Where do you draw the line?

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Where do you draw the line?

Postby Theraplst » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:51 am

Where do you draw the line between "I should pick this up because ground score" and "I should pick this up so I can turn it into lost and found"?

note: I'm just interested to hear what the community has to say on this topic. I personally draw the line at anything more valuable than "shiny moop"
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby goathead » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:24 am

Look at it and think, is it something I would like returned if I lost it, or is it something that if I lost it would hope whoever found it would enjoy it.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby delle » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:02 am

I pick up alot of garbage. Nobody wants that back.
Then, on my last night, I picked up what looked like garbage but ended up being a really good blinky.

...Having left home without my lights, it was a great find, and I used it thankfully. Probably worth under $3 and definitely a "pocket" item. Funny tho how it's my most special blinky now, having been a "playa gift" rather than a purchase.

I'm the type of person whose switch, once turned to "Must Return" would do anything to get an item back to an owner. What hits that switch for me would be anything that is: expensive (but not necessarily), personal (handmade, modified or containing personal information, pictures, notations etc.), or in any other way special.

I think some objects just scream out "I will be missed" and some just don't.


(and by the way, Simba, it was Fabulous spending time with you on the bus. I hope you had an excellent burn!!! )
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby AntiM » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:29 am

I end up with water bottles at the Home all the time. Most are pretty generic and I give them away. Sometimes it is parasols. Even a bike one year. This year a beautiful black fan was left on the table, but I got distracted for a few moments and someone else took it. That's the trouble, if I leave stuff out for the owners to find, others thing they're gifts.

We've kept some good groundscore blinkys. I turned in a phone one year, even though it was smashed all to hell.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby graidawg » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:39 am

right here -------------

i personally have never found something i have thought should be returned. what drives me mad is the "FOUND XXXXXXX ITEM will return if identified" surely if you thought someone wanted it back you would fnd an authority figure, ranger, leo, other burner who would direct you too lost and found. instead of taking back to defaultia with you then posting on here, like thats the best way to get it home. fuckos
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby delle » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:47 am

Makes sense in theory Grai, but the truth of the matter is that

a) some people don't know about Lost and Found, or whom to hand an article off to; and
b) playa-time can wreck the best of intentions as things get spaced; and
c) some of us are just dumb-asses.

It never even occurred to me to go to Lost and Found for my bicycle lock, lost the first monday. Although I missed it dearly and it meant that Ken and I had to tether together from then on (which was NOT a problem at all).

I figured it was a "worthless item".

What it was was "worthless to the person who found it", which is probably exactly the sort of thing that would be handed off for potential return.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:10 am

the rapist, if i found a stupid ass personality quiz on the ground would i post it to gauge community standards?







no, no i wouldn't


oh wait, page two....i forgot.

carry on...take notes and all of that....
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby Thecatman » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:30 am

In 2010 I found ten cents near the Mant Farm. Right after a brief dust devil blew through, right there in the dust was a dime. I felt taking it to lost & found and the chances of its rightful owner claiming it were slim to none, so in the end, I kept it. I still wonder who lost it. Was it somebody building the Mant Farm, was it somebody laying out the city, was it a 2010 attendee, or perhaps several weeks earlier did somebody off-roading across the playa stop there and exit their truck and accidently drop it? It wasn't there very long since there was no corrosion on it. I'd call it a cheap ground score.


Off playa. Last year after the event I was on sanitation detail and found a bike on I 80 W/B before the CA line. I took it to Reno Bike Project on 4th St.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby trilobyte » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:03 am

Giving this a nudge over to the Q&A board, since that's a better fit about general questions about the event. It could probably also fit under Leave No Trace, but since the original post didn't really touch on MOOP this is probably the right spot.

People talk about the futility of lost and found, usually as either a justification to just keep something, or as a justification to leave something where it lays. Truth is, Burning Man's L&F team reunited more than 50% of the items with their owners last year. That's pretty fucking impressive, and if I'd managed to lose something precious to me I would definitely take those odds over what you might get at another event.

Here's where you draw the line... if it looks like something that would be precious to someone, pick it up and take to L&F. Or if you're too lazy to do that yourself, take it back to your camp, take it home with you, and post it here on the Found boards. If it doesn't look like something that's precious to anyone, or has been discarded, pick it up and pack it out. It may have been lost or discarded by an asshat, or it could have been blown from a camp, MV, or bike in a dust storm. Think of it as a tiny bit of gifting that you do for the playa restoration team - one less thing for them to have to pick up in the weeks following the event.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:47 am

what trilo said.


i was being facetious before, and in reality, i think the community is one of the MOST honest, and ethical especially when you consider the diversity.


do unto others, as you would have them do unto you....golden rule.


sometimes it may be hard to discern between what is precious and what is simply shiny, but generally speaking, you'll know it when you see / touch / smell it.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:22 am

trilobyte wrote: Think of it as a tiny bit of gifting that you do for the playa restoration team - one less thing for them to have to pick up in the weeks following the event.


When I catch myself being lazy and wanting to pass by a bit of MOOP because I've got my bike up to cruising speed and it's way over there and I just stopped a minute ago to pick up other MOOP and, and, and... I think of this and it stops me in my tracks every time. Those crazy folks are dedicating up to a month of their year so we can do a weeklong party event; the least I can do is take ten seconds to pick up an dead glowstick that's right in my path.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby robbidobbs » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:57 pm

This year I was able to successfully get a lost camera back to it's owner. What a relief that was! What a nice person! So happy she got her pics back!

OK answer:
1) 2) Pick it up regardless. Now it's your responsibility. Period.
2) is it moop or is it schwag? - how valuable is it? Is it replaceable? Consider empathy: How much karmic responsibility do you want to retain?
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:50 pm

I've never thought about it before, but Simon pretty much hit it on the head.
Simon of the Playa wrote:sometimes it may be hard to discern between what is precious and what is simply shiny, but generally speaking, you'll know it when you see / touch / smell it.


I suppose I sorta base it off of "Is it replaceable/store bought? Will effect the person's Burn? Will they be screwed with out it? Is it super precious to the person that last it?"
Things like small pocket flashlights, shemagh/scarves/gloves, I keep and typically regift them. Hoping that the item wasn't particularly important to someone.
Backpacks with stuff, unique Burner cups, cameras, etc always go to L&F.

EDIT: Things that get left in our camp, we hold on to tell the end of the week. Most likely we know who left it or have a good idea who left it. People typically come back looking for what they forgot. We have out own little L&F basket in the Dome. So even if the people you were hanging out with are gone, someone else can point you the direction of the L&F basket.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby FossaFerox » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:48 pm

For me it comes down to value. If it would cost more to ship an item home than it would to replace it, ground score. Exceptions are obviously made for anything that's been personalized or can't be bought since those are effectively priceless. Still, even for items that should definitely be returned (the valuable and the personal) is the lost and found really the best route?

What happens to the lost and found items that aren't claimed at the end of the burn? I wasn't even aware that there was a functional lost and found on the Playa and I'd hate to think of an item getting trashed because an owner didn't know where to claim it.

I actually brought an item home intending to put it up in the lost and found forum when I got back, and I can't imagine it sitting in a bin unused when it brought me so much joy in the 24 hours I had it. It was a little 8x24 monocular that fit PERFECTLY into an unused pouch of the holster I had borrowed from a camp mate for burn night. I found it walking back from deep playa at about 4:30 AM in a dust dune I happened to trod through during a white out. I felt it with my foot and stopped. Best MOOP ever.

As Saturday turned to Sunday I sat in the ear of the coyote sculpture and used the little scope to watch the playa. I watched the people at the ashes of the man, sleeping, hugging, and cooking. I watched other people dancing by a sound car down the road and random people coming back from deep playa grinning. I loved that little thing, but when I searched the model number to pull up a picture to use in the forum post I found out it was worth about $7 new. I'm definitely keeping it with me all of next year. That little thing is fantastic.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby illy dilly » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:46 pm

The lost and found is actually pretty functional as far as I know.
After the event, typically a month or two, they open up requests for lost things.
As for cameras and memory cards, they actually post random pics from them to flickr (or some other site) with an ID number then if you're able to provide certain information they send your camera back.

Its my understanding that every item gets a unique ID tag. Though, I bet stuff like cheap flashlights, bracelets, shot glasses, scarves, etc end up being used by DPW or trashed.
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby lucky420 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:12 pm

i usually draw the line in the sand...
If I've got chalk I'll find a sidewalk
Oh my god, it's HUGE!
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Re: Where do you draw the line?

Postby illy dilly » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:54 pm

You keep saying that giant white line was chalk. But, I still don't believe you.

lucky420 wrote:i usually draw the line in the sand...
If I've got chalk I'll find a sidewalk
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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