Why I'm a lottery defender.

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inog
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by inog » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:28 am

The lottery is better than what was before. It has room for improvement, but it is an improvement. From last year on, there will (hopefully) never be a year when everyone that wants to go can go and there will always be people unhappy.

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alt12
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by alt12 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:46 am

inog wrote:The lottery is better than what was before. It has room for improvement, but it is an improvement. From last year on, there will (hopefully) never be a year when everyone that wants to go can go and there will always be people unhappy.
I think *if* the lottery had been rolled out better, it could have been better. If it were announced a year in advance, not 2 months in advance, if the explanation wasn't initially so cryptic with no details unveiled, if when finally announced the wording was clear as to exactly how it would work and what would happen, if all of that, MAYBE it would have been better. As it was, the lottery's primary contribution to this year has been to create a sense of panic and scarcity (before it was even held) which I believe has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes there is a demand/supply problem this year, so there is scarcity. But it has been magnified several fold....

I'm no scalping expert, but clearly allowing 2 weeks to leisurely register offers greater scalping opportunities, maybe even for small-time/amateur scalpers, than a the mad-dash first-come first serve basis.....

Whatever it is done. Here we are.

lazyphoenix
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by lazyphoenix » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:02 am

Proposal:

1. Two-tiered lottery, one for expensive tickets, one for cheap tickets. Adjust the ratio as desired.

2. In your lottery application, you submit your name and CC information, and a list of up to 100 names of people to whom you're willing to sell your ticket.

3. Winners are chosen and granted tickets, and losers are entered in a first-come-first-serve queue.

4. If you don't need a ticket you purchased, you can sell it *inside the ticket sales system only* to any of the names on your list for whatever price you choose, at or below face value.

5. If no name on your list is interested in buying your ticket, you can sell your ticket back to the pool for 90% or so of its face value.

6. Tickets that reenter the system go to the next person in the queue, who has the opportunity to keep them or sell them to the names on their list.

7. ID+ticket are checked at the door.

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theCryptofishist
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Where's the Time Machine!!!!1

Post by theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:38 pm

alt12 wrote:I think *if* the lottery had been rolled out better, it could have been better. If it were announced a year in advance, not 2 months in advance...
Okay, so there's a sell out in July, and the llc concentrates on the party for the next six weeks, so the event is as perfect as it can be, and in September they worry about the clean up, so starting in September they begin discussing ideas for a different method of ticket selling, with more focus in October and they polish up the plan and get into their time machine and announce the impending sell out of July 2011 in January 2011, and then announce the lottery for 2012.

When did the llc get a time machine?
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Re: Where's the Time Machine!!!!1

Post by mshaman » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:14 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
alt12 wrote:I think *if* the lottery had been rolled out better, it could have been better. If it were announced a year in advance, not 2 months in advance...
Okay, so there's a sell out in July, and the llc concentrates on the party for the next six weeks, so the event is as perfect as it can be, and in September they worry about the clean up, so starting in September they begin discussing ideas for a different method of ticket selling, with more focus in October and they polish up the plan and get into their time machine and announce the impending sell out of July 2011 in January 2011, and then announce the lottery for 2012.

When did the llc get a time machine?
I think they did the best they could given that they were in completely over their heads. They are artists, not corporate strategists, and they came up with a very idealistic, broad brush stroke, egalitarian concept. But that rarely works on the ground in a large organization. Idealistic, broad brush strokes when messing with the year long intentions of 60,000 people is a recipe for trouble. When you roll processes out based on a loose conceptual framework without having really engineered it, it will come back to bite you every time. Corporate strategy used to be my living, and I learned the hard way that without a structured methodology for managing such important changes, you're screwed. You end up with a solution that is broken, employees and constituents that think you are capricious, and your leadership loses credibility. When you DO come up with a better solution, you now have to work twice as hard to get buy-in. Sound like any organizations we know on this board? I have been to this barbecue, and I do not envy the mess this LLC has gotten itself into.

I personally believe that going to non-transferable (STEP transferable) tickets would have solved scalping and hoarding, and that it would have bought them another year to figure out how they wanted to proceed long-term in the new climate of scarcity. Whatever they rolled out could have been done methodically, with a thought-through, systematic approach instead of "making it up as we go along" when 60,000 people are depending on you to get it right.
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Re: Where's the Time Machine!!!!1

Post by A Jester » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:44 am

mshaman wrote:
Idealistic, broad brush strokes when messing with the year long intentions of 60,000 people is a recipe for trouble. When you roll processes out based on a loose conceptual framework without having really engineered it, it will come back to bite you every time.

Whatever they rolled out could have been done methodically, with a thought-through, systematic approach instead of "making it up as we go along" when 60,000 people are depending on you to get it right.

I like most of your post a lot, it provides a different view point than most other posts on this topic.

I'm wondering why you assume these two points which I pulled out. (Or for that matter, if you have any evidence to support them).
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Re: Where's the Time Machine!!!!1

Post by mshaman » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:43 am

A Jester wrote:
mshaman wrote:
Idealistic, broad brush strokes when messing with the year long intentions of 60,000 people is a recipe for trouble. When you roll processes out based on a loose conceptual framework without having really engineered it, it will come back to bite you every time.

Whatever they rolled out could have been done methodically, with a thought-through, systematic approach instead of "making it up as we go along" when 60,000 people are depending on you to get it right.

I like most of your post a lot, it provides a different view point than most other posts on this topic.

I'm wondering why you assume these two points which I pulled out. (Or for that matter, if you have any evidence to support them).

@AJester, I'm using some level of inductive reasoning here, but the 6 owners of the LLC have proven themselves to be a group of artists and idealists. Look at their resumes. We aren't looking at Harvard MBA's; we're looking at MFA's in literature, etc. I've heard many comments from those who are close to the LLC and also on this board that the LLC operates in a very informal environment, a sort of organized chaos, where consensus around an idea is what rules the day.

I used to run an organization of 120 people, with a budget somewhat smaller than Burning Man. I have a business degree, I frequently act as a consultant on strategic initiatives for large companies in a risk-averse industry. When I look at the decisions the group has made as a pattern over time, it is not the style of an organized business team. In many ways that's good; it lent vision and facilitated a new culture. But I suggest that when facing 60,000 stakeholders on what is essentially an organizational survival issue, the idealism which I interpret from the recent policies (let's do a lottery because its more fair, let's avoid non-transferable tickets and count on the community not to have its individuals act for their own self-interest first by scalping and hoarding) is not a choice most seasoned executives in the business world or even skilled non-profit directors would make.

One of the things that's different here is that directors of non-profits and CEO's of big companies have accountability to a board of directors and shareholders which the LLC does not.

In essence, I'm submitting that the non-linear right-brain thinking that created such a beautiful culture the first place may not be enough to sustain something this big without being augmented by some pretty rigorous left-brain methodology, and based on recent policy, I don't really see it in the current ownership or staff.
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lemur
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by lemur » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:10 pm

at least you didnt mention 'economics 101'
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by mshaman » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:18 pm

lemur wrote:at least you didnt mention 'economics 101'
Your comments are frequently so terse as to be inscrutable. :-D I'm presuming you don't particularly like my position, but find that at least I was marginally less pretentious and haughty than you were braced for.
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by A Jester » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:13 pm

mshaman wrote:
lemur wrote:at least you didnt mention 'economics 101'
Your comments are frequently so terse as to be inscrutable. :-D I'm presuming you don't particularly like my position, but find that at least I was marginally less pretentious and haughty than you were braced for.

No, there have been some who have held that anyone who had taken one college level course in economics would have designed a better system. I think Lemur may have given you a tacit compliment. Of sorts. Or something, I don't want to go putting words in mouths.

I guess I'm still not convinced that the lottery was a bad decision. I know that people aren't satisfied with the results, and that the communication could have been improved.

However, I think it's highly reasonable to think the results could have been worse under other systems. Further, I think that the communication seemed a bit unpolished, but I also think they erred on the side of earlier communication as opposed to a later and more complete communication. Personally, I'd rather know some of the truth earlier than all of the truth in one fancy package at a much later date.

I guess, I don't see conclusive evidence that they didn't utilize a methodical and thought-through system. Nor am I convinced they were "making it up as they go along".

Frankly, I don't see what else they could have done.
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by Trishntek » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:15 am

I would like to know how many people pitching this hissy fit the second week of February have always had a ticket by this time in previous years. It seems to me with everyone forced to go "all in" for 40k tickets in a two week window created a rush for tickets when historically, only about half the tickets were sold by this time last year. And last year had a 5 month window before they sold out.

Many people were forced to buy without even securing the vacation time or considering the logistics involved. Once reality sets in, I sincerely believe a treasure trove of tickets await those who pay attention and don't give up!
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by funkyjigsaw » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:09 am

I'm losing the will to live .... I'm going outside to scream and burn something!!

The lottery system wasn't the biggest problem. It seems that for a variety of reasons the demand was huge [insert suitably high number here] - say 160,000.
SO ... [slaps hand on forehead] ... only 25% of people are gonna get tickets.
REGARDLESS of whether its a fucking lottery or a FCFS system!

Trying desperately to be objective about this ... I too think the lottery (I'd prefer to call it a "draw") is a good system, with one proviso : There needs to be a system whereby 'somehow' the theme camps and art projects can get the critical mass of tickets they need. And by critical mass, I mean the minimum number of tickets required to get the camp / art out onto the playa for us all to enjoy and have awesome experiences with.

There is a German festival, where they run a lottery system (I forget which one), and where theme camps (they call them "cliques") can register for tickets as a group. Either the whole group gets tickets or none of them do.
SO ... just throwing some numbers out there :

Assume 800 theme camps and art projects. What's a critical mass of tickets per camp? 30?
Therefore, we are looking at 800 x 30 = 24,000 tickets.

As early as possible in the year (to allow for long-term planning), or at a time that the community feels happiest : theme camps / art projects can apply for tickets in groups. Min # = 10, max # = 30. 25,000 tickets up for grabs. Every person in the group has to be named. Names on tickets.
Either you win as a group or lose as a group.
Does there need to be some sort of check on whether you are a genuine theme camp? I dunno? Comments please.

The other 35,000 tickets are sold in a separate draw. Names on tickets.
ID checked at Gate.
Names on tickets only changed through STEP.
I would add another simple tweak in STEP : If you are selling / transfering a ticket, you can nominate the identity of the buyer - to be clear, only your nominated buyer can buy your ticket (at face value or less). This should be relatively easy to set up.
Tickets sent out close to the event or kept at Will Call.

Whaddayafink??? Am I talking bollocks? I often do, so it's OK!

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AntiM
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by AntiM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:31 am

There are some good ideas buried there. I'd be more inclined to say a block of tickets granted to large art installations, moreso than theme camps. Some theme camps are more welcoming than others, so choosing would be difficult.

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funkyjigsaw
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by funkyjigsaw » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:12 am

AntiM wrote:I'd be more inclined to say a block of tickets granted to large art installations, moreso than theme camps. Some theme camps are more welcoming than others, so choosing would be difficult.

@AntiM : I would agree.
(1) Presale draw : Bump up the price and number even more - 10,000 tickets @ $500. This will start to take the heat out of the situation.
(2) A separate draw for Art Collectives (need to verify validity of art collective). 300 Art installations @ an average of say 20 tickets each = 6,000 tickets. Drawn on a group basis. Note : 300 is deliberately quite high, so that hopefully all win.
(3) Then you could have a "Groups" draw (doesn't matter if you call it theme camps or not - all you are doing is allowing groups of people to either win together or lose together. Pick a number : 20,000 tickets. As above suggested.
(4) Main Draw as this year. Say 20,000 tickets.
(5) Low Income : Say 5,000 tickets.

(2,3,4) All at the same price.
Name on tickets, ID AND credit card at gate.
STEP as suggested above.

As an aside : I here what you say about some theme camps being not welcome. Last year was my first burn. 99% of my experience was superb. The 1% that wasn't was from 'veteran' burners in theme camps - who jumped immediately to the conclusion that because I was a virgin and was learning what was going on, then I must be a 'tourist'. I was told to fuck off quite a few times.
So I have a SLIGHT problem with what I can describe as 'closed' theme camps where it's basically a group of friends returning to the playa year after year for a private party. Which is why in (3) above, I would keep the maximum group size not too large.

Enough ... gotta go earn some money to pay for my camp (which at the moment is a camp of just one! - about 20 didn't get tickets!) and yet more costumes.

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AntiM
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by AntiM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:10 am

If you do enough costume changes, you could impersonate all 20 people.

I don't "do" most of the big theme camps, and few are on my want to visit short list. Private parties, indeed. Pink Pussycat(?) comes to mind, a creepy enclosed pretty people having sex but being watched camp. Allegedly, no one I knew ever got in.

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illy dilly
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by illy dilly » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:31 am

Trishntek wrote: Many people were forced to buy without even securing the vacation time or considering the logistics involved. Once reality sets in, I sincerely believe a treasure trove of tickets await those who pay attention and don't give up!
Ditto!!!
Or at least thats what I'm telling myself

Though, at this point, where it seems like 1 in 5 people got tickets, I would say that the lottery looks to be failing. But I will stick by my claim that panic set in early, and people bought tickets out of panic, and like every year, a million and 1 things change between January and August.
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AntiM
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Re: Why I'm a lottery defender.

Post by AntiM » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:50 am

Yet it worked for 1 in 5 people, didn't it?

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