Just what ARE Burning Man's Core Values?

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

Postby Rob the Wop » Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:49 am

Ivy wrote: "dance like there's no one watching."


No one needs to see me masturbating while doing the "funky chicken". It's really better off if I dance like someone is watching me.

<i>Was that thread drift? I hope not...</i>
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Postby Badger » Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:07 am

(Swoon!) Other than the Kuwait oil field fires, what could possibly top that spectacle?


I'm thinking maybe an installation utilizing 7-10 surplus Saturn V rocket engines might amp the crowd up a bit.
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Postby III » Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:23 am

>rocket engines

i've thought for a while now that rocket engines (the big model rocket sizes, bigger than the estes stuff you used as a kid) would make a could thrust/turbulance/ignition source for big ass fireballs. but they probably still wouldn't be as large as the impotence compensation project...
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Postby PJ » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:24 pm

Ivy wrote: "dance like there's no one watching."



"Dance like somebody is shooting at your feet" works too.
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Postby III » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:45 pm

the part of that that i like is

"make love like you're not getting paid"
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Postby blyslv » Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:09 pm

III wrote:"make love like you're not getting paid"


I said that to the woman I was with last night. She pointed that that she WAS getting paid, in advance, and that I'd damm well better like it.
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Postby III » Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:41 pm

i'm going to try to rerail this thread, cause i think it's got some value.

it seems clear that there is a decent diversity among what's considered a core value.

are there values that compete against each other? how concistant should you expect an individuals values to be? and how do you integrate those with others if there's a clash?
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Postby CyberHippy » Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:29 pm

III wrote:it seems clear that there is a decent diversity among what's considered a core value.

are there values that compete against each other? how concistant should you expect an individuals values to be? and how do you integrate those with others if there's a clash?


Yes, there are. We all have values that, to some extent, compete, and BM should be no different. It's a reflection of the creator on the creation - we, as a group, are the creator. BM is our creation, damnit, and it should be flawed just like us!

Each individual has values as consistant as that individual has learned to this date, and the individual's experience and abilities determine how the values will be integrated when there's a clash. The fun is playing (interacting) with the individual, and through that interaction learning something about yourself or who knows what in the process...

BM isn't an individual entity, it is the creation of many individuals, constantly evolving each moment of that week it exists. Each year a different combination of people is influenced (inspired) to attend, and those who show up create the experience for eachother that year.

The core values of the city are developed through experience by those who have found their way into the core of the organization, by way of experience and necessity. Sometimes the individual participant agrees, sometimes not, just as with all debateable topics.

(/drunk post)
I really hope this makes sense in the morning...
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Postby Tiara » Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:33 am

It seems like one of the more visible "core values" conflicts is the one between radical inclusivity and self-sufficiency.

Up at the Greeters' Gate, you see a lot of people coming in with completely inadequate supplies (and I'm not talking about people who are meeting up with well-provisioned friends or theme camp groups here). Are they turned away? No. They're (hopefully) given information about how to take the bus to town and get more supplies, but they're welcomed into Black Rock City, given a hug and a map, and turned loose.

The fact is that there are a lot of people at Burning Man who take advantage of the over-preparedness and generosity of others in order to make up for their own lack of planning, supplies, or survival skills.

Is the beauty of a "gift economy" that such people are sustained?

Please don't get me wrong. . . I'm not advocating that people become selfish or heartless. Everyone needs a hand sometimes, when they're having a bad day, when they realize they left something at home, or when some piece of equipment unexpectedly fails. And I fully recognize that different people contribute in different ways. Generosity is a wonderful thing to see expressed as frequently as it is in BRC.

But I'm frustrated by people who don't bother to make their own preparations and expect others to pick up the slack for them.
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Postby Bob » Thu Oct 02, 2003 10:06 am

> BTW, according to Jim Mason, the Male Impotence Compensation Project (fire canons) uses on the order of 30 gallons of diesel/sec.

My fire canon is "Just burn the fucker."

ITYM "The Impotence Compensation Project [is/was] a phallic cataclysm of 300 foot columns of flame, destroying the environment at over 30 gallons of kerosene a second."

http://www.whatiamupto.com/ICP/
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Postby III » Thu Oct 02, 2003 10:31 am

thx tiara. that's a good one...

my rubric (fkn teacher words) for helping people has come to be based on how much effort they put into it themselves. if someone gave it a fair shot, with a lot of effort and listening to advice, but just fell short, i'll jump in no problem. likewise someone who experienced a stroke of bad luck, like having their car totalled on the way up, or having their stuff stolen. i'm a lot less accomodating towards people who expect help just "because it's a community, man".
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Postby blyslv » Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:38 am

Self-expression/ creativity and freedom VS. responsibility to the community (but that's E-Z).

Creating VS. consuming

Leave No Trace VS. complex and destructive installations

No commerce VS. X thousands of dollars worth of booze and rebar and EL Wire ect.

Inclusivity VS. clueless fucksticks asking if they could BUY a cigarette from me, running into a well-lit me with their bike or any number of things we've all seen.

Dreamy sexuality VS. all the realities

Manic highs VS. hellish lows

Participating VS. watching
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Postby stuart » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:25 pm

please note that this reply comes after reading the intro post, but before reading the whole thread.

What is it, why do I, how can I, yadda.

Is it a party? Is it a rainbow thingie? Well, this is inadequate for me. My dear friend as well as my borother (also a dear friend), had been trying to get me to go for 2 years. Back then my impression of the event was something like a mixture of Mardi-Gras and unavoidable bad perfomance art. I don't want either and I certainly don't want either in a cocktail that includes punishing heat. The strange thing is, my first year someone was on a stage, with a P.A., reading from their dream journal in a monotone voice just a few hundred feet from my shade spot. This to me is a great example of unavoidable performance art. As well, I had to stay well away from the esplanade on Friday night due to it's mardi gras-like atmosphere. Still, I fucking loved it. Why, why, why?! I LOVE the chaos. I LOVE the canvas. I LOVE that there are hundreds and hundreds of people turning themselves inside out to do their art. I love the challenge it offers up to me. You have to meta burning man. It totally suffers from a pointalistic approach. This is why I think it very difficult to answer a question about it's core values. If you get it and like it (I don't think these always go hand in hand) putting your finger on why is hard. I find this whole 'that's not burning man, dude' posturing to be absurd. Where did this manifesto come from? It's chaos. It's in the eye of the beholder. What are chaos' core values?


Sorry about blatantly disregarding the thread drift. You can now return to your irregularly scheduled programming.
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Postby Alpha » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:49 pm

I think the topical question missed the mark ever so slightly. Burning Man, the event, obviously means many things to many people. The values found therein are going to be dependent on the beholder.

As I recall, however, this topic arose after the posting of a letter from Larry describing how the LLC would be expanding its scope beyond 1 week on the playa, while still trying to maintain its core values. I think the more pertinent question is, What are BMOrg's core values? These are presumably defined by Larry or are at least shaped by the mission of the LLC, no?
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Postby Bob » Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:34 pm

Newbieplaya Glossary:

BMOrg -- characteristic of Diox-list slippage; refers to consensus-making via smoke-free rheums
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Postby ramen » Sat Oct 04, 2003 7:14 pm

Wear lots of neon, be a symbol of anarchic creative excess, burn well...fall over with a big crunch!
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Postby Guest » Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:35 pm

Tiara wrote:I think there are really two threads encompassed by Badger's question:

1) What does Burning Man mean to *you*? What do you value about your interactions with other Burners? What lessons do you take away from the event?

2) What is Burning Man, as an organization, trying to accomplish? What is its mission statement? What will messages like the regionals letter equate to in actual practice and outcome?


2) Trying to accomplish?
Providing a ritual that people can use to renew themselves.
Spreading the doctrine that people can have a really good decadent party and leave no trace. BTW, i first came across this concept before Burning Man started when a friend volunteered to help clean up after a reggae fest and spent a long day picking up cigarette butts. Its not unique to Burning Man, but its a great notion.
Teaching people that they can do more to rely on themselves then they know.

1) What does Burning Man mean to me?
Self-expression.
Chances to learn.
Nakedness without shame.
Not carrying around my wallet, timepiece, or cell phone.
A few days away from parenthood.
A beer in the morning.
A general lessenning of society's influential pressure to pigeonhole, remotely analyze, and judge others.
An appreciation of gifts both extraordinary and common.

And one i can't really express very well and not sure where it fits, but...
to educate people that there is a lot of great art out there that can more readily grab hold of your consciousness when the evil twin influences of money and previous success are lessenned.
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Postby Wind_Borne » Sat Dec 06, 2003 10:58 pm

A way of thinking about the BM core values might be to consider what essential changes to the day-to-day rules make BM special.

Throughout history and every day each person plays a part in creating their surroundings -- that's mere tautology. It seems at BRC each individual contribution is more cleary seen. Is that because of the short time we're there? or the small population (compared to SFO, say)? or something else?

It's not just simple chaos or unrestrained free will. Without laws, we get war lords. Without compassion and fair-play, we get robber-barons. We seem to have some balance of freedom and respect going on in BRC. Again, is that because it's a small town? Or is it the Christmas Time Effect (we can be our best for a week) ? or is it just a matter of getting away from our earthly woes for a while?

Opportunities, and need, for creativity happen everyday. But something about BRC encourages and enlivens that impulse. Perhaps the new environment sparks new thinking. Perhaps having the world so far away allows one's mind to explore ideas that are often lost in the everyday jumble. Is it the freedom to be creative? or the limitations that require creativity?

So just what is it that makes BM and BRC special ?
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Postby Bob » Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:33 am

RTFT.
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Postby Kinetic II » Sun Dec 07, 2003 12:48 am

Why sit and analyze it so much? Just go, participate, and enjoy yourself and the company of 30,000+ other like minded individuals.
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Postby Wind_Borne » Sun Dec 07, 2003 2:18 am

Bob wrote:RTFT.


After I did RTFT those were the questions I was asking myself.

Kinetic II wrote:Why sit and analyze it so much? Just go, participate, and enjoy yourself and the company of 30,000+ other like minded individuals.


And while I was writing down the questions that same thought occured to me. But, hey, this is a conversation so I figured I would converse.

I don't read this board every day, so the questions still hold interest for me. For instance, Ivy's remarks about creativity are intriguing. I would love to talk to Ivy over coffee about the nature of creativity -- it's a facsinating subject. I suppose I could have PM'ed her about the subject. But I went and blurted it out here because I'm interested in your opinion, too.

Just tonight, before I jumped online, I was missing the literal playa. I'm thinking about art for 2004. I'm thinking about my encampment. I'm thinking about how to create a welcoming experience for others. I'm thinking about a lot of things that this thread has touched on. And so I asked my questions.
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Core values

Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Fri Dec 26, 2003 2:17 pm

To be truthful!

don't ever fucking lie to us!

to be helpful to those that need help!

don't ever fucking play us for a chump!

the rest is to party on!

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Ahhh Yess...

Postby Last Real Burner » Fri Dec 26, 2003 2:45 pm

Truer words ha n'er been sp'ken :roll:

"The Key to life is within each of us, it takes the wisdom and patience of maturity to unlock it."

absurdly,
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Postby people for sale » Sun Aug 21, 2005 3:39 pm

Looking at all of this makes me wonder, what was the original intent for this festival?
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Postby joel the ornery » Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:40 pm

re-birth via fire?

or

a camping trip?
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Postby Driveway » Sun Aug 21, 2005 7:49 pm

I dunno about you "participants", but I'm going for the boobies.
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Postby Steven bradford » Sun Aug 21, 2005 7:52 pm

Labor Day Getaway?
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Postby TheJudge » Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:17 am

Rob the Wop wrote:No one needs to see me masturbating while doing the "funky chicken".



Actually, I'd kinda like to see that.
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Postby TheJudge » Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:20 am

people for sale wrote:Looking at all of this makes me wonder, what was the original intent for this festival?



That's the beauty of it: NOTHING.

There doesnt have to be a reason or ulterior motive for something to exist. It will exist on its own, despite the best intentions of some guy in a cowboy hat.

No offense to anyone who wears cowboy hats.

If anything, I think the original intent was something fun to do on Labor Day weekend.

It's succeded.
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...

Postby the fire elf » Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:33 am

it's my opportunity for further evolution
instantiate vacuous truth
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