Using a time bank for space scheduling”

Ok I don’t know what takes to make this a proposal. Can we have proposals voted on during same vote that contain some sort of dependency on other concurrent votes? Like 3 options? Ranked-choice sort of deal? Anything like that? Or perhaps the board could try to avoid this head clashing by finding something a bit more suitable and offer it up.

Ranked-choice would be nice, although I don’t think Helios would allow this. Hmm.

If it was me I would give everyone an allotment of time. People who have a serious need get more time. Lounge will be off-limits outside of hand washing. Perhaps take all tables and move them. Take out all the food items. I don’t care. Whatever not in use by PPE.

Masks are necessary.

Everyone has to use Skedda. Being at space and not using it are grounds for suspension until we no longer need these rules. Capacity based on strong social distancing but nothing too extreme. We’re not looking to have cap at 25% the building’s capacity.

I signed up to discourse to post this. It is unlikely I will have anything more to say until voting time.

I would consider limiting slots at space more so when AC needs to be on, but that’s minor. I would like to see the doors opened when it is late at night if possible, but that has security issues with auditing who was there during a certain time.

The main thing is to try and limit use at the space by constraining the hours given out to people , not use this bureaucratic intensive thing that appears to be killing poor Flip before our eyes. I like the guy and I don’t want to lose Flip. So the answer here is give X amount of hours per week. Hardship people can have more hours along with anyone who has a long job. People could even donate their hours to others although that might be too complicated without some serious work. Let people naturally spread their time out.

This idea that the guy who wants to use a drill-press for 10 minutes should somehow be deprioritized is nonsense. These people use very little time at the space. This sort of thinking will chase people off. They are not the problem. Everyone should be given an a few hours a week to utilize the space.

People are expected to clean their tools before they use them and afterward, but the onus is on them to clean tools BEFORE use. Not cleaning your area/tools afterward is also against the rules, but there is an acknowledgment that this rule hard to maintain. SO it is really important you sanitize the tools you plan to use before you use them. (And hopefully after)

If we want super-safe time, then the hackerspace can close for 4 hours 2 nights a week so people can book their time first thing in the morning. This is a reasonable compromise.

Shop-stewards are great but are not required to be there.

All this survey stuff is great, but just an overkill. I have no desire to be on the covid opening group or any such thing. I will not be responding to this on discourse. I am just putting my thoughts out there on how and like how I would have handled this had I continued running for Executive Director and been elected. If anyone wishes to make this into an official proposal that can somehow be voted on, then please do.

I see these questions to post in Proposal. Ok, here are my answers.

  • Description of Benefits, Risks, and Drawbacks to the space

I’m not confident the current path is the correct one. However, would like not to have extreme overreaction in opposite direction. My ideas seem like reasonable middle-ground.

  • Time and Cost estimate

I believe most if not all suggested changes would result in less time required by the board. Cost is not relevant. I suspect refusing the restore key-fob vote is going to result in some sort of mutiny which will cost the membership and could be the first in a series on bad news for Hackerspace.

  • What other help you need from the board


  • List the people committing to execute it, and who else you’ll need to join to succeed

Board could fix existing policy.

  • If applicable, briefly describe why we shouldn’t build/buy a better version, and why we shouldn’t get a cheaper/easier one.

Current path is well meaning - especially from perspective of broader non-hackerspace community. However it does not serve the needs of the membership to the extent it should.

See everyone interested on June 3.

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Thanks for sharing @BrianBowles. I’m a little confused on where your plan here differs from what we’re doing though. It might be helpful if you could lay out specifically what is different about it. The items you have listed here sound the same as what we have already in place, so it’s very unclear to me.

To respond to your bold point – we do constrain the number of hours people can book in Skedda per week. We’re gearing up to move into phase 2 (hopefully in the next few days after the reopen team meets again tomorrow) where all members who choose to can gain access through the hax0r group here on Discourse.

It seems like things are getting heated here, which is no intent of mine nor something I’m interested in fanning. I’ll respond to a few direct items, then let the rest lie.

If you haven’t looked at the reopen plan here lately, it may help to review that to get a better understanding of where things are at now. We’re updating this doc regularly as the plan evolves (you can see the last edit date on the table of contents page). It’s likely to have new info in it within the next 48 hours. One other thing that is maybe weird is that things have progressed/expanded/changed within phase 1 - maybe we should have broken that out to show as multiple phases? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

To your specific questions:

  1. We’re looking to do right by this plan and make sure we don’t dive head first into an empty pool. Current hours were expanded to 7 AM to 12 AM (midnight). The reopen team is discussing moving forward to 24/7 and what - if anything - might need to be considered to move forward with that. Any other restrictions are maintained through Skedda and outlined in the reopen doc linked above.
  2. Shop stewards are not required to be present at the space in order for the space to be open.

Thanks for your thanks! :blush:

I dont understand how a time bank is intended to function.

Is it intended to give everybody 6 hours they can schedule in a week? I dont understand how that will help to limit from there being to many people.

Having a shop steward to make sure things are being followed I do agree is problematic but it is a temporary measure. If somebody isn’t making people accountable then there is the risk of it quickly turning into a free for all.

Skedda is being made available to individuals in phases. This part I feel the board needs to make more clear. That those who use the space for their livelihood are given priority atm, and that more people will be given more access in time.

I think this phased access plan needs to be more clear of when different groups of people will be given acces, and which group people are in.

This lack of communication about who will be given access to skeeda and when is causing tensions to flair.

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I have created a new thread to discuss skeeda access and its usage in the “ask atxhs” category. To help clarify what is going on with skeeda.

I’m still not understanding what the time bank is, or how it would function.

Is it a pool of time people pull from request to pull from before going to skeeda? Is everybody given time and we trade it based on need?

(Could you change the thread title to “using a time bank for space scheduling” so people know what this thread is about?)

Skeeda seems to work more like a centralized google calendar.

It doesn’t really have a time bank option from what I can tell.

I do agree that access needs to be staggered.

Perhaps what is done is that everybody has access, but those with priority are given earlier scheduling.

I.e. those with hardship status can schedule time up to 2 weeks out. Those with minor hardship 1 week out. And those with normal status can schedule up to 48 hours out.

This way everybody has access, but those with priority have first grab at time slots.

[Edit 1]Also people are limited to 6 hours / week they can schedule. Skeeda doesn’t have a way to enforce this, so we would need people to do this on the honor system.

True, if it’s to busy it could become fully booked, making it so normal users are constantly dealing with a fully booked schedule.

So far it looks to be fairly open, but I’m not sure how open the schedule will be if everybody has full access.

I’m not sure of a good solution for this to ensure fair access.

Yeah it just looks like a glorified google calendars.

Maybe there are more features available that are disabled atm. That’s a question for a board member though.

Hey guys, sorry I don’t have time to read through all these comments, but what I’m seeing is a lack of understanding on how things are setup. I already responded in full to @Tookys’s side post here with resources we’ve been sharing since the member meeting on May 6 that give more info on Skedda. Please review my response there as well as both the walk thru of Skedda given in the member meeting (referenced in that post) and the info in the Reopen Plan Doc After you’ve done that, let me know if you still find something missing. Weekly time bank was already address with Skedda from the very start of implementation.

I do want to say that I don’t feel it’s right to allot time based on need, unless we charge more based on time allotted. But I don’t think it’s fair that someone pays the same monthly fee and gets more hours to be at the space than I do, just because they use the space for business and I don’t. If you see the survey, those of us who don’t use the space for business, keep the space afloat.

If we want to be fair, and give different time allotments based on circumstances, then we should charge different rates.

Yes, I know that I’m currently not a member right now, but hope to reinstate my membership next month once the paychecks from my new job kicks in (having been subject to furloughs at my last one).

I understand that the Hackerspace is a community, but it’s also a business since it charges money to its members, so it should treat all members fairly and equally regardless of circumstances.

True, I can understand that.

I also agree that if everybody is paying the same that they should be treated the same.

Unfortunately, to set up a pay structure and get everybody to transition it I think would take so long that by the time it was setup, it wouldn’t be needed anymore.

These are short term issues and short term solutions, they may not be ideal, or fair.

I did read through all the comments, and I still don’t understand how your proposal for a timebank differs from the current use of Skedda. People who have access to the space are granted access to Skedda. They reserve time on Skedda for the station they want. The stations limit the number of hours a person can reserve. Skedda limits the range of hours to the hours that ATXHS is open. The total number of hours that a person can reserve per week is allocated to them based on either hardship or service to the ATXHS. That allocation sure sounds an awful lot like your timebank idea.

The one possible difference is that I think you’re saying “give all members a block of time right now”. Right now, ATXHS cannot serve all of the membership – there just aren’t enough slots and spaces – and there are people who legitimately will starve\lose homes if they cannot work. So the early access is being given by priority to people who need the access as opposed to just wanting the access (like myself). But – good news – there are services that ATXHS needs done that will earn you early access rights. Those you can do without feeling ethically wrong about claiming need if you don’t really have one. If you are helping with the sanitization procedures or managing reopening or building outdoor furniture or other jobs the space needs done, that can earn you hours now.

As for Valarie – I think she’s wanting you to cite the specific paragraphs that you would change from the current document. You put a kind of rambling e-mail together in your first post, and it took me a long time to figure out all the bits of policy tucked in there. If you can phrase it more as an amendment to the existing plan (“Remove paragraph 3, replace it with the following text…”) then I think we can all be more certain what it is that you’re proposing.

And if I have misunderstood you completely, well, then the restatement in the form of an amendment would apparently help me also.
– Stephen

I disagree with you. Strongly. This is a unique time, and inequality is absolutely the most moral thing to be doing right now, in my opinion.

I still pay my membership dues to ATXHS. Right now, ATXHS cannot support all the people it has as members. There simply isn’t enough slots and space, even if we opened up to 24 hours immediately. There are people who literally will starve or lose their homes if they cannot work. Those people need the space. I merely want the space because I’m bored in quarantine. Giving priority access to those who truly need it is, in my firm opinion, more than just “the right thing to do.” It is a critical part of keeping the space alive in the long run.

Those of us who are paying dues right now but do not have access to the space are keeping the lights running so that the space will be there when we get this all settled and figure out how to work under these new social distance rules. Our dues are allowing those who must work in the space to be able to make a living, which means they don’t disappear from our community, and it is the community of makers as much as the tools themselves that makes ATXHS valuable.

At some point, everything will get balanced back out. It is hard for me to understate just how much of a unique black swan event this quarantine is. Every system in the world is being reconfigured simultaneously. And, yeah, that means some inequality while we move the blocks around. If you do not approve of that, then stop paying dues. But if you believe in the value of ATXHS and want it to survive, then keep paying, For bonus points, volunteer, and then you help get us moved over to a new reality faster and you can get early access to the site.

PS: You really don’t want to open up “pay to play.” Some of our members are quite wealthy and would happily buy up time on the lasers for various projects. Trying to bid against some of them would be futile. The idea of users paying extra to buy hours would completely destroy ATXHS. Right now, we have some emergency measures in place so that we can bridge the survival gap. We need to recognize that the difference between “right now” and “normal operation time” is stark!

Stephen, if the hackerspace is not going to be of use to everyone, then people will stop supporting it.

I’m not saying you can’t even prioritize, but there is prioritize and there is having a select list. This select list comes from 2 types of people. Those in need and those who are lacking ethically and will claim need where it doesn’t not exist. Unfortunately, I fall in neither category.

With the time bank system like I am suggesting you give everyone some access and open up the shop.

This idea that the hackerspace is full of wealthy people who want to camp out on the lasers is amusing. Why wouldn’t they just buy the laser themselves? Those things aren’t under that high of demand anymore. Your SJW mindset has you thinking all the poor need to be helped and you’ve somehow worked yourself around to the rich guys on the lasers abusing the system. Way too much of this stuff going around for what was nothing more than a bunch of outcast nerdy guys who were never sexist and about as accepting and non-judging as group you would ever find… but I am digressing.

The hackerspace can serve a lot more people than it does. I’m not saying everyone has to be made 100% happy, but everyone should have a chance to use the tools at the space. Thats all. That simple.

“Keeping the lights on” At some point you’re just giving away money to the greedy capitalists (landlords/financiers) because the membership for sure isn’t getting that value out of it. Byt hey, they’re also happy to take my donation.

and lol at me “earning early access rights”. In real life I’d say something that would surely have me moderated. :slight_smile: .

Let’s keep this thread on topic.

The discussion should be around the time bank concept, how it would work, and discussion around it.

Side discussion does not belong in this thread.

You may be surprised at how much of your comments I agree with.

" if the hackerspace is not going to be of use to everyone, then people will stop supporting it."

Agreed. This is a transitional period. ATXHS will serve everyone. I expect that to be by late August. Right now, it is serving everyone by keeping its doors open at all. If we want it to exist come August, we deal with the transition period.

“Keeping the lights on” At some point you’re just giving away money to the greedy capitalists (landlords/financiers) because the membership for sure isn’t getting that value out of it.

Absolutely agree. At some point. We are not at that point. Right now, we are reorganizing the space. This is a transition period. (Have I said that already?) If this stretches past late August, I guarantee I’ll be on your side. But I also believe just about everyone will be on your side at that point.

Those in need and those who are lacking ethically and will claim need where it doesn’t not exist.

Agreed. Possibly people will cheat the system. But do I think that’s going to be a large number of people? No. By and large, I trust our community to be honest about this, and few of us are completely unknown to the body at large. But letting a few people get away with something is a fair trade for prioritizing the people with legitimate need in the short run.

Now, there’s one question you asked. I’ll answer…

This idea that the hackerspace is full of wealthy people who want to camp out on the lasers is amusing. Why wouldn’t they just buy the laser themselves?

Why wouldn’t I buy the laser myself? I’ve thought about it. But… it is a major expense that I’d rather share around if I can. I don’t have space at my home. I like having Danny maintain the device. And having other people around using it I get to learn new techniques that I wouldn’t learn in my home garage.

I am not in the 1% of our society, but I move in pretty high circles. And I wager I can outbid most members if you open up time slots to financial pressure. And I am not alone in that financial position. The wage gap among members is wide. Please trust me… that’s a genie we do not want to let out of the bottle for the long run. Inequality serve a transition period well as we help people settle into new patterns, but it is a bad idea to let it get enshrined.

I agree with most of the responders that I don’t understand the key differentiator of this proposal from the published plan.

The key numbers:
Brian says everyone should get 10 hours a month or 3 hours a week, with a mechanism to request more.
The published plan (as of today, may 28) says everyone will get 12 hours per week in phase 2, which is (paraphrasing) expected to kick off any day now.

So, Brian, are you just saying get on with phase 2 already, or are you saying the published phase 2 is too permissive and people without specific needs should be allotted fewer hours?

Basically this would have worked by starting out giving everyone a lower amount of time then increasing it until the space seemed to have what seems to be a reasonable usage. You just limit supply in a more fair way so everyone can go in and do what they need to do.

The board has taken on a completely different approach.

stephen, bidding for time is not a concern. If there was actual demand for such a thing it could help the space pay bills. But that is something that would add to the work, not subtract from it. I am only suggesting something that would have made far more people happy and kept the person density at a lower level, etc. In the past people moved to Austin and hired employees to run the laser at the space. They didn’t pay extra for it. Great for them, but I really don’t think it was good for the space. Pretty sure this demographic of rich people waiting to use the laser for hours doesn’t actually exist.