Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $$$

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maladroit
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by maladroit » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:55 pm

We don't know a lot about what goes on behind the scenes...profit is occurring somewhere, otherwise the 6-for-5 deal couldn't exist. If I buy 6 packs and sell singles, as far as the buyers are concerned nothing was different.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by Madgirl » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:16 pm

I thought all the proceeds from ice sales were donated to charity? That doesn't really count as profit then, does it?
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by maladroit » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:23 pm

Madgirl wrote:I thought all the proceeds from ice sales were donated to charity? That doesn't really count as profit then, does it?
That's what's supposed to happen, but it's a tangled web at least according to this blogger: http://burners.me/2014/01/06/iceicebaby/

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:29 pm

I must disagree with this line and lines in general.

Specifically, I met a very fine individual we offered a ride to on our bus-size MV in the deep playa a few years ago. This individual was paid in money and with a ticket to cook for the camp which generates power for the area around center camp - the power grid. Individual had their partner camping with them in a tent, not sure what the arrangements were for the partner. Their tent had a janky-rigged AC, since they were on the grid! I ended up having a fine steak dinner with the power camp and great conversations. The camp was maybe a total of 10 and in no way luxurious, nor was the food served as would be in a restaurant. The paid individual had a great time, was influenced by the event and went on to do great things after the event as a result.

I am in favor of guidelines and best practices for staffing levels, grievance management, pay and work times for paid on-playa staff.

And in fact, I would guess that only one PnP camp this year, the one we have discussed, F*d up, but that all the PnP's need to look carefully at their operations, and step back from trying to create an outside world at the event
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by Ratty » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:25 pm

You sell the ice first. Collect the money. Then you go dance instead. No commerce.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by sparkleBrony » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:42 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:Just curious Sparkle, who joined after the shit hit the fan to comment on the shit hitting the fan, and who brought up the ice diversion, just curious.....are you on the board of the Burning Man Project, or just dating one of them?
I AM the Burning Man Project. You shall have no other Projects before me.

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend, or your brother's son's wife you love secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other Projects” (projects that neither you nor your ancestors have known, projects of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other, that are not nearly as cool as last year's Project), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly troll them to death. Your hand must be the first in trolling them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, but not in public go back to the RV and close the door i mean what are you fucking stupid there's a BLM truck right there, because they tried to turn you away from the Project, which brought you out of the default world.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by graidawg » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:45 pm

sparkleBrony wrote:
Lonesomebri wrote:Just curious Sparkle, who joined after the shit hit the fan to comment on the shit hitting the fan, and who brought up the ice diversion, just curious.....are you on the board of the Burning Man Project, or just dating one of them?
I AM the Burning Man Project. You shall have no other Projects before me.

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend, or your brother's son's wife you love secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other Projects” (projects that neither you nor your ancestors have known, projects of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other, that are not nearly as cool as last year's Project), do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. You must certainly troll them to death. Your hand must be the first in trolling them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, but not in public go back to the RV and close the door i mean what are you fucking stupid there's a BLM truck right there, because they tried to turn you away from the Project, which brought you out of the default world.
oh hi Larry. kind of fucked up the popsicle camp thing wasn't it? try make sure we don't have any spectator camps next year.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by zeigen » Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:52 am

some seeing eye wrote:I must disagree with this line and lines in general.

Specifically, I met a very fine individual we offered a ride to on our bus-size MV in the deep playa a few years ago. This individual was paid in money and with a ticket to cook for the camp which generates power for the area around center camp - the power grid. Individual had their partner camping with them in a tent, not sure what the arrangements were for the partner. Their tent had a janky-rigged AC, since they were on the grid! I ended up having a fine steak dinner with the power camp and great conversations. The camp was maybe a total of 10 and in no way luxurious, nor was the food served as would be in a restaurant. The paid individual had a great time, was influenced by the event and went on to do great things after the event as a result.

I am in favor of guidelines and best practices for staffing levels, grievance management, pay and work times for paid on-playa staff.

And in fact, I would guess that only one PnP camp this year, the one we have discussed, F*d up, but that all the PnP's need to look carefully at their operations, and step back from trying to create an outside world at the event
I am with you 100% on your third and fourth paragraphs. But I've been thinking about your very fine chef a lot, and it just seems to me that it's against the principles, no matter how great the steak. Gifting the chef a ticket? Lovely. Being on the power grid? Good for them. Janky AC? Love it. But paying the chef an hourly wage? For the love of dust, why is that needed?

http://www.burningman.com/whatisburning ... iples.html says:
Decommodification
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Either the camp doesn't really need THAT chef if she/he is demanding a wage (how hard is it to find a volunteer chef?) or the chef needs to rethink his/her approach (how hard is it to cook in exchange for something other than cash? Even an informal barter is a better fit to the spirit of the event than an hourly wage).

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by Lonesomebri » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:22 pm

sparkleBrony wrote:
Lonesomebri wrote:Just curious Sparkle, who joined after the shit hit the fan to comment on the shit hitting the fan, and who brought up the ice diversion, just curious.....are you on the board of the Burning Man Project, or just dating one of them?
I AM the Burning Man Project. You shall have no other Projects before me.
Thanks for confirming. I thought that derailing this Plug and Play ethics discussion with your ice rant was beyond an amateur attempt.
....but the hippie talk, save it for your investors.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:27 pm

Ho hum, I think I'll go build something.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by maladroit » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:41 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Ho hum, I think I'll go build something.
I saw a project today that made me think of you: http://imgur.com/a/PJVR1

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by mdmf007 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:33 pm

My mod hat off here -

There are literally thousands of people that get compensated for their time on playa. Why would a certain position be shunned and others allowed? I assume that these people are not indentured servants? or being beaten into this by an event organizer? Personally to me I see no difference from the "Sherpa" that works at a PnP camp or the ESD field supervisor or the golf cart guy. All these people wanted to go to burningman and they chose to work to get there. Perhaps there was no other way to get there for this particular person?

Seriously - tens of millions are spent in support of BMAN, and more than that is spent by burners in prep at home and to get there. Just my opinion for what its worth.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by zeigen » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:36 am

I know lots of people work the event (medics, law enforcement, etc.), and specified that up front. Generally my bright-line test applies to employees of theme camps, not the org. Are they necessary? Are they "allowed" under the principles?

Honest question,mdmf007: What does the decommodification principle mean? We all agree that if I set up a booth on Esplanade and sell T-shirts for cash, that's not in keeping with the principle. What if I set up a booth and sell my chef services for Saturday night for $500 cash? That's not okay either, right?

So how is it different if my booth is actually a web page and I sell my chef services to your theme camp before the event?

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by Elderberry » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:02 pm

It's generally accepted that people will make all of their business transactions for services before they pass through the gate. whether it be an Internet sale or a face to face transaction.

Now if they logged onto that website at the event to purchase their chef service, that would be contrary to the generally accepted practice.

At least that has always been the way I understood/justified it.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by BBadger » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:40 pm

sparkleBrony wrote:I agree that we should have ice available so that nobody dies of dysentery because their beluga caviar and filet mignon tartare sat out in the sun too long, I just don't think it should be sold on-site. If it's such an essential good, even though not everyone uses it (my camp had refrigerators and my personal stash was all shelf-stable), it should be built into the ticket cost, like the bathrooms and police. Just figure out what the average amount of ice consumption per person is, price that, and tack it on to the ticket cost.
Ah, I see you're a follower of the the clueless socialist view of the world: if you push everything into the government-provided infrastructure, you're not "really" paying for (or commodifying) it. It's not "really" commodification if it's a tax.
What? Nobody has to go in and out. The ice distribution works the same, except it's publicly funded instead of being a point-of-service sale. Say each person gets one bag of ice every day for 10 days, on average. That's $30. Add that cost to the ticket as an "Ice Pass," same way we had vehicle passes this year. You show up to Arctica or one of the Ice Caps, flash your Ice Pass, and take bags of ice as needed.
Oh right, an ice allowance. Like a gruel line. And one bag per day. That'll do.

More clueless socialist babble.

Are you really this naive? Markets will form themselves in spite of, or because of, the restrictions you place on them. Watch as an ice "black market" emerges from the dust, where people are peddling their ice allowance to make some money on the side -- or someone starts up their own Arctica and sells their own subscriptions to people as a pre-paid vendor. Wow, so much better! And just more decommodification veneer.

Really, don't let reality get in the way of idealism.
zeigen wrote:Yeah, not sure why we always seem to get bogged down on ice and coffee when there's a much much much bigger issue at hand.
This is how most of the "solutions" on ePlaya are: people picking at the remains and feces of non-problems, only to find some half-digested corn kernel to hold up as some great solution that uses more energy to consume than its nutritional value.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by kiboy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:41 pm

So as I've said in other treads the most wonderful feeling descended on me at my first burn when I felt for the first time the effects of perceived decommodification. I felt like I'd finally found a place to relax and trust my fellow humans. I WAS HOME.

I had no idea what was going on of course. I thought that idea was pretty complete with the strange exception of the coffee shop aka center camp. Boy was I a rube and I guess I should really be grateful for that little moment of relief and feeling of being home. What I've learned since coming onto this forum has been a real eye opener. That shouldn't have happened as I consider myself world wise. I can still fool myself it seems with wishful thinking and not looking at what is right in front of me. But it's ultimately good to live with ones eyes open even if it leaves a terrible taste in your mouth. After reading all this I'll never see Burning Man as home again. Who knows where the fuck my home is, (where I feel at home) I certainly don't. That doesn't mean I won't attend or won't feel that I've found a ton of people that I'd be in a tribe with in a flash. But the big city dream is over for me.

Now carry on with this most interesting discussion.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by 666isMONEY » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:00 pm

ha, ha, ice & coffee again, refrigerators and generators. my neighbor would turn the generator on for a minute or two to grind coffee beans, lol, bless his heart.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by kiboy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:03 pm

God if it wasn't so late I'd make an iced coffee right now. It's almost 9pm and it's still 91 degrees out.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by BBadger » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:20 pm

kiboy wrote:I had no idea what was going on of course. I thought that idea was pretty complete with the strange exception of the coffee shop aka center camp. Boy was I a rube and I guess I should really be grateful for that little moment of relief and feeling of being home. What I've learned since coming onto this forum has been a real eye opener. That shouldn't have happened as I consider myself world wise. I can still fool myself it seems with wishful thinking and not looking at what is right in front of me. But it's ultimately good to live with ones eyes open even if it leaves a terrible taste in your mouth. After reading all this I'll never see Burning Man as home again. Who knows where the fuck my home is, (where I feel at home) I certainly don't. That doesn't mean I won't attend or won't feel that I've found a ton of people that I'd be in a tribe with in a flash. But the big city dream is over for me.
Basing your reality on third-hand accounts and facts. What a way to live.

Maybe this event really isn't for you.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by kiboy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:24 pm

And maybe I don't give a rats ass what you think. I get much of my information in life from others and so do you.

I'll determine what is for me and what isn't and how I want to think about it but thanks.

Don't believe everything you think.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by BBadger » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:32 pm

Information before the senses, yes. But basing your reality on it? Letting an otherwise enjoyable event be ruined by third-hand knowledge that doesn't directly affect you? Being affected by people you will never meet, and if you did, you wouldn't even have knowledge about to make a pointless judgement?

Just knowing that the pretty stone on the ring is a zircon, not a diamond, ruined the gift huh?

That's all you.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by kiboy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:36 pm

You seemed to have missed this part in your eagerness to attack. That doesn't mean I won't attend or won't feel that I've found a ton of people that I'd be in a tribe with in a flash. But the big city dream is over for me.

IMO I just grew up a little and your opinion is none of my business. I'll go for reasons that are more in line with reality as I perceive it. Yes it's all me.

Don't believe everything you think.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by maladroit » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:43 pm

t's generally accepted that people will make all of their business transactions for services before they pass through the gate. whether it be an Internet sale or a face to face transaction.

Now if they logged onto that website at the event to purchase their chef service, that would be contrary to the generally accepted practice.

At least that has always been the way I understood/justified it.
I think that's far too simplistic and is a loophole used to defend your Burner Points rather than understanding the spirit of the principle.

The spirit of decommodification is, for one week, to experience a community where money is not to be wielded as power.

Exchange of goods for money is easy. You directly or indirectly debate on the price based on your need, hand over the money, and goods are handed to you. If you have more money than someone else, you have the power to preferentially receive goods that the other person actually needs more...maybe even desperately. The merchant might know that the poorer person needs the items more, but is also faced with the reality that if they give up too many chances to acquire more money, then the merchant might also be unable to obtain necessary goods. Everyone in this society will at times be forced to ignore someone in need, because they must gather enough money to stay just ahead of inflation. Money therefore inserts itself into personal interactions regardless of whether exchange of goods is taking place...if you associate with someone too far below your income level, there is a risk that you will find them in need. That would force you to either lose some of your money and ability to acquire goods, or force yourself to shut your eyes and corrupt your moral compass just a little bit further.

Despite the above being rather negative, it's not a call to abandon the system. It creates a power gradient, keeps moving the goalposts, generates desire and struggle...things that seem the best way (that we've discovered) to keep the human race advancing. It's the lowest common denominator...how do we get everyone to push in roughly the same direction, even if a lot of us are soulless bastards? "For the good of mankind" doesn't work, so we tantalize them from above and whip them from below. Power and pain gradients have a fairly universal effect. But money weaves a complex network of walls within society; while it is there, we cannot truly share our joy and creativity and humanity with more than two or three other people. Removing the money-goods-power-pain cycle also collapses those walls and we can, for one week, enjoy the company of others with less fear of being rejected by (or having to reject) someone due to a difference of wealth.

A service economy is the same, except a lot more direct. Money instantly provides you with the power to direct the actions of another person. You have established your position of power over this person, and to a certain extent you can inflict difficulty or pain on this person without fear of repercussion. It is a direct admission, by both parties, that for the duration of this contract, you are in a position of power and you get to decide the nature of the social interaction. You are the boss...maybe you're friendly with your workers, or maybe you're not...either way, they'd better not upset you or they might not get paid. So the boss-worker interaction is the direct creation of a power gradient by using money. It is commodifying irretrievable moments of another person's limited life, for your own purposes.

It does not matter WHEN the money is delivered. Most people working today get a paycheck every week, some every two weeks, some once a month. The commodification of the labor is still present, the power gradient is still there, the ability to control other people is still tied to how much money you have. If someone working on the playa gets paid a week after the event, it's the same as if the boss was paying them cash on the playa every day. The person purchasing labor knows that, on the playa, their money works the same as in default: people can be bought and sold.

Can we completely eliminate both goods and service commodification on the playa? Can we eliminate the influence of money entirely for one week? Impossible. But we can attempt to minimize it. Porta potties, ice and coffee, medical teams, law enforcement...these are support structures that help everyone regardless of your personal wealth level. The power gradient is minimal and extremely difficult for any one person to influence. They have a level of autonomy and would say "fuck yer day", for example, to a person stamping their foot and demanding this filthy toilet be scrubbed spotless on hands and knees RIGHT NOW! Yet this outlandish example is precisely what could and did happen inside a camp run by paid labor. If you walked into medical station and grabbed a nurse's ass, he or she would face no repercussions for immediately knocking you unconscious. Yet if this happened to a camp's paid employee, there is a high chance the only response would be a flinch and maybe a nervous giggle, because the power dynamic is always part of the interaction.

The actual details of what happens, how the workers are treated, when they are paid, how much they're paid, whether they get time off, whether they think it's a good deal...completely irrelevant. Smokescreen. The bright line is that people are using money to create power gradients and then actively wielding that power upon others while on-playa.

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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by Lonesomebri » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:52 pm

Sweet, discussing an actual problem, maybe not to everyone, but look at the threads and number of posts, and here we go off debating ice allowances and finding corn in feces. Ha. Remember last year when we complained about drones and whoever said nothing can be done, or whatever, doesn't really matter now, but this year they put a limit on drones along with all kinds of restrictions. Why is that? How odd. It's almost like actions have consequences. See, that is how the real world works. Damn socialists. Complaints about heavy handed cops, the law dials it back a bit. See? The Plug and Plays went overboard this year and tipped the balance, again, not for everyone, but you'd have to be pretty dense to not realize something changed, either that or a natural born apologist for the powerful.....let's get back to debating ice and corn kernals, shall we?

It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, not that the powerful will be restrained, but it is so naive to think, heck, nothing ever changes, no rule change on fireworks, guns, driving on playa, no change in the nature of demand and distribution, hence, no need to adapt or change. Yeah, tell it to the drone operators.

The Plug n Plays, and their apologist, could dial it back a bit and nothing would be don because the problem would fade back to a none issue for the most part. That's why there wasn't so much wide-spread outrage at Green Tortoise or whoever. Just dial it back, don't flaunt the transgression with bogus justifications so much, that ain't much to ask. Or, make up excuses for the collusion between commercial run Plug n Plays and the BMorg, the disconnect between these for profit camps run for tourist and the principles that the event is supposed to champion, etc. and hope the rest of the gang is blind, deaf and dumb.

Good luck with that.
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Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by mdmf007 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:03 pm

zeigen wrote:I know lots of people work the event (medics, law enforcement, etc.), and specified that up front. Generally my bright-line test applies to employees of theme camps, not the org. Are they necessary? Are they "allowed" under the principles?

Honest question,mdmf007: What does the decommodification principle mean? We all agree that if I set up a booth on Esplanade and sell T-shirts for cash, that's not in keeping with the principle. What if I set up a booth and sell my chef services for Saturday night for $500 cash? That's not okay either, right?

So how is it different if my booth is actually a web page and I sell my chef services to your theme camp before the event?
I think Justice Potter said it best when trying to define pornography, in our case sales - "I cant define it, but I know it when I see it" In our case its a little easier - to me anyways, mod hat off.

T-shirts on playa - Bad
T-Shirts In gerlach - Fun
T-Shirt camp where you drop off a blank shirt and screen your own - Awesome.
Potable water service on playa - Necessary Evil Paid for off playa ideally, but its an unknown - will I need water? how much? when on playa?
Shitter service - Definitely needed - I work hazmat at BMAN and yearly we respond to sons of bitches that dumped their RV on play while driving around at 0230 thinking they were on the downlow.
Ice - Not a luxury, but a necessity and a requirement for the permit.
Coffee - meh, I drink tea and have a microwave in my camp. Your free to do so though, burn your way.
Rented tent - Cool
Rented tent delivered to playa for you - Cool
Rented tent delivered to playa and set up for you, Lazy but cool to me. Your still being self reliant by taking care of your needs.
camp food - cool
Camp food with buy in - cool
Camp food with Cook that gets help from camp - and a buy in for meal plan - cool
Camp food with cook that gets No help from campmates and is paid and comped a ticket - Good for them (the paid cook) in being resourceful and turning what they love into what they do - Cool.

I can go on and on, but to me, commodification would be a food court or t-shirt venders, roach coaches, etc. Stuff that I had not pre-arranged on paya, but happened up and bought on a whim.

just my 2 cents.

Your mileage may vary as well.
One of the Meanie Greenies (Figjam 2013)

pink
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:30 am
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: Retrofrolic
Location: Stagecoach, NV

Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by pink » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:43 pm

Maladroit: I agree completely. You've hit the nail on the head of why this is distasteful to me.
I'm not a slut, I'm good time floozy!

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Lonesomebri
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Camp Name: CAMP THREAT
Location: NorCal

Re: Bright-line test: Theme camps paying live-in employees $

Post by Lonesomebri » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:54 pm

I was part of a camp this year that brought together strangers who paid a fee for services to belong to a camp. Was it a plug and play?

The members were responsible for their own food, tent, clothes, entertainment, booze. The deal is, the organizer had vehicles, shade shelters, knowledge, and responsibility that the others did not have, and attached to these is cost. Hauling in water and bikes to help out the people coming in on bus. That cost money. He went and got extra water while at the event when it was necessary, that cost money. The real deal is, though, in no way was he making money off the camp, that was not his game. The fees were reasonable and in line with what was provided on a camping trip. He volunteered nearly every day at some BRC Dept, he rounded up other volunteers from our camp, he worried about the success of the others burn. He introduced members of the camp to all kinds of veteran playans. Had no other person showed up in camp but the camp boss, it would have been a successful camp....totally the complete opposite of the outed Moop camp. He was the first to arrive, and moop was his worry when he left.

So, yeah, this isn't an argument over black and white issues, should there be no money transactions or not, whatever. It is a case of knowing it when you see it. When people try to link the ice sales, or Green Tortoise or socialism with the outrage over the Moop Camps, they are trying to paint it all in one color, a whitewash, while it is obvious from the feedback that something went too far this year.
Camp THREAT: Dominating the porta potties 3 years running.
"If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?"
- Voltaire, Candide

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