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Bathroom Construction Update

I've now started working on the new bathroom (plans), so here's where we are while things are still fresh.

Last look at the old bathroom:

I was planning to start demolition on Saturday 1/5, so earlier in the week the plumber came by to remove fixtures and cap pipes. I broke the vanity down, and here's the empty room:

Here's a map of what I was planning:


  • Blue lines: plastic to contain dust
  • Red lines: walls to gut
  • Red rectangle: door opening to cut
  • Pink region: floor to gut

I left the ceiling alone, except in the tub alcove where there was a lower ceiling (boxed-in dead space).

Nomic Report

After proposing automated nomic last week I coded something up and started a game. After playing for a week, here arer some thoughts.

The general idea is, people submit and review PRs, and whether a PR can be merged is up to what (on master) says should be merged. You win by getting the build to fail with a message saying that you win. We started playing with a that just implemented the rule "allow merging if you have unanimous approval from all users listed in players.txt".

The first problem we ran into was merge conflicts. While the first two PRs where someone asked to join (#6, #7) went fine, things bogged down as we got more requests (#11, #12, #15, #20, #22). The problem was, all players would need to approve each new PR, but then once that one was merged all the other PRs would need to have merge conflicts manually resolved, and then they'd need to be approved again.

Splitting Things

I had a good conversation in person with Quill today about the splitting things portion of my outcomes of a safety report post. I had written:

I think organizers should have a pretty low threshold for splitting things. You don't need to determine whether the harm counts as abuse, be sure of what happened, or be sure how blame should fall. That someone feels strongly enough about avoiding someone that they're willing to give up half the dance time/space to do so tells you a lot.

Automated Nomic

Nomic is a game where you start with an initial rule set, and gameplay is all about modifying the rules. I've only played in person, with human rules interpreters, but I think an automated version built around GitHub pull requests and Continuous Integration could be interesting:
Outcomes of a Safety Report

(This is written with the contra dance community in mind, but is reasonably general.)

If someone brings a safety report to you, that's just the beginning. You'll generally need to talk to the person the report is about, maybe other people who have context and background, possibly other organizers to get advice. One way to keep things focused is to think about what you're going for.

I see two main goals:

  • Support the reporter. Ask what they're looking for from you, and figure out what you can do.

  • Protect the community. Figure out whether the person who harmed them is likely to harm others, and if so figure out how to prevent or mitigate that harm.

Boston Solstice 2018 Retrospective

Last night we hosted the Boston Secular Solstice, which I wrote about planning a couple months ago. It felt like it went really well! Several people told me it was their favorite one we've had in Boston.

The past few years we've been at the MIT Chapel. It's a really nice space for this sort of event, but you need more people for it to feel right. Comfortably full is a much better feeling than spread thin. This year we decided to have it at my house, and I was thinking we might have ~20 people.

A few days before I was looking at a fb event with 36 "yes" and 61 "interested", plus several other people who had told me they were coming. I tried to figure out how to configure our space for maximum capacity:

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