Meeting Notes 2017 10 31

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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'."

Ryan: Noisebridge is as some people call it a hacker spaceship, a place for cool ppl incl. everyone here to come hack and build cool things based on the process of doocracy, so you don't have to ask others to do things you just do them, as long as you follow the one simple rule of noisebridge which is be excellent to each other. Enjoy your time here, have fun, hack on things that say hack me, don't hack on things that say do not hack. Open from the hours of 11am to 10pm, and when other events happen.

  • 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?


  • Peter: working on a bike share route planner thing, if anyone's good at mapbox, etc come talk
  • Senthil: learning about woodworking tools
  • Augur: Teach laser cutting, do functional programming,
  • Steve: Programming, Persuance project w/ Barrett Brown, hosts privacy hackathon every saturday 4-10pm in Church
  • NickH: I .. I do cool stuff!
  • Eddy: Usually comes here to work on side projects, incl currently a Code For America project, webapp that visualizes speed and reliability of Muni busses using realtime data
  • Zach: Been coming to NB since 2010; electrical engineer, hacks video systems and scooters. anyone good w/ DC or DC convertors, talk to me! i also fix laptops
  • NickP: Unsuccessfully trying to fix a reflow oven currently, w/ Zach
  • Heather: Working with Eddy on the Muni visualization project
  • Morris: Visiting from NY, wanted to come and check out noisebridge. hopefully will be back in SF, starting an AI-for-sports startup
  • Chris: recently moved to SF from Germany, likes 3d printing, generally does software. next project is making a shelf w/ a lamp and wireless charger in it
  • Ryan: soon to be Pumpkin Head of Noisebridge. likes hacking on lots of thinkgs incl. pumpkins, mainly comes for the Tuesday meetings, helping people out and doing gamedev stuff in the back as well as taking care of the VR setup
  • Jarrod: mostly does woodworking in the woodshop. cabinets and furniture and stuff, occassional other things at the space
  • Adrian: does 3d printing, machine tool stuff, teaching a Fusion360 class this Thursday at 7pm

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!
  • Ryan: Film Festival near Japantown called Another Hole in the Head - Horror Scifi Fantasy (tho mostly horror) filmfest w/ lots of classical films, short films, indie films. Started Oct25 ends Nov8, extra posters and pamphlets by the entrance. Good halloween movies! Also lots of foreign and animated foreign feature films and premiers.
  • Augur: Haskell Class #2 tomorrow (Wednesday, at 8pm)
  • Jarrod: Aaron Swartz Hackathon this weekend at the Internet Archive! RSVP on the website please!
  • Steve: Related to Aaron Swartz day, not actually $75 to get into the event, that's just for the special Sat. evening event not the hackathon! Hackers get in free, get in touch w/ Steve
  • Zach: Elevator update! Paddy fixed a lot of issues w/ the front gate! It works really well now, opens nicely, huge improvement. Spoke w/ neighbors about their elevator repair company. Also I installed a new light, which is brighter and better than the old light.

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?
  • Augur: ...
  • NickH: Can always ask for help kicking people out from others at noisebridge b/c sometimes that can be tricky and hard


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
  • Jarrod: One way is if you're coming regularly and people know you, you can track down a member and get a 30 day day-time RFID access for the door. Beyond that, you can become a philanthropist, and take on additional responsibilities and pay a membership fee. Also you can become a member which is even more responsibilities. But in general you can participate just by coming to noisebridge and hacking on stuff w/ the tools and resources here, provide you're excellent when doing it. Feel free to use the space and hack on the space and modify things.
  • Ryan: Please dont hack on Do Not Hack things, and if you're moving someone's project, please let them know, leave a note, etc.

NickH: Communication is important! When in doubt, communicate! Leave notes, etc!


  • 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(?)

No new philanthropists!

  • Jarrod: If you want 24h access to noisebridge, become a philanthropist! $80 a month, $40 starving hacker rate. Also take on responsibilities such as closing down the space. Apply for philanthropy w/ a form from the binder, get a member to sponsor, then after you become one, get in touch w/ treasurer and get RFID access in #rack.
  • Augur: Can also renew 30 day access tokens!

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.
  • Jarrod: NB is run by the members of the space technically. Run by everyone in the space at any given time, but officially governed through Consensus. Ppl who participate are the Members, who take on additional responsibilities to keep noisebridge running, make sure interesting things are happening, things get repaired, etc. Ppl who think NB is an important part of the world as they see it, and put in time and effort to keep it in existence. Made members through the consensus process. Which is...
  • Zach: A very very important process of how we decide important shit at noisebridge. If noisebridge had a constitution, the consensus process is how we'd made amendments. Different from voting tho, we try to get everyone to agree when something fundamental about noisebridge changes, through the consensus process. Integral that it's more inclusive than voting: not about majority. Involves lots more discussing, meeting with people to work out problems, requires more maturity and work, but has a lot of benefits. There's an official concensus process listed on the wiki page - anyone unfamiliar w/ it can talk to Zach. Consensus items can be proposed by anyone, but only members can block - which is the only REALLY big thing about being a member at noisebridge. EG not renewing the lease. Members can block, like a veto.
  • Jarrod: Typically in practice, the consensus process discussions continue until either its clear that the proposal won't move forward, or it goes until it progresses towards actual consensus among everyone in the community. Minimum is two weeks - first week its proposed, where its also discussed. If the language that comes out of that meeting is good, it goes to next week, where any new developments are discussed again, more commentary is possible, and if everyone is still happy with it, then it gets consensed. Sometimes during the second meeting, the language of the proposal will be changed such that pushing it back is necessary, or sometimes the proposers aren't present for discussion. Generally as long as communication is happening, the process can be flexible.
  • Steve: For membership, tho, its a 4 week process.
  • Zach: There's a sort of ongoing discussion about clarifying the process b/c at the last meeting there was some confusion about it. If anyone wants to help with that, talk to Zach.
  • ----
  • Zach: A member at noisebridge is an unstoppable tyrant that you cant disagree with at any point, who has the power of Caesar and Alexander the Great combined! No no. Noisebridge members are like everyone else except they can veto shit, are committed to the space in a deeper way, and provide financial support for NB's rent and infrastructure toward that goal. Have 24/7 access. But w/ great power comes great responsibility, so if you let people in late, or give them keycard access, you're responsible for them and their behavior.
  • Ryan: The diff. between philanthropy and membership is pretty much only veto power, which overall doesn't get used very often.
  • Zach: Members can also sponsor philanthriopists, new members, which is worthwhile. Membership says something about how much you care about the space, more so than philanthropist does.
  • Jarrod: It also means I will nag you to get involved in big projects.. A *lot*.
  • Jarrod: Become a member by filling out the application, put it in the binder w/ sponsor signature, and then go through the process! 4 meetings reading it out, usually.

Current applications:

  • Merlin (Many MANY check marks, since May! where are you tho :( )
  • Nicole Gaard (5 check marks! come to a meeting!)
  • Lady Red (6 check marks! come to a meeting!)

Financial Report[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.)

  • Zach's elevator repair fund. Jarrod: no one in opposition, 3 members present (Alex Peake present for quorum). Quorum. Consensed!

Proposals for next week [edit]

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

No new consensus proposals.


Longer discussion items belong here. This is the last part of the meeting so that people can break off and continue their discussion afterwards.

Discussion Items[edit]

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

Zach's discussion item[edit]

  • Zach: Work in process trying to clarify the consensus process, b/c the wiki documentation isn't very clearly written. So that in the future, the process is easier to understand for everyone involved. The recent consensus proposal lead to a ton of confusion from people, b/c of things that aren't in the wiki that ppl are strongly opinionated about (eg quorum), plus some things in the wiki are confusing (eg changing text of the proposal, as long as the modification isn't "radical", but what does that mean?). The idea that clarification of what it means to not have consensus with people who don't come to meetings, and is consensus by people who come to meetings or do we have to use slack, or any particular platform, for communicating consensus items? If you don't read the discuss list, or the notes, etc. is this a problem for participating in consensus? Possibly also we should modify the consensus process to make it all clearer, but this obviously requires loooots of discussion.
  • Jarrod: summary: What's quorum?? Altered text?? What really is the process?? Is slack required, or not??
  • Augur: Can ppl retroactively block b/c this was mentioned in slack but it sounds shady. Torrie mentioned effective retroactive blocking by not doing the work to make a thing happen, eg. financial work by the treasurer.
  • Adrian: What's up w/ quorum?
  • Jarrod: It seems to be a new thing, tbh. Used to have lots of people here, but now only a handful of members.
  • Steve: Where do these things need to be advertised??
  • Zach: That's related to the question of how you get members to meetings to participate if there really is a quorum requirement. I feel like noisebridge is a community that you can participate to the extent you want to, so if you don't participate, it's your choice, and if something is really important to you, you should be active, read the meeting notes, come to meetings. If I choose not to, it's on me if I don't see something that's been in the meeting notes that I don't like. Also about quorum, it's not like there's just three ppl here, there's a table full of people, they're just not all members, but they DO participate and contribute to noisebridge, so needing some minimum of membership seems too much. Another thing that doesn't make sense to me is, I was explicitly told to post on NB discuss about this item w/ the text, I did that, and that's what launched a long discussion w/ multiple people, so it was out there. So if members don't show up to block, it seems like a strange burden on the proposer that you need to go get some of members to be physically present before an item can be consensed on. Another really important thing about the process in the wiki is that it says you can have someone proxy for you, so quorum is kind of easier in principle.
  • Jarrod: Zach's description sounds like he went through all the right channels. Back in the day there were 4 things for validity: proposed at meeting and recorded in notes, placed on the current items wiki page, and brought up on discuss for discussion (so 4 locations it can appear). this used to be the process of due diligence.
  • Adrian: No official list of ways to bring the item to the community. Would like to add slack as a recommended place to propose it (could posted by anyone, not just the proposer).
  • Zach: The current items page was not listed on the consensus doc page as a place where things need to be posted. As a whole, this is a lot of process and takes such a lot of time and effort, and adding more things, like slack, to this process is an even bigger thing. We should have a big conversation about this change, esp. given that slack is a big corporate entity, that it's a privately-owned communication medium, etc. If anyone has info on slack privacy policies and practices, I'd be interested in reading, b/c this is a concern. I think it's just not in line w/ the 501c3 to have slack be such a central, required part of the process of noisebridge, as opposed to just a convenient tool people choose to use.
  • Kevin: Slack being a chat app is more about conversations and very much about syncronous convos. The mailing list is very asynchronous, there's an expectation of delay where convos take time. I think there are numerous issues with making slack an official medium for getting business done. Great place to have convos that make up business, but not good for it as a place of record, announcement, etc. It's too mashed up, not collected into topics, reply threads, etc. Also slack is invite only, not very accessible, while the mailing list is public. Slack also isn't very accessible, requires good typing speed, good eyesight, etc.
  • Steve: I was just going to ask if there could be some kind of online tools??
  • Zach: Additionally, who's the admin for discuss?
  • Jarrod: Maybe Andy Isaacson? Maybe Danny O'Brian?

Ryan's discussion items[edit]

  • Ryan: City College is starting to build makerspaces and we're going to have a somewhat large meeting tomorrow 2-4pm at the CC library media center (3rd floor, first floor from the front entrance w/ the hill) which is going to become one of the makerspaces. I'd be happy if anyone could make it or message me any info you'd like me to bring up. I'm @pyconaut on slack. The mediacenter one is going to be mostly computer and VR dev stuff, not so much electronics hacking. It's a large space tho and is in the library, and it will be public access, as CC library is a public library, so everyone at noisebridge can use it.