The World Needs Noisebridge

The World Needs Noisebridge

We must change our behavior to address this crisis and minimize loss of life. We must take extreme precautions.

But many of my young, able-minded, able-bodied cohorts see what’s happening as a call to “Netflix and Chill”.

I believe this is the wrong response.

Most buildings are built to keep the energy, the heat, in. But some places like Lighthouses operate on the opposite paradigm. There purpose is to shine light outward. I believe Noisebridge is one such place. We Make Noise.

If we can run Hackathons, ship software and 3D print toys we can take action to save lives.

With great power comes great responsibility. We are exceptionally skilled. Those skills need to be put to work. Noisebridge has supernormal resources— now is not the time for them to lie fallow.

Now is the time for the hacker brain trust to kick into action to lead in stymieing the crisis and preparing to put things back together again once the crisis subsides.

I do not know about building codes. I do know that Noisebridge has operated safely, successfully, fruitfully in its current location for more than a decade.

Some examples of Noisebridge’s capacities:

  1. We are literally growing food at Noisebridge right now. We can make this available to the hungry in a safe way. This is not the thing we want to cut off while people are clearing out grocery stores, global supply chains have been disrupted, people are worried about food security. This is the sort of thing we need to double up on.
    We need to keep the solutions flowing!

  2. Essential Communications infrastructure.
    Now would be the worse time for an outage of essential communication infrastructure. Noisebridge has exceptional capacity to run essential and back up communications infrastructure. Members of the NB community are captaining connectivity response around the world. Not at NB of all places?

  3. Emergency Production capacity:
    Requests have already come in for Noisebridge to produce emergency medical supplies to abate shortages. Some people are like “Oh no! there’s not enough life saving equipment.” Other people the world over are collaborating on responding to shortages. What do you think the appropriate response for Noisebridge with its toolset and Maven Makers? Noisebridge has exceptional capacity to respond and abate shortages.

  4. Computational Resources
    @pyconaut set up computers to contribute to COVID protein folding research. All of Noisbridge’s available computational resources should be put to work.

  5. Essential Repairs
    Many essential infrastructure workers—and doctors—and poor people commute to work and grocery stores via bike. If you don’t have a car, biking is ideal compared to public transit and lyft/uber for social distancing. This is not theoretical: Almost all the bike shops in the City are closed. People can repair bikes for free at Noisebridge. By contrast I spoke to an SF bikeshop owner: Healthcare company Kaiser requested that he tune up their entire fleet because of this crisis. Guess what? His bike shop is closed— he is in Tahoe. That’s one way to respond to a crisis. Few places have capacity like Noisebridge for people to make essential repairs. Especially for those who can’t afford a makerspace membership!

  6. Essential Civic Vigour
    The crisis has extended far beyond the biological effects of the virus itself. US Primary Elections have been derailed. The General Election could be delayed. Is the country in tip-top health right now? Does it have enough civic vigor to resist blow after blow? Trump declaring martial law is a specter on the horizon. The economy is trembling, many are hurting.
    “History teaches that our government is most prone to committing abuses in times of crisis.”
    I believe as anarchists we provide an essential social function. We are small and few in number but like canaries in a coal mine, salt in a soup, we can make the determining difference for the whole. Now is the time to amp up civic vigilance to exceptional levels— not to dial it back.
    "If there are 10 people in a room and nine agree, the role of the tenth is to disagree and point out flaws in whatever decision the group has reached." The 10th Man must disagree."
    We are the 10th Man. We must not kill the 10th Man.

I believe now would be a catastrophic time to Consense on moving. Is now the time that Noisebridge can give due consideration to one of the most consequential decisions in its history?
Life on planet Earth is being disrupted. It’s the wrong time for the Noisebridge community to take what could be one of the most disruptive actions in its history.

A NB healthcare worker had to make an emergency run to Noisebridge in order to get something needed to do his job(COVID response) which was left in a locker at Noisebridge. Imagine if you were homeless and storing cash or your only vital asset in a locker at Noisebridge and you found that the space was abruptly closed.

We should be completely focused on crisis response until the dust settles. Evictions and foreclosures are being halted across the country.

I am researching getting official essential infrastructure designation.

This task is too big for me alone. I am coordinating crisis response in my neighborhood from the CryptoCastle. And across the crypto communities I run around the country.

We need to step up to serve the World, not couch out. We need to kick into action and lead in stymieing the crisis and preparing to put things back together again once the crisis subsides. We need to make noise.

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My understanding is that whether/when we’re moving is more up to the landlord (and the City, if any of the eviction protections apply to Noisebridge and its situation) than to us. If we’re locked out of 2169 and all the equipment thrown in the skip or sold off, that’s the end of any attempt to block it in the Consensus process.

I like the idea of repairs being one of our possible grounds for an “essential infrastructure” designation, though the garden might be easier to explain to a cop. But repairs are limited in our current space due to the “no hot work” order; that’s a restriction that would evaporate in the new space.

But more broadly, and with the caveat that Noah raised elsewhere (first, do no harm), yes, we do have resources to bring to bear. We may not have active 3D printers right now, but we have computers, 3D-modeling experience, electronics knowledge, etc.

WRT the garden: Our space has only so much capacity to grow food. We can expand that capacity up to a point (though that’s more stuff to eventually move), but our capacity is necessarily finite.

While I agree that we should donate food whenever possible (either to food banks or to more grassroots mutual-aid efforts), we should also document how the garden was built and publish how to replicate it. (Maybe the former, at least, has already happened and I just haven’t seen it.) It can be victory gardens for a new generation.

The same goes for anything Noisebridge fabricates to donate to whatever effort. Beyond fabrication, we should be sharing the knowledge needed to replicate that fabrication anywhere else (including any safety and effectiveness requirements and how we make sure they’re fulfilled).

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Before the shelter in place order, I’ve been thinking if I should advocate for producing masks. Facing mask shortage, a Hong Kong chemist led a R&D project on reusable masks.

Instructions and test results
"T"issue refers to Tempo branded paper handkerchief (not quite available in the US, significantly higher quality than Klennex).
Kitchen Paper refers to paper towels.
Using one of these as replaceable filters produces rather decent filtering results for civilian use. If use and upkeep according to instructions, it can be as effective as good surgical masks.

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There’s no record of consensing in the consensus items history or the meeting notes of the last several weeks.■■■?title=Category:Meeting_Notes&pagefrom=Meeting+Notes+2016+03+01#mw-pages
Nothing has been consensed on since September. Could you identity the consensus item and the meeting you are referencing @Mark

EDIT: It seems the Consensus Item I was actually thinking of was the March 2018 item. Which we are now looking to ammend and repropose with new conditions.

Perhaps I misinterpreted that most recent consensus item from September. If so, I apologize. People on the board (@themanmaran @tim @ruthgrace @mcscope) or @pyconaut could clarify for us. I read it as “the board and treasurer can approve any new lease, just so that shit gets done”. I see now that it may refer specifically to only a new lease at 2169 mission and nowhere else. I await the board’s response.

Actually, I forgot to mention this in the meeting, but a neighboring restaurant decided to repurpose itself as a general store during the lockdown to keep its employee base:
I’m not sure how they managed to do this legally, but if I did it could give a good blueprint. They didn’t allow anyone besides the employees inside, though, and it was strictly a through-the-slot order pickup

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Hah. I love it.

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Lol I didn’t even see that at first.

God damn bass ass rebels within the law and doing a great thing for customers and employees…I love it.

We could sell Covid-19 Comptuers pre-built and ready to plug into your home network

*all from a bunch of older shitty computers from the companies that are going to go out of business…because they were operating too close to the line…We can now offer them a way to off-set their costs by donating to noisebridge(tax decuctable) working computers and then we could sell them each for like $25 ready to go.

Showing up because I got tagged. Yes that consensus item lets the treasurer or other board officers (secretary, president, etc) negotiate a lease for noisebridge, and then call a meeting to consense on it.

  1. The board officers of Noisebridge may enter into loan agreements, building purchase negotiations, and lease negotiations in the interest of acquiring a suitable building to be our permanent home. This authorization lasts until a permanent home has been secured, or until Noisebridge has either renewed the 2169 Mission St lease or signed a new lease.

  2. The Board Officers shall keep a log of non-sensitive information stemming from the authorizations above to be published as a “note” on the #the-board, a Noisebridge wiki page, and the Noisebridge discuss mailing list, at a minimum interval of every 2 weeks.

  3. In the event that a purchase or lease decision is required in under two weeks, a special meeting may be called with at minimum 24 hours notice to form a special consensus on the lease or purchase decision. The meeting will occur at Noisebridge and provide a mechanism (e.g. Google Hangout) for remote participation. A link will be provided to remote in the 3 channels described above.

Moving may not be a choice, moving may be forced upon us. It seemed like that was going to be the case - we were gonna have to move or close. But now we’re in shelter-in-place I dunno where that puts us. The mayor just put in eviction protection clauses for some businesses, I dunno if that applies to us. …
I think it would be very difficult for us to move if we are legally forbidden from leaving our houses.

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To clarify: we CAN leave our houses! We are allowed to go out into the world so long as we maintain good distancing practices. Our current understanding is that NB simply can’t operate exactly as it usually does, letting anyone in all willy nilly. People can still get in, but we have to control it, unfortunately.

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There are a couple (hastily composed, tersely specified) “big C” Consensus items recently added to Current Consensus Items - Noisebridge

I’m guessing (hoping!) there may be some interest here in composing more fully-formed (but still as brief as possible) versions of both of these items as they currently stand:

  1. March 24, 2020 Ⅹ SHUT IT DOWN! For the upmost safety and convineince of humanity, noisebridge is hereby CLOSED until further notice.

  2. March 24, 2020 Ⅹ OPEN IT UP! Noisebridge is as open as possible, noisebridge is hereby OPEN.

Welcome to the wonderful world of “big C” Consensus … (Pull requests are welcome, as the saying goes.) How would you like to see these items worded?

What would it take for you to get more comfortable with the first order of business on the docket (“SHUT IT DOWN!”) …?

And please share any ideas about the specific language one might propose to reduce friction in getting proper Consensus on the second item (“OPEN IT UP!”) …?

Inquiring minds would like to know!

Thanks for being Excellent. :mask:

EDIT: I started a new thread in #consensus-items - "SHUT IT DOWN!" and "OPEN IT UP!" - #2 by culteejen … Please feel free to add your suggestions and analysis here, or there (or anywhere).

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In terms of specific language, I would like to divide those two (rather polarizing) propositions into three proposals:

  1. Noisebridge shall be closed to the general public and will not be used for any public events. This has not technically been consense-ed, but I think most are willing to agree with this one.
  2. Noisebridge shall reach out to aid various organizations to address the need for PPE. The most clear need that we can provide are PPE masks. We currently are recording requests for gear at the following site: We also still have a working sewing machine, and highly detailed instructions on how to make masks here:
  3. Limit of x people (probably 1 or 2) inside of Noisebridge at a given time, with the understanding that they will be entirely responsible for Noisebridge’s well-being for that time period, and will be encouraged to clean up, enforce the limit, and possibly (if 2 is consensed) to volunteer for PPE construction. This is NOT a social gathering, and those x people will basically be volunteers/custodians for the space.
    • Once this is in effect, a schedule will be made immediately during the meeting, and someone must be signed up for some period in the next 24 hours.

My favorite thing about Noisebridge is how its uncollapsed decision-making waveforms allow both states to be true at once.

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Will repost this thought in Hydroponics’ Guild chat.

WRT repairs: Is anyone aware of whether the bike kitchen is open? We do not have many bikes tools at noisebridge. People have done some minor bike repairs, and the sentiment is nice, to be sure, but one does NOT need Noisebridge to do bike repair.

We (access holders) will accomodate anyone who has the urgent need to physically get to noisebridge and doesn’t have card access. Nobody should be leaving ESSENTIAL ITEMS there tho in the first place. If they are, they should be getting them out asap. I expect anyone who has a locker is at least involved enough to the point where they are hearing these conversations online.

Please I urge you to be careful about saying things like this. It only stokes fear and adds to the glut of misinformation out there. Much of this is speculative at best, and at worst, out-right false.

Moving has already been Consensed on, quite some time ago. Clearly, there are quite a few people who hang around lately who are not aware. It’s okay to be not aware of everything that Noisebridge is doing. That’s part of the fun! I am personally working on trying to make things more transparent via the Guilds system. But, unfortunately, what has historically happened, and and is going to happen again in the future is: Noisebridge is going to do things. Not everyone will be made aware of them. We tend to rely on people to keep themselves informed of the goings-on regarding collective decision making, and sometimes, a lot of people miss out when decisions are made. This is the nature of the beast.

All that said, I generally agree with your sentiment Kinnard. We can do lots of things as a group in the coming weeks/months to be a shining light for our community/the world. So lets do it!

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