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Hackerspace Culture: Who's Welcome, Who's Not, How do we Deal?

  • Important to put out a strong vision and values from the outset
  • How to build a strong immune system to stay resilient or revive the original intention and culture
  • Sleepers - how do you deal with them?
    • the problem isn't sleeping so much as those who make a home of the space (dependency)
    • at Noisebridge, they decided to close the space to members and their guests (some member needs to vouch for and take responsibility for any non-member in the space)
  • Breakwater simply doesn't accept members they don't like
  • sense of invasion from startup culture, how do we resist?
  • what about tweakers? mitch: kick the fuckers out
  • What are the red flags communities look for to identify bad fits?
    • @noisebridge, people who keep ringing the bell over and over
    • new people who immediately spend all of their time in the space and carve out 'their space' that other people feel uncomfortable entering
  • @ Labitat, the only rule is "don't do anything that requires us to make a new rule"
    • Worked for awhile, though, when the first major problem arose there was no structure to deal with it. see 'The Tyranny of Structurelessness'
  • Some folks interested in creating a guide of best practices, how to eject bad people, cultural reinvigoration, etc
  • Documentation is so important!
  • Have you tried a restorative justice model?
    • Noisebridge turned into a time-ocracy - those who had the time to do meetings, bureaucracy etc tend to be few, who get burnt out. A restorative justice model is incredibly time-consuming and draining. More attention should be paid to early detection of potential problems and quick action.
    • Sudo room and Omni have dealt with this recently - banning a core community member for raping someone. The problem with restorative justice is that it requires the offending party to be a willing participant and instigator of that process.
      • Broad interpretation of 'restorative justice' which is really directed at the prison industrial complex
  • Long discussion about ban reciprocity and transparency of bans
    • Sudo and Noisebridge have ban reciprocity, which works given the overlap of values and trust
  • Give proper tours to new folks that explicate the cultural values you wish to share and spread

~Works Cited~