Meeting Notes 2015 02 24

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These are the notes from the The 334th Meeting of Noisebridge. Note-taker: Nthmost; Moderators: Signal.

  • The Safe Space Working Group is not a meeting. It's a way of life.


Noisebridge is a place to where you come to learn, teach, and do cool stuff. No rules with the exception of "Be Excellent to Each Other'. --J

  • Kevin is doing alright. Doing well. Yeah. I'm a data scientist for a financial firm. I maintain the collaboration station and other things.
  • J: system adminstrator, tinkerer. I maintain a truck!
  • Zephyr: compiler warrior. Where is the Tandy?!
  • Henner: write software in one language by day, write software in other languages by night. Maintain access control (the doors).
  • Josh: I like messing around with 8bit computers. My purpose here is to hold the couch down.
  • John Shutt: co-host digital archivist group and maintain the book scanner.
  • Yuri: I do dance films
  • Steve: data scientist, physicist, C++. Sometimes i put toilet paper on the rolls.
  • Mitch: I turn off TVs for my day,night, and morning job. Help maintain electronics & CHM here.
  • Patrick: software engineer, random misc , grapple w/ Noisebridge finances
  • Torrie: crypto-anarchist, other half of the Treasurer
  • Mike: my first meeting. Marketer by day. Heard about NB from a friend -- 3D printing connection.
  • Monad: I tinker.
  • Jade: Tutor python, come to neurohacking.
  • Naomi: finishing the library shelves, preparing for an event this Saturday.
  • Signal: helping maintain the library.
  • Masahiro: neurohacking

Short announcements and events[edit]

  • Patrick: Iron Blogger! NB's blogging-and-beer-drinking club. We contribute $$$ for not writing, and then we all drink our delicious procrastination.
  • Zephyr: Plan 9 meetup -- Mondays at 9pm.
  • Mitch: In June -- official ALA event here at Noisebridge AND the unofficial unconference April Glaser & EFF are putting on.
  • Signal: Late Spring, early summer -- looking for others to help TA the machine learning course, using the Coursera ML courseware.

Membership Binder [edit]

Being a member of Noisebridge is not like being a member of a gym or your local chess club. Anyone can come to Noisebridge to hack and learn: you don't need to be a member for that. At Noisebridge, membership is something different: it means taking responsibility and committing to help to maintain, improve, and govern Noisebridge. As a member of Noisebridge, you don't just come here to hack and learn, you actively work to improve what you see around you, help to deal with problems, and make this community and space better than it is today.

  • Sam Tepper -- week 10 -- 2 sponsors.
  • Henner Zeller -- week 1 -- 2+ sponsors.
  • J -- week 1 -- 2 sponsors.

Financial Report[edit]

  • We need money! Go visit
  • Patrick's running a donation matching drive, kicking off in about a week. We have ~$10,000 pledged so far.
  • Five Minutes of Fame raised $800
  • Project-X will contribute $1000+ this weekend.
  • Circuit Hacking Monday $100

Consensus and Discussion[edit]

  • a brief primer on consensus process
  • It is important that everyone in attendance understands at least:
    • Blocking with verbalized principled objections.
    • Why we use consensus over other approaches to decision making.
    • How consensus isn't a legislative process
    • Why consensus isn't applicable to some things like conflict resolution, resolution of time sinks, and the like.

Proposals from last week [edit]


Proposals for next week [edit]


Discussion Items[edit]

The Case of the Tardy Tandy[edit]

  • Zephyr: where is the Tandy?! We wrote an assembler for it, now it's missing!
  • Torrie: I can think of three places to look. We can do it after the meeting.

IndieGoGo Rewards[edit]

  • Mitch: after this, i want to work on IGG stuff.

(lots of twinkle fingers)


  • Steve: What's the process for the safe space working group, moderation, etc?
  • Torrie: the SSWG is composed of people who have the patience to deal with interpersonal drama. It happens whenever it happens. No formal meetings on MOnday for the last long while because we've been dealing with it pretty well outside of that context. If you want to have a SSWG meeting, post in the no-fly-list.
  • Mitch: we should have this discussion about the process.
  • Signal: I'm trying to steer the conversation away from specifics.
  • Steve: I've never been to a SSWG meeting, so please correct me if I'm wrong. There's a concern that some recent banning seem to have been done w/o more advertisement to the community and w/o trying to come to some middle ground between the bannees. One individual was banned from the space, and i was informed of this by someone who participated. What I would have liked to see is someone being asked to leave and told to come to the next SSWG meeting, where we're going to discuss the situation without jumping to banning them.
  • Kevin: my interaction w/ the SSWG has been brutal to be honest. I was at a meeting and it was moderated w/ muscle and not w/ words. Then there was a Slack discussion that seemed so much echo chamber that it pushed me away. Since then I've felt some distance from the space, when i see these ad-hoc perma-bans happen. I'd prefer to see some form of mediation in some cases. In violent cases, sure, they shouldn't come back. But not all cases are like that, and i'd prefer to see more discussion.
  • Torrie: I feel the way the SSWG works, not a meeting that happens, it's a group w/in the community who for one reason or another aren't open to inviting other people into the group all that readily. The way i see these things happen is someone will encounter an objectionable thing and it's not one person deciding, it's people talking about it in the no-fly-list channel. There are a lot of red flags that we've trained ourselves to react to, sometimes we overreact, but we are here today by means of that training for better or for worse. There hasn't been much of a process after the initial discussion.
  • Mitch: NB was almost destroyed by ppl who abused the space, stealing, breaking, being unexcellent in general. Coming out of the Reboot we have discussions about the cultural immune system. When ppl exhibit certain patterns, it's talked about amongst all of us on Slack, and we have collective eyes on those individuals. There was a lot of discussion where people agreed to err on the side of keeping people out rather than on the side of letting them keep coming. It might be time to loosen up on that. If we're lacking a way for communicating to the whole group at large and making sure people have some recourse. That said I'm not sad about anyone we've banned never coming back to NB. Someone who will game the system, like at least one person who's been banned, if they start doing that at a SSWG, the meeting can just call it quits on the meeting. No problem having everyone who is asked to leave being able to come to a meeting.
  • Patrick: The feedback system seems to be lacking. there's a mediation page on the wiki but it's horribly out of date. I made a mailing list specifically for ppl to ask for mediation -- "hey i think there's been a misunderstanding, can we work this out?" Let's get a bunch of people on the mediation list.
  • Nthmost: 0) mediation list is a great first step. 1) echo Torrie, not a meeting but a working group. The cultural immune system is working well and we should expect it to expand to all of the community over time. It shouldn't worry people too much that they are part of it -- shared burden, lessened stress on any one person. 2) reasons we decided to be more restrictive
  • Steve: The list sounds great. Anybody should be able to participate in the SSWG meetings. I could imagine the person being accused being at that meeting, along with anybody who is friends with the accused coming to that meeting. If we covered those bases we would be able to hear out all concerns the community may have.
  • J: We have to be professional. "I asked this person to leave because of X." Let people know, log the event, hear people's comments.
  • Torrie: I think there should ideally be 2 good outcomes. 1) build some kind of workflow -- what does it mean to ask someone to leave? informing them about the mediation list, etc. 2) do some roleplaying. Some months ago when we met regularly, we did roleplaying (e.g. pretend we're kicking out a tweaker), exploring how to properly handle situations.
  • Zephyr: the whole Slack thing doesn't seem like Open Source software.
  • Signal: It's not.
  • Zephyr: OK. so, I live at The Last Bastion of Freedom.
  • Signal: wat?
  • Zephyr: YOu don't know about the Last Bastion of Freedom? Well we're all Noisebridge members who are trying not to squat at Noisebridge. Anyway, cultural immune system, transparency.
  • Mitch: the first time we had to ban someone, no one was sad about it. We came up with several procedures for dealing w/ problematic people, so after a lot of individuals being subject to unexcellent procedures on an individual basis, the "pitchforks" come out. But those procedures have to do with people who are already in the community. The first procedure is that if I have a problem with Signal I tell Signal. it's up to each of us to approach the person. If it's too uncomfortable, we look to mediation. So if we had a problem we couldn't work out for ourselves, we'd go that route. The job of mediator is to make sure everyone feels safe and heard, and see if there are patterns there, e.g... "hmm, these Mitch character has had all these problems with other people too, so maybe it's not just an interpersonal problem between Mitch and Signal."
  • Patrick: Rubin made a page called "Unexcellent".
  • Signal: a Story! when I first met Rubin, Rubin was a former NB member, and as you've noticed Rubin installed out of his own finances and A/V stuff. When I told Rubin i was thinking about Noisebridge, he LAUGHED IN MY FACE and told me about all the problems they had because they couldn't kick people out. It's cause for a moment of reflection to ask yourself, what am I giving to the community and what am I taking? In what way am I overall contributing?
  • Monad: That's all fine, but how does it work? Something happens and I ask them to leave. They say, "who the hell are you, why should I leave?"
  • Patrick: You say, it's possible i fucked up, you should go here to seek mediation.
  • Monad: Can I refer them to the wiki page? What's the procedure?
  • Nthmost: We have a well enculturated process of asking people to leave. Any person here would back you up. If you're asked to leave, you must leave. And now there's a new list you can write to for mediation. If they don't leave, that's unexcellent behavior, and you should write about it on the no-fly-list Slack channel.
  • Signal: let's wrap this up, we're over time.
  • Torrie: List of tools! Seems like support behind Unexcellence wiki page. New mediation list coming soon (when approved). Roleplaying has worked really well, so anyone who wants to have a meeting to do conflict resolution, that would be good. The SSWG wiki has probably been abandoned so that's not useful. The safe-hackerspaces mailing list is announce-only - here's a list of the facts which you post as objectively as possible so that other hackerspaces can use.

Board Nominations[edit]

  • Nthmost: we should take board nominations for this whole week, let people know about their nominations, let them accept or reject.

Nominations in progress: Board/2015_Nominations


  • Signal: We need a process to figuring out what to do about bugs, because we got 'em. Bugs eat food. There are groceries, the fridge is a mess, there's a rice cooker, there are food-making materials. NB does not have a kitchen and no one lives here.
  • Torrie: You're listing those things that are back there, it's been a pattern over time. It's just one person going in the back and discovering the food, it happens every time.
  • Signal: Naomi and I have closed the space a couple of times and discovered we either have to clean the dishes or left food out. It's really disrespectful. I'm ranting, i'd like to hear some suggestions on how to manage this.
  • Nthmost: let's put a sign on the fridge that says "the fridge will be cleaned up every [some day] at [hour]".
  • Kevin: are the plants dead or alive?
  • Signal: alive. and still attracting bugs.
  • Monad: the fridge has always been a problem. Let's get rid of the fridge and not have any storage for food here at all.
  • Signal: I don't want to take away access to resources like ppl making beer
  • Jade: I second the idea of cleaning it out every garbage night.
  • John Shutt: we can experiment w/ making the fridge beverages only
  • Nthmost: I think the fridge is useful and worth having. Parties, keeping leftovers. I never forget my food there, but I could see myself doing that, and it would be totally reasonable
  • Torrie: My theory is that the effort to get more traffic around the cafe will help here. I just walked back to the bathroom and there's a horrible smell back there. More foot traffic will help with the mess.
  • Yuri: how about a special dumpster for food, and those people who cook they should take care of trash right away.
  • Mitch: i'm the one who takes out the trash on Mondays and I really don't want to have to clean out the fridge *also*.
  • Torrie: I wonder if the compost bin being closer to the kitchen
  • Mitch: We moved it THERE because it was such a problem over THERE.
  • Nthmost: The first few times cleaning out the fridge are going to be gross, but it'll get easier over time. Doing it consistently will send a message that it's not cool to set up shop here.
  • J: in college our system was to put a name and a date on our stuff.
  • John Shutt: Anyone want to join me in cleaning the fridge after this? [hands go up]
  • Signal: Kitchen paraphernalia -- is there any good reason we have a frying pan with oil in it every single night?!
  • everyone: no
  • Mitch: if the kitchen is not being used fo r
  • Torrie: I remember during, before, and around the whole Reboot that there was consensus that we don't need a kitchen. A lot of work went into getting rid of everything to do with cooking. We threw it all out to get rid of the kitchen. People made a big deal about the fact that it's not a kitchen.
  • Mitch: so if we get rid of all the things that make it a kitchen, leaving behind tea and coffee and mugs, people will stop using it as one.
  • Torrie: Let's discuss what we build to fill that vaccuum! We could always use more project shelves.
  • Signal: Project lockers!
  • Zephyr: the Computer History Museum is giving away their giant VAX machines.

End of Meeting[edit]

The Fridge gets do-ocratically cleaned and the trash taken out.