There are certain realities that have set in that are different from when the hive started to now. Interests and energies have shifted, budgets have changed, demographics are different. One big thing that is happening is that space has become a major concern. We have more space coming, but it’s not going to fix that issue. Space will still be limited, there will still be multiple people vying for the same square feet.
This whole thing with wood / storage has immediate and practical concerns. There is history. There are personality conflicts. There are a lot of things that make it a mess. But there are also some important “big picture” things for the hive which make sorting through this mess in a sensible way important. I’m going to look at this for a moment without names, specifics or anything particular and try to talk about the situation in general terms.
I’m going to phrase the most abstract issue in the following way:
It is a problem when one member selfishly takes more of a community resource (in this case, storage space, floor space) than is commonly allocated for all members.
Buying into this interpretation, why is this bad?
-Resources are limited
-Selfishly hogging resources means the majority get fewer resources because the one/few are taking more than their fair share
-We are a community oriented space which tries to equitably distribute resources to all
-Therefore selfishly hogging resources is bad.
So far, most of the “solutions” proposed have focused on “fixing” the problem by removing the selfish resource usage. In fact, we’ve had a vote to do just that.
But what if there was another way?
The discussions about buying the offending wood have highlighted something - the hive is not hugely receptive to tying up thousands of dollars of funds. Someone evidently is completely fine with tying up thousands of dollars of his own money to have convenient access to the same wood. Can there be a win-win situation? What’s missing for the hive at large to be able to benefit from the willingness of one of its members to buy materials?
The answer I put forward is simple: there needs to be an EASY CLEAR way for membership at large to have access. How might that be? A clearly posted, conspicuous price list would probably suffice for me, but that’s the kind of thing that can be fought over. If people at large knew how much wood was, who they needed to pay and there was indeed a group need for it beyond its owner, would it be such a problem? I guess that depends on your perspective. My answer would be, “not really.” Why? A hoarding/sharing/selfishness problem has been turned into an opportunity for the community to have access to a resource.
Further, the wood storage problem is going to happen again, with some other resource or commodity. Since the beginning, there have been a wide variety of people who become members. There are members that come down to hang out on Tuesdays and that’s it. There are members who never make weekly meetings but use the space on other occasions. There are people who come and use things and go home. There are people who aren’t satisfied with what’s here that bitch. There are people who aren’t satisfied with what’s here and organize a vote. And then there are people that aren’t satisfied with what’s here and stubbornly (selfishly?) do what it takes to realize their own vision for the space.
Structure meets bull. We can either be better prepared for it or we can get our panties in more of a bunch over it. Regardless of whether someone is trying to “help the space” or help themselves, we’re going to have people that just do stuff and need redirected. I say “redirected” not stopped because members have, can and will continue to be able to bring tools (addressed in a separate, shorter email/proposal), resources/money (which I’m trying to consider here) and energy to the space that are above and beyond what the membership at large feels comfortable committing to.
TL;DR: LET THEM. BRING IT. And redirect. And channel. And make fucking sure that anything someone does for their own benefit is channeled in such a way that the group can benefit. It’s a lot easier to say, “how about you do this a little differently so others can share” versus, “go home and take your shit with you.” Before asking someone taking more than their fair share to take it away, ask how their self-interest can bring benefit to the group. Harness it. Formalize it. Make people accountable for it.
To this end, I have more documents…
I’m tired. I’ll post the instantiation of that general document for the Coywood situation tomorrow.