Business 2.0 Article

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

Postby Dork » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:26 pm

actiongrl wrote:"Is the Playa where people in the tech business go to network?"

I'll answer that one: yes. Has been for years. ;)

But not in any sort of official, sanctioned way. Not even as a deliberate act for most - there's just a bunch of us techies attending, and we like talking about new projects.

I have to say, could it be that the rousing public dialogue about this is what all this art stuff is about anyway?

Would it make me feel better if this was all just Larry fucking with us as some sort of performance art? No. Would I even believe him if he backed off the whole deal with the devil thing and said it was just about getting us to talk about commerce? Probably not.
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Postby mdmf007 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:40 pm

LIke i said on another board -

This may be the first step towards commercialization. I know of a group we work with values BM at 30million, cash today - and are prepared to negotiate if / when BMAN comes up. All it would take is a one hour meeting with the BMORG officers to put together a corporate resolution and change the entire scheme that we all know now.

Any bets as to when it sells? I am guessing 2012 - just a total guess, but we'll see.

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Postby gyre » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:03 pm

Too bad the theme camps, art pieces, volunteers and "audience" won't be included in any possible sale.
Who'd be dumb enough to pay for that?

Kind of like owning the Pan-American Airlines trademark now.
How much did that go for again?
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:44 am

Bob wrote: In the end, if it's good technology worth adopting & using in real life, you have to know where to buy the stuff yourself, unless the aim is to promote some funded artist's commission to build a big belching methane-processing haggis-on-wheels out of junkyard parts in your driveway back home.


Not necessarily. I may well be able to take what I learn from the belching slug and run my forges with it. Then I don't have to use propane. There are already several folks around the country running glass and metal shops on alternative fuels. I also work with a group of artists who are building a collaborative fire-based-arts facility (clay, glass, and metal) that will run entirely off methane from a landfill. Current architectural models for the buildings are using reused materials such as concrete highway slabs.

And it doesn't really bother me in the belching slug case that an artist(s) is getting funding to work on something that will be a full time job just to get it done. It wouldn't happen otherwise (and I'm guessing here that it's funded by BRAF and not intended to be a part of an add campaign later). I’ve personally chosen to not get any outside funding for my art project. But that’s just my personal take on it. The fact that I can build it in the evenings helps.

Either way, I want to learn more about as this type of technology and adapt it more and more into my daily life.
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Postby madmatt » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:16 am

actiongrl wrote:"Is the Playa where people in the tech business go to network?"

I'll answer that one: yes. Has been for years. ;)

I have to say, could it be that the rousing public dialogue about this is what all this art stuff is about anyway?


Actiongirl, the more you say, the worse it gets...

Just because some people like to talk business on the playa doesn't mean that there should be some "dialogue" with businesses about how they can best tap the "brand" that is burning man.

The fact that you guys even talk in terms of this phenomenon being a "brand" kind of sickens me. It runs contrary to all the rhetoric you guys are always spouting about gift economy, working to keep businesses from, for example, commodifying what people do at BM...like taking pictures of someone's art, or naked body and making and selling postcards or videos of it.

It really makes me feel like all the rhetoric coming from BMORG and those heavily involved in planning etc. about community and life changing experiences and such...is just bullshit.

I always supported the fact that there was a big "organization" running stuff at BM because of all the benefit and work they do to make BRC possible - permits, emergency care, planning the streets, etc.

Burning Man has become a central part in the lives of me, my wife, all my brothers, and now, even my parents are coming back for the second time this year. So why don't you just take your "burning man is a brand" and your ;) and shove it.
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Postby Chai Guy » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:54 pm

It's interesting, I just recently saw this video up on Youtube (notice the GOOGLE brand on the video?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNWb1iyOHEY

It shows (presumably, I can't really authenticate it) that the pavilion is going to be directly under and around the man? Is that right?

Now I know that *most* people who go to the event don't read these boards (tribe, eplaya, 3playa etc.), so I'm wondering what's going to happen at the event when participants realize that it's going to be next to impossible to avoid this thing even if they try.

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Postby gyre » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:04 pm

I have never made it out to the man before it is blocked off for fireworks or whatever.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:09 pm

It's been my general understanding from the website that the pavilion is what the man will be standing on.

There were also a bunch of "advertisements" in the youtube sidebar posted by different usernames. But they all had the same basic mix of stuff and looked to be created by the same person.

I suspect to get people riled up.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:15 pm

In 2007, we will expand the pavilion that surrounds the Burning Man into a 30,000 square foot exhibition space that combines art, earth sciences and technological innovation.


From here:

http://www.burningman.com/environment/p ... ation.html


And this image shows what I'm taking as The Man's lower legs.

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Postby Fat SAM » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:25 pm

Wow. Seen the picture a hundred times and never put it together.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:21 pm

Yeah, it took me a few looks too. I'm also tickled at how the people around the base seem to be cowering and running away, or maybe worshipping out of fear.

"Behold the great Green Man!!"

MadMaxdude, however, seems a bit indifferent...

Hee Hee Har
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:32 am

The people are doing that wierd dance fighting thing. I can't wait for that craze to finally peeter out.
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Postby gyre » Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:53 am

Is anyone still doing that?
Dates back to disco.

Death before disco.
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Viral Marketing 101

Postby DaBomb » Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:02 am

Examples of Viral Marketing

Exhibit 1:

Image


Exhibit 2:
Chai Guy wrote:It's interesting, I just recently saw this video up on Youtube (notice the GOOGLE brand on the video?)


Hey Chai, the music also happens to be that of Lost at Last, a burner music group. Were they compensated for the use of their copyrighted material in this video? The answer is most likely a big fat "no".

So, here's the hypocrisy: Google is allowed to offer memetic support to the Burning Man brand. Not a bad thing really because after all, they're burners in business.

But...what about other burners in business? BMorg vehemently goes after each and every freaking eBay listing that uses their name by contacting the Seller with a Cease and Desist letter or just having the auction item flagged and thereby pulled. Many, many, many of these Sellers are burners just like me.

Check it: if somebody like me..a 10 time repeat customer that has always paid full price for my ticket; a volunteer that has during set up week that in addition to being part of a BM sanctioned volunteer crew has also given my professional services freely to members of the Community (drink!) (including but not limited to the BMorg, Lamplighters, DPW, Camp Artica, et al.); a media mogul that provides free and heartfelt media exposure about the event that highlights the art and culture...if I post an ad on eBay and use the word "Burning Man" in the auction title, I'll get my ass kicked.

Yet Google is given the freedom to use the brand without any legal repercussions.

What up with that? I call bullshit!

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I am that PIG

Postby polykarmatic » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:37 am

I don't post very often, (key board skills limit more people in this online world than you may realize) but I just had to struggle through a post and try and convey my side of this years "Green" theme and some of the backlash its brought about, not that discussion is a bad thing, it has provoked a lot of emotion and thought.

What's funny (or ironic?) is how excited "I am" about the possibility of seeing cutting edge "green" ideas at this years Burning Man, some of which may be close to or already available and on the market. How cool is it to think of algae scrubbing the air, how neat will it be for me to see a large solar collecting instillation. A wind powered toaster, cooking bacon with the sun.... I'll be asking who makes those? who manufactures the components, how close is this to being on the market? I'll be full of questions... I'll be looking for those bleeding edge ideas that may succeed commercially. I'll want to know how I can participate..

If I can come away with some market insight and maybe even a few names of budding young publicly traded stocks that have the potential to be one of those lifetime changing investments I'll be thrilled and empowered too (remember Google has some ties to the community, any one wish they had bought that IPO?... BTW still not to late in my opinion).

I'm just a middle aged guy who loves the power of a good idea, and if I can be part of it by owing a few shares, well color me a capitalist pig, I guess its the way my part of the world is... I also believe some of the most creative and innovative people on the planet will be there, some WILL have ideas and technology that WILL change my life.

So if you see me asking questions and taking notes about technology, ideas and trends from people who are already dreaming or doing it and whom I feel have insight into what's coming and are developing "products" for what may be the next big market area, don't judge me to harshly.

A silly dream (of mine), but imagine if an Idea that you or I saw allowed you to become a benefactor or sponsor of the BRAF or you were put in a position to develop an art project, or help fund a new regional burn with the "dirty" money you had made from an idea that you saw at the 2007 Burning Man. I for one would love to be benefactor or small philanthropist.

just my .02 cents

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one other thing.. check out Research Frontiers traded on the NASDAQ symbol REFR (more irony?) get it under $13.00 it'll trade back I think, read about Research Frontiers patented light control technology. disclaimer, very very speculative, no earning, large short position against it, unproven commercially (for now)
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Postby EB » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:50 am

Warren Buffet's coming to Burning Man!!!!!!
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:06 am

Killbuck would figure out a way to make an explosion go boom In Space!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:22 am

Da Bomb,

I've got to respectfully disagree with you on this one. That google logo is the one that they put up on the website sometimes on the first day of the event, right?

So really isn’t it google promoting Burning Man and not the other way around in this particular case? Seems the same as me having a small burning man sticker on the side window of my truck. Its discreet and there incase someone who would recognize it notices. In all the years I’ve been doing what I do, I’ve never had a client take note of that little sticker. I’m not using it to try and get business. That's not the intention behind my action.

If I put up an auction online and place the words “Burning Manâ€
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Postby Chai Guy » Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:34 pm

Hey Le Chat, I see your point, I do.

But let's look at what's going on here, Google gets to use the logo on their homepage. Current TV gets their link on the Burning Man homepage. The companies who donate products to the green pavilion get their names mentioned in articles in business magazines, articles which are written at the request of Burning Man LLC.

It seems like a lot of "do as I say, not as I do" on behalf on the LLC.

Is anyone questioning why Larry Harvey decided to go behind his partner's backs to steal the logo from Michael Mikel and John Law? It makes me wonder what his motivation was. I can't see where he gained anything in doing that, unless he has some kind of plan to sell the logo (or the use of) to some other corporation for a fee.

Read the lawsuits for yourself and maybe someone can explain to me why

http://johnlawspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/michael_mikel_arbitration_demand.pdf

http://laughingsquid.com/other/john_law_burning_man_complaint.html
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:48 pm

Chai Guy wrote:Hey Le Chat, I see your point, I do.

But let's look at what's going on here, Google gets to use the logo on their homepage. Current TV gets their link on the Burning Man homepage. The companies who donate products to the green pavilion get their names mentioned in articles in business magazines, articles which are written at the request of Burning Man LLC.


Google using the logo on their homepage doesn't cause me any more problem that them putting up some sort of Christmas theme logo at that time of year.

I've already seen how the names get dropped before the event for the donation of materials, and I suspect there's no way around that. And if it gets more suff like that to happen... well? That's a touchy one there. I'm sure there's be more names mentioned afterwards too. It does sort of seem like a loophole type thing.

And I admit that the current TV things bugs me a bit. I liked the idea when it was presented on the playa, since it seemed like a collaboration of people who had the tools to do something cool. BRC has radio stations... why not a TV station too? I like the creativity of it. But it is big company fronting it, and not a small group of people who put it together themselves. I think is worth keeping an eye on. And it is odd that other BRC media don't have links on the homepage, i.e. The Black Rock Beacon.

I'm not going to say there's something going on behind the scenes, because I frankly don't have any firsthand knowledge of that and suspect nobody would inform me of it if there was. But I'm not saying there isn't either. All I can do is take in what information I can and make my best assessment of the situation from the outside.

I'm honestly still too ignorant (even after reading the stuff form John Law's site) to say the lawsuit is one thing or another. I'm still not ruling out a cacophony stunt on that one, really. I am concerned because I don't like the idea of this event (and the people who make it) being misused. But I'm also curious about the fact that there seems to be some sort of controversy every year leading up to the event. All I can do is keep my eyes open and try to gauge everything as honestly as possible. I hope I’m doing that.
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Postby helitack » Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:06 pm

...maybe it is time for people to realize that although bm didn't start out to be a business, it is now, it is for profit, whether you like it or not, if you don't like being manipulated/exploited/denied/excluded/included/abused/exposed/etc. Be like any other consumer, the LLC is looking at their own wallets, with an eye on the content of yours, don't buy the product if you don't like it...
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:11 pm

helitack wrote:...maybe it is time for people to realize that although bm didn't start out to be a business, it is now, it is for profit, if you don't like being manipulated/exploited/denied/excluded/included/abused/exposed/etc. Be like any other consumer, the LLC is looking at their own wallets, with an eye on the content of yours, don't buy the product if you don't like it...


Ultimately that is the way to do it. But before that, I'm going to raise my voice and try to keep it from getting to the point where I have to quit coming.
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Postby skygod » Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:34 pm

Ok I finally read it.
Corporations are just another guy with a megaphone walking down 2:30 and Something when I'm trying to sleep.
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Postby DaBomb » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:07 pm

Dear LeChat...I copy you on your respect and send it back to you in this message.

You make a distinction between "advertising" (i.e. eBay) and "promotions" (i.e. Google). I do not. In my bookkeeping the two are filed as one to my tax accountant under the same heading.

I object to the viral advertisement via Google through the use of their network and the exposure that Burning Man receives to the Google market.

At the risk of comparing the two corporations ('cause I know it's been a the butt of jokes but bear with me) Disney cracks down on the unauthorized use of their copyright, no matter what. You cant even paint Mickey Mouse on your store window for Christmas without the Disney cops on your ass. Similarly, Simpsons characters, are also protected quite aggressively as well. What's the harm? Disney and Fox collects licensing fees for their work, that's what's the harm.

BMorg can't have it both ways: enforce the mark here, but turn a blind eye there.

Remember when Jerri Manthey (the gal on Survivor) did the PlayBoy spread? This is a classic example of "product placement". BMorg sure as hell did not get all up in PlayBoy's ass about it like they did with "Girls Gone Wild".

Anyway, I want to avoid heated debate, LeChatNoir, so I would like to focus on something else that you said for moment:

I'm going to raise my voice and try to keep it from getting to the point where I have to quit coming.


From personal experience I can tell you: Good luck. Seriously. Good luck. It boggles the mind that this article was featured in a magazine called Business 2.0 because there is nothing about BMorg that I can tell is 2.0.

For one: there's no transparency and no accountability from BMorg.

A cute meme such as "Burning Man is a do-ocracy!" is a seemingly benign yet propagandist motto that deludes burners to the fact that the business of Burning Man is far from a democracy. It still operates on an out-dated (and perhaps obsolete) top-down-for-profit business model. Time and time again, the BMorg fails to connect with their customers until..and rather ironically... they've got to put out a bunch of fires like in this current burning brouhaha.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:38 pm

Anyway, I want to avoid heated debate, LeChatNoir, so I would like to focus on something else that you said for moment:



Fair enough, but I’d like to get back to those ideas at some point in the future, if you’re willing, because I feel the distinctions we are making are very important ones to this whole topic.

Going on to the observation you made:

DaBomb wrote:
I'm going to raise my voice and try to keep it from getting to the point where I have to quit coming.


From personal experience I can tell you: Good luck. Seriously. Good luck...


Then why are we all here? Seems this topic is dead if we are to believe that raising our voice will make no difference. And yet here we are, still discussing.

That being said, I can agree with you completely that people feel out of touch with the Borg and that things seem to be a “put out firesâ€
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Postby Green Wood » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:00 pm

It's too bad that Larry or someone with corporate pull hasn't remark on this endever?


But my point is when they started charging $400 at the gate, that's when I stopped volunteering. My playa time is too important for someone's elses cash cow. The reason I still go is because of real people still doing what I experienced 8 years ago. I will probably go once to the man just to check it out. I hope it won't be lame like going to a tech convention, but truly artful otherwise I might go ahead and....
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Postby Zulegoona » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:27 pm

An idea just crossed my mind about the separation between the BMorg and the costumers / participants. In the current relationship ,the infrastructure is provided , most Burner don’t think about LLC except when the port a potty lines are long or they are losing patience waiting for the man to be set on fire. There is a bit of an us and them separation, and because of that every thing else which is almost every thing is from “usâ€
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Postby gyre » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:17 pm

DaBomb wrote:Dear LeChat...I copy you on your respect and send it back to you in this message.

You make a distinction between "advertising" (i.e. eBay) and "promotions" (i.e. Google). I do not. In my bookkeeping the two are filed as one to my tax accountant under the same heading.

I object to the viral advertisement via Google through the use of their network and the exposure that Burning Man receives to the Google market.

At the risk of comparing the two corporations ('cause I know it's been a the butt of jokes but bear with me) Disney cracks down on the unauthorized use of their copyright, no matter what. You cant even paint Mickey Mouse on your store window for Christmas without the Disney cops on your ass. Similarly, Simpsons characters, are also protected quite aggressively as well. What's the harm? Disney and Fox collects licensing fees for their work, that's what's the harm.

BMorg can't have it both ways: enforce the mark here, but turn a blind eye there.

Remember when Jerri Manthey (the gal on Survivor) did the PlayBoy spread? This is a classic example of "product placement". BMorg sure as hell did not get all up in PlayBoy's ass about it like they did with "Girls Gone Wild"

Who is Jerri Manthey?
What are you talking about?
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Postby helitack » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:35 pm

DaBomb wrote:BMorg can't have it both ways: enforce the mark here, but turn a blind eye there.
They can if they wish to, the trademark belongs to the business, they choose what to enforce and what not to.

DaBomb wrote:For one: there's no transparency and no accountability from BMorg.


It's a business, they have no obligation to be accountable to anyone but themselves. If they don't want to listen to the customers, then they have to be either confident in what they decide or be prepared to pay the concequences.
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Postby Archantael » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:41 pm

And it's absolutely certain there's damn sure going to be consequences from this. It won't blow over like the Borg2 situation or Current TV did. This fire won't be quenched easily....they might as well have set some magnesium on fire...it's gonna get hotter and hotter and I'm not so sure they have the expertise over there to put it out.
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