Meeting Notes 2017 01 03

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These are the notes from the The 439th Meeting of Noisebridge.

Date: 2017/01/03

Note-taker: Kevin

Moderators: User:nthmost.

  • Let's do the so-called "normal" meeting so we make sure we remember how it works.


[edit] Meeting Summary

TLDR what happened at the meeting:

  • Announcements: Cypherpunk Saturday this weekend. New CNC machine coming in. So many Mac Minis! (lots more)
  • Finances: seem legit
  • New members: nope
  • New philanthropists: Nathan
  • Consensus Items: NB Fiscal Sponsorship 50K to John (Pemulis) for Investigative Journalism?
  • Discussion Items: Google Analytics on Really?

[edit] Introductions

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'."
  • Kevin: I <3 turtles <== best notetaker, thanks Kevin
  • Roger: laser custom stuff
  • Greg: Pandas & Python
  • Eric W: learning Unity 3D
  • Dave: 1st timer, 3D printing
  • Lizzard: writer, zines, works @ Firefox
  • Zach: hybrid apps in JS
  • Trent: web developer, python developer, teaches Python Class, week 4 (of 6) is next week
  • Claudia: here to do some sewing
  • Danny: built a server, backup system ASK ME ABOUT RELAX & RECOVER, AND BORG BACKUJP
  • John: helps w/NB financial stuff
  • Steve: physicist & sw dev
  • Nathan: lights & motors, IOT
  • Matt: here to find out more about game development
  • Alex: gamebridge university, writing, art, VR, headset (HTC)
  • Tay: from NZ
  • Jay: Circuit Mondays @ 7pm
  • Ryan: takes Gamebridge University class, wants to take laser cutting class
  • Don: unity/gamebridge, wants to start queer game dev meetup
  • Charlie: printing, microscopes for gamebridge
  • Lee: audio research, synthesizers, sequencers, stuff like that
  • Charlie: random projects
  • Darryl: teaches laser cutter class, one of a number
  • Greg2: I raise a self-replicating, self-healing, biological machine (2yrs old)
  • Naomi: part of Oregon trail generation

[edit] Short announcements and events

  • Steve - On Saturday: Cypherpunk Saturdays, part of "Cypherpunks Write Code" <>, informal hackathon; hacking on privacy software
  • Nathan - Bringing in a new CNC machine (donation), in addition to the two we already have. Made for cutting PCBs. Need to figure out where it goes in the space.
  • Alex - Boot Camp 2 for Games. Today's experimentation day, and it's an 8-week process
  • Lee - We got a bunch of Mac Minis. He's working on 'em. On Thursday Jan 19 @ 7pm, Lee will demo @ 5MOF distributed systems on Mac Minis. A Beodoge of Macs. Local cloud. "We will be our OWN cloud! (but not the ownCloud product)" Yay!! WE NEED MAC KEYBOARDS. Need to do software installations. Show up to help, after 5mof!
  • Ryan: is finishing first rubric stuff for lasercutting class. It'll be on Mondays from 7-10pm.
  • Cryptoparty talk to trent, and look for the channel on <>

[edit] Safe Space

Note: This section is experimental. We discussed it at Meeting_Notes_2016_06_28.

Noisebridge strives to be a safe space. Someone who is not Jonathan Haidt attempts to explain why/how/etc.

  • Long discussion of Ask To Leave Policy. Encouragement that if you are asked to leave to not take it personally but to take it as an opportunity to relax and regroup. If you invoke the policy, we have your back. If there are others here you can ask them for help with this (e.g. if you feel unsafe in confronting this.)
  • Noisebridge strives to be radically inclusive, but we don't let that stand in the way of kicking out assholes.
  • Noisebridge has an antiharassment policy.

[edit] Participation

Safe space means that we want people to be comfortable here, to be able to do their own thing, free from harassment.

If someone is paying too much attention to you, is not leaving you alone, is bothering you, you can ask them to leave noisebridge.

You don't have to justify yourself, or take a vote, pass a test etc.

For other people's safety, for example, you might feel passionate about something political, and be asked to go away, to leave, and come back another time.

We're basically saying "This is a conflict, the emotions are too great, not a condemnation, just go away, chill, come back."

  • Danny O'brien had a sheet up, with people asked to leave NB.
  • We want to space to feel inclusive and safe
  • If you are feeling uncomforaable or safe, please feel free to ask someone to leave -and you'll be backed up by others.
  • Doesn't mean you can't talk about sensitive topics, just means be considerate.
  • Noisebridge is a community center and shop space... having a safe space to work on your projects, and *optionally* work with others. Common sense, boundaries, letting others be, etc.
  • Several styles of "belongingness"
  • Everybody here at this meeting is a de facto member of the Noisebridge community
  • So long as you're abiding by the "Be excellent" to each other rule. Be nice to each other
  • Two levels of membership: Philanthropist and Member
  • Philanthropist membership grants electronic access to the doors (provides 24/7 access to the space); min. $80 per month, $40 if starving hacker.
  • Regular membership grants the ability to block consensus proposals (although this hasn't happened in years, due to Doocracy). Demostration of commitment to the space. Usually only granted after they've been around for months. Someone we all know & trust, and wants to demo committment to the space. ~40 members at this time. Also about being a hacker, doing stuff around the space, doing things, making things.
  • Proposed Philanthropists:
  • Nathan (sponsored by Steve), loves the space, wants to learn how to take care of the space. (Approved.)
  • Proposed Members: None

[edit] Financial Report

Noisebridge has $61,763.57. The Equipment Fund accounts for $8,643.25 of that, after tonight’s reimbursement for the HTC Vive. Unknown amounts for Noisetor and laser maintenance: we can find out more about that from @patrickod and @robbintt, respectively. Lots of end-of-year donations to Noisetor in December. Congratulations to everyone who jumped on the tax deduction. Our rent for January 2017 is paid.

  • If you have a proposal, contact on the slack @pemulis
  • Google donated $15,000 awhile back, and Kaitian donated a laser cutter\
  • Rent is currently ~$4500, may rise in renegotiaion with landlord. 10% rent hike over 1 year ago.

[edit] Consensus

How consensus works:

  • We don't collectively vote on things.
  • In general if you want to do something, do it (Doocracy) -- if you're not sure it's OK, ask around first.
  • Some times we have to do things as an institution, and the whole membership has to feel comfortable.
  • We do this through consensus. Over two meetings, a proposal is announced, discussed, reviewed, then voted upon
  • What can happen is, there is some amount of disagreement, then we discuss until it seems clear there's agreement.
  • Members, if they believe the proposal is a bad idea, can formally Block a proposal.
  • Blocking has consequences, and it is a rarely played tactic of "last resort".
  • Once upon a time, somebody wanted to turn NB into a temple... blocked!

[edit] Proposals from last week


[edit] Proposals for next week

New from John Shutt: 50K fiscal sponsorship for investigative journalism in SF

[edit] Proposal: 50K fiscal sponsorship for Investigative Journalism in SF

The Bay Area is in the midst of massive change. Whether it is the rising political power of technology companies, the fundamental reshaping of the city through construction, or the evolving stance of the region towards the federal government, understanding San Francisco and its surroundings is a key part of understanding the broader political environment we live in. In the midst of this, the region is lacking nimble, well-resourced journalistic efforts to expose the political mechanics going on below the surface of these changes, and bring detailed coverage to a broader audience.

In 2017, we are seeking to raise money to try a small experiment in community-supported journalism. San Francisco All City (SFAC) is envisioned as a muckraking publisher focused on the intricacies of Bay Area politics, a book club with its own dedicated investigative journalism unit, and a force for increased transparency and reform in local government, all wrapped into one.

Noisebridge will act as a fiscal sponsor for SFAC, directed by John Shutt, for a six month trial period starting in February 2017. SFAC plans to raise $54,000 and donate $2,500 for fiscal sponsorship. SFAC will donate 5% of any additional money raised to Noisebridge's general fund. SFAC may seek consensus to renew fiscal sponsorship at the end of the six month trial if things go well.

SFAC plans to purchase film and audio recording equipment and hardware for video editing, and may seek a separate consensus proposal for a matching grant from the equipment fund, in which case the equipment would live at Noisebridge and be available for general use by the community.

  • John (@pemulis) - Seeking fiscal sponsorship from Noisebridge for an investigative journalism project. See full proposal in previous meeting notes. Goal: $50-54K.
  • Steve: tell us more about the inv. jour.
  • John: has a largish story about a real estsate development in southeast SF (the shipyard project) that he wants to write
  • John: The Examiner and Chronicle did a poor job. It's one of the most polluted places in the country. 10,500 residential units being put up. Falsified records ... misleading ledes on hometown papers
  • Greg: trusts John, but has seen embezzling at other non-profits. Should there be a separate treasurer? Technically this is a conflict of interest.
  • John: the equipment fund, for example, he set up a consensus proposal to ensure there would be institutional consensus before he could make a purchase. Mostly he deposits cash from the cash box, distributes cheques, etc. Willing to hand off responsibilities.
  • Greg2: Why do it this way, instead of having your own non-profit?
  • John: there's a ton of overhead to setup a new npo
  • Greg2: What are the risks?
  • Liz: Why do this thru Noisebridge, why a journalism thing with Noisebridge? Why us, why the hackerspace? Center for Investigative Journalism? There's kickstarters etc. for that sort of thing. Why make a lot of work for Noisebridge? She set up a npo, cost about $2k, plus a bunch of paperwork.
  • John: didn't go to CIR because they want this to be it's own thing. Went with Noisebridge because he already has an association with us. Five percent of donations would go to Noisebridge.
  • John: $33K goes to one subcontractor. Some amount goes to video editing equipment, which would be available to Noisebridge
  • John: It's an opportunity for Noisebridge to increase its income, which may help lead to purchasing its own space
  • Zach: from southside SF. Infant deaths, toxic water, going to war with the City. Do you want to initiate that? Might bring negative attention to this community space. Tradeoff.
  • John: Cocreater of Bayleaks
  • Zach: why noisebridge is good, we have all sorts of resources here. Hackers, networking, technologies, etc.
  • Naomi: When you ask an organization to be a fiscal sponsor, you're also positioning yourself to use the organization as advisors, mentors, to be involved. IS there a strong presence of people who know the ins-and-outs of investigative journalism here? Do you sense that John?
  • John: there's various ways to empower investigative journalism through the space, volunteers, monetarily. Many people also seem keenly interested in the problem.
  • Kevin: what are the financial risks
  • John: we've taken on reports insurance, libel, invasion of privacy, accidents during onsites
  • Danny: interested in seeing Noisebridge do investigative journalism, generally. Not as interested in the topic(s) John proposes to do with Bayleaks.
  • Danny: we should seek a grant to support reporting around technologists, and noisebridge, start small, grow not in a direction specifically investigative journalism, but about technology-driven public interest work.
  • Danny: But, we support Bayleaks, we do technology things to support them -example of story we'd write about noisebridge
  • Danny: What are some other stories that could build over time, until one day people say "wow, they're the new Bay Guardian"
  • John: Public works contracts. Huge corpus of data nobody has the time to analyze.
  • John: was talking with former TechCrunch editor. Interested in looking at firms tied to foreign intelligence, cyberweapons companies.
  • John: those topics are more aligned with Noisebridge's raison d'etre.
  • Danny: Knight Foundation provides funding for talking about technology to the press.
  • Danny: nobody wants to give money about a particular story, but about a new way of journalism.
  • Trent: consultants vs employees... we pay them to do time-limited jobs.
  • Trent: We're not really in a position to "hire" anybody. How does your organization do that, employee, contractor
  • John: I would be a contractor to noisebridge. Other writers would be contractors to noisebridge.
  • John: against using noisebridge general funds to pay contractors. Instead the $50K goes to contractors, and nb gets a cut.
  • John: Big driver: tried to do freelance journalism, it was hard to make a job out of it.
  • John: goal of this project is to get community-funded journalism, big grants, but only about 10%, more than half from small donors. That can give journalism a point of strength. Community-driven journalism
  • John: A lot of people are planning to contribute to this.
  • John: This may also be an example to other projects, teams here, to inspire them, to seek fiscal funding, grants, to make their projects happen.
  • Trent: if a person with fiscal sponsorship wanted to hire somebody, is there a Noisebridge precedent?
  • Naomi: those powers are not specifically enumerated, or perhaps clear at this time. A lot of this proposal entails a lot of precedent-setting for NB. Should be very carefully considered.
  • Naomi: We're 20 minutes into this, how can we continue the discussion after tonight's meeting?
  • Alex: Send a sunmmary email to the "discuss" mailing list. Subject: Consensus discussion about inv. jour.
  • John's email:
  • Meeting notes from last year with our fiscal sponsorship policy:

[edit] Discussion

[edit] Discussion Items

[edit] Google Analytics on Scandal

  • Kevin: who set this up? security risks, one-cookie policy, etc.
  • Trent: it's my Google account and Jeffrey set it up.
  • Lee: let's talk about potential alternatives?
 * Optimizely: <>
 * Piwik (self-hosted): <>
  • Trent: you (Kevin) could remove it
  • Naomi: you can take it up with Jeffrey who is a nice person.
  • Steve: are ppl cool w/ taking it out now, or should we wait for a replacement? Trent you can download the data
  • Trent: I would just delete it. Everyone can log in to the wiki and delete the code.
  • Frank: so, SEO -- have there been any efforts to do this?
  • Trent: there has been interest in social media-related stuff
  • Frank: this isn't social media, it's separate
  • Trent: It's the same!
  • Frank: No!
  • Lee/Greg2: we're in the first ten listings for "hacker space"
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