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posted by AudioGuy on Sunday July 30 2023, @06:30PM   Printer-friendly

Greetings, Soylentils!

I am told by those who know, that 75% of the posters here are still from the original group of people that formed the community when we left Slashdot and created Soylent News. So some of you may remember me (Audioguy, #25) from that time.

Newer people may not know me, as I tend to be pretty quiet most of the time. Mostly I just read the news articles, and quietly do bits of sysadmin work in the background to keep the site up.

Only when I feel the core values of our community project are in danger, or its very existence is threatened, do I come out very publicly, and at such times I can be QUITE vocal.

Now is such a time.

I am about to do something which would not only have been uncontroversial, but normal here until the last six months. In the present climate it will probably piss a few people off.

I am going to update the community on exactly what has been going on behind the scenes here.

You may have noticed that Soylent News has no ads. How is that possible? It is possible because Soylent News was founded as a community, not a business. Our 'staff' is actually just unpaid members of the larger community, who step up and volunteer their time, because they support the idea of a purely user run news and discussion site. And that staff changes over time, sometimes people just burn out and decide to just go back to being normal members, some find themselves with increasing commitments or medical problems, or any number of other reasons. And its all fine, because others step up from the larger community and take up the tasks. Some later come back as well, when circumstances permit.

Since we have no paid staff, our expenses are pretty low. So others, perhaps without the time to contribute, help provide funds so we can continue to operate. These are members of the community who strongly support the idea of a community run site, free from the kind of corporate influence that has destroyed so many communities over the years.

And for years, this amazing community approach has worked, it has kept the site going. The group has fended off two and a half attempts by corporations or monied interests to destroy it. The first was Dice, for Slashdot. The second was a person who held the name the community had selected hostage for money.

The third...well, we THOUGHT we had fended that one off. It turned out to be a ticking time bomb, as some, including me, had warned about.

Six months ago, that time bomb went off.

At this point in time, all access by admins to our servers has been cut off. ONE person is making all admin decisions.

The editors have just enough access to edit stories.

All decisions are handed down from the top, the two -only- stockholders, and board members, who are the same people as the stockholders.

An outside 'fixer' was called in with no consultation with staff under an agreement we have not seen and which was kept secret, when staff protested.

From the top, there has been talk of adding advertising. Of looking for outside investors.

It needs to be understood that much of what is being presented now is a sham. Elections for 'a' board seat or 'maybe' more? What good is that going to do?

The simple truth is that Soylent PBC is a corporation. The ultimate power resides in the stockholders, not the board. The current two stockholders are there because promises were made that power would -never- be used. The present bylaws actually make it trivial for the stockholders to do that. But now it has been used, and abused.

Until the bylaws are fixed the community is not in ultimate control of Soylent.

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:37:45 -0400
From: Michael(NCommander)
To: The List for SoylentNews Staff Members
Subject: [Soylent-staff] On the topic of incorporation ...
The first, and perhaps most important bit is the topic of ownership, who owns the site. Well, the official position is that SN is owned jointly by the staff, and despite Jon's statements, he never legally owned what he sold, and essentially held us hostage. At no time did Jon have any legal basis to what he did, and this view is further compounded by the fact that he willingly stepped down, and then gave (followed by revoking) access to the DNS registrar and other services. What Matt bought from Jon was essentially a lot of hot air, and grounds for him to go off and stop bothering us; this act was neither endorsed by the staff, nor associated with us; it was an action he made of his own free will.

They are acting as if we have a vote for the board of directors. We don't. Here is the what the current bylaws say about this:

"2. Election and Qualification. Unless otherwise provided in the Certificate of Incorporation or in these Bylaws the number of Directors which shall constitute the whole Board of Directors shall be determined by vote of the stockholders at the annual meeting. Directors need not be stockholders."

There is more, but it all goes the same way - either the stockholders elect the board, or the board itself.

Only stockholders get a vote. In fact, any votes taken with anyone else are, at best, purely advisory. And current actions may be in direct conflict with the actual bylaws.

Show me where they advised everyone of that fact in the current metas?

The original plan in 2014 was that the bylaws would be re-written by the community.

That promise has never been fulfilled.

From: "Matt"
To:
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:03:23 -0400
Subject: [Soylent-staff] FW: Plan for setting up a nonprofit for SN - Final
...
Step 4. NCommander coordinates the drafting of bylaws.
Step 5. The foundation's lawyer looks over the draft bylaws.
Step 6. Lawyer-approved draft bylaws are sent to Staff for their consideration.
Step 7. Staff sends lawyer-approved draft bylaws to their own horde of stealth lawyers for approval.
Step 8. Staff-approved draft bylaws go up for a community-wide up/down vote using new incorruptible voting system (coming soon!).
if(vote == fail){goto Step_4;}

It never happened, which is why we are where we are at now.

Until the bylaws are rewritten this is all nonsense, smoke and mirrors.

If you wish to have a say now in how Soylent is run, you must buy your way in.

I and another are trying to do exactly that, with full support of the admin and editorial staff. To restore control of this community back to its original and -rightful- owners, the community itself. You.

The whole sordid story can be read in my proffer, which is exactly as I have submitted it to the Secretary of the Board for consideration in their next meeting, July 31.

Proffer: A Proffer For Soylentnews PBC

With the single exception to this being I have changed the real names to the screen names most are more familiar with here, and in the interest of peoples privacy.

It's all there, folks:

  • Greed
  • Betrayal
  • Broken Promises
  • Authoritarian Control
  • Secret Meetings
  • Secret Contracts
  • Lies
  • Misrepresentations
  • Utter Destruction

Everything we love to hate about the very worst of human nature.

Everyone should read at least the history section of that document. Read the rest to learn my plan. It the ONLY one that guarantees, with a legal and binding contract between all parties, that Soylent is restored FULLY and NOW to community control.

We have only two choices now, if we wish to keep our community together.

1. Somehow convince the board that they are WAY out of line, get them to change course, and restore power back to the community.

It's a small chance, but it IS a chance.

2. We once again start over. With a new domain. Which we CAN do, with your support.

What we badly need right now is for the community's voice to be heard. And loudly. Leave not a shred of doubt that the community wishes to regain control of its own site, and destiny.

Under the present circumstances, I cannot even guarantee this post will remain up. So speak up early.

I still have one of the domains from our original name vote - techmatter.org. If we are completely cut off, I will put some info there about where we are. There is nothing at all there now, the domain is dormant. It's just for emergency use.

-Audioguy

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(1) 2
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by pTamok on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:19PM (16 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:19PM (#1318287)

    As I said in the comments to the Proffer on your journal, I hate politics.

    I'll be glad if we can avoid monetization, allow reasonably free speech, and keep continuity. I'll be mildly unhappy at losing all my contributions if things go badly, and access to the insightful comments of others.

    I've said before that this is/was one of two sites on the Internet I pay for. It's now actually three, but still a limited number. I'm happy to pay a reasonable amount to keep things going and that also means to avoid the backstage drama, which ought to be entirely unnecessary.

    If we have to migrate techmatter.org, so be it. I won't stay to be abused.

    As far as I'm concerned, the lack of javascript, and the moderation system are two things that work really well here. And the unsung work of the editors.

    • (Score: 2) by WizardFusion on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:54PM

      by WizardFusion (498) on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:54PM (#1318299) Journal

      I'm with you, I avoid all politics if I can, it's just a waste of time and effort.

      I only pay for one site, this one. No other services. I occasionally throw some money at another site I use, but that's it.

      If we need to move to techmatter.org, then so be it.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by inertnet on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:22PM (11 children)

      by inertnet (4071) on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:22PM (#1318321) Journal

      Same here, soylentnews.org will lose its charm once it actually becomes corporate (ad) driven.

      Please do all you can to make option 1 succeed, but if you can't let's go for option 2.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @06:23AM (10 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @06:23AM (#1318389) Journal

        The problem is not quite that simple. Although kolie told us that they discussed alternative ways of generating funding when pressed further he claimed it was all covered by his contract and/or the non-disclosure agreement. He refused to go into specifics and resorted to his favoured techniques of hand-waving away the details. The money, he told us, would be required to pay for such things as professional programmers. He may deny that ads will be used specifically, but we do not know for certain what alternative ways might be used. In any event it is a move away from what we created in 2014.

        We haven't need external funding other than voluntary subscriptions from the community. But to pay for professional programmers requires serious sums of money. Whatever method of generating income is eventually chosen would have to be significant.

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday July 31 2023, @06:36AM (2 children)

          by acid andy (1683) on Monday July 31 2023, @06:36AM (#1318393) Homepage Journal

          The money, he told us, would be required to pay for such things as professional programmers.

          Have you got a link to this please janrinok?

          --
          Consumerism is poison.
          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @01:52PM (1 child)

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @01:52PM (#1318457) Journal

            No, because it was on a secure IRC channel the contents of which we do not release publicly. There were 5 or 6 members of staff present.

            --
            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
            • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday July 31 2023, @06:44PM

              by acid andy (1683) on Monday July 31 2023, @06:44PM (#1318504) Homepage Journal

              Good to know thanks. With the caveat that I'm not in the best mood right now, that annoys me that he did not make that information publicly available to this community. How the hell are we supposed to decide how best to support our community when such crucial information on the organization's goals are kept hidden from us?

              --
              Consumerism is poison.
        • (Score: 1) by Veyrdite on Monday July 31 2023, @06:46AM (1 child)

          by Veyrdite (6386) on Monday July 31 2023, @06:46AM (#1318396)

          > non-disclosure agreement
          > advertising

          Where can I find more stuff about this? This article has some quotes from koli mentioning not wanting advertising, [soylentnews.org] so I presume the info is only on IRC?

          • (Score: 2) by kolie on Monday July 31 2023, @03:52PM

            by kolie (2622) on Monday July 31 2023, @03:52PM (#1318475) Journal

            I am not seeking alternative monetization of the site. It's self funded as is.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by inertnet on Monday July 31 2023, @09:01AM (3 children)

          by inertnet (4071) on Monday July 31 2023, @09:01AM (#1318422) Journal

          From a user perspective it would be optimal to keep things as they are, because on the surface the site seemed to be operating fine. From this current and past discussions I sense a lot of frustration behind the scenes though, so much even that I fear that a working solution won't be found. If you simplify the argument to be between 'staff' and 'management', without naming people, mutual resentment seems to stem from a gross lack of acknowledgement for each others work. If that can't be fixed, there's no hope for this site. It's obvious that mistakes were made and things got broken, probably due to lack of communication. That has to be fixed as well in order to keep that from happening again.

          And a new site can't happen without you guys, the 'staff'. If I were religious I'd now be praying for this site to get fixed and you not leaving. The next best thing would be leaving for a new place, but then you editors really need to come along.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by inertnet on Monday July 31 2023, @09:08AM (2 children)

            by inertnet (4071) on Monday July 31 2023, @09:08AM (#1318424) Journal

            Forgot to mention that if the site goes commercial, it will probably lose more that half of its users. Someone here had already mentioned that most of us dislike JavaScript and hate ads.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:29PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:29PM (#1318444)

              if the imgur sale is anything to go by, financiers won't care. once half the users leave the new owners will just double the ads and get the same money from the remaining punters

            • (Score: 2) by kolie on Monday July 31 2023, @03:52PM

              by kolie (2622) on Monday July 31 2023, @03:52PM (#1318476) Journal

              Zero plans for site to go commercial. 100% plans for community governance.

        • (Score: 2) by kolie on Monday July 31 2023, @03:51PM

          by kolie (2622) on Monday July 31 2023, @03:51PM (#1318474) Journal

          IF you want to discuss monetization I'm right here. No change is probably how its going to work. Site is self funding already imo.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by martyb on Monday July 31 2023, @12:56AM (2 children)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @12:56AM (#1318338) Journal

      As far as I'm concerned, the lack of javascript, and the moderation system are two things that work really well here.

      "The lack of javascript" is a great plus, but that can be dealt with using ad-blocker software. (I mean, what self-respecting nerd uses an ad-blocker? right?)

      Our moderation system is largely the same as it was when it was originally rolled out ~25 years (a quarter century) ago! If ain't broke, don't fix it!

      And the unsung work of the editors.

      On behalf of the other editors: thank you! It's a largely unappreciated task. That said, some of the comments fill my heart -- knowing that I'd made a genuine difference in somebody's life -- that makes it all worth it for me.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by pTamok on Monday July 31 2023, @12:09PM (1 child)

        by pTamok (3042) on Monday July 31 2023, @12:09PM (#1318441)

        "The lack of javascript" is a great plus, but that can be dealt with using ad-blocker software. (I mean, what self-respecting nerd uses doesn't use an ad-blocker? right?)

        It's not about using an ad-blocker. Often, stopping javascript removes necessary functionality from a site, and I play reverse whack-a-mole working out the minimal set of scripts to allow things like the payment mechanism to work, I don't want to do that, and having a very functional site that doesn't use javascript is a great example for others. Not needing to pull in multi-megabytes of scripts makes the site responsive, and frugal on bandwidth. I am astounded by how much data some apparently plain sites pull down, and some pages take 'a while' to render on my laptop. Lack of javascript also allows some less well-known browsers to work, like Dillo and Links, and is not a bad start for accessibility. I suspect it might also be possible to put SN up as a Gemini [wikipedia.org] site if someone were so inclined.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @10:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @10:13PM (#1318661)

          SN already has a gopher endpoint that is mostly functional. Since Gemini is a sort of HTTP and Gopher hybrid, it might provide a good starting point for those interested.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DaTrueDave on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:23PM (3 children)

    by DaTrueDave (3144) on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:23PM (#1318288)

    I hope they come to their senses.

    If not, I'm ready to kick in some cash to get TechMatter.org running. SoylentNews is nothing if we all go somewhere else.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by coolgopher on Monday July 31 2023, @02:33AM

      by coolgopher (1157) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:33AM (#1318356)

      I've let my paid subscription here lapse since the shutdown got announced. Would be happy to subscribe elsewhere (or here once the drama is over).

    • (Score: 1) by dilbert on Monday July 31 2023, @02:55AM

      by dilbert (444) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:55AM (#1318363)

      I hope they come to their senses.

      If not, I'm ready to kick in some cash to get TechMatter.org running. SoylentNews is nothing if we all go somewhere else.

      Like many of you, I've been here since day 1.

      I don't normally log in, choosing instead to benefit from merely reading the discussion, but this echoes my feeling exactly. I've let my subscription here lapse, but would resubscribe if the situation here is resolved satisfactorily, or subscribe at an alternate site if we can make it truly community owned.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by WeekendMonkey on Monday July 31 2023, @09:46AM

      by WeekendMonkey (5209) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @09:46AM (#1318428)

      I renewed my subscription recently, when it looked (to an average user) like things were going in the right direction. But if the community decides that we need to move to a new domain, I will happily chip in again.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Isia on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:28PM (9 children)

    by Isia (25931) on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:28PM (#1318290) Journal

    Well, what I have done when I need a long term solution for a governing body that is not easy to undermine
    from greed or stupidity is setting up a "Incorporated Charitable Trust" with 5 members.
    The Incorporated Charitable Trust is a juridical person who can own things like domain names and such.
    And decisions are made by simple majority.
    This worked well for my projects.
    The member of the Incorporated Charitable Trust changed but the purpose and policy of the trust (as described in its deed) remained the same for decades.

    --
    Belief in a higher being is for the stupid, the weak and the cowardly.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by AudioGuy on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:36PM (8 children)

      by AudioGuy (24) on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:36PM (#1318293) Journal

      That is very helpful, we will look into this. What is the liability situation for such an entity?

      One of the things I found out about the present form we have, a 'Public Benefit Corporation',
      is that it is actually quite flexible , -IF- you write your Bylaws correctly. Unfortunately ours were not. The New Hampshire law in almost all respects defers to the corporations bylaws. Except in the matter of paying yoour state taxes, the are REALLY clear about that part. :-)

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Isia on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:42PM

        by Isia (25931) on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:42PM (#1318295) Journal

        The "society based incorporated trust" See here: www.societies.govt.nz Almost all countries have such a construct.
        The board of the trust, not the trustees, will enter into all obligations, and it, not the trustees, will be sued if some default occurs.
        Be careful that you always legally act on behave of the legal person “The board of the trust” and not personally.

        --
        Belief in a higher being is for the stupid, the weak and the cowardly.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:42PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:42PM (#1318322)

        Hey Audioguy, I was part of the original team when SoylentNews started and we were busily choosing domain names. I still have a couple on reserve so please make public where we can discuss all this if and when the time comes, I am happy to help out again if required but I have for all these years been pursuing other career interests etc.

        I want a free speech platform, no ads, no vested financial or political interests, moderation for decency / social responsibility but NOT ideology, etc. If we can rekindle that I am all for it, but also we need to move beyond what slashdot does and become something more unique and worthwhile.

        Cheers from an Aussie. (Anonymous coward because I can't find my login details right now).

        • (Score: 2) by kolie on Monday July 31 2023, @04:32PM (2 children)

          by kolie (2622) on Monday July 31 2023, @04:32PM (#1318492) Journal

          Hi all the values you've mentioned are essentially what I'm all about and want to bring to SoylentNews.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06 2023, @06:47AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06 2023, @06:47AM (#1319337)

            If you truly mean that, then you and the board need to stop lying to the community. Because I do not currently have an account, I can't post in requerdanos' journal, which is really the proper way to call out the board's lies. I don't say that lightly, but reading the discussion in #governance on August 4 makes it abundantly clear that the board is lying.

            [22:01:02] <kolie> Did you see the email I posted from matt earlier?

            If the community is supposed to have any meaningful input, then the contents of these messages should be made public. Care to tell the community what the contents of this email are? Or is this whole thing about community involvement nothing more than a sham?

            [22:01:27] <kolie> just because you dont doesn't mean there isnt liability otherwise.
            [22:01:28] <audioguy> Than deal with that level of nonsense.
            [22:01:46] <audioguy> Fine . Exactly WHAT?
            [22:02:00] <kolie> Well, any claims made by any third party against the pbc.
            [22:02:21] <audioguy> Are they afreadwe are going to sie them? Wecan put a clause inour agreement that makes that inoperable.
            [22:02:25] <audioguy> sue
            [22:02:55] <audioguy> But we are told there AREno third party claims. Which is the truth?
            [22:03:03] <kolie> users of the site?
            [22:03:14] <kolie> Any person which the PBC may have harmed.
            [22:03:21] <kolie> Anyone making any claim against the PBC ever.
            [22:03:35] <kolie> You go to mcdonalds and get coffee on you and sue them because its too hot.
            [22:03:44] <chromas> But starting a new corp somehow removes that possibility?
            [22:03:45] <kolie Which is why matt is being weird about it.
            [22:03:49] <kolie> He has his own shit to protect.

            This is complete bullshit. Shareholders are almost never held liable for the actions of a corporation. Do you not know what the terms "piercing the corporate veil" and "corporate personhood" mean? Courts are very reluctant to pierce the corporate veil, and there has to be a damn good reason to do so. There are two possibilities here:

            1) There's something so grave and scandalous that the PBC is worried about its shareholders being held accountable.
            2) This is absolute fiction and there are no concerns.

            Which is it? Has the PBC committed serious misconduct? Or is this just more bullshit from the board?

            By the way, one circumstance where a shareholder might be held responsible is when they exercised complete domination over the corporation, where the corporation and the individual were effectively one and the same. That's probably not a good description of how the PBC operates, but it best fits NCommander's unilateral decisions over the past several months. If anyone could feasibly have liability for the PBC actions, and it's a stretch no matter what, that would be NCommander. If liability is such a concern, then why isn't NCommander urgently ceding his authority to others to remove the risk of personal liability?

            [22:03:57] <kolie> His liability is tied to what's in the PBC now.

            What specific liability is this that would convince a court to pierce the corporate veil? What is so dastardly that the shareholders fear litigation? Or is this just more bullshit?

            [22:05:36] <requerdanos> the situation we are in, for whatever reason, is that the shareholders are supporting SN to move to governance under a new organization and are not supportive of a reorganization of the old organization. Even if the reason is aliens, that's where we are.
            [22:05:55] <janrinok> I feel we are going backwards. I am as frustrated as AG, but they gave their response at the Board meeting by simply ignoring the agenda and cutting the meeting short. We have to start moving without their cooperation.
            [22:05:57] <kolie> I see no reason to convince them they are wrong when we have a low friction path - that has TONS of benefit - that they will support.
            [22:06:26] <kolie> You don't want their old beat up dysfunctional shell. Make a new strong one from the start with clear seperation.
            [22:06:33] <kolie> It protects you as well from their claims.

            The non-profit path, which is what you're talking about, is more complicated than keeping the existing PBC intact. This isn't a low friction path at all. It almost certainly requires more money and involves more regulatory issues than remaining a PBC. For that to be the path of least resistance instead of rehabilitating the current PBC, there has to be some serious justification. But you've provided none.

            [22:08:00] <kolie> Why we are keeping this in an official meeting is beyond me. All of this can be discussed right in this channel and we can vote appropriately at the next meeting - if you even care to do so.
            [22:08:19] <kolie> I'm not being vague - the concern is the vague liability claims that are possible.
            [22:08:23] <kolie> That's specific.
            [22:08:25] <audioguy> Sure sounds ok/
            [22:08:55] <audioguy> No one isthreatening to sue om our side.
            [22:09:09] <kolie> That isn't the concern.
            [22:09:13] <audioguy> Not any staff and not any users have made such threats.
            [22:09:39] <kolie> There could be down the road - that possibility alone is problematic - I'm thinking more from the users side than organizationally.

            I'm having a hard time finding any of this believable at all. For one, transactions involving subscriptions are processed through a third party, Stripe, so I don't believe SN is actually handling credit card information or anything else tied to payments. The same goes for merchandise, which is sold through a third party store. I'd find it hard to believe there could be any claims tied to SN's handling of payment information, and I don't believe that any of this data gets stored on the database.

            In terms of content posted to SN, laws like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protect SN from liability for third-party content posted here. These claims almost certainly wouldn't be brought by users, unless a specific user believes that SN is somehow liable for content posted about them by another user. But the liability resides with the person who posted the content. Even if one argued that somehow SN broke the law involving content that was posted, I find it hard to believe that individual shareholders would have any personal liability.

            Then there's the issue of data breaches. Now, NCommander said he found no evidence of a compromise when he worked on the site back in November. If this is true, and that there's no reason to think there was a breach, then there shouldn't be any liability. If there was any liability, that should still be liability for the corporation and not for its individual shareholders. Even if the lack of updates to the site and any associated vulnerability could be considered negligence, that's not enough. There have to be actual damages. If there's no data breach, there are no damages.

            Again, there are two possibilities here:

            1) The board is guilty of a lie of omission, meaning they're aware of something that could make individual shareholders liable, but they're not disclosing this.
            2) The board is lying because there is no such liability at all.

            If the PBC is liable for something, that doesn't mean individual shareholders can be held liable. In fact, it's very difficult to sue individual shareholders for the actions of a corporation. Selling the PBC would make that liability someone else's problem, because someone else would then own the PBC. It's incredibly difficult to believe anything that the board is saying about this. There is no interpretation of the board's statements that does involve them lying. Either they're covering up something dastardly, or the whole liability thing is complete bullshit.

            The board owes the community some honesty and transparency for once. Now, it's not illegal to lie to the community, or even to the staff. But you shouldn't expect the support of the community if you can't tell the truth to the community.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06 2023, @09:16AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06 2023, @09:16AM (#1319347)

              I also see some interesting things going on with that ongoing IRC channel conversation with plenty of armchair lawyering. But I thought they probably aren't worried about being held liable as shareholders directly; they are probably worried about their liability as directors or for their equity position after someone goes after SoylentNews transfers to a new board. The courts could pierce the corporate veil but Delaware does not do it very often and usually only in circumstances where there is a large injustice like fraud or when the corporation functions as an alter ego. And, having people other than the shareholders actually follow the corporate rules instead of playing fast and loose drastically reduces the piercing chances because it isn't an alter ego then. But, if that is really what they are worried about, companies sell insurance for board members and businesses to protect against that sort of piercing situation.

              The nonprofit nonstock corporation could actually be the cheaper option than keeping the existing PBC intact. It is the more straight-forward thing for an attorney to draw up, requires much less technical measures and timing, is much more straightforward for a layperson to understand and implement, doesn't require quite as much cooperation from the PBC, and is potentially even cheaper on the filing fees. Really, most of the cost would probably come from buying out the two existing shareholders or buying the assets of the existing PBC. But really it comes down to how cooperative you think the current PBC shareholders and directors will be. The only thing that makes a potential nonprofit nonstock corporation more complicated than keeping the PBC intact is if they also want tax exemption as a charity but tax exemption is not a requirement of being a nonprofit nonstock corporation.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:05AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:05AM (#1318339)

        Your major problem is that the SoylentNews PBC is under Delaware law. You have to follow their law, which. And you have to be careful about who are shareholders because the US and most states and the federal government really care about foreign-owned, for-profit, closely-held corporations. I don't mean to be overly negative, but you are dabbling in some very complicated and technical law. Your proffer wouldn't even an enforceable contract. I think a lot of what is going on is just people repeatedly reacting to others, rather than thinking and working things through.

        • (Score: 2) by kolie on Monday July 31 2023, @04:29PM (1 child)

          by kolie (2622) on Monday July 31 2023, @04:29PM (#1318490) Journal

          This is FUD. Shut the fuck up please.

          A foreign agent can without any citizenship register a corporation and act as its member/shareholder/we in the US. This applies to the PBC afaik. I am not a lawyer and this isn't legal advise.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @10:00PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @10:00PM (#1318523)

            Sure they can register a corporation and be a shareholder. The issue is that now you have a foreign-owned, for-profit, closely-held corporation. That potentially affects the taxes of everybody who owns stock, both in and out of the US. You can look it up yourself on the IRS website if you don't believe me.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:32PM (3 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:32PM (#1318291) Journal

    I am grateful to audioguy for speaking out. I was planning to do something similar. Instead I will simply add my comments here.

    We left /. because it was becoming all those things that we despised. Business orientated, stockholders making decisions, Boards and committees making decisions that we not in the communities interests. We wanted none of that. I don't believe that we want that now - no matter how it is dressed up.

    For 9 years we haven't needed the Board or committees. The calmest period on this site, as audioguy has pointed out elsewhere, was when the Board had actually ceased to function for several years. The higher management should be invisible to the community. The Board should give direction to the team leaders and they should be allowed to get on with what they do best of all - between them they manage the site from day to day. But now, not only are we expected and extolled to join committees (and it applies to Team Leaders too!) but we are told it is for our own good. The behaviour that caused us to leave one site is now being instituted here and we are told that we should all want to serve on the committees. No, everybody here is a volunteer, we do not have to do anything that we do not want to do. I felt so strongly that I wasn't prepared to join committees that I made the decision that I did. The community want to have good quality stories on the front page and in the journals that they can discuss. Nothing more than that, really. They don't actually want to hear about the Board and they especially do not want to be expected to join it.

    In the past, what we have always done when we wanted to know what the community wanted us to do was simple - we asked them. The discussion that has gathered the most comments ever (over 800) was the one that we had last year to discuss how to manage one of the site's problems. Even discounting the expected Spam and repetitious comments we still have around 600 intelligent and useful comments. We didn't need a committee to do that. You are all perfectly capable of explaining to us what you wanted and expected us to do. Our job was to do it. I can see no reason to change that. Saying that the committees are now essential to getting feedback means those that make the decisions cannot even be bothered to read the discussions. Creating posts on the Board is a cover for changing the balance of power of the Board. But our current problems were not originally caused by the Board, but by one individual who refuses to be a team player and believes that this is his site. It isn't his, it is yours.

    Rebuilding how we manage our software isn't addressing the problem. Creating committees is not addressing the problem. Changing the balance of power is not addressing the problem.

    If they wished, the Board could still rewrite the Bylaws. There is nothing at all to stop them - other than they simply do not want that to happen for reasons that I simply do not understand. But on Monday you will be asked to support the proposal for the formation of committees made up of volunteers so that our site becomes more 'business-like'. That is not what motivated us to create this site over 9 years ago, and it shouldn't be what drives us in the future either. The Board can have as many meetings as they wish. They can give us direction. But they do not control the community - rather it is the other way round. They should be doing what you want them to do, just as we have tried to do since this site was created.

    I sincerely hope that the Board and higher management listen to separatrix's advice. Trying to be in both camps at the same time is a conflict of interests.

    --
    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by martyb on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:26PM (1 child)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:26PM (#1318313) Journal

      Could not have put it better!

      If they do TRY to corporatize our site... well, just because they create committee(s), nothing says anybody needs to join!

      Sometimes, I speak loudest when I don't say anything.

      If it comes to it, I am prepared to join the new site.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Monday July 31 2023, @02:16AM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:16AM (#1318349) Journal

        Many of us came from the green site because we weren't passive, and took the initiative to move elsewhere when that other site changed for the worse. Anyone who thinks the membership here no longer has such initiative and will just roll over and accept new overlordship that junks up the site for payola better keep that in mind.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by martyb on Monday July 31 2023, @01:14AM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @01:14AM (#1318343) Journal

      audioguy:

      Thanks SO much for taking point on this! I truly appreciate the effort that you've already made! teamwork++

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fab23 on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:39PM (5 children)

    by fab23 (6605) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:39PM (#1318294) Homepage Journal

    I still have one of the domains from our original name vote - techmatter.org. If we are completely cut off, I will put some info there about where we are. There is nothing at all there now, the domain is dormant. It's just for emergency use.

    If you not yet have done it, then add techmatter.org [techmatter.org] to your bookmarks right now!

    • (Score: 2) by Kell on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:50PM (2 children)

      by Kell (292) on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:50PM (#1318325)

      Needs a slogan!
      Techmatter is people? No, no...
      Techmatter: Nerds for News? Hmmm, maybe...
      Techmatter: Hot Grits? Has potential!

      --
      Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by AudioGuy on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:01PM (1 child)

        by AudioGuy (24) on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:01PM (#1318327) Journal

        make.techmatter

        Seriously though - It's just a name that happed to be free, for tempory use in an emergency. I actually had another use for it. Lets not go overboard with this.

        If we need to use anorther name, we will collect suggestions and do another vote as always.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VanessaE on Monday July 31 2023, @03:34PM

          by VanessaE (3396) <vanessa.e.dannenberg@gmail.com> on Monday July 31 2023, @03:34PM (#1318469) Journal

          No, in a way they're right. You may have intended that domain for emergency use, but really, what else is our community supposed to consist mostly of but geeks, and hence, people involved with or interested in technology as a general category?

          Given the state of the world lately, where so much cool shit we grew up with 40 years ago (or perhaps even created) has transformed into low-grade flotsam that any random idiot has in their pocket, a slogan like "Make Tech Matter" for a site that seeks to focus on cool shit 🙂 would seem to fit rather nicely.

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:14PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:14PM (#1318328) Homepage Journal

      add techmatter.org [techmatter.org] to your bookmarks right now!

      Just did that.
      It's now on my public bookmarks page. [pooq.com]

      -- hendrik

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @05:49AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @05:49AM (#1318386)

      As an alternate, I see 'SNisPEOPLE.com' is not taken...

  • (Score: 2) by pkrasimirov on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:45PM (15 children)

    by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:45PM (#1318296)

    If you are a guy who maintained soylentnews for years it won't be a big hassle to setup all again, only better this time, with modern OS and perhaps even containers. I'm not saying you should, I'm only saying it won't be a big difficulty. Because I mean you probably won't be doing it alone. And no, we don't need to hog on the Rehash/Perl/PHP/Cobol tech, I'm fine with anything as a starter. Heh, you can even go phpBB for a starter. On the plus side there won't be any data to migrate, start green. On the down side there will be a community split + new dormant troll accounts created... I guess that's unavoidable. But you are fair to give a warning, even there's little probability that the people holding the hammer will change their minds that not everything is a nail. Can I recommend an IRC channel name in case communicating here becomes unavailable? Just reserve some name and post it here for all to see.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:55PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:55PM (#1318300) Journal

      Libera.chat irc.libera.chat/6697

      ##soylentnews

      We posted it in a comment after audioguy's journal

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rich on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:19PM (13 children)

      by Rich (945) on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:19PM (#1318304) Journal

      Do you have any numbers on the traffic volume the site creates, daily and peak? I'm somewhat under the impression that the whole show be run on a RasPi in a guy's basement through a cable modem with 10 stories a day, 30 comments on average, and no pictures. At least from a net data throughput view; a 25 article story comes in at 250k (webarchive) - a 100MBit line serves that in 25 msec, and that's before optimizing anything. In my understanding, a corporation construct would only be needed to shield the guy against liability threats.

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by janrinok on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:41PM (12 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:41PM (#1318307) Journal

        Yeah, that's true, and it is a second-hand Pi too. We were spending the money on hookers and blo.....

        Sorry, got to go, my private jet is waiting to depart.

        --
        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rich on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:26PM (11 children)

          by Rich (945) on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:26PM (#1318312) Journal

          Impressive that you've got su much cash left over after recently acquiring a second-hand Pi. Enjoy the conference in Vegas! :)

          But really, I've spent a lot of time on the embedded side of things, so to me hardware capability and data volume still stand in some relation (unlike "modern" web frameworks, where a user logging on slaps you with a gig of RAM or so on the server side). Also, a Raspi today wipes the floor with the most badass servers available around the turn of the millennium when slashdot was in its heyday. So I'm genuinely wondering if there are surprisingly high usage loads or backend inefficiencies. I was guessing around 10k article serves per day.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by AudioGuy on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:53PM (10 children)

            by AudioGuy (24) on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:53PM (#1318320) Journal

            I did some intense testing in the early days, we could easily handle 100X the loads we do.

            And I am with you - I think the site would run just fine on a Raspi. :-)

            After all, it pretty much just text. We don't serve up video content.

            I would not prefer that for a platform for other reasons though.

            • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:18PM (8 children)

              by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:18PM (#1318330) Homepage Journal

              Looks like the main server requirement isn't for a computer, but a storage device.
              How big is Soylent News' database?

              • (Score: 4, Touché) by AudioGuy on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:26PM (3 children)

                by AudioGuy (24) on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:26PM (#1318331) Journal

                If I actually could get into our system, I could easily tell you.

                Some problems have to be solved in order. :-)

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:06AM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:06AM (#1318340)

                  Pretty bad they have locked the database out of reach of the membership.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @04:38AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @04:38AM (#1318375)

                    All that valuable data nom nom nom!

                    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @07:38AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @07:38AM (#1318580)

                      I would pay .0002 dollars to know Runaway1956's real name and mailing address, and top/bottom pref. Just saying.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @02:24AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @02:24AM (#1318351)

                How many entries are in certain rows are unknowable, but others are known or can be estimated. About a year ago, I calculated the maximum size at around 6 GB. But it is probably under 4 GB, and I could see it being comfortably under 3 GB if my row estimates are off or they actually do proper maintenance.

                The main problem for the database in terms of using less powerful hardware is that the schema and some SQL is sub-optimal, which drastically increases the RAM, secondary storage bandwidth, and CPU required.

              • (Score: 2) by Rich on Monday July 31 2023, @02:55AM

                by Rich (945) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:55AM (#1318362) Journal

                Sum it up yourself. 10 articles x 50 posts of 2k each per day would be a megabyte per day. Be generous, say 500 MB per year. 20 years would be 10 GB. Give and take some, but in any case that's in the range where you could process the data involved with a 2-figure investment in today's hardware if you tried. As audioguy said, there might be reasons not to use a raspi, but they shouldn't involve its trhoughput capabilities. Heck, you could double the machine for failover and hook them up to a battery (32,95€ each for 1 Ah on a compatible shield) if you feel like it and you'd be still short of a third of a grand.

              • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @06:39AM (1 child)

                by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @06:39AM (#1318394) Journal

                I have the same problem as audioguy - but I am just a community member now and I have no special access. I think the content is less than 600MB - trivial in the scheme of things. The more I look at the code the smaller it appears to become, and as others have already pointed out the content is simple text. You have to add on more for Rehash itself, and the various functional additions that we use (IRC, email, staff user areas, support software) etc.

                --
                I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                • (Score: 1) by TomTheFighter on Monday July 31 2023, @06:55PM

                  by TomTheFighter (9781) on Monday July 31 2023, @06:55PM (#1318507)

                  Looking at those specs, dare I say that we should simply run the whole thing on a couple of Pis in a failover cluster?

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by Freeman on Monday July 31 2023, @04:26PM

              by Freeman (732) on Monday July 31 2023, @04:26PM (#1318487) Journal

              RaspberryPi hosts their website on RaspberryPis. Not sure that they're fully hosted on RaspberryPis even today. Though, they had done it in proof of concept way back in 2016.

              https://www.mythic-beasts.com/blog/2016/02/29/hosting-the-raspberry-pi-3-launch-on-a-raspberry-pi-3/ [mythic-beasts.com]
              https://www.raspberrypi.com/news/the-little-computer-that-could/ [raspberrypi.com] (Not an April Fool's Joke even though it was posted on April 1st of that year.)

              (More current numbers.)
              https://www.raspberrypi.com/news/website-hosting-on-raspberry-pi-4-with-mythic-beasts/ [raspberrypi.com]

              Is it any good?

              Yes. Raspberry Pi is twice as fast as the same-sized instances in AWS, for a quarter of the price. Just see for yourself:
                      Raspberry Pi 4 a1.large mg6.medium
              Spec 4 cores @ 1.5GHz
              4GB RAM 2 cores
              4GB RAM 1 core
              4GB RAM
              Monthly price £8.63 $45.35
              (~£36.09) $34.69
              (~ £27.61)
              Requests per second 107 52 57
              Mean request time 457ms 978ms 868ms
              99th percentile request time 791ms 1247ms 1056ms

              --
              Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Barenflimski on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:52PM (2 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:52PM (#1318298)

    Thanks Audioguy for the post and your help. Thanks Janirock for your help here too.

    I appreciate the honesty here and letting us know. It would be a shame to lose it all. I can't imagine with the relatively small base here that anyone thinks they're going to be making bucks off of this site. Aren't most of us running ad blockers to begin with here?

    Appreciate all you do. Cheers!

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:37PM (1 child)

      by mhajicek (51) on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:37PM (#1318306)

      I expect you're right. I would be surprised if 10% of this sites users allowed ads. Talk of funding the site through ads is ludicrous.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Common Joe on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:59PM (7 children)

    by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday July 30 2023, @07:59PM (#1318301) Journal

    Drama and I do not get along, but I guess I'll go make some popcorn and see if that helps the headache from the weekend that was finally getting better.

    • (Score: 2) by istartedi on Monday July 31 2023, @04:27AM (6 children)

      by istartedi (123) on Monday July 31 2023, @04:27AM (#1318372) Journal

      Me neither. I feel just a bit guilty, but can't find the interest to read a WoT about this stuff. Either it goes away and I'm a bit sad, or it stays and that's cool; but the passion to get in to the inner workings of an organization just isn't there for me.

      --
      Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Common Joe on Monday July 31 2023, @04:54AM (5 children)

        by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday July 31 2023, @04:54AM (#1318378) Journal

        I've read some some of the walls of text a month or two ago and I'm reading / skimming the drama right now. It's clear from your User ID that you were here from the beginning too, so I'll just summarize everything in one sentence: Reading this stuff is just heartbreaking and it'll break your heart too if you were to read this in detail. (For instance, Janrinok resigned as chief editor [soylentnews.org]. That one almost slipped by me. He did a damn good job.)

        I won't lie. I feel a bit guilty too about not contributing more, but handling this type of situation is not my forte. My best abilities lie elsewhere. I contribute when and where I can in life. My advice is help others with your talents and within the bounds of the hand that life dealt you. In other words, help someone else so they can help someone else so that the help goes around in a giant circle and comes back to you. I let other people handle politics because this kind of shit wears me out and I don't have that kind of spare energy. I'm best at grunt work so I apply my efforts there.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by istartedi on Monday July 31 2023, @05:00AM (2 children)

          by istartedi (123) on Monday July 31 2023, @05:00AM (#1318381) Journal

          Yeah, I'd probably be useless if I tried to get in to it too. I wouldn't call what I did grunt work (programming) but the notion that technical people should get "promoted" to management always grated on me. I think technical work is more like music. You wouldn't tell the best player in your band "OK, great licks, we're sending you over to do scheduling and make deals with venues so you don't have to get blisters on your fingers any more". And yet that's exactly what we do with technical people. I'm given to understand that part of the "HP way" of old bucked this trend, and that Carly Fiorina had a hand in dismantling it in favor of the more common type of management. Also sad, and bless those rare individuals who are both technical *and* managerial. They're a rare bird.

          --
          Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PiMuNu on Monday July 31 2023, @07:30AM

            by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday July 31 2023, @07:30AM (#1318405)

            CERN used to have a set up where they graded technical jobs by the level of challenge involved:

            * lowest grade you are applying existing knowledge in a single field to "turn the handle"
            * highest grade you are working in a realm where no one has done it before, there are no known solutions, you are working across multiple technical areas

            Unfortunately it went away a few years ago...

          • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Monday July 31 2023, @02:55PM

            by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday July 31 2023, @02:55PM (#1318465) Homepage

            Reminds me of this book:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle [wikipedia.org]

            The Peter principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to "a level of respective incompetence": employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @06:43AM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @06:43AM (#1318395) Journal

          I contribute when and where I can in life.

          That is all any of us do and nobody expects anything more. Your contributions, in whatever form they take, are as useful as any other.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Monday July 31 2023, @06:25PM

          by captain normal (2205) on Monday July 31 2023, @06:25PM (#1318503)

          Yep...you said it Joe, I think most of us think pretty much alike on this.

          --
          Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by oregonjohn on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:53PM (1 child)

    by oregonjohn (6105) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 30 2023, @08:53PM (#1318310)

    The following opinion is based on prior research and on decades as a board member on many non-profits in Oregon (all focused on social justice, poverty and homelessness). I am not an attorney, nor offering legal advice.

    Oregon has one of the most user friendly sets of non-profit laws of all the states. Easy to set up, but also protects the board of directors as long as they are prudent ("acting with or showing care and thought for the future." Oxford Languages). The board could still be sued but would lose, only the corporation is liable, again as long as the board has been prudent.

    Also, a note that Nonprofit Directors and Officers insurance rates can be as low as $50 a month to remove almost any risk to board members especially when combined with Oregon's laws.

    I would be happy to help research/apply to Oregon if the group decides to do so. I have experience with coordinating and writing bylaws.

    • (Score: 2) by AudioGuy on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:48PM

      by AudioGuy (24) on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:48PM (#1318319) Journal

      Thanks. As a matter of fact, I live in Oregon so this is particularly interesting.

      I am collecting comments such as this ad adding them to my notes so I may be able to pursue them further later.
       

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by krishnoid on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:42PM (7 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Sunday July 30 2023, @09:42PM (#1318316)

    Will they be available, or could they all be wiped out?

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:57PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 30 2023, @11:57PM (#1318332)

      > Will they be available, or could they all be wiped out?

      I think the answer to your question is in this comment and reply,

      https://soylentnews.org/meta/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=56831&page=1&cid=1318330#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

      ... which was posted a couple of hours after your question. Not wanting to start rumors, but from what I've read in the last week or two, the database is being held "hostage" by NCommander and possibly his new buddy kolie(?)

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:11AM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:11AM (#1318333)

        Guise!

        We need to develop a website / service that allows truly free speech with organic moderation (ie: let the users decide what they care about) that resists suppression by adversaries from all sides. Not just a slash dot clone.

        This site from the start felt stale and lacking imagination.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:54AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:54AM (#1318337)

          What a novel idea!

          aristarchus

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:09AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:09AM (#1318341)

            It's a project I'd be keen to be part of.

            - AC with user ID 50

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:12AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:12AM (#1318342)

              I should say less than 50

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @04:43AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @04:43AM (#1318377)

            We can call it... X! Or if that's taken XX.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Tork on Monday July 31 2023, @02:21AM

          by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @02:21AM (#1318350)
          As long as topics guide the discussion and be civility will required, "truly free speech" is not a practical goal. A more productive line of thought would be something like "what bullshit will we tolerate before engaging" . I do recommend defining that list before someone tests your boundaries, but I also recommend keeping it short.
          --
          🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
  • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:44PM (8 children)

    by RedGreen (888) on Sunday July 30 2023, @10:44PM (#1318323)

    I have yet to see a forum that I have been a member of not suffer from this eventually. Some moron(s) with a God complex think they can do any damn thing they want when running it into the ground eventually. And I mean every single one it has happened with without exception in the last thirty plus years. It seems to be a requirement for running one, well easy enough to move on if it gets to bad. Thanks for all the fish..

    --
    "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:25AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:25AM (#1318334)

      Nothing is free. Either you find a generous benefactor, sell ads, or sell user data stealthily to marketers and intel agencies.

      Best would be to design an application rather than a website that anyone can host and make the database of articles and comments a distributed item that gets updated by peer to peer across the hosting services. Then you can run the website locally on your own system if you want, or run a public facing service out there somewhere, or whatever, and no one can shut it down.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday July 31 2023, @04:23AM (2 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Monday July 31 2023, @04:23AM (#1318371)

        It's a cool idea philosophically, but could conceivably engender a fair bit of network traffic with all the database replication, record locking, etc. Some people have slower connections, although not all users would have to host a database.

        Truth is, a site like this has very (very) modest server requirements. Some months ago someone posted the RAM and disk requirements and it was quite low compared to a site hosting pictures / graphics / videos, so the hosting cost should be low.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by shrewdsheep on Monday July 31 2023, @10:09AM

          by shrewdsheep (5215) on Monday July 31 2023, @10:09AM (#1318429)

          While going distributed is technically difficult, we could put together a crawler, scraping comments after articles become final. If a few people run it, there is plenty of safe-guard against being held hostage.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @01:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @01:23AM (#1318541)

          Translation: I've found a bridge I like to camp under with these 5 other guys.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @12:32AM (#1318335)

      > Some moron(s) with a God complex...

      Yes, I've seen the same. It even happens with large orgs as well, and infrequently becomes a public scandal. In some small fraction of the population there is an urge to control things that don't need much control.

      To counter this, the founders (who hate politics and control) have to grit their teeth long enough to put a suitable structure (bylaws, whatever) in place to put a lid on the https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tin-pot_dictator [wiktionary.org] when they invariably come along.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by separatrix on Monday July 31 2023, @12:48AM (2 children)

      by separatrix (29779) on Monday July 31 2023, @12:48AM (#1318336) Journal

      It's always because people cut corners at the beginning: they don't set up right to prevent situations like this. But the belly-aching here is beyond belief. Democracy is hard work. Consensus is harder work. Technical types are not immune to the need for either.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:44AM (#1318345)

        Yeah. The first sign of trouble was making it a PBC in the first place. If you want a non-profit coop, make a non-profit coop. But it is easier to complain than actually do anything about it.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday August 01 2023, @02:43AM

        by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday August 01 2023, @02:43AM (#1318551)

        Hindsight is 20/20, right? The "belly-aching" is normal human emoting. Nothing horrible about it, and at least there's a dynamic, energy, passion.

        By definition democracy is difficult. Someone has to be a leader to round up the people for voting and consensus, right? That person might look too much like a monarch. In SN's case, it's pretty amazing, to me anyway, how well everyone is sharing ideas, compromising, refining, building, etc. I'm not a wordsmith nor psychologist, but things seem much better than they could be (yes, I'm an optimist, and maybe naive, but I like my happy island. :)

        I know almost nothing about you, your background, work you do, etc., but I want to directly thank you for your great inputs. You have some pretty interesting knowledge and ideas and you've inspired many and much. Thanks!

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:15AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @01:15AM (#1318344)

    lol every time i check back to this site

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @02:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @02:56AM (#1318364)

      how is this off-topic? soy doesn't even federate

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday July 31 2023, @02:07AM (1 child)

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:07AM (#1318347) Journal

    I.

    just.... wha?

    Popcorn: there isn't enough in the universe.

    Thanks, Audioguy and everyone else who is trying to do good.

    I'm just......
    .......wha???

    Bookmarked http://techmatter.org/ [techmatter.org]

    My subscription just ran out, and now wondering who to send my money to....
    I can send it anywhere I'm truly welcome....

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @02:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @02:41AM (#1318359)

      Unfortunately, the current problem(s) in our community mostly seem like problems that money can't solve (although small amounts may be necessary).

      As a sage friend said once, "There are two kinds or problems, the kinds that money can't solve, and the kinds that money can solve. If you have [enough] money, then that only leaves one kind of problem."

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by oumuamua on Monday July 31 2023, @02:28AM

    by oumuamua (8401) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:28AM (#1318354)

    You don't want to piss off your user base. Was just looking at #RipTwitter on Twitter uh I mean X. If there are cash-flow problems that will sink a company but better bring it up in a meta post for the community to decide.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by separatrix on Monday July 31 2023, @02:31AM (33 children)

    by separatrix (29779) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:31AM (#1318355) Journal

    Hey, Audioguy:

    Listen, I'm still new here. I haven't been around long enough to qualify as "Active Staff" or an "Active Volunteer". I'm not going to have a vote in what happens in the meeting tomorrow (7/31) under any circumstance.

    I want to say that I appreciate your "Proffer". You've done more than most people in this crisis. You've put forward a proposal.

    But you've sewn demagoguery into it. They didn't "call in" kolie/replic8tor; he called NC. He volunteered after NC publicly announced the site's closure. (That's how *I* got here, seeing that announcement!) Just because you've become increasingly distrustful of kolie doesn't mean he hasn't done the same thing as you: put forward a proposal to save the site. He's been making exactly the representations you make in yours, proposing returning the site to democratic control. (He did it two months ago; what took you so long?) You claim the meeting is a "sham", and that you speak for the community, when the only way the community truly speaks is through a formal, public vote.

    You have so much contempt for the current autocrat that you're proposing revolution. Under your proposal, though, for however brief a period of time, you will be the autocrat in charge of the site. Why should the userbase trust your word any more than kolie -- any more than they trusted NC when he helped launch the site (per your history)? Just because you suddenly say so? Where's the proof that you speak for staff -- hasn't that guild conversation been behind the scenes too?

    If you really distrust the current board so much that you and the people whom you claim to represent want them gone, you should just start a competing site already. I'm calling you on that saber-rattling. Say everything else you will about NC -- say he needs to go! I'm sure he deserves scorn! -- but he's allowed this meeting to happen. Say whatever else you will about kolie, he volunteered with emergency technical support that enabled this meeting to happen. They've both consistently expressed their willingness to give control back to the community. SoylentNews' crisis is ultimately a collective failure. I beg you to ratchet down the hyperbole. Pointing fingers should not be part of the road ahead.

    Anyway, thanks to you there are competing proposals now, and they'll get a hearing. Contrary to your assertions above, this momentous meeting is explicitly a time when the userbase WILL have a say in how the site is run. One doesn't have to buy one's way in, at least not tomorrow, to have a say. (And "a say" is not the same thing as "control"; no one should expect more than a say tomorrow.)

    It is NOT true that there are only two choices: either replace Matt and NC with you, or go start a new site. You don't have to burn the village to save it. The existing bylaws are not completely trash and can be fixed. You yourself say it's going to take time to do the due diligence for your proposal: 3-6 months. Another way to regain community control -- more quickly -- is to change two or three items in the existing bylaws, perhaps during the meeting tomorrow, to enable the rest of the community to begin its rehab work. The key section to fix is the one just below the one you cited (emphasis mine):

    Art. III. §2. Election and Qualification. Unless otherwise provided in the Certificate of Incorporation or in these Bylaws the number of Directors which shall constitute the whole Board of Directors shall be determined by vote of the stockholders at the annual meeting. Directors need not be stockholders.

    §3. Vacancies: Reduction of Board. Unless otherwise provided in the Certificate of Incorporation or unless otherwise determined by vote of the stockholders, a majority of the Directors then in office, although less than a quorum, or a sole remaining Director, may fill vacancies in the Board of Directors occurring for any reason and newly created directorships resulting from any increase in the authorized number of Directors. Unless otherwise provided in the Certificate of Incorporation, in lieu of filling any such vacancy the stockholders may reduce the number of Directors.

    There should be a minimum number of directors, the minimum should be no less than five (to prevent one person from easily becoming a "sole" director), and the board should certainly not be able to appoint itself. People who volunteer their time should be considered the "membership" of the site, and a vacancy should be filled by a vote of that membership, not the stockholders.

    After that, even your new regime will have to answer questions like the ones below. While you're waiting for whatever due diligence you want the current board to produce, you might as well answer these tomorrow:

    • What is the most minimally-invasive language change necessary to dilute the power of the stockholders to impair site continuity, without requiring every user to be a stockholder?
    • Which set of people should have the keys to the servers, so as to prevent unilateral shutting down of services by a single actor? until you establish this in writing, it won't matter who owns stock.
    • Exactly what criteria determines who has the right to vote on the site's future?
    • How does one register to have a say?
    • Who will be the authority to qualify them?
    • What safeguards will allow us to trust their registration work?
    • Is there a difference between an "Active Staff" and an "Active Volunteer"? Should one get a bigger say than the other?

    I'm going to write up a smaller proposal tonight with these questions and post it on my own journal. In closing, I'm appealing to the better angels of your nature. There's been enough flame. Let's fix this situation the way that's both the best and the most expedient possible.

    • (Score: 1) by Veyrdite on Monday July 31 2023, @02:45AM (7 children)

      by Veyrdite (6386) on Monday July 31 2023, @02:45AM (#1318360)

      I'm not new, but I barely contribute here, so take my stuff with a pinch of sand too.

      > I want to say that I appreciate your "Proffer". You've done more than most people in this crisis. You've put forward a proposal.
      > If you really distrust the current board so much that you and the people whom you claim to represent want them gone, you should just start a competing site already.
      > It is NOT true that there are only two choices: either replace Matt and NC with you, or go start a new site. You don't have to burn the village to save it.
      > There's been enough flame. Let's fix this situation the way that's both the best and the most expedient possible.

      Agreed.

      A further suggestion: do multiple things in parallel. Don't wait for one decision making body. Start a parallel site in parallel, it will give everyone a better cushion. I would frown on anyone that views creating another site as a bad thing, if it's bad it will fail and if its good it will succeed. I'm "split" across a dozen communities on the web, adding another one won't cause me to visit Soylent less, I still visit Slashdot and would Pipedot too if it were still alive.

      • (Score: 1) by separatrix on Monday July 31 2023, @04:38AM (2 children)

        by separatrix (29779) on Monday July 31 2023, @04:38AM (#1318376) Journal

        I'm quite eager to talk about building other sites with Rehash, and all the other accoutrements that SN has built in support of SN. But first SN has to be stabilized. Again, if those who are discontented are THAT discontented, let them start a new site already. But even if they do, they'll have common back-end needs with SN, and the two sites will have more in common than not.

        • (Score: 1) by Veyrdite on Monday July 31 2023, @05:02AM (1 child)

          by Veyrdite (6386) on Monday July 31 2023, @05:02AM (#1318382)

          > But first SN has to be stabilized

          Working on a parallel could help work on SN. When things get too heated on one you can put your thoughts on the other for a while and let things cool.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @08:02AM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @08:02AM (#1318412) Journal

            It requires twice the staff, twice the number of submissions from the community. twice the effort to keep running, twice the server costs....

            --
            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday July 31 2023, @07:42AM (3 children)

        by acid andy (1683) on Monday July 31 2023, @07:42AM (#1318408) Homepage Journal

        I would frown on anyone that views creating another site as a bad thing, if it's bad it will fail and if its good it will succeed. I'm "split" across a dozen communities on the web, adding another one won't cause me to visit Soylent less, I still visit Slashdot and would Pipedot too if it were still alive.

        I don't agree with this. A lot of people only visit one such site frequently so having more sites inevitably fragments the community. Our actively commenting community is already far too small these days.

        I still have faith in Pipedot and when NCommander posted that this site was shutting down I really thought we could all just shuffle off over there.

        To Audioguy, why isn't moving to Pipedot a good option 3? Is it a control thing?

        --
        Consumerism is poison.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @08:06AM (2 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @08:06AM (#1318413) Journal

          I was not directly involved but we received valuable advice and cooperation from Bryan who created Pipedot. As I understand it, the way that the data is handled meant that private data would exist in several places outside of our control. We have promised to protect your data. We could not do so without major software changes. Bryan admitted that it had not been update since it was created and the software was already out-of-date and support.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by chromas on Monday July 31 2023, @04:03PM (1 child)

            by chromas (34) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @04:03PM (#1318479) Journal

            Rehash hasn't been updated in quite awhile too. And unlike rehash, pipedot was built mostly by a single guy in just a few weeks, so it probably wouldn't take much to fix whatever issues we think there may be. For some reason though, people keep masturbating to the trashfire that is rehash.

            • (Score: 2) by kolie on Monday July 31 2023, @11:22PM

              by kolie (2622) on Monday July 31 2023, @11:22PM (#1318528) Journal

              Yea I understand the magic behind the features of rehash - I don't understand why we don't take that and recreate it post haste in something resembling anything of modern best practices.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @04:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 31 2023, @04:57AM (#1318379)

      Other than to fill a vacancy when the bylaws or certificate specifically allow it, literally the only people who can choose the directors of a corporation are the stockholders. They have ultimate control over the company because they are the ones with ownership of the corporation. To come up with some sort of shareholder agreement to constrain shareholders in the way you are imagining in a way that is actually enforceable is completely in the purview of a lawyer licensed in Delaware.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @07:57AM (3 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @07:57AM (#1318411) Journal

      is to change two or three items in the existing bylaws,

      Correct, and we have already acknowledged this fact in my comment:

      "If they wished, the Board could still rewrite the Bylaws. There is nothing at all to stop them"

      But nobody other than audioguy has suggested that being done yet, until you just mentioned it. The decision and promise to rewrite them was made many years ago with the action to coordinate the effort placed upon one person - why has it not yet been done? Why can we create new structures now but not do what was promised many years ago?

      When did you start your discussions with kolie? When did he give you this information? I appreciate that the detail is what you have been told but I contend that it is something that has been said in the last few days. It is a favoured technique of not announcing things publicly but telling different people what they want to hear.

      If you read the Proffer you will see that audioguy has asked for acknowledgement that it has been received. When last I spoke to him (about 8 hours ago) no such acknowledgement had been received. Yet kolie knows that it, and others, have been received. Why are the people they are addressed to failing to even give a polite reception acknowledgement? Why is kolie seeing other offers that have not been declared to the community? I suggest that he is merely thinking on his feet and responding by pretending it is a plan.

      Where's the proof that you speak for staff

      Perhaps you do not recognise many of the names commenting here - I can assure you that audioguy and many other staff (some of whom wish to remain unidentified in public for perfectly good reasons) are in regular communication - but not using the site's own means which apparently are no longer private. The user ids should however give you a clue of how long they have been supporting this site. Audioguy accurately reflects the views of a majority of the existing staff. But, more importantly, it is the community that should be given a say - and that is what has been done here and elsewhere.

      I appreciate that you are providing valuable support to the site and the management. But too much of what has already been said has be done on channels the content of which we are not permitted to disclose to others. They are private for a very good reason. You have not seen them. I contend that, had you been party to any of those discussions over the last few months, you would see the discrepancies in what has been previously said and what you now are being told. Why is there no agenda for the meeting? My guess is so that it cannot be challenged. Once written down it and made public it cannot be undone. If we are going to discuss other offers they should be listed in the agenda and the community should be given time to consider them, or at the least be made aware of them and their implications. Do any of them come from outside the community? Have any of them got business interests? And if someone argues that they are nothing to do with the community then why are they being mentioned now?

      Why is the 'say' for the meeting being limited to only those who can attend the virtual meeting? We have a method of voting on this site that has been used before - why is it not being used for this meeting? It ensures 'one account - one vote'. Many people live in different time zones, and even on different continents. Many in our community will be working at the time of the meeting. I am having to change my life around a meeting that is being held with a 'say' that is being taken away from many in the community. How can around several hundred people, possibly many more, have their 'say' in one virtual meeting? This is about as undemocratic as I can imagine possible for this site.

      It is a 'say' as you correctly point out. There is no obligation for any action arising from the community input to be taken. It is not a vote that has any inherent control - merely a way for some community views to be heard. This site should be controlled by the community. Priority one is to rewrite the Bylaws as was agreed many years ago to make it so, and then let people have a democratic vote on the way forward.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by kolie on Monday July 31 2023, @04:06PM (1 child)

        by kolie (2622) on Monday July 31 2023, @04:06PM (#1318482) Journal

        Actually the purpose of my meeting today was to put forward a motion to address the bylaws. Funny right?

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by separatrix on Monday July 31 2023, @07:33PM

          by separatrix (29779) on Monday July 31 2023, @07:33PM (#1318513) Journal

          I mean, it would be, if there wasn't so much fire being breathed around here. Not enough asbestos in the world.

          Do you have such a motion? It doesn't help a meeting as momentous as this one when an agenda isn't published in advance.

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @07:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @07:41AM (#1318581)

        Problem with techies: they hate politics, which means they support conservative politics, and racist and misogynist politics, in their attempt to stay away from politics. This has been the problem with SoylentNews from the beginning, where the alt-right crept in as just a normal techie opinion, like Dilbert. But, you now, that shit will not stand, man! Here, let my AI take a look at your picture, and predict your future income levels! Owwwhh! Hot, white bro!!

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        Many more VPNs blocked, and ACs silenced. You bastards.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Monday July 31 2023, @10:55AM (1 child)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @10:55AM (#1318431) Journal

      you've become increasingly distrustful of kolie

      This is actually the crux of the matter so I will respond to it separately.

      Trust is not something that one can demand, or that one should even expect. It has to be earned. For many years we trusted NCommander. In 2014 it was pointed out that there were still significant changes that had to be made to the Bylaws. We stressed that, as they stood at that time and as I believe that they still stand today, total control of the site rests with 2 people. We can say whatever we wish - but they can shut the site down. However, NCommander reassured us that he would never use or abuse such a power and that we were worrying needlessly.

      Several people wanted to buy shares at that point, but were refused. The shares only went to 2 people.

      Yet today we know that the promises that were made at that time have been broken. The power to destroy much of our work started in November - probably with good intentions in mind - but the outcome was a complete and total disaster. Those that tried to fix it were locked out of the system. Trust with the individual concerned has been completely lost and I find it difficult to see how it can be re-established without several years of effort.

      Now in kolie's case he was unheard of until he appeared to provide a rescue plan. It was immediately covered by a contract (not unreasonable but it had never been required before). A contract suggests that there is reward of some kind for work being done. Otherwise it is just an agreement between 2 individuals. We do not know the terms of that contract.

      Much of what was being done was covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement too (NDA). This is certainly nothing that had ever been needed on the site before. It raises all sorts of questions some of which have been answered. The problem with the answers is that they are not always consistent with previous answers. kolie can probably say that he has answered them all - well perhaps he has but never in one place an a coherent manner.

      Even now there are questions that have been asked in public that have not been answered in the same manner. FNord posed a series of questions in a comment - kolie's reply was given in a PM on IRC. Nobody else could see it. How does that help in a discussion? How is that meant to build trust? I have asked about the contract with Cogent La Mirada (CLM) which is where I believe kolie's server(s) now reside. In whose name is that contract with CLM? Is the contract with an individual or Soylentnews,org PBC? Who signed the contract on behalf of SN PBC - the treasurer presumably? Who has complete and unrestricted network access to those servers (and our data)? None of these questions have been answered.

      In the event of something happening to the person named on the contract how does the Board of SN PBC get physical access to the hardware which I understand that kolie has supplied without cost to the Board. He has stated that all hardware is either owned by SN PBC or it is leased. If it is leased then the contract must be between CLM and the individual named on the contract. If the assets are actually now owned by SN PBC are they shown in the site asset register? If not, why not?

      I am also sure that kolie's motives are well intentioned - but he has completely misjudged the ethos of this site. I don't think that committees are the best solution to the actual problem that we face. We have never had a problem finding out what the community wanted.

      None of this creates an environment of trust. Promises are easily broken or, at best, ignored. Real control appears at least superficially to remain vested in a small number of people. Creating committees will not change that. It will give a semblance of involvement for the community, but it will not change any actual control.

      As I wrote in my resignation:

      [the reasons for resigning] including having lost faith and trust in both the old management and the new.

      You are correct - there is no trust at the moment. And until people come into the discussions regularly and start explaining their positions then it cannot be established. One cannot demand trust, nor should one even expect it.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 1) by separatrix on Monday July 31 2023, @07:31PM

        by separatrix (29779) on Monday July 31 2023, @07:31PM (#1318512) Journal

        I don't think that committees are the best solution to the actual problem that we face. We have never had a problem finding out what the community wanted.

        You've expressed a similar sentiment before. I think many of my concerns with your responses to this crisis boil down to this sentiment. I don't know what you think a "committee" is supposed to be, but for God's sake, it's a harmless enough concept. If the "actual problem that we face" is getting rid of NC, I'm past that and asking the question what next, in which a committee or two might be useful, but you seem to be working out frustrations across a wide variety of topics with that simple phrase.

        But, Lord have mercy, Jan, who is "we" exactly? You claim to speak for the community. How many times have I heard that before IRL? From every person in the political sphere who's ever said, "Everyone thinks like me! Why can't you see it and just do what I say?" Forgive my skepticism, but I prefer written definitions, and I don't think the work that needs to be done after NC is no longer in charge has to wait until then.

        I think you and I have a common interest in seeing order brought to this chaos. You have every right to be skeptical, but at some point people like you and Audioguy have to look forward and fix the problems. If Audioguy really wanted to leave, he would have left. Ranting feels good, but it doesn't fix problems, period.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday July 31 2023, @10:55AM (9 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @10:55AM (#1318432) Journal

      the only way the community truly speaks is through a formal, public vote.

      Think further. At present the ballot looks a bit like this:

      Vote for Putin to remain president for 5 more years.

      Vote for Putin to remain president for 10 more years.

      Vote for Putin to remain president for 20 more years.

      Vote for Putin to remain president forever.

      There are a lot of tricks to voting. We've all heard the one, "I don't care who votes, I care who counts the votes." A bit less understood, is, who gets to draw up the ballot, and how it is drawn up.

      In this case, WTF exactly is being voted on? It seems that SN is being offered a shit sandwich, and the vote only involves which preservatives are used to keep the shit sandwich from spoiling. Or something like that. And, a lot of people are expressing the idea that they aren't going to eat the shit sandwich, no matter how good or bad the preservatives are. Non-GMO, vegan, and organic isn't going to make the shit taste any better - it's still shit.

      You have so much contempt for the current autocrat that you're proposing revolution.

      Viva la revolution. Or revoluccion, or whatever.

      If you really distrust the current board so much that you and the people whom you claim to represent want them gone,

      Can you give us a count? How many times has a certain person stuck his fingers into the publicly facing, working copy of SN, just to fuck things up? Include "upgrading" to Ubuntu. FFS, it doesn't take a genius to understand that you do all that shit behind the scenes, on .dev.

      Which set of people should have the keys to the servers, so as to prevent unilateral shutting down of services by a single actor? until you establish this in writing, it won't matter who owns stock.

      I'll take that one. Matt has never done anything (that I'm aware of) that indicates he wants "control". The self appointed commander, on the other hand, shouldn't have any keys at all. Give the fucking keys to Jan, who can make duplicates for other people who require access. Get Ncommander out of the loop - NOW. He gets a vote of no-confidence. Lock him out, and quickly.

      And you? At this point in time, you get a vote of low-confidence.

      (And "a say" is not the same thing as "control"; no one should expect more than a say tomorrow.)

      Compare that to what Jan has said, and Audioguy, and others. The membership is supposed to exercise control here. That was the purpose of SN from the beginning. A couple prima donnas with dreams were never supposed to control SN.

      --
      ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
      • (Score: 1) by separatrix on Monday July 31 2023, @07:10PM (2 children)

        by separatrix (29779) on Monday July 31 2023, @07:10PM (#1318511) Journal

        And you? At this point in time, you get a vote of low-confidence.

        ¯\(°_o)/¯ This is supposed to bother me? Being new absolves me of guilt for not having attended to the governance issues that plague you now.

        Compare that to what Jan has said, and Audioguy, and others. The membership is supposed to exercise control here. That was the purpose of SN from the beginning. A couple prima donnas with dreams were never supposed to control SN.

        I've seen what others have said, but it's a particular few with axes to grind...at great length. "The membership" means everybody, not just the loud ones. There are quite a few prima donnas calling for NC's head. Swords -- like AudioGuy's -- cut both ways.

        • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Tuesday August 01 2023, @04:12AM (1 child)

          by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday August 01 2023, @04:12AM (#1318560) Journal

          I've seen what others have said, but it's a particular few with axes to grind...at great length. "The membership" means everybody, not just the loud ones. There are quite a few prima donnas calling for NC's head. Swords -- like AudioGuy's -- cut both ways.

          Runaway1956 most certainly doesn't usually speak for everyone (most certainly not for me), but I agree with his grandparent post 100%. And, as one of the quiet ones who's been around since the beginning, I can say the majority of people on SN (those who are left) will agree with the second half of his grandparent comment in its entirety.

          You know what these "prima donnas" are doing right? They are pushing for a community control and community input. More importantly, they're asking the right questions. These questions deserve answers publicly and that's not happening. Even I got an answer in private via email from Kolie a couple of months ago to a public comment I made. That surprised me.

          I woke up this morning and read the two summaries about the meeting. I'm underwhelmed by what happened.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @08:01AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @08:01AM (#1318582)

            I guess you haven't seen a lot of board meetings. Never underestimate the amount of useless bikeshedding, talking in circles, looping conversations, and general bloviation that can happen in an hour.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by kazzie on Monday July 31 2023, @08:08PM

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 31 2023, @08:08PM (#1318516)
        Thankfully (for now):

        https://soylentnews.org/~Putin/ - "The user you requested does not exist, no matter how much you wish this might be the case."
      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @08:02AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @08:02AM (#1318583)

        Give the fucking keys to Jan, who can make duplicates for other people who require access.

        Kinda what I would expect, from a disgusting low-life, under-educated, racist bastard like Runaway1956, sucking up to his protector. "Give the keys to Jan"? Right. And Censor anyone who points out that Runaway1956 is a right-wing nutjob hillbilly racist rednecked motherfucker, along the lines of Justin Vance's "Hillbilly Elegy". Fuck.

        Oh, is this "bad posting"?

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday August 01 2023, @11:19AM (3 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 01 2023, @11:19AM (#1318591) Journal

          Not only spam, but almost certainly posted by the same individual who has often posted on IRC that Soylentnews has to die.

          I think that more of the community needs to know that Aristarchus' oft repeated goal is to destroy SN. If he can't control SN, then SN must die. Ari is nobody's friend here. I think that the entire staff understands that. I hope that what passes for management understands that. I would like for all the membership to understand it.

          I've not kept bookmarks to any of Ari's rants, but any person who knows how to search the IRC logs can find the evidence for my claims. Aristarchus has been working for years to either control the narrative on SN, or, failing that, to destroy SN. That was the purpose of all those scores (hundreds?) of sock puppet accounts that I battled a few years ago.

          While Janrinok and I have our differences when retelling that tale, he will certainly verify Ari's purpose here.

          --
          ‘Never trust a man whose uncle was eaten by cannibals’
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @02:48PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @02:48PM (#1318749)

            I love how you describe your own actions but swap the names. How noble /s

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @05:53PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @05:53PM (#1318793)

              You scanned the logs? You found the multiple instances in which ari promised to destroy SN?

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @06:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @06:52PM (#1318809)

            I've not kept bookmarks to any of Ari's rants, but any person who knows how to search the IRC logs can find the evidence for my claims. Aristarchus has been working for years to either control the narrative on SN, or, failing that, to destroy SN. That was the purpose of all those scores (hundreds?) of sock puppet accounts that I battled a few years ago.

            Brave Runaway! Stalwart troop of the 56th Armchair Force! Ari trying to control the narrative? By pointing out how pathetically stupid conservatives are? Particularly conservatives in Arkansaws?

            Besides, Ari never said he wanted to destroy SoylentNews. He just wanted the natural consequences of alt-right capture to run its course, much like a Trump administration. And, this has come to pass. Runaway has destroyed SN, with janrinok's assistance. Battle on, Runaway! Rage, rage, against the dumbing of the right!

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by AudioGuy on Monday July 31 2023, @12:23PM (7 children)

      by AudioGuy (24) on Monday July 31 2023, @12:23PM (#1318443) Journal

      "He volunteered after NC publicly announced the site's closure. "

      First problem here is that NC had absolutely no authority to 'close the site' at all, as far as I am aware. If he did, in what public board meeting was that decided? And where are the minutes? Even under our current bylaws I cannot see how he had any authority to do this.

      I judge people by their actions, not their words. Kolie came in saying he wanted to help. We said fine, volunteer like everyone else. Learn the ropes. Let us get to know you
      .

      What he did instead was make a deal with the board, which was secret until we dragged it out of him in IRC.
      Working his was up was not his way, he wanted to start at the top. He is trying to impose solutions that the staff does not want, and has said repeatedly they do not want. He just goes ahead anyway.

      You don't impose solutions on this group, we make decisions by consensus and sometimes votes. The way to practice democracy is to practice democracy. You don't lock admins out of their own servers when you don't agree with them. You don't just override the majority wishes. Which he has has done repeatedly.

      When you start out with a lie, people tend not to trust you. Surprise, surprise.

      You want to contrast me with Kolie? Fine.

      He came into a bad situation.
      I was -in- a bad situation and knew it in depth.

      He talked to staff a bit who told him exactly what was wrong and what was needed.

      I was on staff and already knew what was wrong. Anything I did not know, others knew and told me.

      Our staff was cut off from any access to our tools.
      Our primary training materials and admin notes were gone plus lots of other stuff like that, read more in my proffer.
      Staff was boiling mad at all the destruction.
      When we started trying to save things, to fix things, our access was totally cut off.

      His solution: we needed to containerize things and move them to his server setup. Odd that this was exactly what NCommander had been trying to do, don't you think? But you say he just came in of his own accord. Odd coincidence, I guess.

      My solution: fix the real, immediate problems, restoring staff access, and restoring the broken machines, so staff could do their work properly again while other problems were discussed and solved. Starting with the fact that the board was acting autocratically, in contradiction with our entire history and culture.

      He put forth a promise to democratize, thin on specifics. We have heard such words before. They need to be backed by actions. But he had already gone to the board with his whatever agreement or contract, which no one has ever seen. That is not a democratic action.

      I did weeks of work researching the laws and developing my proffer. And every step of the way, I consulted with staff. And there were times when people told me - wait - on that - so I did. Everyone had a chance for input. The whole thing was posted for discussion and revision.

      His was done two months ago. No one else really had much if any input to it.

      Mine took longer, because using democratic practices takes longer. Doing a lot of research takes longer.

      He makes some of the same democratic representations as mine? Nonsense.

      I lay out a plan that is part of a legal and binding contract the insures that democratisation WILL happen. Show me that part of his.

      You think I want to be, or could be, "the autocrat in charge of the site"? Read the proffer:

        8. Audioguy agrees that his majority stock interest will be highy encumbered by the Final Agreement, being a very temporary arrangement to facilitate a rewrite of the SoylentNews PBC Bylaws. He agrees that he may not sell, divide, or otherwise modify his stock in any way other than as stipulated in this agreement. He may not excercise any stockholders powers except as relates to the fulfillment of this agreement.

      Read the last sentence above again.

      Show me a similar provision in Kolies offer.

      And how long will this condition exist?

            10. All Parties agree that as soon as a Final Agreement is reached, an election for at least three Interim Board members will be held. The participants in this vote will be all Active Staff. Each prospective board member must agree to honor the single provision of this agreement whch affects them.

      Maybe 24 - 48 hours. Because part of that delay in submission was that I re-installed, setup, and tested our old votiing software. So this vote can be done quickly.

      Exactly how will I become an autocrat while that hindered?

      And there is another factor here. I have been here for 8 years working with all these same people.
      If I had autocratic tendencies, do you not think someone might have noticed?

      Kolie is an unknown. We only have words. I have 8 years of actions.

      Finally, I would not want him on the board in any case. A good leader knows how to gain peoples trust. We gave him a very clear path to do that. He chose not to take it. Poor judgement.

      There is no guarantee I will be elected to the board if my proffer is accepted. I will stand like anyone else. Kolie should be willing to do the same. Show me the same provision in his.

      "Where is the proof I speak for staff?" I have never made that claim, I am simply conveying what I hear. And I certainly don't speak for the community. Read all the comments. They hardly need me to do that, including staff.

      I put in my proffer what I saw, that is all. I know some disagree with me on some things. They will speak for themselves. I speak for me.

      You accuse me of demagoguery? I simply have told the community the truth as I see it, exactly as we have always done for the last 8 years - except the last 6 months or so. If that is demagoguery, I will wear the badge with honor.

      "just start a competing site already" - why should we? This is our site, it is the board that has destroyed it by breaking the promises made in 2014.

      "It is NOT true that there are only two choices: either replace Matt and NC with you," - This is beneath you. I think this is called 'demagoguery :-)

      Show me where I said that. I want to replace the board with a board elected by staff. Period.

      The only reason I would have any kind of control at all is because I would have bought all the
      shares. And those shares would be bound by the contract I signed to go in their entirety to the new board.
      Which would be charged with just ONE obligation (because I am -not- an autocrat) - to rewrite the bylaws such that the staff has final and ultimate control. Not me.

      "You have so much contempt for the current autocrat that you're proposing revolution."

      Sorry, I have contempt for ALL autocrats. :-)

      Do you know there were TWO proposals submitted, not just mine. Mine was submitted late Thursday. But the other was submitted weeks ago. Both of us asked for a simple one line reply of receipt of our proffers. I checked my mail log to be sure all three got accepted by the remote end servers.

      To date neither of us has gotten even that one line reply. These were notes to the board, mine specifically addressed to the Secretary, I followed the correct channels. I am sure the other was not as assertive as mine.

      Soylent is in a serious crisis. Yet even such a simple thing seems to be beyond them. Contempt?
      If so, richly deserved. I respect others when they respect me.

      And I am not proposing revolution. I am proposing restoration. Of what has always been rightfully ours - the community control of our site.

      "I'm calling you on that saber-rattling."

      Sorry, it is a wrong call. That saber is not rattling at all. It is out of its sheath, laying on the table right in front of me. Things have been done that crossed the line. Badly. Do you expect us to just lay back and take it?

      That saber will go back in its metal sheath to 'rattle' when I see concrete actions, not words.

      "Say everything else you will about NC -- say he needs to go! I'm sure he deserves scorn! -- but he's allowed this meeting to happen. Say whatever else you will about kolie, he volunteered with emergency technical support that enabled this meeting to happen."

      Oh, please. A thief breaks into your house, rapes your wife (servers) and steals the family
      jewels (Community control). But, he did leave a $100 bill on the table so you could fix the
      broken window.

      Say what you will about him, he at least has some sympathy for his victims. :-)

      Emergency technical support? As far as I know we have perfectly functioning IRC due to Deucalions good work.

      Can't we all just get along? :-)

      "They've both consistently expressed their willingness to give control back to the community."

      And as soon as I see that in practice, I will believe it.

      "SoylentNews' crisis is ultimately a collective failure. "

      Nonsense. When you assume total control, you assume total responsibility. You hijack a ship and call yourself captain, if it sinks, it is YOUR fault, not the crews.

      "I beg you to ratchet down the hyperbole. "

      As soon as I can find some, I will. :-)

      "Pointing fingers should not be part of the road ahead."

      Right. "Honestly officer, the furniture just broke itself. I just happened to be in the vicinity. I don't know HOW this could have happened."

      Soylent is not a business. It is not supposed to be one, nor a vehicle for speculators or venture capitalists. It was never meant to have stock bought and sold, nor for any other purpose than being a vehicle for providing a site to our community.

      You want to make incremental changes to the bylaws. That is a good way to delay things, to find a way to maintain control.

      You want to just add a few people to the board. But no matter how many people are added to the board, the stockholders can override them if they wish. Thus, it is an empty gesture.

      Read what the community - not the staff wants.

      I have yet to see a real -action- by the board that is clearly in good faith (last 6 mos). Perhaps this meeting, late as it is, will qualify. We'll see how it goes.

      Our access is still cut off. Kolie is still pursuing things we did not ask for and do not support. We have been in a crisis for six months, yet look how long the board has waited to even meet.

      You want to incrementally change a few bylaws, but I do not see how the changes you propose will fix any of the real problems.

      You want a few simple bylaws changes? OK, here is my submission for that.

      1. All voting powers for the stockholders are hereby rescinded until such a time as the board
      completes a rewrite of the Bylaws. Any provision of the bylaws which would be in conflict with
      this provision are hearby rescinded until the new bylaws are written.
      (takes care of stockholders overriding the board)

      2. Full normal access for all staff will be immediately restored, so they can get needed systems
      operational again.
      (Yes, OUR systems, not kolies)

      3. A staff vote will be held to select the entirety of a new board of 5 members. Nominations may come
      from staff or the larger community of active Soylent users. This is to be held within 30 days and will use the existing voting software for both votes, with the appropriate version for each. Any provisions of the current bylaws which would conflict with this provision are rescinded until the new bylaws are written.
      (Real democracy)

      4. The new board is tasked with rewriting the bylaws within a maximum of 60 days. Any provision
      of the existing bylaws which would conflict with this provision is hereby rescinded.
      (Final fix)

      There you go.
      Can be passed in 10 minutes.
      Fully democratic. No one has any special advantage.
      Fixes the bylaws.
      Includes the larger community.

      No mention of Audioguy or anyone else having any special powers for any length of time in any way.

      If you want democracy, surely you will support this. There is your formal vote as well. OK?

      By the way, welcome aboard. We occasionally have 'robust' discussions here. Feel free to make your views known. :-)

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by separatrix on Monday July 31 2023, @08:03PM (4 children)

        by separatrix (29779) on Monday July 31 2023, @08:03PM (#1318515) Journal

        Yeah, this isn't winning me over -- not that you need to, I'm just an observer eatin' popcorn. A couple of points:

        "It is NOT true that there are only two choices: either replace Matt and NC with you," - This is beneath you. I think this is called 'demagoguery :-)

        It is technically true, and this crisis is full of people holding other people to their exact words, regardless of what they actually meant.

        Read what the community - not the staff wants.

        Everyone keeps claiming to speak for the community. That's what votes are for.

        Sorry, it is a wrong call. That saber is not rattling at all. It is out of its sheath, laying on the table right in front of me. Things have been done that crossed the line. Badly. Do you expect us to just lay back and take it?

        So, now you're saber-waving. It's the same thing, and it doesn't change the fact that you don't have control. I'm surprised you think that threats will get you what you think you deserve. I get why you're angry. I don't expect you to lay back and take it. I do expect you to start a competing site, because at this moment that is the power you do have. You can stop yelling at me, though; I'm the wrong guy.

        If you want democracy, surely you will support this. There is your formal vote as well. OK?

        Where do I begin with how facile this is? It's 30 minutes before the big meeting. Shouting and demanding a rushed process is the subversion of democracy. You're acting in the same way that you deplore in NC. Want to be a bully? Go do it at techmatters.org or whatever you reserved, and stop wasting your time browbeating a n00b.

        "just start a competing site already" - why should we? This is our site, it is the board that has destroyed it by breaking the promises made in 2014.

        You should because you have no control now, and you think that yelling at the person who does will somehow give you that control.

        • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Tuesday August 01 2023, @03:51AM (3 children)

          by Common Joe (33) <{common.joe.0101} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday August 01 2023, @03:51AM (#1318557) Journal

          WTF? You completely missed AudioGuy's main points in his post.

          I very nearly marked your comment as Troll.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @08:21AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @08:21AM (#1318584)

            I almost spam modded it. I am not sure why.

            • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @06:55PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2023, @06:55PM (#1318810)

              Sounds like something aristarchus might say. Just saying.

          • (Score: 0, Troll) by separatrix on Tuesday August 01 2023, @03:31PM

            by separatrix (29779) on Tuesday August 01 2023, @03:31PM (#1318615) Journal

            I did no such thing. Believe it or not, I don't have time or bandwidth to react to novel-length replies. I did the best I could.

            Not only did I not "completely miss" his points, I disagree vehemently with his approach to this political crisis. I understand why he advocates for his plan. I get his anger. That does not justify his plan.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @12:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2023, @12:06AM (#1318533)

        From a legal viewpoint, your "agreement" isn't much better. Neither provision 8 nor 10 is enforceable. Provision 8 is an odd combination of an agreement to agree without consideration. Provision 10 is third-party obligation. None of those are allowed under the Uniform Commercial Code.

        Your bylaws aren't much better. You cannot restrict all voting powers for the stockholders. They own the corporation and are given rights over the corporation by Delaware law, including to override a board that they think is misguided. Furthermore, only shareholders have the right to elect board members. And the last provision has no enforcement mechanism (no consequences, no "or else"), meaning that it is similarly unenforceable especially when you were to combine it with your first bylaw provision.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by coolgopher on Tuesday August 01 2023, @01:10AM

        by coolgopher (1157) on Tuesday August 01 2023, @01:10AM (#1318539)

        The one thing that stands out to me by now is - is it really worth the fight? I'd wager that most of the people here aren't the type who like spending time on politics. For many, if not most, our strengths lie in technical areas. So I ask, is our energy not better spent simply setting up camp elsewhere at this point? Is trying to reclaim what shouldn't have needed to have been reclaimed in the first place going to fracture the community more than if we just had to up and move? While I don't like the idea of letting people get away with poor behaviour, if your flat mate is intent on burning the joint down, maybe the best thing to do is grab your belongings and leave.

(1) 2