[dms-discuss] Comments on Key Committee and digital access

Tim F davispcug at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 16 12:13:22 PDT 2013

October 16, 2013

Hi gang --

There has been a lot of thought and discussion about the Key Committee's work and digital access, and that is really great!

I have written a few more comments here (take a deep breath and check that your safety gear is functioning before jumping back in!).

Jeff recently asked about formulating a policy that could accomodate all people who have strongly contrasting ideas on this matter. It seems this topic is pretty important to folks -- we've had more email than we did about our recently revised Bylaws, for example -- so I, for one, need to spend more time thinking about it and discussing it before trying to set a definite policy. I have other questions from Jeff and Braden to chew on, too (as usual, they ask such good and important questions!).

There were a few comments that I can respond to now, however:

Emily wrote about not setting up class systems. I agree that those are not good things... and I feel that a system of basically buying access to the space is a money-based class system, and those are often very bad class systems. During our October monthly meeting at least one person said that donating money every month is hard for them to do... I also note that the Steward Model that I proposed does not exclude anybody, so I can hardly call it a "class system": as James pointed out in his recent email about "Policy for groups wanting to meet at the Makerspace", the space has open hours during which anybody can walk in; and anybody can contact one of the people who has digital access to arrange mutually convenient hours. And anybody who wants to, already has the chance to offer to become a person responsible for holding open hours at the space. Those oppotunities are not class-based, and they are all more consistent with the Steward Model than with a
 financial pay-for-access model.

And while I agree with Emily that simple, clear rules can be desirable, I can think of many simple, clear rules from history that were terrible and oppressive and cruel. Simply having a set of simple rules regarding granting digital access is not necessarily a good thing. I think folks realize that; hence these discussions!

Nick recently wrote that he thought that our expectations of anyone having access should be the same regardless of how they got that access. I assume that he meant our expectations of their behavior. I must say that I have quite different expectations about the behavior of somebody that was granted access in order to become a trusted steward, compared to the behavior of somebody who was granted access because they gave money so that they could get into the space whenever they wanted to! I paid particular attention to the recent sad email from Christopher Cassels in regards to such expectations...

So I ask  that we all take some more time to think about this issue. And we have yet to hear the personal opinions of all of the Directors.

Many thanks to all who have written so far!

-- Tim F

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