Meeting Notes 2016 09 06

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These are the notes from the The 426th Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: September 6, 2016 Note-taker: Roger Filmyer; Moderators: John Shutt.

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

Meeting Summary[edit]


  • Announcements:
  • Finances:
  • New members:
  • New philanthropists:
  • 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):
    • What's your name
    • What do you do
    • What do you maintain at Noisebridge?
    • if you are new: how did you hear about Noisebridge?

John - working on a bunch of different projects, now with finances/donations/$$$$ Kyle - Coming here for a few years. Does stuff in the sewing area. A lot of stuff Roger - taking notes Blake - Been hanging and doing cool stuff. Favorite bagel: Plain with Peanut Butter Steven - Just started coming here, but will be here for a while. interested in Robotics. Maybe teaching a class! Jeremy - 2nd week back (was here in June), looking to do more software stuff. Craig - General interest in computers Greg - General interest in computers. Favorite bagel - Jalapeño with cheddar cheese

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!

Blake - Forming a Kaggle team (usually machine learning), meeting here tomorrow at 6 PM! Trying to predict seizures from EEG data, talkig with neuro hacking people. We will spend the money on a $20,000 party.

Alex - There is a large rodent. Does this indicate a change of the rat situation. John - Are we dealing with this? Blake - It's one rodent, in a confined area. (note: We've all seen it in the 2nd floor area, going between the elevator and the pipes)

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?

John (giving history) - If you're not actively cracking down on things like sexual harrassment, it becomes a problem. In 2014, we started taking this more seriously, with the formal anti-harrassment policy. We made the "safe space" section part of the meeting after the Jacob Appelbaum situation.

Anything else to add?

Blake - This is an issue when giving tours. I say "Tell us!", but it's not clear who's a member and who's not. We should put a url on the anti-harassment policy signs. John - I always get confused [...] Jeremy - a dedicated "harrassment" email address, eg harrassment/

John - We have a group of people, we've been responding informally, but it's not clear to many people what steps they should take to reach out. Blake - We have the "committee for public safety" aka the Safe Space Working Group

Steve - What is the safe space policy? John - We have the anti-harrassment policy, which we started prioritizing after the 2014 cultural reboot.


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

Roger: To get a 30-day key you don't have to be a formal philanthropist or member, you just have to ask a member and they can make a judgement call and give you a key that opens Noisebridge between 11am and 10pm. Access for 30 days. Any member can give this to you, if they agree to be responsible for you.

Roger: To get on to Slack, we try to have only people who are physically involved in the space.

Steven: I'd like to get on Slack, since I'd like to be involved in events and discussing things.


  • 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(?)

Jeremy grabbed a philanthropist form, but hasn't gotten it signed yet. "Hang in there" - John

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.

Roger: Someone who makes regular donations to the space. In return for supporting us for $40 a month for starving hackers or $80 a month regular rate, you get a 24-hour access token and undying admiration of Noisebridge. To get approved you just need a member to sign off on your application. You need to come to a meeting and if there's no objection you become a philanthropist, they activate your token, you're good to go.

  • 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.

membership apps: Roger: I feel 'at home' at NB. It doesn't give me any privs. Kyle: I'll just say I want to be a memmber to be more involved in the community. I used to not want to be a member because I didn't want the responsibility. But I now think that is a crucial part of the community and I want to do it to help NB flourish.

philanthropist apps:

   no ryan, no razi

Financial Report[edit]

9/6/2016 Treasurer’s Report:

   We have $62,619.07 total in the bank. 
   $12,200.09 is earmarked for the Equipment Fund. 
   $15,000 is Money Google Gave Us Accidentally That We Need to Return, which is sitting in a savings account collecting interest until they tell us how to do that. 
   $60 is for a guide laser for the laser cutter, and may be shifted to the overall laser project fund since cash donations reached the $100 necessary to buy the guide laser—no Equipment Fund outlay there. 
   So our general fund plus Noisetor amounts to $35,358.98. 
   It is the treasurer’s understanding that Noisetor’s earmarked funds are in the low thousands, which means that Noisebridge’s general fund is strong, covering 6+ months of expenses. 

Treasurer’s questions:

   Exactly how much of the money in the bank belongs to Noisetor, and are those funds separated out into the Wells Fargo savings account for ease of accounting? 
   The project donation page lists six separate projects that have raised money adding up to $2,854. 
   Have those funds already been disbursed, or do we need to account for them when calculating the total money in the general fund?
   And a long-term question: How much cash do we need in the bank to seriously consider trying to buy the property at 2169 Mission Street, the most recent assessed value of which is $512,575.00 for the land and $659,029.00 for the structure, a total of $1,171,604?

£ According to this noisetor has $18k but that is incorrect.

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.)

Controls on the Equipment Fund:

   Text: Any proposed spending from the Equipment Fund in excess of $2,500 for a particular item, or any spending whatsoever on an item that was originally proposed by the bookkeeper of the Equipment Fund, must be approved by consensus.
   (No Objection)

Proposals for next week [edit]

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

Noisebridge acting as a Fiscal Sponsor for projects:


Noisebridge can serve as a fiscal sponsor for projects led by members of the Noisebridge community, accepting grant money and donations to our bank account and passing it along to the leaders of the projects, who will not be considered employees of Noisebridge.

All projects must be led by people who contribute or have contributed to the Noisebridge community in a meaningful way.

Projects must be in line with Noisebridge’s mission to promote and encourage technical, scientific, and artistic skills through individual projects, social collaboration, and education.

Projects that have a military purpose or police purpose, or intend to seek funding from any branch of the military or police, will not be accepted.

Project leaders must be comfortable with the Noisebridge community knowing how much money their project has on hand, since it will be read out at weekly meetings during the treasurer’s report.

We should subject project proposals to rigorous controls and close scrutiny, similar to membership applications. Every project proposed for fiscal sponsorship must be submitted for full Capital-C Consensus, and any member can block consensus without needing to propose an alternative.

New projects are expected to have specific time limits on the length of their fiscal sponsorship, such as six months to a year, at which point project managers must get consensus to extend fiscal sponsorship. Projects such as Noisetor which have been found to be successful over long periods may seek indefinite fiscal sponsorship.

Projects that violate Noisebridge's mission, accept military or police funding, spend money directly on political campaigns, operate as a for-profit enterprise, embezzle funds, or otherwise threaten Noisebridge's 501(c)(3) status will have their fiscal sponsorship automatically revoked.

The administrative fee charged by Noisebridge for acting as a fiscal sponsor will be 5% of all money raised through donations and grants, the same rate charged to Noisetor, the first and so far only outside project fiscally sponsored by Noisebridge. This is the low end of what nonprofits charge for fiscal sponsorship and is intended to cover extra overhead costs Noisebridge is taking on.

Noisebridge does not have any paid staff and does not intend to hire any. We may, however, need to pay for additional legal and accounting services from contractors, which should be covered by the 5% administrative fee. Recipients of grant money and donations through fiscal sponsorship may be legally considered contractors of Noisebridge, depending on the amount of money raised and how it is used.

Any money left over from the 5% administrative fee after paying for legal and accounting services will go into Noisebridge’s general fund.

Discussion Items[edit]

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

Jeremy - I'm looking at blockchain / distributed webtech / smart contracts stuff. If anyone is interested in doing some of that stuff at Noisebridge, let me know!

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.