Is Burning Man still dangerous?

All things outside of Burning Man.
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SED
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Post by SED » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:35 pm

Now that's a unique concept.

Wow, you could even call it a Ducky Box.
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Post by SED » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:38 pm

Sorry, Duck. That was snotty.
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Chai Guy
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Post by Chai Guy » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:04 pm

I know a little about a lot of things, but I couldn't tell you whether a gas setup is pretty safe or not. I could tell for sure only if it looks very very unsafe.
Yeah, same here. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I believe that many efforts to make things safer by regulating them, actually make them more dangerous by lulling people into a false sense of security.

But are every one of the 40,000 people around you as competent as you are?


That's a good question. I've never met anyone that thought they were stupid.

You know, whenever I bring this topic up, specifically say I bring up the fact that Burning Man at one time allowed firearms. People inevitably respond with "Well, you know it's a lot different with 40,000 people than it is with 400 people". And I guess the law of averages states that the larger the group, the larger the percentage of fuckwits. But when it comes to guns and flame throwers how many fuckwits do you need for shit to go really, really wrong? And if 400 people can go out to the Black Rock Desert and shoot guns all weekend and not kill each other, then why can’t 40,000 people?
Would you invite 40,000 people on a backpacking trip and put your sole signature on the permit?
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Did these guys submit a "clean up plan"?

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Post by The CO » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:34 pm

Desert Duck wrote:These domes contain a state-of-the-art entertainment system, climate control, and sexbots. NEVER leave your DOME AGAIN!!!
I want one. Not for BRC, but to go next to my garage.
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Post by Chai Guy » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:38 pm

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It's not that bad ...

Post by Zhust » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:47 pm

Chai Guy wrote:And if 400 people can go out to the Black Rock Desert and shoot guns all weekend and not kill each other, then why can’t 40,000 people?
Put 400 people on the Black Rock Desert, walk 50 yards away from everyone and turn around in a circle. Note how many directions a bullet can travel and not hit anyone or anything. Do the same with 40,000 and see if you can find a line-of-sight that will miss everything.

To me, this is the biggest problem and probably leads to the injuries/deaths-per-capita to go up.

Regardless, zero people killed is a good number to shoot for. With 400 people, you could probably get away with a 1-in-400 chance of getting injured by a gun (or anything for that matter.) If the percentage stayed the same, that would mean around 100 injuries in 40,000. The question is, what is the real percentage? Is it 1 in 400,000 or 1 in 400?

I don't really want to be part of the experiment. Not that I'd be unlucky enough to get shot, it would just exascerbate the can't-get-laid problem. I can see it now: "Sure ... my tent is right over" *pop* *whump*. "Shit. Another dead girl. That makes 99 this year alone."
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Post by geekster » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:45 pm

My take on it is that hell no, it isn't as dangerous as it used to be. But "dangerous" can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. A lot of the POTENTIAL danger has been taken out and I think Chai hit it on the head. A lot has to do with the LEOs and BLM Rangers. I mean ... would you want to be telling a theme camp to take down their sign if they were all armed with shotguns? They probably see a lot of the more dangerous aspects as A: potentially impeding their ability to do what they see as their job or B: potentially creating a lot more work for them than they are willing to do. If someone dies from slipping off that zip line and falling into that burning building, a lot of people are going to be working all night long. The paperwork alone might take days. When they say "hey, that's unsafe, don't do that" maybe they are often really saying "hey, that's liable to cause me a lot of HARD work if you keep messin with that so knock it off".

Whatever. It's different. It will be different in the future from what it is now. Maybe the whole thing will be over soon. Who knows.

And as for the money conversation, I really don't give a rat's hips if anyone makes money on it. I look at how much it costs me to go and the experiance I have. If one is worth the other, I am ok. I don't really care what happens to the money. It isn't important that I impose conditions on what someone does with something after I give it to them. Once the trip isn't worth it anymore, I just won't go. Tell you what, though, if the regulations get to the point where I have people running over telling me what to do all the time, I would probably hang it up. Last year, Monday evening after the event, someone between 4:30 and 5:00 between B and C were making big booms with something. I thought it was cool. I saw someone from AEZ haul ass running over there. I don't know what was said but I hope it wasn't what it looked like. It looked like some self-appointed playa cop was running over to tell someone they shouldn't be doing something. Probably told them they were being unsafe or something. It was about dusk, 90% of BRC had left, whatever. I just hate it when Joe Blow decides to get all righteous on someone. Don't know exactly what I would do in that situation, a lot would depend on the circumstances but I lean toward letting them know my name, where I am camped and telling them that until someone "real" tells me I can't do what I am doing, they are welcome to continue watching if they like.
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Post by geekster » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:54 pm

EXAMPLE: I don't consider an automobile to be inherently dangerous, but the person driving it might be. A gallon of booze isn't dangerous, but it can be used in a dangerous way. When they start taking away scissors because we might run with them and poke our eyes out, I will go find where the adults went and go play there.
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Post by Chai Guy » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:08 pm

To me, this is the biggest problem and probably leads to the injuries/deaths-per-capita to go up.

I support anything that reduces attendance.

I don't really want to be part of the experiment.

Then I sure as hell hope you don't shop at Wal Mart on your way to the playa.


Police have arrested one of two men wanted in connection with a shooting at the Galesburg, Illinois Wal-Mart last week.
http://www.wqad.com/Global/story.asp?S=2748883

Woman grazed by stray bullet in Wal-Mart parking lot, Carson City, Nevada
http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic ... 01/6012603 52/1002/NEWS

Two Accused in Deming, N.M. Wal-Mart Shooting
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... /2005/12/2 1/national/a102555S04.DTL

Witnesses told Albuquerque N.M. television stations that they saw a man stabbing a woman inside the store. They then say another man shot the stabbing suspect.
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?secti ... id=3382606

An 18-year-old Salinas, California man who prosecutors say shot a woman in the Wal-Mart parking lot in July 2003 pleaded no contest Friday in a deal that will put him in prison for 20 years.
http://www.californianonline.com/apps/p ... 50318/1002

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Post by Chai Guy » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:44 pm

When they start taking away scissors because we might run with them and poke our eyes out
Oh sure I trust your judgment with scissors, but how we can trust 40,000 people's judgment? Don't worry, we'll have a committee decide who gets to keep their scissors, They’ll have a really cool name that’s some kind of an acronym. All you have to do is fill out a 10 page form telling us how you'll utilize them in a safe and artistic fashion, how they will fit in with this year’s theme, and how you plan on making them "radically inclusive”. Oh, and we'll also need a 3 page clean up plan also, Thanks

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Post by geekster » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:46 pm

Actually, there wasn't a pair of scissors to be seen last year. How about we organize a scissors race on the playa this year? We could even make it a relay so more can participate.
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Post by geekster » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:49 pm

Oh, and we'll also need a 3 page clean up plan also
I'm on it. Hey, is blood considered moop?
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Post by Chai Guy » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:52 pm

Sounds like a plan, I'll get it listed in the "Who-What-Where-When?" guide. Any preferences on a day/time/location?

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Post by diane o'thirst » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:55 pm

Chai Guy wrote:Ok, but this is my question, isn't Burning Man supposed to be just a little bit dangerous? Isn't that part of it's appeal, that unlike say a week at Disneyland, you might get injured or even killed on the playa. You don't just have an experience, you survive it, kinda thing?
To me, it's a chance to do art that I couldn't do anywhere or anyway else, the danger is the price you pay — a doorkeeper, as it were. Personally I don't mind the danger/hazard factor (come on — I survived cancer, for God's sake! — a brace of wind and dehydration hold no awe for me), but I do take issue with the cynicism. At the same time I accept that there are cynical and sadistic buttwipes in the world who can't offer anything else than to sneer "Read the goddam ticket!" when someone dies. Said it before, one death is a tragedy, ten thousand is a bigger tragedy, a million is an unspeakable tragedy.

Like the wind and the dehydration, you just deal with the buttwipes and as for getting run over by an out-of-control vehicle, don't be a doofus and keep a weather eye out, just like you have your strategies for getting enough water into you. I've yet to see an art car sneak up on anyone.

On the Burning Man vs. Disneyland point: I love 'em both, for different reasons. Disneyland, safe? I've got a C-note that says Al Qaeda or some other body of judgementally violent, militant assholes has it on their "Bag This" list, it's only a question of "when," not "if."
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Post by Chai Guy » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:56 pm

Hey, is blood considered moop?
only if it's arterial.

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Post by geekster » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:59 pm

I would lean towards a route counter to CritTits so that the two groups meet at center camp but that might be too .... something. Midnight, Man, Thursday. Running in the dark with scissors.
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Post by Chai Guy » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:04 am

Midnight, Thursday, at the man it is then!
I've yet to see an art car sneak up on anyone.
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Post by geekster » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:14 am

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My little boy's arm when the cast was REMOVED at the end of last month. Even racing your sister on your bike is dangerous. Life is full of danger. A life without danger is like ... too safe to be fun or something.
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Post by Desert Duck » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:58 am

Actually, some of the rides at Disneyland have killed people. The Matterhorn has taken at least a couple lives as well as injured more than that. I'll do a little snoop and see if I can come up with hard figures for ya.
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Post by Desert Duck » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:04 am

Okay, I found fifteen deaths at Disneyland in the last 40 years, including two on the Matterhorn. This also includes falling out of helicopters and getting hit by tourbuses. There were quite a few more injuries.
http://www.dldhistory.com/list.asp?Page ... ilter=All0
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Post by Chai Guy » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:14 am

Deaths in the Magic Kingdom
Deaths
Over the half century that Disneyland Park has been in operation, nine Guests and one Cast Member have died inside the park. A greater number of guests have been injured. It has been alleged however that the park's policy precludes pronouncement of death while inside Disneyland, of guests critically injured at the park.

Seven of the deaths were the result of negligence on the Guests' part rather than the park's:

In 1964, 15-year-old Mark Maples of Long Beach, California died after he stood up in the Matterhorn Bobsleds and fell out.
In 1966, Thomas Guy Cleveland, 19, of Northridge, California was crushed by the Monorail during a Grad Nite celebration while trying to sneak into the park by climbing its track.
In 1967, Ricky Lee Yama, 17, of Hawthorne, California was crushed while jumping between two moving PeopleMover cars.
In 1973, Bogden Delaurot, 18, of Brooklyn, New York drowned while trying to carry his little brother swimming across the Rivers of America.
In 1980, Gerrardo Gonzales, 18, of San Diego, California was crushed by the PeopleMover while jumping between moving cars.
In 1983, Philip Straughan, 18, of Albuquerque, New Mexico drowned in the Rivers of America while trying to pilot a rubber emergency boat from Tom Sawyer's Island.
In 1984, Dolly Regene Young, 48, of Fremont, California unbuckled her seatbelt and was thrown from a Matterhorn Bobsleds car and struck by the next oncoming bobsled.
Two of the more recent deaths were ruled by the California Department of Safety and Health (DOSH) to be the result of negligence on the park's part rather than misbehavior by guests:

On December 24, 1998, a heavy metal cleat fastened to the hull of the sailing ship "Columbia" tore loose, striking one cast member and two park guests. Of the guests, Luan Phi Dawson, 33, of Duvall, Washington, died of a head injury. The normal non-elastic rope (designed to break easily) used to tie the boat off was improperly replaced by an elastic rope which stretched and tore the cleat from the ship's wooden hull. The park received much criticism for this incident due to its policy of restricting outside medical personnel in the park to avoid frightening visitors, as well as for the fact that the Cast Member in charge of the ship at the time was a novice. This accident, along with an accident that removed some of one kid's toes on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, prompted California to pass its Theme Park Safety Law.
On September 5, 2003, 22-year-old Marcelo Torres of nearby Gardena, California died after suffering injuries in a derailment of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster. The cause of the accident was determined to be improper maintenance and training of employees.
Other deaths include:

In 1974, Cast Member Deborah Gail Stone, 19, of nearby Santa Ana, California was crushed to death between a revolving wall and a stationary platform inside the now-closed "America Sings" attraction. She was in the wrong place during a ride intermission; it was unclear whether this was due to inadequate training or a misstep. The attraction was subsequently refitted with breakaway walls. [5]
In 1979, Sherrill Anne Hoffman, ignoring the signs posted outside Space Mountain warning guests with any medical conditions to bypass such tumultuous rides, boarded Space Mountain and started to ride through it. During the ride, she got sick and when her ride vehicle reached the unload area, she couldn't get out of the rocket. Employees told her to stay in her rocket and that rocket would be removed from the track. But the attendants didn't understand and sent Hoffman's vehicle on another three-minute go-round. By the end of the second trip, she was almost unconscious. She got carried to a bench and was then wheeled in a wheelchair to First Aid. They told her husband not to worry; she only fainted. But then he insisted that she be sent to the hospital after her condition didn't improve. She was taken to the hospital where she remained in a coma for a week and then passed away. It was later revealed that she had a tumor in her heart. It was possible that the ride removed it. Pieces of it got in her brain and killed her. Her husband tried to sue the park, convinced that the second Space Mountain trip broke the tumor free and that the park declined to properly or quickly care for her. The case was eventually dismissed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disneyland

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Post by CLARKcon » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:15 am

That doesn't sound like "The Happiest Place on Earth"...
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Ain't what it used to be

Post by Zhust » Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:29 am

Chai Guy wrote:I support anything that reduces attendance.
In an environment with a defacto gift economy, it never dawned on me to hoard Burning Man itself.
Chai Guy wrote:Then I sure as hell hope you don't shop at Wal Mart on your way to the playa.
Greed fosters violence. (Wal-Mart sucks is a different topic entirely.)

I say that guns are not compatible with a community where people do as they please and learn what it is to act on their first instincts, shedding the albatross of societal rules.

Burning Man is different every year and it is now not like what it was. For me, I liked that I can get ever closer to the things I truly want and desire and to act to achieve those goals. In that, I lament that it's becoming a freakshow tourist attraction, making it harder for me to find that inner voice, and if it were up to me, nobody could enter after Tuesday.

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Re: Ain't what it used to be

Post by Rob the Wop » Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:41 am

jaycerochester wrote:
I say that guns are not compatible with a community where people do as they please and learn what it is to act on their first instincts, shedding the albatross of societal rules.
Uhm. Right.

I don't recall there ever being any problems when guns were around. Some of the people that first helped create BM used to bring guns. And if you've ever lived in rural Nevada, you probably don't realize how little importance people out there place on guns. Everyone has them, it's just not a big deal.

Simply because you are at BM doesn't mean you'll start killing everyone in sight the second a gun touches your hand. People bring knifes, flammable liquids, and things that go boom. No one starts rampaging with them. You're giving guns some kind of 'evil influence' that a piece of steel does not possess.
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Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:57 am

I feel your pain, ChaiGuy, but for me it’s not a perception of “less dangerous” than it is of “more safe.”

Dangers like fire, propane, rebar, bikes without lights are physical hazards, and every individual or entity out there, from a small camp to theme camp to BMOG would logically do their best to reduce easily definable causes of danger. (Can’t do too much to change dangerous people, except the education route.)

So, the danger issue is easy to understand. What bugs me is the less easily definable feeling I have that its my responsibility to make others feel safe, secure, non-threatened, and I don’t mean by harming them physically.

E-playa is such a small segment of burners, but notice how much whining there is about sound. Or gawkers at critical tits. Or standing in front at the burn. These are not safety issues. But people seem to demand to not be offended or thrown off their comfort level.

My first year I was amazed that there was loud music somewhere 24/7 that I could hear. Last year for the first time I woke one morning to absolute silence. It freaked me out… might as well have been camping in Yosemite!

There used to be a guy with a powered amp in a RadioFlyer strolling down the streets at sunrise, every morning, hurling nasty insults to all sleepers. This happened every morning and I wasn’t the only one who wanted to go snip his mike cord. One morning I followed this guy to see reactions from people, and NO ONE ever bothered him.

I was actually asked to put screening around my shower last year as my neighbors were offended by seeing so many people using it NAKED and not with bathing suits.

I’ve never had more than a battery powered boom box for music around my camp, but after being told “Could you play some other kind of music” and “Could you turn it off? We are doing yoga in a few minutes.”

Sigh...

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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:05 am

Desert Duck wrote:I don't think ANYone is getting rich, and as long as that is so, then I'm O.K. with it.
Bruno, maybe?
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:07 am

SED wrote:As BM has grown, so has the risk of being raped
I'm not sure how much of a risk rape is. There has been some. The guy that was caught last year was apparently the same guy who had raped someone else years before. Presuming he was a pattern offender and that he is kept off the playa this year, it may actually be safer in 2006. I wouldn't get too complacent.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:09 am

Cabanasprings wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
helitack wrote:OK let's assume 30,000 tickets at $150 each. That's 4.5 million dollars. That money pays insurance, BLM fees, JOTS, etc and pays some peoples salaries. That's business, even if it is break even or a loss, there are tax benefits for LLC shareholders. SOmeone is profiting from BMLLC. It's a business. Plain y simple.
Unresponsive. I already agreed that it's a corporation, but asked you to prove that it was a for-profit corporation. Perhaps I wasn't clear. I don't think that they are really running it for profit (although I know they are getting paid--heck I wish I could get paid to do something I dreamed up.) Your only proof is that it is a corporation. I'm not impressed.
I appologize at this time I must remind you that it is not a Corporation.
It is an LLC which is a Company. Taxed much differently than a Corporation. Consider that if the LLC never made a profit, it would have no capital basis and the only way it would be able to continue to exist is if it were to receive addtional contributions or loans. I doubt that Larry is borrowing money every year to pay for Burningman. Therefor, it makes sense that it is actually a profit making Company.
Okay, I was not aware of the difference between company and corporation and I won't retain it. As for making profit, it's always been pretty close to the break even point, as far as I can tell. I think pretty much all the revenue is ploughed back into the event one way or another.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:14 am

CLARKcon wrote:That doesn't sound like "The Happiest Place on Earth"...
Well, duh. It's like the streets in suburbs--named after things that aren't actually there.
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Re: Ain't what it used to be

Post by Zhust » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:50 am

Rob the Wop wrote:
jaycerochester wrote:I say that guns are not compatible with a community where people do as they please and learn what it is to act on their first instincts, shedding the albatross of societal rules.
I don't recall there ever being any problems when guns were around. Some of the people that first helped create BM used to bring guns. And if you've ever lived in rural Nevada, you probably don't realize how little importance people out there place on guns. Everyone has them, it's just not a big deal.
DUH!

The place is now filled with people who are not from rural Nevada and have not expressed themselves from their heart ever before in their lives. I have no problem if people bring guns if (and I'm going to keep repeating this until people get it) (1) they know what they're doing, and (2) their goal is not to hurt others. During early Burns, this was true of people who brought guns.

Burning Man opened up some new avenues for me to explore things to see what happens. I'm fairly old and have a sense of impulse control -- quickly assessing if something is a terribly bad idea before my thoughts become actions -- but that's not true of people in general until they're in their mid-20's.

What I mean is, pull a 22-year-old from the suburbs who's been told what to do all his life, put him in a situation where he can do whatever he wants, and hand him a gun, and a few of them are going to wonder "hey, what's it like to kill someone?" and then act on it. Life has no "Edit > Undo" and unlike the punching someone in the face, shooting someone's brains out is very very permanent.
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