't pay, they're on hiatus. That's how secretary was able to determine who was in good standing.
Torrie: Comments about public vs. non-public membership list?
Sven: You should be accountable, so I absolutely think you should be willing to be identified for what you believe in.
Norman: It should be private because if it's not private, all of the members will be bombarded with all kinds of spam emails, requests for donations, and that's what they don't want.
Kevin: More backstory: a bunch of people were disenfranchised because they didn't have tags on their wiki user pages.
John: There's no requirement to use your full legal name on the member list but the requirement is to use a name to identify you by.
Jarrod: This only applies to Members, not Associate Members.
Henner: What purpose does this solve?
Norman: Membership lists are public by law.
Deja: I don't have a problem with identifying as a member or not. That's part of being able to be identified for people to come to you with their concerns. Just finding out now who's Associate vs. Member.
Ron: We had a previous proposal: make a published member list but go to each member and ask them what they'd like to be known as. They could identify as "giant stick hanging from the ceiling" and that would be that.
Norman: When I was doing the radio project, I ran into the federal government quite a lot. In a 501(c)3 org, membership is available by law. Nothing saying you have to put your own name there. By law if you are a member, it has to be available.
Torrie: That touches on public vs. private. There is a private list because secretary needs to know. More a question of how public it is.
Monad: Do the members when they are applying have to use their legal name? We don't check IDs.
Norman: Only thing I had to deal with was legal name of board members, not Members. Assuming FCC never checked since we didn't get the license, but it could have happened. There are some requirements.
Torrie: This proposal was brought up for discussion today by Naomi about opt-out vs. opt-in.
Jarrod: Having the secretary being the only person with the list has more powers in consensus process because it lets them seek members out. But giving all members access allows them to build consensus between other members.
Deja: Maybe we should have a list only available to members but all members should know who else is a member. But if that's going to be the case, we should have some sort of web concierge where people can respond to questions. Should be able to write to that person and have them respond to concerns.
Norman: Legal requirements are that it needs to be available. Does not need to be published out in the open.
Torrie: This is more about who has access to it. Not a lot of good progress on this. Should move discussion to mailing list, Community WG. Anyone else want to continue discussion? No.
Torrie: Item from Tom. He might never show up to discuss this.
Ron: There were rounds of Tom-bashing. Talking negatively about him.
Corey: Not what really happened. People talked about RAYC.
Ron: People have been rude, been blaming things on him, being unexcellent.
Torrie: Is this more discussion? Any new proposals?
Sid: Proposal to get a new laser tube for laser etching machine. There's condensation in the bulb.
Jarrod: Have you emailed discussion list to ask for donations?
Torrie: Any other discussions for allocating money? Can still come up next week if needed. Last call for proposals?
Alma: If garbage bins are being kept in building, should have Sunset Scavenger steam-clean the bins. Spent worst hours of my life neutralizing the green bin. Would like to see it kept away from the kitchen area.
Torrie: Proposal is to add more dollars to monthly bill to get them steam-cleaned.
Jarrod: How much more does it cost?
Alma: Haven't priced it.
Sven: There's a lot of rotten food sitting out.
Monad: People who use kitchen need to pass the hat and get that thing cleaned.
Torrie: A few extra dollars vs. adding responsibility?
Norman: Adding responsibility really doesn't work very well around here. Other proposals?
 Discussion Notes
Ron: Unexcellent behavior in meetings. Were there negative, hurtful things said about Tom? Saying "Tom abused the consensus process"?
Corey: What is the purpose of this questioning?
Ron: Tom is not coming to the space because he believes there's a witch-hunt for him. Another member felt uncomfortable about Tom-bashing. We shouldn't be doing this sort of thing. If people did that and let it happen, that's uncool.
Kevin: The particular item that was mentioned to revoke Tom's membership only came up very briefly in the past month or so and it was brought up with regard to the notion of how long do we let this sit on the agenda for. Most of the discussion was that we need to respect the opinion of the members unless Tom shows up. That item doesn't get discussed at length. Other folks did mention that there was this cloud of unbanning RAYC that happened over and over. Some folks concerned with Tom's actions in regards to the banning of RAYC.
Ron: That's why I'm here, because I want to confirm/deny.
Kevin: Would be nice to have some mediation after the meeting.
Deja: We should implement a slip can where if two people have issues, there is a can where you can put a note in there and a mediator would partake in a one-on-one with these people. Why are we even talking about sticks and stones here?
Corey: We shouldn't single out Tom.
Jarrod: to Ron: did Tom send you on this errand? (laughter.)
Ron: I was just contacted by two people about this.
Torrie: Regardless of who it happened to, it sounds unexcellent.
Bill: I wasn't here last week and the issue of RAYC was going through the week before. What happened last week?
Corey: We put it off.
Kevin: Unbanning RAYC was blocked.
Sven: In general: we're all adults here. We should be able to address each other regardless of the situation. If we don't, it's the fault of someone not saying that there's a problem. It's our duty to address each other.
Deja: That's not realistic to me. There are people who nitpick others. A slip can would solve this issue.
John: I had a chance to ask a long-time member (who shall remain nameless) he said that having Tom's head on a platter for the blocking is a good idea and thought that it's a good idea to have RAYC take a break for a while.
Henner: I was at the last meeting. Whatever was said about Tom was more like, "yes, he abused the consensus process" but that was about it.
Ron: This is just me coming here and making sure.
Monad: A lot of these things should be taken care of in the Community WG well before this meeting so we don't have to go over the same sort of thing. We need to cut down on the verbiage.
Torrie: Slack, IRC, mailing list, working groups cut down the time of these meetings significantly.
Corey: I talked about the library. Don't know if this needs to be a proposal, but there are two conflicting messages at the library. V is not here, but she put a lot of work into this. We have a checkout list. There are signs saying you cannot remove books from the library. These are conflicting. What's the deal?
Jarrod: I don't think there is any particular formal approach to the library. Mostly a do-ocratic procedure whether we're going to have a check-out system. Up to you to determine whether we're going to have a check-out list or not.
Corey: This seems to be a community thing.
Torrie: If people are willing to have a Library meeting, go for it.
Corey: I'll go ahead and form a Library working group.
Torrie: Mention it on the discussion list.
Jarrod: It's unlikely that this can be consensed, but this could be discussed right now, but it's nothing we're going to consense on right now.
Ron: Join Security WG to talk about this.
Torrie: I replaced the security camera today because someone yanked it.
Alma: Recology's "CleanScapes SF".
Norman: Why were you not at the Maker Faire?
Jeffrey: It's the same thing every year. Saw the same floats, booths, etc.
Garrett: Want to propose the idea of a volunteer program for cleaning.
Ron: I like it. Bring it up for the Community WG.
Garrett: Sleep on Sunday morning. Wake up, someone will congratulate you and induct you into the cleaning volunteer program.
Ron: Bring it up for the Community WG. Extend this suggestion to 7 days a week.
Torrie: Last call for discussion.
Meeting ended at 9:01 PM.
Sven Cavanaugh: first came here 3-4 years ago. Hasn't been back till a week ago. Background in construction/building high-rises around CA. Working on documentary portraying feral men/women of San Francisco.
J: from SoCal, sysadmin, came here to be a techie. 3rd time here. heard about NB from the web.
Mux: makes music, likes large clouds.
Bill: in/out of here in the past few months, interested in cooperative sociology, interested in how NB runs.
Alan: writes software for a living, made landboard for land-windsurfing.
Zack: from the Mission. Codes PHP, does hardware stuff, cryptocurrency
Kamie(sp)?: does printmaking, studio art, not a member, wanted to see more people at meeting
Cola???: not a tech person, but writes science fiction, is a rando.
Tebow(sp?): from France. Intrigued by NB. Thinks NB is a creative place. Works in startups, does filmmaking
Louis: from France. Runs French antique furniture shop. Works on key project for keyholders.
Monad: A thinker
Jarrod: designer, works in woodshop.
John: programmer and brainwave measurer
Cynthia: physician, #3 in google search for american disabilities act. NB helps to protect freedom of the Internet
Norman: does a bunch of things. Wants to teach a class in projection (speaking). Performs at faires in the area. Learning to program Arduinos, Androids, Propellers.
Corey: hacks on FreeBSD and writing
Sid: Hacks hardware, software, life.
Chuck: Runs computer shop in Bayview. Brings food to Noisebridge
Kevin: Has come to NB over past half year or so. Looking for data for informed decisions in regards to wiki. Who's a contributor, who's a spammer
Henner: hacker coming to NB since 2009, part of ToorCamp, rarely here because he doesn't want to leave stuff here, wants to work on making it a better place to do that.
Ron: Systems engineer, sort of loves coming here
Emerson: Lives in city, fixed laptop screen here
Alma: Invited by relative. Looking for Chris Murphy to tell him there's a new sewing machine from 1900s in the space.
Torrie: from Akron, Ohio. Started hackerspace there but it died after 3yr. Software engineer who does Linux multimedia.
Angel: here to help Sid with his project