Burning Man-- Change the dates? Or not?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Would changing the dates make your life easier?

No thank you, don't change anything.
61
51%
I am a student and BM falls on the first week or two of school.
8
7%
I am a teacher/professor/educator and BM falls on the first week or two of school.
12
10%
I am a parent of a school aged child and BM falls on the first week or two of school.
12
10%
My partner is a student or educator, and the current dates make it difficult for us to attend BM.
7
6%
I would like the dates changed for other reasons.
20
17%
 
Total votes : 120

Postby PJ » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:25 am

Stormy wrote:Why not pick on someone with a masters in poetry or philosophy or whatever? Each one has differing requirements, utilizing different skills.


I have no objections to non-science Master's degrees. A Master's in History, Philosophy, or English is brutally difficult for most people to attain. They might not be worth as much in the non-government job market as is a Masters in Engineering or the hard sciences, but that doesn't mean they're invalid pursuits. My specific objection is to the Masters in Education credential. There are accredited universities that are eager to hand them out for very little course work (less than a summer's worth in many cases) and no useful research. (My favorite anecdote regarded the Thesis Advisor at, I think Cambridge College in Mass., that apparently didn't even read a reporter's thesis--it was all blank except for the cover.) The primary criteria is that your check must not bounce. (Not a problem usually since it's a school district's check.) But just like with a Masters in Math, a public school teacher's pay goes up if they possess a phony Masters credential.




Stormy wrote:I've seen some amazing scientists who can't put together a decent paragraph, let alone an email or memo, etc.


I've seen plenty of that in engineering and science, especially among recent college graduates. However the very best of the technical people that I've known in industry are usually quite good at both written and verbal presentation of their ideas--to non-scientists as well as their peers.
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Postby TestesInSac » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:10 am

PJ wrote:
Stormy wrote:I've seen some amazing scientists who can't put together a decent paragraph, let alone an email or memo, etc.


I've seen plenty of that in engineering and science, especially among recent college graduates. However the very best of the technical people that I've known in industry are usually quite good at both written and verbal presentation of their ideas--to non-scientists as well as their peers.


When they're good technically and have good written and verbal skills is when their salaries skyrocket, because the combination is not so common.
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Postby Stormy » Fri Sep 26, 2003 9:43 pm

PJ wrote:My specific objection is to the Masters in Education credential. There are accredited universities that are eager to hand them out for very little course work (less than a summer's worth in many cases) and no useful research. (My favorite anecdote regarded the Thesis Advisor at, I think Cambridge College in Mass., that apparently didn't even read a reporter's thesis--it was all blank except for the cover.) The primary criteria is that your check must not bounce. (Not a problem usually since it's a school district's check.) But just like with a Masters in Math, a public school teacher's pay goes up if they possess a phony Masters credential.


Actually the credential and masters are two seperate pieces of paper. The actual masters requires a thesis, the credential requires the coursework, short of the thesis.

I believe that it would be difficult to characterize all Education programs based on andecdotal evidence. I am sure that there is a spectrum of quality to be had. From my experience, some courses have been easier than they should have been because the professors are trying to take pity on fulltime teachers who often work 10 - 12 hours a day (at least in the earlier years of the career). Also given that the pay is not commensurate to the with the amount of time and money required for the degreee, there tends to be less gifted people in the profession than there should be.

Almost anyone can teach an average student, by the conveying of information. It takes a clever and well equipped teacher to deal with students who are above and below average all in the same classroom. Pacing, remediation and enrichment are the biggest issues in dealing with a range of abilities.

On a happier note, I have had some amazing classes where the professors didn't pull the punches but made us work our assess off no matter how much work we had during the day. I bitched under my breath, but was thankful in the end to get a superior education in my Literacy courses. I learned more useful information in those classes than in the combined total of ALL of my other classes over 7 years.

End of ramble here. Time for another glass of wine. :)
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Postby PJ » Sat Sep 27, 2003 7:59 am

Stormy wrote:Actually the credential and masters are two seperate pieces of paper.


True--I should have written that sentence more precisely.

Stormy wrote:I am sure that there is a spectrum of quality to be had.


Agreed; my objection is that the worst of the lot gets a public school teacher the same pay raise as would a Masters from a more rigorous program.
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Postby Stormy » Sat Sep 27, 2003 9:41 am

PJ wrote:Agreed; my objection is that the worst of the lot gets a public school teacher the same pay raise as would a Masters from a more rigorous program.


Aw, thank the damn unions. :)
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Postby PJ » Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:01 am

Stormy wrote:Aw, thank the damn unions.


Google hits for unions ruined public schools = 9,140

Google hits for pilot's unions ruined airlines = 13
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Postby Stormy » Sat Sep 27, 2003 2:15 pm

PJ wrote:
Stormy wrote:Aw, thank the damn unions.


Google hits for unions ruined public schools = 9,140

Google hits for pilot's unions ruined airlines = 13


Hmm, interesting. What is the ratio of public school districts in the US to airlines?
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Postby TestesInSac » Sat Sep 27, 2003 2:31 pm

Stormy wrote:
PJ wrote:
Stormy wrote:Aw, thank the damn unions.


Google hits for unions ruined public schools = 9,140

Google hits for pilot's unions ruined airlines = 13


Hmm, interesting. What is the ratio of public school districts in the US to airlines?


Dunno, but I do know that unions knee-jerk fight any measure designed to improve the competence of its membership, regardless of the merits of the measure.
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Postby TheJudge » Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:26 am

TestesInSac wrote:... but I do know that unions knee-jerk fight any measure designed to improve the competence of its membership, regardless of the merits of the measure.


Not that I am a fan of most unions, but that seems like an awfully big sweeping generalization.

Do unions do more harm than good? Perhaps some.

It seems like the teacher unions are fighting on behalf of the teachers, so I'm in favor of them being around.

However, we've once-again digressed from the topic slightly, which appears to be going in circles anyway. People would be affected if the date was moved. People are affected with the date being what it is. Some people dont care either way. And based on the polling results, it seems like everything is still split down the middle (although I do realize that less than 100 people have voted, which is statisticly a really really small percentage of the population of BRC.

My only point is that if something can be done to encourage more talented, creative, responsible people to attend the event, then it should be looked into.

The fewer people with a beer-guzzlin' frat boy, lookie-loo, consumer, spectator mentality the better.
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Postby Kinetic » Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:13 am

TheJudge wrote:My only point is that if something can be done to encourage more talented, creative, responsible people to attend the event, then it should be looked into.

The fewer people with a beer-guzzlin' frat boy, lookie-loo, consumer, spectator mentality the better.


The entire thread just got defined in The Judge's last post. And it would be worth keeping this in mind as the thread goes forward....after all this seems to be what the majority of us want.
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Postby III » Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:28 am

>entire thread just got defined

bah.

changing the date of the event is going to change it about as much as farting will affect a hurricane.

there exists a whole host of things that could be done to promote those things. but they come with tradeoffs that i don't think the llc is willing to make...
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Postby TheJudge » Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:58 am

III wrote:there exists a whole host of things that could be done to promote those things. but they come with tradeoffs that i don't think the llc is willing to make...


So what are some of your ideas?
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Postby Badger » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:10 pm

This year probably more than any other might be a time to consider moving things back at least a week - if it was decided that such a change was needed/desired. Labor Day falls further into September than usual which means the start date for the event will as well. Because the weather can be a factor - especially later on in the summer the clean up and everything related to BRC post-event will fall further into the waning days of summer. Something to consider especially with the rains (or potential for) are added to the equation.
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Postby III » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:39 pm

>what are some of your ideas

for what? when to hold the event?

a month earlier, but only for reasons of making sure that the cleanup doesn't happen during the rainy season. (i was one of those "other reasons" votes).

how to attract creative people and discourage yahoos? i'm saving that for a different community...
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Postby PJ » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:43 pm

III wrote:how to attract creative people and discourage yahoos?


I'm not sure it can be done 100% effectively for any gathering larger than a small house party.
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Postby III » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:52 pm

>not sure it can be done 100% effectively

i'm quite sure it can't.

that doesn't mean that what's being done right now is as effective as it can be.

i'm also pretty sure that the yahoo issue, as much as people complain about things here, isn't really a priority for the llc. and i also think that some of my ideas would probably be unpopular among many of the staff, and a majority of the 30,000 who attend.
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Postby PJ » Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:11 pm

III wrote:i'm also pretty sure that the yahoo issue, as much as people complain about things here, isn't really a priority for the llc.


They can't be identified beforehand; as long as their checks don't bounce the LLC oughtn't care.
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Postby precipitate » Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:13 pm

> as long as their checks don't bounce the LLC oughtn't care.

That sort of implies that the LLC is all about the money. I don't think that's
true, whatever the faults of the organization are.
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Postby PJ » Wed Oct 01, 2003 3:15 pm

precipitate wrote:> as long as their checks don't bounce the LLC oughtn't care.

That sort of implies that the LLC is all about the money. I don't think that's
true, whatever the faults of the organization are.



They're/it's not all about the money, but if your check bounces you don't get a ticket.
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Postby pford » Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:08 am

I've know about BM for years( I'm a pyro at heart), a few months ago my wife and I were watching tv and a show about BM came on :shock: Kate then shocked me by saying she'd love to go to BM and asked me to find out about it.
Everything looked great until the date, my family has an annual reunion on that exact week and the kids both look forward to it all year.
:( Bummer BM2004 was going to be our first :cry:
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Postby III » Thu Oct 02, 2003 8:41 am

>They can't be identified beforehand

it's not about identifying them, it's about creating an atmosphere that appeals to the non yahoo types more than the yahoo types.

then they get to self select.
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Postby TestesInSac » Thu Oct 02, 2003 10:57 am

III wrote:>They can't be identified beforehand

it's not about identifying them, it's about creating an atmosphere that appeals to the non yahoo types more than the yahoo types.

then they get to self select.


Gotta pop in and make an assertion: the conditions/atmosphere that appeals most to the often over-altered, moon-eyed hippie types is precisely the same atmosphere that appeals to the 'fratboy/yahoos'. Both are there to indulge far too much, and both are there to see the sights doing it.

The one difference might be that the beer guzzling fratboy types might be less likely to end up at REMSA than desiccated e-tards or acid-heads on a bad trip.
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Postby III » Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:54 am

sssshhhh...
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Postby Badger » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:13 pm

Gotta pop in and make an assertion: the conditions/atmosphere that appeals most to the often over-altered, moon-eyed hippie types is precisely the same atmosphere that appeals to the 'fratboy/yahoos'. Both are there to indulge far too much, and both are there to see the sights doing it.



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Postby actiongrl » Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:15 pm

Funny that you mention family reunion - rather than the dying grandma excuse, I've always encouraged people to use the "Family Reunion" excuse; that way, it can be used each year without raising concern.
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Postby michael » Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:02 pm

actiongrl wrote:Funny that you mention family reunion - rather than the dying grandma excuse, I've always encouraged people to use the "Family Reunion" excuse; that way, it can be used each year without raising concern.


That is a very good tip. My wife mysteriously has a family member die or become seriously ill at the start of each school year.

After two years of these excuses they have not caught on. My fear is that she would have to get a new job within the next year, whether by choice or not.

We can work the family reunion angle with one of the fake deaths. She can say that the family set the reunion date on the anniversary of her grandmother’s death, what a concept.

I still think changing the date would tremendously help those in this situation. As for the yahoos and frat boys having easier access at an earlier date, it may increase the mental and physical pollution. Maybe as a community we can figure a solution to that problem as it is.

Then again wouldn’t you be pissed if they change the date of Halloween?
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Postby stu » Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:48 pm

Has anyone realized that, no matter what the date, there will be people who cannot attend? What about the students who have summer jobs that they quit in order to attend BM, only losing a week of work? How will they be able to go if they must work for the bulk of the summer?
Last edited by stu on Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kinetic » Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:50 pm

stu wrote:Has anyone realized that, no matter what the date, there will be people who cannot attend?


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Postby stu » Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:52 pm

Ha! Caught you with the edit to flesh out the thought.
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Postby pford » Fri Oct 03, 2003 3:28 am

actiongrl wrote:Funny that you mention family reunion - rather than the dying grandma excuse, I've always encouraged people to use the "Family Reunion" excuse; that way, it can be used each year without raising concern.


Its not just an excuse, my dad is on the knights of columbus council, in Kingston Ont, and they own a summer camp. The last week of the summer ( same week as BM) is very cheap ( half price) that is the week that we get, every year. As I mentioned the kids ( 5 and 12) look forward to this week all year. I'm trying to figure a way around the reunion that still allows the kids to go and Kate and I to go to BM.
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