Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

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some seeing eye
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Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by some seeing eye » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:57 am

Everyone wants to be the instant burn super hero, but that is only in fiction.

Your zeroth year focus on the basics, read all the readings on the BM website, make some burner friends, prepare using tried and true, don't commit to heavy volunteering, prepare to survive and not endangering the event.

Your first year will kick your ass and knock you upside the head. Maybe you hate it and maybe you like it enough to come back. First year participants have been running about 40%.

Second year, you will have plans of what to improve. Shelter, food, comfort, music, costumes, gifting, volunteering, art. You are going to be a fucking Burning Man super hero. You are going to get a selfie taken with Larry himself, because he came to you and said "you fucking changed Burning Man history for ever, my hat is off to you"

Third year your planning will return to earth, and you begin to focus on what is special to you in the burn, not being a super hero. Maybe it's the people?

The census suggests that 22% of burners are year 2 or 3. It falls off rapidly after that 3-4 years participation 13%, 5-7 10%, 8-11 6%, 12-15 6%, >16 2%.


When we see year zero potential participants who want to be a year 2 over committed to fail super heroes? Suggest you focus on just getting to year 2. Of course if you have a net worth of over 100M and you would like to hire us as burn consultants, well that is a possibility, but our rates are high.


There is a great short book by Frederick Brooks called The Mythical Man Month

He talks about second year overbuilding super hero syndrome and return to earth in third and later years:



The Second-System Effect



Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit.

[Add little to little and there will be a big pile. ]

OVID

...

An architect's first work is apt to be spare and clean. He knows he
doesn't know what he's doing, so he does it carefully and with
great restraint.

As he designs the first work, frill after frill and embellishment
after embellishment occur to him. These get stored away to be
used ''next time." Sooner or later the first system is finished, and
the architect, with firm confidence and a demonstrated mastery of
that class of systems, is ready to build a second system.

This second is the most dangerous system a man ever designs.
When he does his third and later ones, his prior experiences will
confirm each other as to the general characteristics of such sys-
tems, and their differences will identify those parts of his experi-
ence that are particular and not generalizable.

The general tendency is to over-design the second system,
using all the ideas and frills that were cautiously sidetracked on
the first one. The result, as Ovid says, is a "big pile."
...

How does the architect avoid the second-system effect? Well,
obviously he can't skip his second system. But he can be conscious
of the peculiar hazards of that system, and exert extra self-disci-
pline to avoid functional ornamentation and to avoid extrapola-
tion of functions that are obviated by changes in assumptions and
purposes.

A discipline that will open an architect's eyes is to assign each
little function a value: capability x is worth not more than ...invocation.
These values will
guide initial decisions and serve during implementation as a guide
and warning to all.

How does the project manager avoid the second-system
effect? By insisting on a senior architect who has at least two
systems under his belt. Too, by staying aware of the special temp-
tations, he can ask the right questions to ensure that the philo-
sophical concepts and objectives are fully reflected in the detailed
design.

TL:DR Add a little to a little year by year

(As for cult adherence, I have observed the 2nd-4th year are the strongest)
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by Molotov » Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:34 pm

I have seen architectural ego up close. In Texas we had one design an 18 story office and classroom building at a second tier state university with ONE interior fire escape stairway....ONE ! (in a building without fire sprinklers). His logic was "We don't need permits from cities, so their fire codes don't apply." When the State Fire Marshal caught up with the university several years after construction ended (they are notoriously short handed) the University had to construct a second stairway down the exterior, brick it up to match, and install fire sprinklers at a cost of millions of dollars to comply with the Life Safety Code as applicable to all state owned buildings.

This was a massive fail attributable to many folks, but the architect/engineer should have been disbarred (or whatever it's called) for designing a firetrap like this and pulling the wool over the University administration's eyes.

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by trilobyte » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:00 pm

Speaking personally, I've found that the more that a person tries to cram into that burn (be it the first, second, etc), the more difficult and challenging time that person is likely to have, and that the more things they may miss out on as a result.

People say it all the time, but some people either ignore it or just gloss over it... but keep your expectations in check. And by check, ideally I think it should be zero. If you've got no expectations, then you'll have no risk of disappointment... and you'll waste very little of your time and energy trying to achieve whatever goal or thing you expected to do. You'll also be much more open to different and weirder and often better things than you might have ever hoped for... in a city that has more different, weird, and better things than any other city on the planet.

A couple years ago, one of my campmates (who'd been participating a lot longer than I have, but was new to our group that year) told me about a great outlook he had. He called it 'staying playable' (as in playa-ble), or keeping himself open to possibility. I like that term a lot.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but I've found that sometimes less is more.

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by Madgirl » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:32 pm

trilobyte wrote:People say it all the time, but some people either ignore it or just gloss over it... but keep your expectations in check. And by check, ideally I think it should be zero. If you've got no expectations, then you'll have no risk of disappointment... and you'll waste very little of your time and energy trying to achieve whatever goal or thing you expected to do.
I could not agree more with this! This year will be my sixth burn and it's gotten better every year largely in part because I've learned to (mostly) let all those expectations go. My campmates and I have talked a lot about FOMO and how much it can negatively affect your burn, and we all agree that not worrying about what you're missing out on or not doing and allowing yourself to be fully immersed in what you ARE doing is the way to go. Live in the moment and let the playa take you where it will!
The playa isn't "home" to anything or anyone, it's not magic, it's just a goddamm camping trip. A really awesome one. -Captain Goddammit

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by vargaso » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:19 am

trilobyte wrote:People say it all the time, but some people either ignore it or just gloss over it... but keep your expectations in check. And by check, ideally I think it should be zero. If you've got no expectations, then you'll have no risk of disappointment... and you'll waste very little of your time and energy trying to achieve whatever goal or thing you expected to do.
If you can take one thing away from the playa with you, it should be this mindset. My wife and I were a total shitshow our first year. Under-prepared in some ways, over-prepared in others, but mostly we came with high expectations of not wanting to miss a thing. And we scrambled all over the playa and came away almost hating Burning Man. About a month later, we couldn't wait to go back, but with a new mindset, the good ol' "high in preparation low in expectation." And our second year was incredible. Most importantly, I was able to actualize that mindset and it really helped with my expectations of how things should off playa.

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by AntiM » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:09 am

My zero year was pretty much zero. I didn't know any burners, stumbled across Burning Man art online, bought tickets in May, found the Dioxine list, Hushville, and the survival guide in hard copy form. Biggest thing on the expectation list was the Dioxine cocktail party and a LBD for Larry.

Now I feel weighted down by the HFWA, but I cannot give it up. I have a handful of events which I "must" make, and mostly because of people. Even the burns hold little charm for me.

I am the jaded 6%.

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:53 am

I am enjoying the census. https://blackrockcitycensus.wordpress.com/
and particularly
https://blackrockcitycensus.wordpress.c ... -attended/
It shows 60% of virgins to not return. That means we can do better at attracting virgins who do return rather than those who do not. The virgins who return return for two more burns, after that the numbers returning gradually fall off. By three burns, they likely have internalized the culture.

More:
Carpooling: https://blackrockcitycensus.wordpress.c ... epartures/ - carpooling works
RVs: https://blackrockcitycensus.wordpress.c ... y-rv-2015/ - Virgins like RVs
Age: https://blackrockcitycensus.wordpress.c ... ing-older/ - this one shows the most rabid defenders of EDM are probably a small proportion of the population, though vocal
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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:54 am

When your "zeroth", first, second, third, fourth were all over a decade ago, you start listening to what some of the brand-new burners write on here and find yourself becoming more and more like Bob.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by gaminwench » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:25 pm

I miss Bob.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:26 pm

Couch Bob, Mr Potatotrap, was a great contributor! memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=535
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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by chuckularone » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:04 pm

Well, I'm headed into my second burn with no illusions of superdom. I am planning on contributing a little bit more and I'm planning an art project for next year. Aside from that, I'm trying to keep a level head and not overcommit.
Remember kiddoes, if you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing!

chuckularone:: Pronounced: Chuck-You-Lar-One
http://makerandfixerofthings.blogspot.com
KF4JPE

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:08 pm

Take a look at your prep list... if you're seeing phrases like "free-roaming geodesic sphere," "robotic trebuchet," "turducken," "jet fuel x80,000 gallons," etc., it might be time to consider scaling back. Or is it ramping up? ...My prep notes are smudged.
Ain't it a groove?

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by spacetime » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:07 pm

This is my first and I'm feeling sophomoric.

My 0th was my much told solo minimalist setup. This year I'm doing a two-person camp with my birgin partner.

Apart from helping her prepare, my big expansion is a solar setup, a swamp cooler and two part shade structure, a better sleeping setup and more costuming. I'm picking up more volunteering, after a single shift at center last year. But not a lot more.

I can feel nippings of "if we got this we could..." but planning around a small two door sedan has served as a useful force of restraint.

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:28 pm

Small sedan? Huh... yeah... you wait. Soon it will be a small truck or van. Then a large truck...
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by spacetime » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:36 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Small sedan? Huh... yeah... you wait. Soon it will be a small truck or van. Then a large truck...
This is sort of what I'm expecting. Hopefully I can take this in stages and keep writing up the experience of 'graduating' to a more advanced site. But I gotta live this one first.

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by BBadger » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:51 am

I think a lot of the superhero thinking comes from people seeing all the things people "do" or are "supposed" to do at Burning Man, and think they need to cram that all in. Examples:

- Costumes.
- A super decorated bike.
- Gifting stuff.
- An elaborate camping arrangement.
- Going to all the "big events" or camps.
- Riding X number of art cars.
- Photos showing how much fun you had like everyone else.

It's like getting depressed over a Facebook feed.

In every burn, I think the key things are to:
1) Prepare everything before the burn. Give yourself the "fuel" to fully enjoy the burn.
2) Have flexibility. Retain the ability and will to change plans and take advantage of opportunities.
3) Push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Take risks when opportunity arises, and challenge yourself to do better. You have one week to burn bright.

and....

4) Don't burn out early. Even gods have days of rest.

All the other stuff ... it's stuff you do if you enjoy doing that kind of stuff. All that cool stuff people do and bring are just artifacts of peoples' interests. However, for some reason, those things have become "what Burners do." They're not.

I caught myself today trying to find some sort of costume get-up for some theme party we're supposedly having during the week. Then I came to the conclusion: I never concentrate on costumes, and I don't have time to do it now. Why am I starting now when I have lots of other shit to get done?!? Gotta cut your losses somewhere and not be bothered that you do.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by some seeing eye » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:48 am

I'm pro costume and have discussed that. Maybe I'm overcompensating because it was a challenge to costume for me. But costuming is like an arms race, or art car building, there is no upper limit to how much energy, resources and creativity people can put into it. And it gives an opportunity to needle crafters, whose work is generally undervalued in the default economy for the time devoted, to shine.

The people that post their photographs or videos on the web seek out the costumed ones. It is exactly the same at the Carnival of Venice (I have to get there some day!!!). All the photos and videos are of the amazing costumed Venetians, but just out of frame are ordinarily dressed people.

Costumes are one form of self expression and creativity, but not the only one, and there are costume camps who can dress you if you want to break out of that inhibition. Or you can divide responsibilities - others can costume you or same size lend, and you can do what you are creative in. I would say that costuming/accessories create an opportunity for interaction much more so than camping clothing does.

Image
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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:15 am

fuck all that nonsense.


concentrate on which drugs, how much, and when you're going to take them.


the rest falls into place.


you're a bunch of chemicals, deal with it.
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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:19 am

seriously, don't start off with the PCP, you wanna try to ease into that...
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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by some seeing eye » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:36 am

Http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2015 ... eural.html working on all senses, with no body load or side effects would make constumes obsolete. I think it is called a brain.
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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:42 pm

Poking around other areas of the Interwebs, I am seeing why some new posters, especially 0th year burners, or pre-0th, do not understand the culture of ePlaya. The event is all about self sufficiency and self reliance. Many ePlayans are not only very, very BM experienced, but pride themselves on search and knowledge of online sources. I think many 0ths are used to throwing out questions, and random questions to anonymous or low barrier to entry social networks. It is almost like stream of consciousness. And they don't really expect back high quality responses, or thank the responders. Many seem clueless, maybe they are not that way in other parts of their lives. But professor friends are saying that the quality of students is on a steady decline. Though you have to say ePlaya virgins generally are getting spelling and usage right.

We can ignore them, poke them, tell them to read up, what?

These last minute virgins take the cake though!
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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by spacetime » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:39 am

some seeing eye wrote:Many ePlayans are not only very, very BM experienced, but pride themselves on search and knowledge of online sources. I think many 0ths are used to throwing out questions, and random questions to anonymous or low barrier to entry social networks.
Indeed. I wrote a bit about this last year after the burn. I think it has a lot to do with when you started using the internet. This system skews toward people who are long in the tooth.
If you were around using forums before Facebook pages and their commenting system, then this would seem normal. But I think a lot of people never were exposed to vBulletin, bbcode or any of that stuff. So when they end up here, they find it somewhat inaccessible just because the interface is kind of hokey and frankly out-dated.

What I mean to say is that Facebook comments and pages are much more accessible and have a lower friction to publishing content than these forums do. As a result, I think it keeps a lot of would-be participants from posting. I don't think this is exclusive to eplaya, but to all internet forums.

I operated a vBulletin forum in the 2000s that grew fairly popular, and although the community still limps along today, most folks have migrated on to Facebook and other social networks.

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Re: Zero, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Burn - Musings

Post by happydragon » Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:07 am

vargaso wrote:
trilobyte wrote:People say it all the time, but some people either ignore it or just gloss over it... but keep your expectations in check. And by check, ideally I think it should be zero. If you've got no expectations, then you'll have no risk of disappointment... and you'll waste very little of your time and energy trying to achieve whatever goal or thing you expected to do.
If you can take one thing away from the playa with you, it should be this mindset. My wife and I were a total shitshow our first year. Under-prepared in some ways, over-prepared in others, but mostly we came with high expectations of not wanting to miss a thing. And we scrambled all over the playa and came away almost hating Burning Man. About a month later, we couldn't wait to go back, but with a new mindset, the good ol' "high in preparation low in expectation." And our second year was incredible. Most importantly, I was able to actualize that mindset and it really helped with my expectations of how things should off playa.
About halfway through my first burn I developed a ritual that has gotten me through three now and more to come.... every morning (ok, technically probably early afternoon-ish) over Bacon, coffee and mimosas I go through the what do do guide and circle all the things that sound cool but I probably won't make it to throughout the day. Somehow it helps me with the letting go of it all.

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The Eleventh Principle

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:58 pm

It makes me smile that a regional adds an 11 th principle for zeroth-early burners, "each one teach one": https://burnerbroadcast.wordpress.com/2 ... nd-usenet/
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