Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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Simon of the Playa
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Simon of the Playa » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:24 am

there's a huge difference between being an asshole and being a dick or a pussy.



actually, sometimes, i'm a belly button, but i just don't talk about it.



i'll be over here picking lint from it if anyone needs me.
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by VultureChow » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:40 am

[media]
Sic Semper Spectatores

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by The CO » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:07 am

maladroit wrote:Half the bellyaching I see is from people who simply don't like being told "No, I don't think that will work. Have you Googled this? Did you read the Survival Guide?"

Try not to confuse how loudly someone complains with the actual level of injustice they've experienced.
Very much seconded.


--Eplaya Is Mean--
A play in one act

-Scene 1

Newbie Sparkleton-"Hi I'm new/second year and I want to do this ______(insert really terrible idea, like Asian paper laterns AKA firebombs, or potty pimping)!!!!! What do you guys think?"

Grizzled Old-Timers-"Well, the 40 years of cumulative experience here says that's a terrible idea and prohibited by the few rules of BRC."

NS-"But I KNOW this will be the most amazing _______ EVAR!!!!!!!"

GOT-"No, really, don't do that. It will be bad. Did you read the survival guide? Have you read this post discussing that exact idea and it's terrible issues?"

NS-"You guys are mean!"

GOT-"Fuck your Burn!"

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Simon of the Playa » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:16 am

VultureChow wrote:
[media]


*sniff*


someone who gets my awful sense of humor...


i'm all vehklempt....,moist i tell you...
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:55 am

[media]
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by trilobyte » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:59 am

There are an awful lot of good points raised.

I've always considered snark to be good-natured ribbing, but it seems clear that to many, mean-spirited sarcasm is also considered snark. I think we need more of the first kind, and a lot less of the last kind.

Another issue is one of communication. Sometimes it can be difficult for people to communicate tone and emotion via text. And some people are just really bad at it, too. Having met several of you face to face, when I see something typed I can imagine that it's being said out loud, with all the normal inflection and facial expressions and waving of arms as if it was being said in a conversation around a campfire.

To a complete stranger, the typed message can only be taken at face value. And what's worse, sometimes the words that are written are vague, and of course even if they're not people can take them the wrong way for a variety of reasons. In person, we have that benefit of instant feedback/response - you see the look on the speaker's face, and they see the look on your face in reaction.. most times misunderstandings can be spotted and resolved before anybody actually has the chance to really get bent out of shape over something. Message boards let us instantly post our thoughts, but it's still asynchronous communication... it can take what feels like an eternity to get a response. And sometimes there just isn't a response. Something got taken so badly that the other person goes away for a while (or for good).

We all could stand to take an extra couple seconds before posting sometimes. Re-read the post and check to make sure you said what you wanted, but maybe also re-read it from the standpoint of a complete stranger. You might spot something that could get taken the wrong way from what you meant, or think of a better way to phrase something. The goal isn't to chase people away, but to help them raise their personal bar in the radical self reliance department and help them figure out their stuff.

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by VultureChow » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:03 am

[media]
Sic Semper Spectatores

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Elderberry » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:03 am

Well said Trilo.
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:15 am

I am not in the Fuck Yer Burn crew, but I appreciate when it is well done with creativity and intelligence.

Like when my friend's generator was kidnapped. The ransom note read something like "we will return your generator when you promise not to play music off speed and not to play weird music." Knowing them, weird would have been polka, broadway show tunes, animal calls, opera or music played backwards. FYB well played by both.

And what's with DPW? In the old days, they would fuck vehicles of their chosen enemies with a forklift.

Off Trilo's post, although people debate exact percentages there is good theory that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% the actual words spoken. On ePlaya, all we have to work with is the 7% which is easily misinterpreted.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Sham » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:45 am

For many of the first timers who are asking basic, rudimentary questions, I tend to jump in and answer them, since these posts are being read by many first timers--not just the single person asking. I've always found it to be kinder to just give a detailed answer.

Just the other day, someone brand new was asking about dust on the windows of a vehicle. While I didn't have specific info on that vehicle, I could see they never attended Burning Man before, so I gave lots of info on the dust in general. I was surprised how many people jumped on me for offering up what I thought was helpful info for a first timer.

Yes, fresh new blood and bright-eyed first timers are what keeps things going at this festival. We need to continue to encourage and welcome them all with open arms. :D

(ps: I jotted down the names of all you fuckos on a piece of paper and put it in my wallet next to the unused condom that has been there since high school)

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Simon of the Playa » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:54 am

now that i have a disclaimer i can say "go fuck yourselves" with abandon...

you no longer are liable.

nobody is going to californicate me, at least not without slipping me a cosby 714..
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by maladroit » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:24 am

Sham wrote:Just the other day, someone brand new was asking about dust on the windows of a vehicle. While I didn't have specific info on that vehicle, I could see they never attended Burning Man before, so I gave lots of info on the dust in general. I was surprised how many people jumped on me for offering up what I thought was helpful info for a first timer.
Is this the post in question, or is there another one I didn't see? viewtopic.php?f=56&t=74263

And if the post above is the one you meant, where the FUCK do you see anything remotely like "many people jump[ing] on [you]" for that?

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Jovankat » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:50 pm

I like to post links to the places new folks could have found the info if they'd bothered to look first themselves. It's helpful but there is also a bit of implied snark, they'll get it if they're smart ;)

I'm also one of the new-ish folk around here. There have definitely been times I've thought this place was full of a bunch of arse holes and considered not coming back. I always do though. I'm not sure if that means you aren't all arse holes all the time or if it just means I fit in :P

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by vargaso » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:24 pm

Really depends on the question being asked. If it's easily Googable, then my first instinct is snark, because what they're really asking is for you to do the work for them. It's something I'm teaching my kids when they ask me for help with homework. First thing I do is ask them, did you look it up first? Because most of the time, I won't know the specific answer either and so to ask me for the answer is really asking me to do your due diligence for you. It's the "Let me Google that for you" (http://lmgtfy.com/) mentality. We're a good 20 years into the mainstream internet, people should have the skills and inclination to hit a few keys in the Google machine before asking others to do that for them.

If it's a more nuanced question, like "how would people respond if I did X?", then I'm more inclined to answer.

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by maladroit » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:53 pm

Not only around here, but in the outside world, I've noticed that people who choke back on their snark are more likely to develop deep, lasting hatred for specific people. And then when they try to let some of it out, they're so unused to expressing displeasure or sarcasm that it has a raw, painful edge un-dulled by humor.

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by SageV » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:38 pm

Just speaking as someone who usually will pop on eplaya about Burn time if I'm not going to the Burn, eplaya seems to have changed. It's not quite as warm, not quite as helpful, seems more about competition than cooperation, like a lot of the Internet as a whole has evolved into these days. For example, if I have something I want to share and the response is "what an ignorant troll, look at MEEE" I'll probably just think to myself "I have been to the Burn over a dozen times, I might have missed something, but I think I know what I'm doing, and I certainly don't think I can respond politely to Mr. Burnier-Than-Thou without harshing his ego" and will move on to another topic. Something's missing.
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Sham » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:54 pm

Sage, there may be a feel about things not being welcoming. Part of this may come from the Facebook attitude. I see on there as soon as a question is asked, that person asking is immediately toyed hammered to a withering state. On eplaya, there is a concerted effort to have real answers on page 1, then after the sincere answers (and welcome hugs) are out of the way, things can drift on to some frivolity. (yes, frivolity)

We moderators try to keep things on track and work to keep this a friendly place. It's a struggle however--but that's the aim. :roll:

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by gaminwench » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:13 am

Can I just say, here, that I'm LOVING the 'campfire conversation' we're having? :D

Thank you SSE, for posting this into the fray;
I think we are all benefiting from this thread (and I'd bet the newbs are, too; almost a thousand views in 2 days) 8)

Radical inclusion and civic responsibility.
YAY! US!!!!
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Netty58 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:59 am

Speaking as a newbie (first burn was last year), this thread makes me feel better. I spend a fair amount of time perusing this board, listening and learning and often wishing I knew you all better. But there have been times when I've felt almost too intimidated to ask a question or post an opinion and sometimes cringe at the responses hurled at over-excited new folks. When I arrived last year in my itty bitty 15-foot van and realized that a) the van included a "wheee there I go" popup shade structure b) I thought 4 stainless steel twirly dog stakes would work to secure my popup and c) I showed up at the M&G sans cup - a plastic bowl ended up working swimmingly, it occurred to me "god, these folks from eplaya would have a field day with me."

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Simon of the Playa » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:54 am

*serious face on*


i agree, this campfire conversation is a good one and has made me think quite a bit.

i have slight autistic issues anyway, and am trying every day to better my social skills....this helps.

i'm going to try to wait 30 seconds or so before i hit "send"....ponder other viewpoints, and then make adjustments.

i apologize to anyone i have offended, unless i meant to, in which case you can still fuck off.

and let me be the first crusty oldy to let the newbs know that the REAL reason we do this is because we love you and the event and are trying to help you.

you may not even realize it until one day that one snarky comment all of a sudden makes sense.

it's a different way of teaching, i'll admit, and maybe not for everyone, so in the future i will TRY to not throw out the new babies with the bathwater and attempt to use emojis (which i hate) to let people know i am kidding.


*serious face off*
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by mudpuppy000 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:01 am

Netty58 wrote:When I arrived last year in my itty bitty 15-foot van and realized that a) the van included a "wheee there I go" popup shade structure b) I thought 4 stainless steel twirly dog stakes would work to secure my popup and c) I showed up at the M&G sans cup - a plastic bowl ended up working swimmingly, it occurred to me "god, these folks from eplaya would have a field day with me."
I think the eplaya vibe comes from a good place. Sort of like a parent telling their kid not to run with scissors. Kid doesn't listen, gets stabbed, then the parent jumps into action to make things better and salvage the situation. They're not going to sit around telling you I told you so when you're bleeding to death. :D

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Dr. Pyro » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:23 am

mudpuppy000 wrote: They're not going to sit around telling you I told you so when you're bleeding to death. :D
You've clearly never met my eldest daughter.

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by smiffman » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:42 am

Netty58 wrote:Speaking as a newbie (first burn was last year), this thread makes me feel better. I spend a fair amount of time perusing this board, listening and learning and often wishing I knew you all better. But there have been times when I've felt almost too intimidated to ask a question or post an opinion and sometimes cringe at the responses hurled at over-excited new folks. When I arrived last year in my itty bitty 15-foot van and realized that a) the van included a "wheee there I go" popup shade structure b) I thought 4 stainless steel twirly dog stakes would work to secure my popup and c) I showed up at the M&G sans cup - a plastic bowl ended up working swimmingly, it occurred to me "god, these folks from eplaya would have a field day with me."

+1


Many times I write responses/follow ups to questions on here, then I delete them for fear of text assassination.................

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by smiffman » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:43 am

Double tap

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by The CO » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:36 am

I think of Eplaya Snark as the "Sarcastic Socratic" method of teaching.

Or the zen stick of enlightenment.
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Token » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:03 am

Image

Now, self-destruction ...

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by AntiM » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:23 am

Simon of the Playa wrote:
you may not even realize it until one day that one snarky comment all of a sudden makes sense.

it's a different way of teaching, i'll admit, and maybe not for everyone, so in the future i will TRY to not throw out the new babies with the bathwater and attempt to use emojis (which i hate) to let people know i am kidding.
I want a Simon emoji. We'd never be the same.

We also need a couch and a smoldering cigarette emojii.

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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Simon of the Playa » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:27 am

maybe we should take a poll.


because, you know, they're so accurate and statistically relevant and stuff.


PollDemographics.jpg
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by Savannah » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:33 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote: i apologize to anyone i have offended, unless i meant to, in which case you can still fuck off.
New sig, anyone?

Tempted to take it for myself, actually. :D
Simon of the Playa wrote:and let me be the first crusty oldy to let the newbs know that the REAL reason we do this is because we love you and the event and are trying to help you.
Yep. Experienced Burners remember their mistakes and are passionate for others not to make them, with a few exceptions (sometimes we're all a little better for having blundered and learned).

But yeah--most of the time we're DIRECTLY trying to prevent 1) injuries to the self and others 2) catastrophic hidden expenses 3) getting arrested or cited 4) making your campmates or neighbors deplore you 5) or otherwise having a crappy time.

It took me two minutes to find these threads of ePlayans volunteering their mistakes and what they've learned and want to share. I could handily find another dozen in less than 5 minutes (if you don't know how, virgins, keep reading).

One thing you wish you had known for your first burn...
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=34770

What Did You Learn this Year?
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=71979

One thing you learned on playa this year

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=50481

What I learned as a newbie.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=73419

(Google a keyword + eplaya and you can search for these yourself. "Mistakes" and "What I learned" seemed good places to start. The first one came from simply looking for multi-page theads in the Q&A forum, and I found it on page 3. I did not have these memorized.)
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Re: Encouraging new or newer ePlaya participants

Post by ^Rhino! » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:08 pm

Toning it down has never been my way. I walk a fine line every day when I'm working. I've got a hundred field and lab hazards that can fuck me up permanently. Ever wanted to play in downtown St. Louis Interstate traffic? Thread the needle with a high power drill stem through myriad underground utilities like gas lines? Six kinds of concentrated acids in the lab, including the HF which we store in plastic bottles because it'll eat glass? I'm all business when it's warranted. And then people do stupid shit.

Guaranteed, you pull some pseudoscientific 'Doom is the world" shit and I'll be all over you snarkwise like a caveman with a club. No mercy.

Two years ago, I actually took time out to stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

There was no girl (My Lord!) in a flat bed Ford coming down to take a look at me.

I don't have to take it easy.
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