Completely unacceptable

I know!

I know you mean well, @Kei. But you execute badly. If you want people to stay within line of sight of each other, you make their comms simple: in my view, you have already broken unMonastery’s comms by fragmenting it across, let’s see: the original project here on Edgeryders, two Wordpress websites, a Google Group, a Facebook group, a wiki, Slack, Medium, Discourse. I am supposed to be one of the initiators of the project, but I have completely lost sight of what’s happening in that space.

And yes, you can participate to many projects at one, and you are definitely welcome to participate to Edgeryders, but when you are here you will need to accept its rules. The main one is Who Does The Work Calls The Shots: you don’t like what I do, do it better. Or help me. Or do something different. A modicum of critique is welcome, of course. But at the end of the day, any minute spent in having these exhausting discussions is a minute not spent in doing stuff I am better at and enjoy more, like supporting some of the great people out there.

Just to clarify how hard we worked last year: I have only incomplete records (working on it, but it will take time!), but what I am seeing for 2014 is this: Edgeryders LBG paid out € 50,588 to directors against work done in projects; € 38,607 to non-directors against participation in projects (excluding the unMonastery); € 25,650 in the unMonastery (comprehensive of stipends + costs); and € 9,371 against travel to LOTE4. That’s € 98,566 paid out to the community. Not for nothing – everyone contributed. But only five of us made the sales, funded the platform and did the business development, admin and accounting work.

So: five people secured 100% of the revenue of ER LBG, but appropriated only about one third of the benefits.

I think maybe this could grow a little, but it needs attention. And discussions like this are using it up – very badly, in my opinion.


Hi Alberto, I am participating in EdgeRyders, and I am trying to help, by trying to point to the indirectly addressed roots of these issues, so that they may not consistently recur and consume everyone’s time.

Similarly, in criticising unMonastery’s communications, it would be helpful if you could work with us to offer a space more conducive to productive discussion - it’s at least partially due to the forms and stalemates of communication I previously mentioned that unMonastery’s channels sprawled, in light of the need to find another space for operational work. Much of this has been said before, and we are still working on it. If we can fix communication between us now, I think it will be much easier to keep both endeavors in line of sight.

I appreciate Who Does the Work Calls the Shots, and it can be quite useful for those working very hard to functionally bring forth ideas. I think, however, it does have a breaking point in its ability to invalidate critique: at this point there is very clearly dialogue needed or else the Work itself will breakdown.

It will breakdown because there is a real tension on the platform - and Edgeryders’ members - between creating online reference points and actual dialogue; this is one of the reasons closing comments looks bad. These issues will likely occur in new LBG endeavours as well, is it worth it to keep the “community” on board? How can we fix it?

I’m personally looking forward to working on the chances LOTE5 and a preceding facilitation process offer for realignment and discussions on forms of stewardship and capacity.

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Dialogue: we tried it, it did not work

Hello again, @Kei, and sorry for late reply.

Dialogue is a great tool, but it requires time and effort, so it needs to be used well. Unfortunately, we have a history of using it as a stalling technique (probably in good faith). It works like this: dialogue is invoked on something (like you here: “work with us on XYZ!”). People come onboard and try to make some headway: they craft arguments, research resources, write syntheses. At this point the whole thing is cordially ignored. Of course, whatever problem dialogue was meant to fix is not fixed, so it comes back up. And again “hey, let’s have a conversation about this!”. The memory of the previous round is not built upon, so we start all over again.

Coincidentally, the points you mention (a space conducive to productive discussion and realignment) make two great examples. The case for Edgeryders to be “messy but open source, so fixable and expandable” was made here a year ago. Dialogue ensued, and if you read the thread it will be clear that we did understand each other. We really talked. But we did not agree. In the end, as you know, the decision was that the UX was simply not good enough for the uM crowd, and everybody moved over to Facebook/GoogleGroups/Trello etc. What you achieved was this:

“some of the most valuable members of the ER community don’t post or read very often/ever […] when it comes to the moment when they’re needed, our workflow seems to bring them in at the right time.” [source]. 

What you lost is that it’s hard for anybody outside the Very Inner Circle to know where stuff is. I have no idea where stuff is, and I am supposed to be a founding member of unMonastery LBG! Or maybe I was, at some point, but then a discussion happened (where?) and the people doing the heavy lifting changed their mind (as is their prerogative, and I am not offended at all). In fact, I don’t even know that. All I know is that I was asked to join a company in February by a mass email (???) and then, for over three months, I have heard nothing: not a link to a discussion space, not a rationale for incorporating, not an idea of who would pay for what. Not even a date, or a “if you have questions contact XY”, or “we have changed our mind, it’s not happening”. From where I stand (which is supposedly the inside of it), this process is completely opaque. So you pay a very high price in terms of legibility: I hope the benefit was worth it. Me, I prefer the other way, the one ER is organized, as flawed as it is. A year ago we agreed to disagree, the unMonastery built its own comms, and everyone is happy. What do we stand to gain by rediscussing that?

Facilitated realignment was tried in March/April 2015. It went really badly, and sank in a debate on who should design the process (which reminds me - I owe the generous people who engaged an apology). Same thing: not much of a case for going back to it that I can see.

So, as far as I am concerned, we already played the dialogue card on both these issues. If we are still not happy, it means we have not solved our problems that way, and we will need to think of some other way. Does this sound reasonable?

+1 to Sam’s request

As a participant in the discussion, I would like it to be unlocked.

The thread was locked before i could finish typing my reply. I will remember to back it up before i hit send, in future.

No, this is un-acceptable behaviour, especially coming from @Nadia, as she’s un-published posts before now, which  has meant relevant discussions disappeared down the Memory Hole.

@Nadia, It would help if you unlocked the thread and continued to let people post. What would have been better, if you hadn’t done anything in the first place, but had just contributed to the conversation.

It would also help if you removed your capability to lock/un-publish/alter posts until you actively demonstrate that you can be trusted with it.

One of the main points i was making was about transparency.

There has been a demonstrable lack of transparency in all of this.

This has reached the point, where i cannot recommend doing business with Edgeryders LBG, and i must recommend that everyone using this website migrates all of their respective projects to another platform, as has already happened with Un-Monastery.

See above

If everyone requesting re-opening of the thread agrees to respect the rules of conduct I will unlock it. Those who are asking for unlocking the thread, please leave a comment indicating you have understood and accept the rules of conduct.


Why do we need to do that? We have been commenting here for years.

As Katalin said, we don’t need to do this on any other thread, so why would we need to do this on the original thread?

Please unlock the thread.

Please remove your ability to lock threads, and un-publish threads, until you can be shown that you can act sensibly with it.

I cannot access the Anti-Spam continuation of the original thread either.

Let’s stay with it.

While I hope the original thread will be reopened that I may post this comment there, watching the discussion, I felt very surprised by Alberto’s comment that there is “nothing to be solved.” While perhaps from one perspective there’s nothing pending resolution at a legal level, there are clearly issues members of EdgeRyders have yet to resolve, as similar points to those raised in this post have consistently arisen in a number of other discussions on the platform. A few more recent examples:

  1. Stewarding Ourselves - 2 Non-Executive Directors wanted for Edgeryders LBG
  2. The unMonastery: On shared ownership in open collaboration
  3. How EdgeRyders has Changed.

I think a very important aspect of facilitating an open community is recognizing criticism as valid in the spirit of building something mutually. As Sam initially pointed out, I believe it’s in large part the tone of the conversation on all sides that hinders resolution and communication - discussion often takes recourse to legal structures (as final points, not open questions), calling into question someone’s character, and technical uses or limitations of the platform. From my observation, this constantly sidesteps the issues at question.

These recurring themes, alongside closing comments on a thread with due relevance to the community, signals to me a strong need to critically evaluate the relationship between the company and the shifting definition of the community. I really welcome and appreciate both @Caroline_Paulick-Thiel’s and David’s offers to facilitate this process - there seems to be a drastic need to realign on what this work is in the spirit of, and thereby perhaps restart from a more trusting foundation on which criticism can be viewed as valid and constructive and receive reciprocal dialogue.

I look forward to these questions being worked through. Is this still possible?

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As I commented in the original thread that derailed I think this is a viable solution also because Caroline put forward a concrete methodology that has been used in other comparable situations. However in order for this to work the timeframe has to take the schedules of everyone involved and there needs to resources allocated for doing this properly as this kind of process is demanding and requires someone to take responsibility for managing it from beginning to end both someone within the company (I suggested Patrick- as a newcomer he has more emotional distance to this than others in the board, myself included). It also requires us to give one another enough breathing space to complete some prior commitments so we can allocate the needed attention to it. I think there are so many issuesx to resolve that it is going to take days spent together to work through (online clearly is not the best medium for conflict resolution) - so I think building an entire lote around this process would both give everyone some useful skills as well as help us make sense of how to move forward.

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It didn’t DERAIL.

You locked everyone else out of the conversation.

In a similar manner to everyone else on the Edgeryders website, being locked out of the decision-making process of Edgeryders LBG.

As i requested in a post above, please unlock the thread, as well as re-publishing all of the threads that you un-published.

Then explicitly lock yourself from being able to administrate the threads, until you can show that you can be trusted with the capability.

Yes, it did

@Billy_Smith, seriously. It derailed when accusations of fraud – a criminal offense – were made (falsely, as it turns out). That happened in comment number 2. Do you not think that is derailing? You OK with that?

Maybe it’s because English is my first language,

but i don’t read @ArthurD’s comment as an accusation. It COULD be interpreted in more than one way. He could simply be informing you of a potential future problem with Companies House.

According to the Articles, aren’t you supposed to contact all MEMBERs, not just the Directors? In which case, he’s right, and you will have a problem when you go to register the changes with Companies House.

The requirements about informing the members about meetings, and how meetings are run, are one of the main methods that fraud could take place. This is one of the loopholes that i was talking about. It would be incredibly easy for any of the directors to commit fraud legally, because of how the rules are structured.

I’ve been bouncing idea’s for exploiting these loopholes off a legal advisor i know professionally. He’s found other loopholes that i missed, because he has more experience of this sort of thing. It’ll be quite entertaining for him to watch how the current conversations have been going…

And the way that these conversations have been taking place, is a measure of the lack of oversight that is encoded in the Articles of Edgeryders LBG.

As i understand it, this goes against the transparency problems that Edgeryders was originally set up to solve.

Patrick is English

And a lawyer. So, I am inclined to consider his interpretation quite solid.

The Articles were drafted by Arthur, the only one of us (pre-Patrick) with any experience on UK law. If you have suggestions, send them over. No promise to adopt them – it is our company and has to work for us.

where were we?

unCharacteristically Davies has cracked the Anti Spam thread open, only to be left all alone by people who find such things completely unacceptable.

I’m repeating myself, but want to get us back to square one:

So the issue has become where to find a clean slate and a fresh beginning - jettisoning a few people on the way.  This does happen for various reasons.  It should not be one of our specialities.

The question is why would a personable, loyal, hard working soul such as Arthur become exasperated as he witnessed internal developments in an organisation he had so carefully helped to build.

Answering this question can also be jettisoned, but it behooves an organisation with any wish to stand forth as an agent for progressive social movements to do the opposite.

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Late arrival too.

Hi Bembo, I think this question goes to @ArthurD. We don’t know much of his reasoning, his resignation letter was short and explained only in what capacity he is willing to move forward.

He said he will make it into a public announcement, but that hasn’t happened yet for reasons I don’t know.

Many problems remain…

… but one is solved. I refer, of course, to the problem of Arthur’s relationship with the company he had helped to found. He solved it by removing himself from it. Rightly, no one else got a vote on his decision (not even his co-founders), as this was his life and his choice to make. This has left behind some bad blood. It happens. It is unfortunate, but it is far from a tragedy. As for me, if I want to solve personal issues I do not do it on a public platform.

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On the subject of LOTE5, unMonastery Athens is working on a plan. We wanted to finish it tomorrow, but I drop here the ‘Introduction’ and post where we are at the moment in a separate post. I think this would be the perfect backdrop for the facilitated peacemaking efforts suggested by Kei and Nadia. Working together on something tangible.

Brilliant Proposal for the Gathering of the EdgeRyder Forces

Living on the Edge \#5  -   Athens, late September 2015

For our milestone fifth LOTE unMonastery Athens offers to host and promote a dynamic event in which form equals content and seeks to represent in practice everything we stand for.

As our perennial central plank, the theme proposed is Social Cohesion - Survival Strategies.  This year we carry the ER operating premise one step further:  ‘them that builds the infrastructure calls the shots.’  LOTE#5 will take place in a temporary hexayurt village calling upon open source expertise to meet all our needs.

In 2012 EdgeRyders was inaugurated by the opening Living On the Edge conference in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe, cradled by the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division. At that first conference we explored our collective future through the lens of collapse and sustained austerity - despite the relative stability since then in Northern Europe, potential and real crisis remains in our midst.

In the spirit of staying with the trouble, LOTE5 will see a return to our early roots in order to examine what we have achieved since then, with a step closer to the edge, with the time that has past since our early visions we have experimented and prototyped; unMonastery, Makerfox, hexayurts, new organisational forms and we propose that now is the time for a meaningful road test of that infrastructure under conditions that require it’s creation, with an open invitation to new collaborators to join us in structuring a useful constellation of resources in the LOTE5 Survival Village.

full description


Will the original thread be unlocked?

Will @Nadia recuse herself, by publically removing her ability to administrate threads on this website?

Can we go back to the original conversation about the lack of transparency in how Edgeryders LBG is run?