I am currently disappointed in noisebridge. This is due to a number of recent situations that have been brought up by X, Tyler, Broccoli, and many others. I want to give my input on the situation, and what I think is a problem, and what things are just miscommunication.
I first want to start with meetings, and people blaming long meetings for causing people to not participate, and then later on say they would not have supported something that was done at that meeting.
The noisebridge tuesday meeting is one of the most critical aspects of the noisebridge community and to get things done, its where new people are supposed to be introduced to the space, it’s how people find out about events, it’s how consensus happens, its how everyone’s voices can be heard. And it is also recorded via written documentation for people who were not around for the meeting to make sure they know what is up and if they should give input the next week. The reason meetings are long is because we want everyone to give their opinion, if we shorten the meetings to an hour so that people have more bandwidth for them, we will end up hearing fewer voices of the community. Also stuff discussed during meetings should be talked about outside of meetings so that people are aware of what is happening. Noisebridge is not such a shallow community that whining about long meetings where we hear as many opinions as possible should inhibit the community from taking actions through those meetings. There is nothing wrong with having long meetings when we are discussing important things that could decide months or years of noisebridge’s future. Not all meetings are going to be long, we are just in a period where a lot hhas to be done at once to preserve the future of our community, and that is done through conversation and presented at meetings.
I think meetings should be as long as necessary so as to get everyone’s opinions. But if the time does not work, then write up your opinion for someone else to share during the meeting on your behalf, as long as they explain who it is coming from.
Someone mentioned that humanmande is opening back up that is cool, but also should not affect people’s opinions of how noisebridge should open. Their situation is not even applicable to the noisebriddge situation due to many reasons. That building has a 1 million dollar HVAC system that can make sure covid does not stick in the air. It halso as a uncluttered layout that could allow people to do work during a pandemic and constantly clean workstations. And last of all they are having people do these tests when they come in the space and signing in, and are probably also going to have people sign new liability waivers for being in the space (legally binding ones). Also if you have come in contact with any covid patients in the past 14 days, you have to wait another 14 days before coming to Human Made.
An anarchist community is not about having no rules, it is about having no single ruler and that any rules benefit the community as much as possible, and in the face of a pandemic, that is telling our community to not visit noisebridge as that can put you and others at risk (and putting your fellow noisebridgers at risk is un-excellent). And in the face of our current move, this action of avoiding the space needs to be taken ever more seriously as we prepare our plan to move. And if you need to go to the space to get stuff, you should let as much of the community know, so that the next people who go to the space are aware that someone was there before, and if that person gets covid, then anyone who visited after them might have also got it. If we want to keep anonymity and accountability, we need to know when people are in the space and if possible what they interacted with in the space.
The whole reason a new telepresence camera computer setup was put in the space is to talk with the few community members we are fine with allowing in the space, and to check in on how each moving group is doing every day, so as to limit cross contamination. This was discussed at many meetings and was also talked about outside of meetings. It was also to allow the silent people in the space to be able to speak up about things happening in the space and give their opinion.
We are in a pandemic and ignoring the situation will not make it go away, the best option is to face it head on in the best way possible, which is to be armed with science and to go above and beyond in terms of logical action to preserve safety while in noisebridge. This is also why our requirements are much more strict then what the city state or country asks of us. We know the dangers, and through months of discussion have decided that the actions put in place by governments are not strict enough and put many people at risk (and we were right, since the massive uptick in cases right when things started to relax). Noisebridge is not a place that can be sanitized, or somewhere where we can check peoples temperature at the door. And moving is one of the situations where people interact the most and is extremely hard to do while wearing a mask. This is why we have put
The way the new keys have been given out is based on many factors and is expected to change, and this needs to be discussed, so let’s discuss it tonight at the meeting.
Now separate from all of this I have an opinion I want to share and ask for counter arguments and arguments on better options. I believe that people who do not voice their opinion or take action on a situation (when they are fully able to) deserve to be listened to on matters related to that subject (especially in politics (if you don’t vote or go to city events when you can, I will not listen to your opinion on the matter)). But I do know that there are barriers for many voices, whether that is technical limitations, psychological limitations, physical limitations, or social limitations. And it is the job of the community to make it easy for those people to speak up, but actually speaking up is on them and their friends. You can speak on behalf of others, but you need to prove that that opinion exists. At noisebridge I did this for many months when the elevator was broken, I kept pushing the community to change this situation, even when many people thought it did not matter, because they had never met Liz, LXPK, Zack, or Alchemist. And those people spoke themselves when they were able to, which only really became easy when we started doing online meeting. If a silent group exists why are they not speaking up, and whose responsibility is it to give them a voice.
A true always silent group might exist, but they do not matter, as they never let people know what they think, so they are fine with the status quo. Staying silent is a disservice to both yourself and the rest of the community, so speak up.
Noisebridge will get through this and will become as strong as ever after the world calms down. See people in an hour.