A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Token » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:59 pm

And therein lay the rub.

Because the public at large cannot make the determination of “mental fitness”, Jane Q Public cannot have the authority to act.

How and who gets to decide if a person is suicidal and what standard must they meet to execute authority? What standard must be met to deprive someone of their liberty?

Because there is no reasonable test or standard that can be applied, suicide remains an area of society that cannot be adjudicated.

Without such a test or standard any law would by definition be capricious.

“Fire in a crowded theater” doesn’t hold up as our system of justice is punitive, so there is really is no remedy in this circumstance.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby motskyroonmatick » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:35 am

And so the masses will be subject to yet another set of constraints imposed by the action of a statistical extreme minority. I witnessed the act. It impacted me and my campmates.... A continuing impact. It would be nice if the gravity of what we burners do for each other immediately overtook the gravity of this one man's actioned fate.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby ygmir » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:27 am

motskyroonmatick wrote:And so the masses will be subject to yet another set of constraints imposed by the action of a statistical extreme minority. I witnessed the act. It impacted me and my campmates.... A continuing impact. It would be nice if the gravity of what we burners do for each other immediately overtook the gravity of this one man's actioned fate.

I think this is key!! well said.^^^^^^^^^^^

It seems we've evolved into a society who legislates "safety" and wants to impose it.
I'm not sure if it's because people think they are so important, they should be protected from any and all harms, or, if society feels it knows better than the individual, what is "good for them".
But, this is a grand example of "if they want to do it, no one can (should?) stop them".
The knee jerk reaction of fencing and protecting people, "from themselves" is of no value, to the scene, as a whole. IMHO.
I'll butcher this quote, but: " those who would trade freedom for safety, deserve neither" I think this applies.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby burneronabike » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:52 am

Am I the only (apparently insensitive) one to think that if there were not all the notoriety etc. foisted upon people undertaking such actions, they would diminish?

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Token » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:11 am

burneronabike wrote:Am I the only (apparently insensitive) one to think that if there were not all the notoriety etc. foisted upon people undertaking such actions, they would diminish?


Quite possible, yes.

I’d say we know very little in the way of facts to judge motive.

Assuming an underlying depressive episode is, statistically, quite plausible.

Sans depression, it gets harder speculate but an altered state of some kind, be it physiological or psychological doesn’t stretch the imagination too far.

A quest for infamy with such a decisive act just doesn’t seem right.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby vargaso » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:44 am

Or, you know, leave before the Man burn. For chrissakes, if you've seen one you've seen 'em all. It's a shitshow at this point, with hedge fund art cars jockeying for which can be the most ostentatious and annoying eye- ear-sore, and wasted yahoos stumbling around like it's Bourbon St on Mardi Gras. Let's make something else the centerpiece of the event. The Man burn is just a BMORG circle jerk, it's their last vestige of "artistic" contribution to the event. Boycott the mothafuckin' thing already. It sucks. It's the very definition of spectator event. Who cares about it? I say put up a 30ft high Trump border wall around the thing and call it good.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:10 am

What changes is going to be negotiated behind closed doors between the BORG, BLM/LEO and the insurance carrier. Of course anyone can send feedback@burningman.org. Maybe it will look like the temple burn. Then there will likely be an outsourcing of social hygiene to camps and encouragement for burners to watch over one another. The latter is a good idea, given the large number of virgins, alterants and the psychological stress of the event.

What would have been the outcome if the individual's (close knit with enough veteran) campmates had perceived a problem and decided to accompany him everywhere, or sought out a green dot, took him to Zendo or ESD psych?
Last edited by some seeing eye on Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby maladroit » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:45 am

I think the OP went through all the above debates internally and came to the conclusion that the BMORG will have to take some kind of preventive action in order to allow any burns to proceed next year. I would say that's a reasonable assumption.

From there, why not discuss effective ways to do that. I disagree that it's just not possible to stop a determined person and therefore we shouldn't try. There are barrier methods that can slow down the most determined person enough to be stopped. They almost stopped him, and I bet they lie awake at night wishing they had just one more second.

Doing something is not only for the safety of the person trying to run into the fire, and the mental distress of the community. I saw it happen and nobody was able to make calm decisions or assess risk right then. People ran into the fire after him to drag him out, and they BARELY got out before a huge section of the structure collapsed there. It was moments away from being even worse.

"We can't stop them"
"Just let it happen and move on"
"Fences are basically dictatorship"
"Why bother trying to keep an eye on people around us and help them"
"They made their own decision"
"Don't take away everyone's freedom to run into the fire"

None of the above are helpful in any way, or based on the reality that the BLM and BMORG will have to address next year. People will try to run into the fire, it has happened and someone has died. Doing nothing is irresponsible.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Token » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:00 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
What would have been the outcome if the individual's (close knit with enough veteran) campmates had perceived a problem and decided to accompany him everywhere, or sought out a green dot, took him to Zendo or ESD psych?


Tyranny, loss of liberty and freedom.

Technically it would be somewhere between assault and kidnapping, both felony offenses.

In the US you need a judge to compel someone to receive medical treatment against their will, and the criteria are very steep to reach that point.

I applaud the good will, compassion and altruism, but these topics have remained unresolved for millennia on this planet.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:04 pm

Doing nothing isn't irresponsible.
This guy's action was irresponsible and it's not our fault or responsibility to prevent it with a fence.
On that logic, everything else should be child-proofed too.
Sure... the asswipe powers that be are probably going to start 5-mph bumpering everything about Burning Man now... and Burning Man simply won't be what it was.
It already isn't.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Traveller in Time » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:10 pm

Only stunning/shocking electric fence on the strong rope mesh.
And several circles of perimeter guards.

This may reduce the chance of someone getting trough, while this would not have to obstruct the view.

Only the moop after the hurd is allowed to get closer. . .
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Token » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:24 pm

Ain’t nothing wrong with improving the perimeter or adding barriers. Protects everyone.

It may become burdunsome on the experience but that is another topic.

What is terribly wrong - trying to project responsibility and accountability on the community or friends/campmates to act on behaviors that may, or most likely may not, lead to suicide.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby maladroit » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:08 pm

It's irresponsible to say that nothing should be done, when there are simple and effective ways to barrier the big burns without obstructing view or diminishing anyone's experience.

People in this thread have said to just let it happen.

I don't think that the entire community is equipped to keep an eye on everyone else and try to assess whether they're about to commit suicide. You don't usually get that sort of warning, especially in opportunistic moments like these. One minute you're having a normal conversation, the next minute they step off the edge of the cliff.

But I do think it's irresponsible to shut down any chance of noticing that someone close to you might be considering ending their lives. If you decide that it's pointless before you're even in the situation, you'll just be caught flatfooted if it happens. Just allow the possibility that you might be close to someone who is in trouble, you might notice, and you might be able to do something. Don't put on a blindfold today and assume you'll never be able to help someone.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:27 pm

We already have that. There's been a perimeter security line since at least '99.
This guy was determined to get through and he managed to do it, but everyone seems to be forgetting that the burns aren't just unprotected. It's not like this hasn't been thought of and something isn't already being done.

The deaths that got the attention before were mostly MV accidents and they resulted in new rules; that was a large part of why "Black Rock City" was even created, and more recently why trailers now require a barrier and lighting in the hitch area.
But those were accidents, not someone's deliberate act.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby maladroit » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:19 pm

A ring of stakes with a pair of ropes would at least be an obstacle to slow down someone running inwards. A runner has to navigate it somehow, whether trying to roll under it or climb over (or ideally, running straight into it). A rope doesn't have a limited field of vision, and can't be distracted, and doesn't have a reaction time. Perimeter has been doing a good job, they just needed 1 or 2 extra seconds.

I don't think the BLM is going to agree with me though. They'll probably be pushing for chain link fencing.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Papa Bear » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:33 pm

some seeing eye wrote:What would have been the outcome if the individual's (close knit with enough veteran) campmates had perceived a problem and decided to accompany him everywhere, or sought out a green dot, took him to Zendo or ESD psych?


So, has anyone actually seen a reliable report indicating the man in question was suicidal rather than under the influence of some mind-altering substance, or is everyone just making that assumption?

What works for someone suffering from mental illness (including severe depression) is not necessarily applicable to someone who is chemically altered.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby BBadger » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:15 pm

Token wrote:And therein lay the rub.

Because the public at large cannot make the determination of “mental fitness”, Jane Q Public cannot have the authority to act.

How and who gets to decide if a person is suicidal and what standard must they meet to execute authority? What standard must be met to deprive someone of their liberty?


So let me clarify what I meant, or should've stated, in prior posts:

I do think that anyone attempting to enter these fires, jump off the temple, or other such acts demonstrates that the person needs to be restrained and possibly taken for mental evaluation, cool down, etc. The reasons behind actions does not even have to be suicide; it's to prevent someone in a possibly altered state carrying out a potentially life-threatening act in a zone that they're not supposed to be in, especially if it causes a large scale disruption. Regardless of reasons, the person does need to be removed from the situation for a time because of actionable offenses.

It doesn't even mean you're immediately sent to the psyche ward. Maybe the person is just someone who likes to climb shit, or prankster who made a dumb decision. But the person gets removed from the situation for a time, evaluated to see what state the person is in, and probably let go after things have been worked out. Yes, that evaluation has some subjectivity to it, but it's after the person has done something requiring him or her to be withdrawn from public for some time.

Beyond that, no, we should not be restricting freedoms based on subjective evaluations of the mental state of individuals if there is no demonstrated action on part of the individuals that requires it (and I don't mean, "oh he looks depressed"). It's kind of like how we don't deprive people of freedom of speech simply because they speak unpopular opinions that are not direct threats, versus if the person makes direct threats or carries out certain acts. There are thresholds, and substantial leeway below such thresholds before outside action is permitted.

Captain Goddammit wrote:Doing nothing isn't irresponsible.
This guy's action was irresponsible and it's not our fault or responsibility to prevent it with a fence.


This would be acceptable if this guy's actions occurred in a vacuum, but this is a guy running into a fire, killing himself at a public event. I've been at two burns where this has happened. Unlike this past burn, at the other burn it effectively killed the burn event for that night. The celebration was ended, the police and fire department had to be called in, everyone was told to go back to camp, there was a while before the body had to be removed, and many people were traumatized by witnessing the event. The temple was burned some weeks later in a very closely guarded ceremony.

Even at this burn there was a large impact. The remains of the Man were effectively a crime scene. Rangers had to be up all night guarding the place. People couldn't visit the ashes. The temple was fenced off during the burn with hundreds of volunteers on guard. There were also people who were traumatized by witnessing this guy leaping into the fire.

I don't know what was going to through the head of each of these individuals who decided to jump into the fire. I don't even know if it was a conscious suicide or just the effects of temporary insanity. All I know is that it would have been better for everyone if these guys were stopped before they got into the fire. Their act becomes a burden on more than just themselves.

On that logic, everything else should be child-proofed too.


That is not the logical conclusion. This is not to prevent every case where someone is determined to kill his or herself. It's not to make everything "safe." That would be impossible, and a greater burden on the rest of us as compared to their act.

Effectively, this is just another security measure for already forbidden zones to help keep people out and away where they could cause a large negative impact for many others. It may also help in the case where some drug-addled person is out of their mind and making a really bad decision for themselves -- a decision that shouldn't be made in front of tens of thousands of people celebrating the end of a great week. It's a cheap form of prevention, and avoids dealing with the aftermath.

Fences do work. They're obstacles and force-multipliers. Though not 100% effective, they reduce the probability that someone can bypass an area without being caught. This also doesn't "childproof" anything of any significance because nobody should be in these areas of the event during those times. They're enforcement tools.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby 171/348 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:45 pm

Extremely well said BB!!!

The only thing I would be worried about is sandmen or firemen being caught inside the fence if something goes wrong (think sudden wind shift with fire tornadoes or ????).

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Traveller in Time » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:39 pm

Place four or more pairs of gate guards outside, each able to open part of the fence on emergency. Same spots can also be used as collecting point for fence after perimeter goes free.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:47 pm

What?
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby maladroit » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:50 pm

I think they're describing a situation where the whole man burn is surrounded by temporary chain link fencing panels. Some Perimeter crew would be stationed at several points in the fence where an easily opened gate is present; that would allow anyone inside the fence (Sandmen, fire crew) to escape quickly if needed.

Then, once the fire has burned down enough and Perimeter is dissolved, there would be an additional required step of collecting all the fence panels to be moved en masse back to HEAT or another next burn perimeter. The gate areas could be a place to collect the panels, though I think that's trying to solve a minor detail while there are still major logistical problems to work out.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Jackass » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:00 pm

Forget all of this talk about a fence and obstacles. No fence, no fucking way. How about that for a stance?

What happened this year was an isolated incident, how many times has this (man burn) happened without incident?

No fence, read the back of your ticket!
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby maladroit » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:56 pm

Many will agree with you but it's likely that the BLM will not.

I guess discussion here is an attempt to take control of the situation and come up with a solution we can live with, before a solution is dictated to us. But then, it's not like anyone in BMORG will be reading this and using any of the ideas, so maybe turn the discussion back to what we can do ourselves.

I read the back of the ticket and it didn't say I may have to watch someone die, though I suppose that's implied.

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Jackass » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:16 pm

IMO 'yall are putting the carriage ahead of the horse. Nothing has been mentioned about a fence or barriers by BLM yet, ceding to barriers and fences now and it's almost certain to have one. BMORG still has some say, but who knows where they stand on this...

I say keep it real, and don't childproof my burn.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby BBadger » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:34 pm

This isn't childproofing. In fact, a fence is not really so much for protecting suicidal/crazy individuals from themselves, but to protect the audience and the crews from having to deal such people or the aftermath.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Jackass » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:38 pm

Instead of this:
Image




We could have this:
Image
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Traveller in Time » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:03 pm

Removing the sturdy chain link fences is as important as the fence, people will wreck them and hurt themself doing so if the are left.

OK is again rather soft, however making the solution more hazardous then the fire alone is not wise. Besides reusing the fences is always better.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby BBadger » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:23 pm

A black perimeter control fence would probably be the least intrusive and disruptive method to help keep people out. They would not obscure much of the view (6' tall), are difficult to climb (much more than chain link), come in easy to transport pallets, and wouldn't take too much time disassemble and move by hand, if necessary.

There doesn't need to be 100% coverage either, nor would the fence need to be close to the audience, rather it'd be on an inner perimeter well inside where the fire dancing and other festivities occur. Their purpose would be to delay and corral runners sufficiently until they're intercepted. The fenced sections and openings would be more easily guarded with the same number of people, mostly those on the outer areas instead of those wearing fire protection. It'd probably be pretty difficult to even see the fence with such a bright fire behind it.

Then when the audience can approach the flames, fence panels can be removed and the remaining linked panels clustered together so that people can easily get around them. They're already assembled by hand anyway, and made to be portable.
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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby 171/348 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:33 am

Jackass wrote:IMO 'yall are putting the carriage ahead of the horse. Nothing has been mentioned about a fence or barriers by BLM yet, ceding to barriers and fences now and it's almost certain to have one. BMORG still has some say, but who knows where they stand on this...

I say keep it real, and don't childproof my burn.

You mean except for the fence around the temple 3 weeks ago, right?

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Re: A solution to suicides (at the man burns/ temple burns)

Postby Jackass » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:01 am

That was a "necessary" solution at the time. BLM hasn't said that it will be the new norm, unless you have some new BLM correspondence I'm not aware of...

Don't fold up quickly like a cheap lawn chair, unless you're craving more rules and regulations. If BLM does decide to do something, I doubt they'll be looking for suggestions from burners. They give a rats ass about what you, l or any burner wants. The federal government doesn't normally reach out to the public for their input when they're coming up with new rules and regulations...
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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