The One Rule of Counterpoint is to be excellent to each other. We get a lot more specific in our anti-harassment policy, but there are a whole load of other social norms which keep Counterpoint a safe and happy place to work and learn.
Counterpoint's vision attempts to avoid hard-and-fast rules. Many of these are guidelines, and rightly so. In the past, we've noticed that certain actions and behaviors are good for the space and other actions cause problems. This page exists to help you determine whether something you're considering is a good idea, and to help you work things out when reasonable people disagree.
Although we work together and attempt to ensure that this page reflects what we collectively think, it's not our formal consensus.
Purpose and Vision
- Counterpoint is a place for hacking, hackers, and learning to hack.
- Counterpoint should be welcoming to those who visit, and a safe place to learn and work.
- Counterpoint operates by do-ocracy and consensus.
- The Counterpoint Vision describes what we are for, and what we are about.
Entrance and Membership
- You do not need to be a member to hack at Counterpoint or to participate in the community here.
- Members can come and use Counterpoint at any time.
- It's often easy to find someone on Rocket Chat.
- You can also try coming to the space and introducing yourself as soon as you get here.
- If you're coming for a class or other event: don't sweat it, your teacher or a fellow student is taking responsibility for everyone at the event.
- You should take responsibility for the actions of anyone you invite or let into Counterpoint.
- If you are a regular participant in Counterpoint, you should consider becoming a Member.
- If you disagree with another person you should try to work out your differences with them.
- If you cannot work out your differences one-on-one, you should consider mediation.
- If someone asks you to leave them alone or to otherwise stop a behavior that is directed toward them, please do so. Continued unwanted behavior directed toward another person is Harassment.
Requests to Leave
- If someone is acting in a way incompatible with our community standards, you are empowered to ask them to leave Counterpoint immediately.
- You are under no obligation to ask someone to leave, and absolutely should not confront someone who you think poses a physical danger to you. Please ask for help if you feel you need or want help.
- If someone asks you to leave Counterpoint, you should immediately leave, whether or not you think their request was legitimate or in good faith.
- If someone asks you to leave, you should not return until the conflict has been resolved, hopefully through mediation.
If you would prefer to privately report unacceptable behavior (including
violations of our anti-harassment policy), you can email
This email address is monitored by a number of upstanding and trustworthy folks.
They'll handle your request privately if you prefer, and otherwise work to
resolve the problem in a way which keeps you safe and protects the community
from unacceptable behavior. You may also contact one of the people who have
volunteered as a mediator on the Mediation page.
- Talk to people and make friends. Part of the point of Counterpoint is interpersonal interaction, and we want to meet you and learn about whatever cool project you're working on.
- On the other hand, do be sensitive to people's desire to stop talking and start hacking. If someone starts looking away, returning to their laptop or project, or begins walking away, consider that you might be the Nth person to strike up a conversation with them, and they may want to actually get something done.
- Pull your own weight. We don't have housekeeping service, so clean up after yourself and put things away when you're done. In fact, you're going to get a lot of good karma by tidying up twice the amount of space you use on a regular basis.
- Everything in Counterpoint is hackable. If you don't want something taken apart and turned into a giant robot the moment your back is turned, leave it on your shelf, or mark it clearly with your name, a way to contact you, the date, and what you're doing. Even then there are no guarantees -- it's just mildly rude to hack on a labelled thing unannounced, as opposed to positively encouraged.
- If you find yourself having to explain something in the space more than once, you should probably label it.
- If you can't throw something away in a full garbage can, you should probably empty it.
- If you see someone being awesome or something which is awesome, it's awesome in turn to sing its praises. Motivation is a rare commodity among us and a compliment here and there can work wonders in terms of creating more of it.
- People of all ages are welcome at Counterpoint. But, please know that bringing minors to Counterpoint might result in them being exposed to ideas outside of your control. This is worth considering before deciding to bring minors (or anyone) to Counterpoint.
- Don't talk about politics or religion in a way that may be considered trolling within the community. If you push peoples' buttons, it is considered very excellent to consider that you, at least in part, are responsible.
- Taking stuff from the space, even very temporarily is a surefire way to cause problems. Taking stuff permanently is definitely unexcellent.
- Please ask before playing music through the public audio systems, especially if people are quietly enjoying the space.
- Counterpoint must not be involved in any activities which could affect legislation or political campaigns, with certain limited exemptions. While not illegal, these activities may be grounds for the IRS to revoke our tax exempt status. Talk to the officers of the corporation for guidance if you are unsure whether your proposed activities will be exempt or not.