Meeting Notes 2016 08 23

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These are the notes from the The 424th Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: August 23, 2016 Note-taker: John Shutt; Moderators: John Shutt.

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

Meeting Summary[edit]


  • Announcements:
  • Finances: $12,250 left in the Equipment Fund, $18,529.82 for Noisetor, and general fund is unknown but all was well last we checked.
  • New members: No
  • New philanthropists: Jason Bohannon, Collin Overbay, Joe Nelson
  • Consensus Items:
  • Discussion Items:


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'."

  • Introduce any experimental or unusual moderation techniques that may be using during the meeting like: direct responses, limited speaking time, orderless stack, &c.
  • Round of introductions (remember, announcements come later):

David: Here on and off. Been in SF two months. Blake: I just moved to SF, hanging out at Noisebridge a lot. Melanie: Second time here. Learned some basics. Colin: Been here about 6 weeks. Code, physics major. William: Production designer. Dennis: Architectural student. Mina: UI/UX designer. Spare time like to draw and do game design. Joyti: Software something or other. Steve: Physicist and data scientist and software developer. Member and have been coming around 3 or 4 years. Joe: Software dev and functional programming databases.

    • What's your name
    • What do you do
    • What do you maintain at Noisebridge?
    • if you are new: how did you hear about Noisebridge?

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!

Melanie: Friends of mine holding a cultural salon. Thought it might be cool to bring them here one night and make kits and do hands-on stuff. Joe: It would be cool to have a Haskell hack night. May be 30-40 people. Would also like to get a Haskell specific mailing list.

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.

Some specific points you might prompt the group to touch on, if it doesn't happen naturally:

  • What to do if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Noisebridge strives to be radically inclusive. What does that mean?
  • Noisebridge has an antiharassment policy. What does that mean?

Steve: A couple months ago we had drama happen with someone associated with the space. We ended up banning him from the space. A month or so ago we had another long-time member with reports of being overbearing with people and asked him to leave for a month or so. Sometimes when you're in a space like this and feel harassed or someone is being overbearing you might just stop coming rather than talking to somebody. We have a Safe Space Working Group now for collecting reports and try to root out these issues. If you are being harassed or being given unwanted attention in the space you can talk to one of us and know we'll keep you anonymous and talk with the person and figure out what's going on and ask them to either leave permanently or take a break. It's important to know that we do take these things seriously. In most cases most members are probably going to be in contact with other members enough that they can be trusted to relay issues.

Blake: One thing I like to do when I give a tour is point out the anti-harassment policy on the wall.


Invite a knowledgable volunteer to describe who can participate at Noisebridge, including:

  • Describe how to get an rfid key for the door system
  • Describe how to get access to slack

Steve: Various ways of participating. Simplest way is also the most inclusive: Just come here, show up, hack on stuff with other people, hack on stuff by yourself, learn how to use things in the space. You don't have to pay any money. Hacking stuff here is contribution enough. In order to do that, you just need to be able to get in. Why isn't this guy in here right now? Because somebody has to open the door and take responsibility. We're an anarchist space and part of what that means is we all have to take a leadership role. Every one of us is a guardian of the space. Please let people in because if you don't how will anyone get in? But you have to take responsibility. Open 10am to 10pm. If you do come to the space a couple of times and want to come back more frequently but not ready to pay money, you can get an RFID token by the door. $5 for a key fob, or a $3 to get your Clipper card. This will get you in during open hours.

We have a Slack channel and the Noisebridge Discuss mailing list but a lot of us have transitioned to Slack. If you want to participate in the online community ask any member to give you access and then wait a little bit for that to happen.


  • Invite a knowledgeable volunteer 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(?)

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.

Steve: As a philanthropist you make an $80 contribution the space and need to know our protocol with how to take care of the space and how to shut down the space. As far as membership goes, membership doesn't really get you any privileges. It lets you scan people's RFID things and gets you the ability to full participate in our decision-making process. Members can block consensus. We trust you so much as a member that if all the other members decide to do something you can block it.

Financial Report[edit]

$12,250 left in the Equipment Fund, $18,529.82 for Noisetor, and general fund is unknown but all was well last we checked.

Consensus and Discussion[edit]

  • 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.

John: Noisebridge is in a very good financial state. We have a good buffer. $50,000.

Blake: Including Noisetor?

John: No, I think we have separate accounts. This is independent of grant money, independent of noisetor.

Blake: So that's 6 months of expenses, right? How much is our rent?

John: Our rent is about $6,000 a month, so this is more than 6 months. We're also *almost* at a point where we have a positive cash flow.

John: This means that we should start talking about what we can do with this money.

John: Noisebridge could be a fiscal sponsor for projects.

Blake: What John wants to do is a pretty common thing for nonprofits to do. It's pretty hard to organize a nonprofit. This is the way a lot of programming languages and stuff get organized. Under a different nonprofit umbrella.

John: We're not a traditional nonprofit, and that means unique things for Noisebridge. We're a lot community oriented. Right now, we don't have paid staff. Our only overhead is rent and physical space.

Charlie: Community first, then grant sponsorship.

Steve: I don't want people attaching themselves to Noisebridge, I want them to be a part of a community. I want them to do cool stuff from withng the community.

John: We will need specific mechanisms to do this. Consensus items. When I was talking with the working group about how to spend a large, no-strings-attached grant (eg the one from google!), we went through a similar process.

End of Meeting[edit]

  1. Return the membership binder to its rightful location.
  2. Discuss any items for which there was not time during the meeting.
  3. Enjoy the company of your fellow hacker, robot, or robothacker.

Note taker posts the notes[edit]

  1. Clean and tidy the meeting notes including removing all these really verbose instructions.
  2. Fill out the short summary at the top listing just announcements, consensus items, discussion topics, and names of new members and philanthropists.
  3. Copy paste the notes to the next meeting page. (They will become Last meeting at midnight.)
  4. Email the meeting summary to Noisebridge Discuss and Noisebridge Announce lists.
  5. CC on the email and if there are new members and philanthropists.
  6. Edit the Current Consensus Items if anything is proposed for consensus next week.
  7. Edit the Consensus Items History if anything was reached consensus or failed to reach consensus this week.

Fun things to do after[edit]

  • Reprise of the Hackernationale. [This is anarchy - we do what the wiki says!]
  • PGP Key Signing could happen now (if it doesn't happen before any given Meeting). Ask others around the space or check the list to see who wants in on the action.