"Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

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: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:52 pm

what did you think of the dragonfly swarm last year?

nice little touch, huh.

i'm thinking mormon crickets this year.
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Chowski
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Chowski » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:01 pm

Not Mormons! Anything but Mormons.

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Picky
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Picky » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:11 pm

Ano wrote:Straight fact - you can earn a staff-priced credential or full staff access, and a vehicle pass, by working for a number of org departments. The shift requirements vary. In rare cases, If you are connected to the org, you might score a last-minute ticket in order to work. You absolutely do not need o work year-round for a free ticket. That is a bold-faced lie.

In fact... It's how I got my ticket in 2012. I was a last minute recruit for a department having ticketing issues. I was recruited... Through my ticket post on eplaya.

And to finish my post - within the past five years, a superviser working for census awarded access pass(Es) to someone or some people I know for last minute volunteer coverage.

So it happens.
(Speaking personally here, not as an official Census rep.)

First, it sounds like your friend got an EA pass. That isn't the same as a ticket. Volunteers who purchase tickets themselves and are available for pre-event shifts need EA passes in order to do the work. That’s not a perk, it’s a practicality.

Second, I’ve volunteered for several departments, just as you have, and the critical thing to remember about the tickets-for-volunteering thing is, like you said, it varies by department. But I have never before heard of anyone getting a ticket for volunteer work who wasn’t an experienced burner and/or well known to the team recruiting them. And as others have said, those volunteers generally work a lot during the event, based on the departments whose requirements I'm familiar with. Though we may disagree about what constitutes "a lot," I suppose.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by LukyPhil » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:24 pm

While it's important to hear such candid views from the DGS illuminati, isn't it a fact that its the quality of the spectacle that generates the volume of spectators. How exactly can you have one without the other? the burden of participation must always be shouldered by the individual, never enforced by the community. Sure there can be prerequisites in isolation such as camps but all must be welcome on the whole. After all its just a bunch of assholes camping out in the desert.

Imposing the experience on burners or saying you can't go where the others go because you don't think like they do is not a good look.
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Doctor VonBacon » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:50 pm

Chowski wrote:Not Mormons! Anything but Mormons.
At least they won't take your last beer, or drink the last cup of coffee...
I like eggs.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by FlyingMonkey » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:42 am

Doctor VonBacon wrote:
Chowski wrote:Not Mormons! Anything but Mormons.
At least they won't take your last beer, or drink the last cup of coffee...
Last beer?

Failure to plan is a plan to fail. Last beer....that's just crazy talk.
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by OscarElGrunon » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:43 am

Thank you, I stand corrected. Apparently you can earn a ticket by volunteering.

Volunteer recruitment is marketing. Maybe they should advertise the perks of volunteering then? Maybe change their marketing strategy instead of complaining how too few people are responding to the current one?

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Ratty » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:30 am

Oscar, I think that would only attract ticket seekers. Not willing and anxious volunteers. Working on-playa is fun. There is no better reason to do it. Maybe when the Borg. co-ordinates all of the departments they can come up with a standard. They were working on this and it might shake things up.
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by maladroit » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:17 pm

If BMORG is straight up saying that they want fewer frat bros and woo girls out there, then they should stop providing services that make it really easy for unprepared people to attend Burning Man, or easy for camps to provide services for people who want to buy the experience.

Stop the Burner Express Bus with water service. Water delivery. Fuel delivery. Revoke all vendor passes. Fire your entire marketing team, why do you need it? Send cease and desist letters to anyone who talks about Burning Man in a way you don't like. Prohibit bike rentals and kick the green bikes off the playa. Enforce your own rules about commercialization re: plug n play camps. Yes, even Green Tortoise.

The above sound pretty terrible, I agree. It's not what I want them to do. But if they're really saying they want a certain kind of person to stay away, then they need to roll back all the things they do to make going to Burning Man easier, or making it look attractive to the kind of person they don't want.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by DrYes » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:35 pm

maladroit wrote:If BMORG is straight up saying that they want fewer frat bros and woo girls out there, then they should stop providing services that make it really easy for unprepared people to attend Burning Man, or easy for camps to provide services for people who want to buy the experience.

Stop the Burner Express Bus with water service. Water delivery. Fuel delivery. Revoke all vendor passes. Fire your entire marketing team, why do you need it? Send cease and desist letters to anyone who talks about Burning Man in a way you don't like. Prohibit bike rentals and kick the green bikes off the playa. Enforce your own rules about commercialization re: plug n play camps. Yes, even Green Tortoise.

The above sound pretty terrible, I agree. It's not what I want them to do. But if they're really saying they want a certain kind of person to stay away, then they need to roll back all the things they do to make going to Burning Man easier, or making it look attractive to the kind of person they don't want.

That all sounds great to me, personally. The shared struggle brings us together. It's like meeting another American (insofar as I am one) in some remote part of the world - you both know you were willing to get there and that's something you have in common. I see no value to the culture and existing community in making it easier for bucket-listers, and if the mission is to, "Bring as many people as possible to Burning Man" then the mission doesn't mean anything to me.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by BBadger » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:16 am

maladroit wrote:Stop the Burner Express Bus with water service. Water delivery. Fuel delivery. Revoke all vendor passes. Fire your entire marketing team, why do you need it? Send cease and desist letters to anyone who talks about Burning Man in a way you don't like. Prohibit bike rentals and kick the green bikes off the playa. Enforce your own rules about commercialization re: plug n play camps. Yes, even Green Tortoise.
I do think it would weed out a lot of people if they made it so people really do have to invest in transportation, accommodations, and other resources to even get to attend. Then people would need to either come up with their own such resources, or get involved in groups that provide for that kind of thing. We'd still see a lot of the current problems of course, but it may eliminate many fair weather attendees who aren't that invested beyond a bus ride. Even having to reserve an RV, and drive it to the burn is a level of effort that many are not willing to go through.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by gaminwench » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:07 am

No RV vendors. No stadium sound systems. No 'buying into flying'. No hired help in Theme Camps.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:53 am

It's just that simple...........................


407668409.jpg
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by some seeing eye » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:01 am

My most radical suggestion is to put all the population cap increase ticket increase into the DGS until the problem is solved. That would take DGS from 26K to an estimated 31-36K in 2018.

If you look at the census, the yield of year 2 and 3 in relation to virgins is too low. 2016: virgins 40%, year 2 19%, year 3 12%. Maybe virgins receive permanent burner values from one participation. But more likely, they decide the event wasn't for them and do something else. Suggest programs to find a greater proportion of virgins who will become veterans/participants in their regional. 95% of census respondees say they will return, in conflict with the other data. The percent of participants that are not connected with their regional is 38.4%

50% of participants also attend other "multi-day mass gatherings" including LIB, Coachella, EDC, Shambala, Symbiosis. BM requires much more preparation, participation and self reliance. How do we get this across?

I'm strongly in agreement with Chowski, in person, person to person is the way to form a camp.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by maladroit » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:34 am

I'm surprised that some of you actually think the above is a great idea...I only said that because if the BMORG presumes to dictate the feel of the event or passes judgement on the type of people that can attend, those are things they have done to make attending Burning Man easier. However, I would guess that every oozing fratboywoogirl symbiote is offset by an amazing and genuine person who otherwise could not have attended. Plus many of the "wrong people" perhaps become part of something they needed. Someone handed them a hammer and told them to get pounding rebar, and they discovered that they could be a valuable member of a team.

I think a balanced approach is best. BMORG can enforce the social rules the rest of the year, and not put extra effort into streamlining the attendee experience. Once someone has actually made it out there under their own steam, let that count for something. And target the egregious commercialism that appears on the playa and seems to get a nod and wink from BMORG.

And for FUCK'S SAKE ban cell phone carriers from setting up mobile sites in the city.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Dr. Pyro » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:15 am

I don't know about all of you, but I for one like "woo girls".

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by maladroit » Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:16 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:I don't know about all of you, but I for one like "woo girls".
"wooo rebar!" (or "woo lag screws" these days) girls are allll right.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:34 pm

Another vote for more "woo girls" at Burning Man.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by wraith » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:39 pm

FIGJAM wrote:It's just that simple...........................



407668409.jpg
FIGJAM always gets it. :mrgreen:

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by EGAZ » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:58 pm

My two cents coming from a rookie...... So..... Here it is :|

Burning Man should be hard. Period! Look where it is held. In one of the most inhospitable places in the country, if not the world.

I first found out about BM somewhere on the net ten years ago from a very small article & single pic. From there I searched around for more info and found what I could. I was intrigued to say the least. If I could do things over I would have started going when it was harder. Uninterested wife, life, woulda, coulda, shoulda.... :wink:

BM fell right into my past history of Off Road racing. Many of the races are in the Nevada, AZ, CA deserts and more in Mexico at the time. (one of the reasons I moved to AZ) One needed to be Radically Self Reliant or you could possibly die if you fucked up too bad. I spent a day/night/day sitting beside (and under) a broken truck, or on the other side trying to find our drivers & broken truck. Not enough water, not enough gas for chase vehicles, failing batts or a motor that won't start to use the radio and things go bad quick. The chances of ending up dead at BM are slim, (short of being completely stupid) but not being prepared makes the trip not so fun. I had one friend ask me if I had a death wish after telling him of some of my desert racing experiences. Maybe I do. One can die in any racing event, paved track or desert trail. I look at it as a challenge. A challenge that when done wrong can hurt and hurt a lot.

Now BM is not the same as sitting somewhere between Mikes Sky Ranch and La Paz, Mexico with snack bars & little water, a broken truck & dead radio, but the idea is the same. Pre-plan, prepare and be ready for what comes. Be able to adapt & do what is needed to be done to achieve the end result. Whatever the end result is.

If I were king I would eliminate PnP camps. Its not the number of tickets they buy and resell for a substantial profit. They make it way too easy for those who do not prepare to be there. I camped at 5:00 and I last year. The main drag to/from the airport. The number of peeps walking and riding in on MVs in 'full attire' and a single bag was interesting. I wondered how much they gave to someone else to allow them to be here after I spent a summer learning and preparing for me to be there. I spent a fraction in comparison. Though it was not a little bit 'for me' being my first burn. This is not envy or jealously. Its more a "you haven't done anything but plunk down a lot of cash" thing. BM is supposed to be more self reliant, not 'buy your way in', right? One can do that in Defaultia right? BM is supposed to be nothing like Defaultia, right?

And if we are being honest with ourselves, many of the larger Theme Camps are almost PnP camps. Not as nice with all the 'White Ocean style' amenities and not all of them, not even 'many' of them, but one can pick out the camps that are 'dancing the line'. :wink:

I don't have a problem with the airport per se'. But having flights for general entry is a bit much. If one has a plane and a license to fly, sure. Fly on in and park the plane like we do our vehicles. But basic passenger flights like a real airport, not so much.

I don't have an issue with the Burner Bus as this is how many international attendees get there. And I give international attendees a tip of the hat just for making the trip!

I don't have a problem with RVs. Not because I have one, because when done right they have the same 'impact' as a camp full of tents. Some will say, "Well you said BM should be hard. That's not hard enough, you gotta be in a tent." For the record I built my RV, (The RMC). Like FigJam said, "build your burn". Its built to be in the wild, not an RV camp ground with full hooks ups. And it has been the ten years I have been using it. It can take the abuse & corrosive environment. And to be totally honest my tent camping days have been long, long gone. Call it personal preference. 8) That said, I don't buy ice or coffee, have anything pumped out, I evap my grey water, carry out the black, & bring my own fresh water. I think I used a porto once in the deep playa the entire week. The only difference between me and a tent camper are the hard walls & wheels underneath.

For safety reasons I understand the fuel depot. Selling Ice, hmm Ok. Using a water vendor, again for safety and benefits of scale for large camps, Ok. Using a vendor for grey/black pump out saves the playa and they are pumping out Portos anyway. Some services are needed due to the size of the city.

At the same time if all of the services were eliminated, I would not complain one little bit.

As some may have noticed and I'll be the first to say, I have not completely bought into the BM culture, but I am trying. Its part of my trying to be open to many other things I normally have not. But that's another thread. However I have bought in enough to notice, (even the years I watched from a far before actually attending) if things stay on the same course, BM will become exactly the opposite of what it wanted to be when it started on the beach so many years ago. My suggested fix does not 'directly' affect the 'culture issue' this thread is about. But it may go a long way in drawing people that are open to the culture many desire BM to have. Call it 'Natural Exclusion'.


TL:DR - BM should be hard, make it hard again! This in itself will naturally weed out those who can't/won't do hard. And maybe a nasty three day long dust storm this year would help too. ;) :coffee:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Ratty » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:34 am

Elder thank you for taking the time. Nice post.
Just a side note. The portos and ice are necessary to the event. If either one fails, say they forget to deliver the potties or our ice distributor craps out, then the event is cancelled. How they would manage that is beyond me.

Which brings up another item. Evacuation. I've thought of this and decided that the best way to get off of the playa is to drive over to Ygmir's camp. He knows the secret roads.
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Traveller in Time » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:12 am

As eldergeekaz wrote "trying not buying" (cant find it to quote but it says so to my ears).

"BM's Culture" is what people bring together and what they bring by themself.

No (happy) society is happy with vandals destroying work of others and leaving long traces showing where they have gone and what they did.

Are those individulas part of the community ? Are there penalties ? Is there enough coherence in the population mass to correct, report and avoid misfits ?
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by EGAZ » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:46 pm

Ratty, yea, I realize legal liability requires some of the services to be there. Once you get 70k people in one spot no matter where it is, certain things need to be in place.

I've thought about evacuation too. The worst would be a dry playa on top, but well saturated playa deep down, a long massive rain storm after everyone is there. Could you imagine an exodus under those conditions? :shock: They would have to open every route off the deck in all directions to be timely in any way.

I'm with you. Get to Ygmir's or JustJoe's camp, follow them out. :wink:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by cooter » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:12 pm

For me the problem has been opening the event to photography and the cell phone. In the few years i've been going that's been the real corrosive thing that nobody seems to want to acknowledge. It's a new and very superficial population that is attending now and they have to document everything. The last straw for me was people blocking the "swirl" around the man burn because they wanted to stand there with a selfie stick and film wood burn. I am filmed and photographed everywhere i go. No thanks, i'm traveling america this year instead.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by C187 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:41 pm

FlyingMonkey wrote:While we are on the topic, how about giving a certain number of tickets to the regional groups to divvy up among members that have been vetted as (at least somewhat) embracing the principals.
Yes! Let's give the tickets to super exclusive groups.
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:17 am

can't we just go back to the old way to get tickets?

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:00 am

C187 wrote:
Yes! Let's give the tickets to super exclusive groups.
Yes let's allocate tickets away from the main sale to the regionals. In 2016 the main sale was 30K. With a population cap increase in 2018, I would reduce the general sale from 30K to 25K and allocate 5K tickets through the regionals.

Even the BMORG admits that the current system has failed the culture.
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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:02 am

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by WileE13 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:52 am

Sadly, I think all of this is inevitable. It is simple math. Every year, more people want to attend the event while ticket sales stay the same. This makes it more and more of a crap shoot for who gets tickets and who doesn't. Some idiot raver who doesn't give 2 fucks about the culture or event has as much chance of going as someone who spent the last few years building something special to contribute. We are also seeing more and more virgins, and virgins generally don't bring shit to the event, I know I didn't. It takes years to build a solid camp and become a serious contributer.

Selling more tickets would help at first, but the math would catch up. The more tickets sold, the more new burners created, the higher the demand is next year. It can be frustrating, but it is what it is. Burning Man is a victim of it's own success.

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Re: "Burning Man's Culture is in Danger"

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:49 am

"burning man is a victim of it's own success"




the only solution then is to fail most gloriously.
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