[portland] Cubespace to close unless buyer found...

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sat May 23 02:58:47 CEST 2009

On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 5:42 PM, Dylan Reinhardt
<python at dylanreinhardt.com> wrote:
> On Fri, May 22, 2009 at 5:18 PM, kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The thing is banks are supposed to be more than just additional
>> commercial landlords who mindlessly collect rent but do nothing to
>> trail-blaze new business opportunities that actually help generate
>> those incomes needed to pay that rent.
> Whether your landlord is a bank or your buddy Dave down the street, you have
> to pay the rent.  Failing to pay people (even banks) what you owe them is
> neither a sustainable nor a particularly moral business model.

Yeah, not disputing that.  Same problem at LEP High, not having the
rent.  Whether Cleveland is paying rent on that giant building on
Powell's I don't know, but LEP High was forced into the expensive real
estate market, found that place on 20th & SE Burnside, has a landlord,
even though it's a public school trying to operate in service of
Portland's enterprising teenagers.

State law makes it easy to intercept any funding for charters and
divert it to older charters (e.g. Cleveland -- which has a charter
too, just an older one).  My daughter is at Cleveland by the way, and
I bank at US Bank, so it's not like I'm not putting money where my
mouth is here (taught Python at LEP High for Koreducators...).

Anyway, I digress, just adding logs to the fire that Portland has some
kind of "death wish" when it comes to killing off its most imaginative
institutions.  Possibly not fatal though.

> A bank's role isn't to blaze business opportunities per se, but to make
> capital available to those who have the vision and energy to give it a try.
> Part of keeping that capital available for new projects involves collecting
> payments from old projects.  By court order, if necessary.

There are many interpretations of a bank's role, my family's
involvement going back to Cairo where the game was to know something
about the business and to provide a modicum of advice (this was
micro-lending, also practiced in Dhaka, also home to Grameen -- even
found a booth at OSCON about this kind of banking, though few noticed

A large bank with broader experience gets to learn things about who
does business with whom and maybe nudges client X to meet with client
Y whereas maybe they'd not have met on their own in a million years,
owing to being five blocks apart.  US Bank sees who pays me, where my
checks come from.  That's privileged information they get in exchange
for holding my money.  Multiply that 1000x and you see where astute
back office speculators might see lights go on, from connecting the

At least that's my understanding of how some banking works, correct me
if I'm wrong maybe.  It's not just like being a rent or tax collector.

> Not every good idea for an organization succeeds as an actual organization.
> Cube Space may still be an excellent idea, even if this particular execution
> does not survive.  Blaming banks is not going to help us learn how to do it
> better next time.
> For what that's worth...
> Dylan

I'm inclined to blame the banks, I admit it.  Runs in the family.


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