Meeting Notes 2016 07 05

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These are the notes from the The XXXth Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: FIXME THE DATE HERE Note-taker: Victoria; Moderators: Scotty.

  • One or two bullet points of high-level meeting summary.

Introductions[edit]

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'."

  • J introduces Noisebridge to us!
  • Razzi - Do software. I like programming in python and other languages! I don't really maintain anything but I do benefit from the wifi and the library!
  • Seunghan Oh - From South Korea. A student at university! Majoring in mechanical engineering. Heard about Noisebridge through Tayopa
  • Audrey - Also from S. Korea. Majoring in english lit. Interested in makerspaces, maker culture, maker movement, etc. Doing a project in Korea to activate maker culture because we don't have an active community like this!
  • Zephyr - Software. Hand waving. The usual.
  • Tayopa - Came to check up on the sparkleforge and give a tour of The Noisebridge
  • Max - I'm french. Here in SF for three months. My passion is machine learning! I enjoy the space. My friend told me about it from the internet. Its really awesome!
  • Denyo - From germany! I know about NB from the congresses in germany. Its an awesome place
  • David - Teach games at City College SF and SFSU. I come here sometimes for gamebridge and I'm also interested in wearable computers. Messin' arund with Raspberry Pis.
  • Richard - Hardware guy. Mechanical engineer. Been here a few times. Hanging around the space, getting to know people.
  • Christian - Web developer, entrepreneur. Heard about this from my friend Mark. Very happy to be here!
  • Mark - Work on videogame stuff. Sorta run the gaming archivists. I help teach the Unity class!
  • J - The grumpy one. I teach circuit hacking mondays! I love the space!
  • JJ - Come here quite a bit. Live a few blocks away. Its like my living room in a way. It gives me a space to work on my architectural designs and be surrounded by awesome people.
  • Victoria - Partial cyborg. Maintains secretary things.
  • Stan - Started using the space recently. Got a feel for things.
  • Scotty - Spends a lot of time unloading and loading things people have bought without telling me from my car. I help maintain the hacker shelves and electronics area.

Short announcements and events[edit]

  • Cool new projects? Something you'd like people to know? Say now, but keep it short! One or two sentences please!
  • Any happenings at the space of which members should be made aware.
  • Don't hog everyone's time since we all just want to hack!
  • Richard - I'm doing an electric vehicle with some friends. Looking to know if anyone is interested and if we can do stuff here. I want to do reverse engineering of EV parts.
  • Max - Organizing a meetup about Alexa. July 8thish probably. I will teach how to use it!
  • Victoria - We have a huge frikkin lazor!!! And a kiln!
  • Scotty - They're not hooked up yet. Don't use them yet please without knowing the repercussions! We have vending machines! We want to stock them with kits but nobody's looked into it yet.
  • Trent (appears from nowhere) - I need to pick up a kiln. Its bigger than Scotty's car.

Safe Space[edit]

Note: This section is experimental. We discussed it at Meeting_Notes_2016_06_28. We're going to try it for the next meeting, and see how it goes, and then discuss in the discussion section how it went, and how we'd like to tweak it.

Noisebridge is a safe space. Invite a volunteer to describe what that means.


  • Scotty - This is a new section! We're going to try it out, then have a meta-discussion about it and work on it next week.
  • Torrie: We want noisebtridge to be a place where everyone feels comfortable to come. And we want everyone to feel that everyone will back them up. Tech is often cis-straight guys and is a meritocracy. Noisebridge is not a meritocracy. We want to be excellent to each other. You don't come to noisebtdige to flirt/hit on people/sexual advances on people. Don't make assumptions based on people's incomes and what they look like

Noisebridge has an antiharassement policy. It's posted all over the walls. It's also on the wiki. It was enacted a while ago, and needs a bit of work. If there's harassment that makes nb not a safe space. If it's violated, find a trusted noisebridger - someone you trust - preferably someone on slack. Talk about it with them - make sure it gets brought up within the portion the community that cares - the sswg. They will keep it confidential and discuss it. Noisebridge looks out for each each. No one is charge. It's everyone's responsibility to make noisebridge a safe space.

A bit more bacgrkoudn: This was brought up when we consesed to ban a confounder for harrassment/rape. We don't want Noisebridge to be a festering shithole. We're trying to resolve some of that by bringing it in to the weekly meeting so we can discuss it regularly, and enact a cultural shift.

  • David: Hackerspaces were meant as a means to democratize access to tools. Noisebridge is a neutral place for those who would otherwise lack access to print something in 3d, or laser cut something, or gain internet access. In the early days thats exactly what Noisebridge was. A safe space should truly enable people from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds to lay claim to a hackerspace on a level playing field. I speak as an educator at a city and a state institution at a point where disparities between groups is in stark contrast. Its our obligation as hackers to guarantee and ensure that everyone who comes through that door is not judged in terms of what they may or may not have in terms of economic potential. Hackerspaces aren't about reinforcing private property; they're about reinforcing a sense of collaboration and communication.
  • Zephyr - PC is the new LSD, man.
  • JJ - My biggest fear is that I'm going to go somewhere and be looked at in a certain way and it'll make me feel uncomfortable in a certain way. Its an ongoing thing to balance, between the security of the space and having a safe welcoming space.
  • J - What we're trying to accomplish is to make a space that is as open as possible and as welcoming as possible to people coming through. It means we need the entire community working on it. Its nice to have a place to teach and learn, but it'll die if we don't keep it moving. Knowing how to answer the door, greet people, give a tour, ya know? Because if you only have a couple of people doing that, its not going to maintain itself.
  • Trent - People come to noisebridge to do certain things. If people are obstructing them, that has an effect in whether or not they decide to be here at all. The biggest way to disrupt somebody is by making them feel unwelcome.
  • Torrie - I want to go a bit further. It's totally excellent to be welcoming and accepting to everyone at noisebridge. But it's also really important for NB to set boundaries. It shouldn't be a safe space for absuers and harassers. It's a safe space for the opressed and the underpriviledged. Traditionally speaking in hacker cultuer, that's everyone who's not a cis white guy. There's a difference between someone making you feel unsafe and someone disagreeing with. At NB you should treat disagreement as a way to grow. Everyone can better themselves from that. If everyone can't benefit from it, then that's where the line is.

Tayopa - you don't have to agree with someone to have a respectful engagement David - I think it's important it doesn't become privatized. I've been around the mission since 1992. It was most progressive when it was the least private. When it was a self concious effort when there were safe spaces that were by definition communal. A lot of these community organizations have thrived. When they've thrived it's when groups built a coalition amongst themselves. I don't want NB to become another glitzy artisianal shithole. It's not about investment and kickstarters. I sense that true hackerism is about experimentation. Let them do that in silicon valley.

  • Zephyr - Ther'es been a long history of computer hacking, etc. It has a potential to corrupt and bring seedier mainstream elements. Maybe "mainstream" isn't the right word. This brings up a point: there have been many people banned from noisebridge simply for being poor.
  • David - Safe for who?
  • Scotty - Safe for the people who make it a safe space. Gender, sexuality, orientation, class, etc.

Membership Binder [edit]

  • Invite a knowledgeable volunteer to describe membership, and the application process.

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.

  • Read off any names from the binder for the past month. Mark down a check or other indicator on every open application to keep track of how many weeks they've been read out.
  • Anyone eligible to join this week should
    • introduce themselves,
    • answer any questions members may have for them, then
    • leave the area in search of gifts (traditionally beer and a lime, or cookies) for the rest of the group.
  • The rest of the meeting should reach consensus on whether they may join.
  • Remember to applaud new members when they return.
  • Razzi - Membership is a way of supporting noisebridge through money. Its a way to take a leadership role in the community, given the responsibility of late night access, and all those times you're keeping watch over the space, answering questions, etc. Members have an enhanced ability in the consensus process.
  • J - If you have access via a clipper card, it means you are becoming part of the community and becoming part of the space. You become a custodian. You dont' become a leader, because everyone should be keeping the community alive. You pledge $80/mo to keep the space alive, and pledge to participate in consensus.
  • Scotty - How do you become a member?
  • J - To become a member, you fill out a form. Get two members in good standing to sign your paper. Come to four meetings, then we consense.
  • Scotty - We have one applicant. Me. I'll awkwardly read it.
  • ~~and so he does~~
  • David - Is it possible to perform in-kind donations, labor, etc to gain access to membership?
  • Scotty - You can strike a deal with the treasurer.
  • Who do you negotiate with?
  • Scotty - The treasurer

Philanthropists[edit]

  • Invite a knowledgeable member to describe Philantropy, and the application process.
  • Read off any names from the binder for the past month. Any applicants must have their sponsor present to vouch for them.
  • If there are no objections, they're a philanthropist! Their pledge should be handed over to the Secretary posthaste, after which their token will be updated to give them the 24/7 access they've earned(?)
  • J - If you have access to the space, can you describe access as a philanthropist?
  • Tayopa - Being a philanthropist is another way to be part of the noisebridge community. WHile it doesn't allow you to block in consensus, there are definitely responsibilities given in exchange for access. You steward the space, show people around, are responsible for who enters, etc. Its a negotiated pay per month to have this access, and its another way to support the space. To become one, you get a form with one other Awesome Noisebridge Member to sponsor their signature. Then you go off to the cabal and come back exactly the same, but unspeakably different.
  • Richard and apply for philanthropy

Financial Report[edit]

  • Funds in bank: $SOME, but $NOT_ENOUGH
  • Noisetor (See the bulletpoints at the bottom of http://noisetor.net/finances/#summary):
  • Any other details by those participating in handling our financials

Consensus and Discussion[edit]

Torrie describes consensus

  • invite a knowledgeable volunteer to give 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]

(Add any items which are consensed upon or someone has raised a principle objection for to the Consensus Items History page.)

Proposals for next week [edit]

(Add any new items for consensus to the Current Consensus Items page.)

Discussion Items[edit]

If any important discussion happens, it should be happening after forward progress is made during consensus.

  • Scotty - lets talk about the safe space meta-discussion now.
  • David - I hope it doesn't close down more discussions than it opens up. Class is the number one issue for me right now. I'm dismayed how its looking more and more like a private space. Its been cordoned off for startups. I want it to feel like a hackerspace and not like a prissy joint on Valencia St. I don't know how to say it, but this is a hackerspace not a fab lab.
  • Razzi - I think it'd be great to be more specific about bad behavioral examples.
  • Tayopa - I was heartened that people were willing to speak up. It could've been a thing that made people feel uncomfortable enough that it'll lead to silence.
  • Victoria - As a hypothetical, someone comes to you and says they're uncomfortable because someone is hitting on them. What would you do?
  • Richard - Ask them to tell them to stop?
  • Maybe the person doing it isn't intentionally trying to make someone uncomfortable.
  • Tayopa - People have different levels of comfort. If someone is complained over and over again by multiple people, then even if it isn't incredibly clear and black/white, we have a mechanism in place to deal with that via #no-fly-list.
  • David - On one level, its kinda about manners. You can't really legislate against bad manners. If someone persists with bad behavior then it crosses a line. Zizek Slavoj wrote and produced videos about this. He's a critic of attempts to... I don't want to get into it I'd rather him explain it himself. Nobody in their right mind would mask attempts to minimize sexual harassment.
  • Scotty - I want to circle back to specifics about what we want to talk about next week. I would propose we do it again next week.
  • Victoria - Maybe we can include some text from the anti-harassment policy?
  • Scotty - Last week we talked extensively and decided we didn't want people to read it verbaim. The current way leads to a more living discussion about what it means to be a safe space.
  • Taypoa - Lets try and see what happens?
  • In Korea, in our school, we have separate campuses for liberal arts and natural sciences. They're pretty far apart. What would help the students communicate and collaborate in different fields of study.
  • Audrey - Collaboration: In korea, we have all these spaces b/c he gov't pays ofr everyehting. But nobody is there using it because it isn't their dream. Fields of different majors should have to work together and collaborate.
  • JJ - I think its an architectural dilemma. If there are resources that are used by both parties and they are brought together in one location, that can cause polenation between majors. Might be as simple as lunch benches.
  • David - Make it very weird and very controversial. Have unusual things that inherently are cross-disciplinary, unusual, biological, strange. The more strange the better. More controversial the better. Get press, lots of attention, circulate on social media. Treat it like a big publicity thing. Half of what Mitch does is promote Noisebridge. He is a PR guy for an idea: you can do anything with old stuff and make it new again as long as its weird.
  • Tayopa - Projects that were very fun, but not geared for a technical background. Hackathons are very useful too! Teams where I didn't have advanced technical skills but could still contribute. People are coming from different majors and working together on one project to compete against each other. That was a lot of fun.
  • Richard - The interest should come from the members, the groups, and not the government that tells them what to be interested in. Let them come together and give them the resources to do what they want.
  • Zephyr - Lets talk about the openness of Slack
  • Zephyr - Tony LaTigre
  • Scotty - David, I'm not sure what you mean with your concerns about class.
  • David - I long for a time when noisebridge felt more inclusive. More ad-hoc, more experimental, more do-it-yourself. A place where you could walk in and do something. Not as concerned with precision and efficiency. I feel some of this has gotten in the way of Noisebridge's initial aims and objectives, which is to provide a space for people to tinker with.
  • Scotty - Are there specific parts you're interested in?
  • David - Parts to rummage through, computers to tinker with, you know. Its not a hospital. A hackerspace shouldn't be a clinical like that. There's been a general cleaning up of the space where hacking in the original sense of the term can't take place in quite the same way. I like noisebridge and I care about it very much and I don't feel I should take part in meetings if I can't speak my mind. There certainly has been a sense that the space has gotten more cleaned up and more corporate. A lot less like truly hackerish.