So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

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

So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby jadewombat » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:44 pm

I just really don't understand. I've seen all the preaching for years about keeping ticket costs low and I've never believed it, but now it's interesting to see some actual numbers about this whole grey area of staged ticket prices, etc.

http://burners.me/2014/05/09/the-great- ... llion-est/

No volunteers at the Greeters Station and selling coffee, sure, probably would boost the cost of the tickets but the profit margin would still be the same so I'm not buying that argument at all (if this weren't true, the original 6 would've fully absorbed this margin years ago and that's never happened). The founders deserve to make money off the event? Of course. My point is who is volunteering for BMorg helping though really?

Volunteering is bad? Nope. Not saying that at all. I've helped with Habitat and animal shelters over the years several times. I just can't picture helping out TicketMaster if I went to a normal concert.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Sham » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:23 pm

The moderators here volunteer at least 2 hours a day---all year. You just work it into the regular routine. When one moderator is not available, others pick up the slack.
Just glad to do it I guess. 8)
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:32 pm

I do understand what you mean; it seems crazy to work for nothing for an organization that's making money like this one. In the sense you are putting forth, you're right.
A lot of people do it because they enjoy it. I've got my own saying - the difference between work and play is whether you have to do it.
Some volunteer positions have their perks, some people like being more connected to things, some do it to meet people and have fun.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:50 pm

It has sometimes been argued that lamplighting is largely obsolete, able to be replaced by technology. While I will always argue the Lamplighter procession adds a beautiful, useful, and meaningful ceremony to TTITD, I do agree that it isn't the most functional way to spend my time. Without the lanterns our fair city certainly would not fall deeper into chaos like it would if our DPW, ESD, GPE, or port-a-potty friends stopped volunteering.

So why do I do it? Honestly... I'm not entirely certainly. Despite any goody-goody talk about service, at this stage I'm really doing it for myself. If I were able to articulate precisely why lamplighting is so meaningful and enjoyable to me, the whole process would lose some of its magic. Maybe one day that will happen despite my efforts, and I'll stop volunteering. Or I'll continue to be a Lamplighter for the sake of the closeknit bonds I feel with my fellow villagers but I won't be so starry-eyed about the lamplighting procession itself, our ostensible purpose.

I'm not afraid of that hypothetical day, but I'm also not afraid to work my ass off until then.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby aserendipity » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:07 pm

I volunteer for you

because I love you

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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Eric » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:52 pm

Moving this over to Politics & Philosophy, since the OP is asking a more general philosophical question about volunteering for the event.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby BBadger » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:20 am

Some people might volunteer for a ticket. These days the ticket may be worth more than its face value because of its scarcity; some may volunteer to help receive one in the future. Other people may volunteer because it gives them something to do; they feel like they're not in the "Burning Man spirit" if they're involved in the community. Others may volunteer to feel special or important, or to have some direct attachment to the event, perhaps to work their way up in the ladder.

I volunteer on some projects for various reasons. It allows me to exercise my supposed skills in something other than in paper. It also makes me feel useful, and gives me access to resources to build such things that I may not normally have. Finally, it's just fun to create things. Still, I probably wouldn't want to volunteer at the event in any official capacity unless I bring my own project, because I don't want to be doing (much) obligatory work at the event. Even manning a MV got old real quick.

If people don't want to volunteer for something that's their own choice. Aside from your obligations, everything you do at Burning Man should be because you want to do it, not to fulfill some sort of "participation quota" or something like that.

And all the essentially "free labor" for the event organizers? Well isn't that what Burning Man is really about? It's a big blank slate to bring and do things, with some banks of toilets and a few core structures. Maybe BMOrg is all a big racket, but honestly, I don't care. It's $400 to get in and the rest is all mine to make what I want of it. Minute for minute, it's the best-valued vacation my money buys. What I get out of it is all that counts.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby gaminwench » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:38 am

I volunteer at the event for YOU!
I like being part of something larger than my self.
I'm a helper.
I like meeting and greeting and hugging and gifting and :twisted:

This has nothing to do with Bmorg;
they merely facilitate opportunities for me to get my joy on.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Joeln » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:51 am

gaminwench wrote:they merely facilitate opportunities for me to get my joy on.

One of the best of many fine answers here! :coffee:
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby lucky420 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:42 am

I volunteer because ICE is just so much fun. Interacting with the crew and customers us a kick. I like helping. I like being connected. I like fucking with people in a playful way :wink:
Oh my god, it's HUGE!
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby VultureChow » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:27 am

In a sense, everything we do at Burning Man is volunteer work for the Org.

People don't schlep out to the desert for the amazing porto potties and street grid. If it was just one big effigy burn would 60,000 people come from all over the world? If we use the dreaded "f-word", festival, the org, instead of paying performers or getting sponsors or allowing concessions, they are depending on volunteers to set up stages, and play music and serve food and booze.

So why do any of us make art, or gift food, or run a bar or any of the numerous things that make Burning Man what it is? Because we want to. We get something out of it. It's fun, or rewarding, or we're masochists.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby trilobyte » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:58 am

I volunteer for the same reason some people subscribe to the conspiracy theory stuff people post on the rumorblogosphere... because I want to. It's the same reason I do all the other volunteering that I've ever done, as far as I can recall.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:46 am

trilobyte wrote:I volunteer for the same reason some people subscribe to the conspiracy theory stuff people post on the rumorblogosphere...

I didn't even read the link after I saw it was on burners.me (or whatever it's called). Pretty much what little I see there is shit-stirring. And I'm a bitter ex-burner who never really trusted the llc.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Eric » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:16 am

theCryptofishist wrote:I didn't even read the link after I saw it was on burners.me (or whatever it's called). Pretty much what little I see there is shit-stirring. And I'm a bitter ex-burner who never really trusted the llc.


There's that, and there's the fact it's poorly written (with an 18 million dollar variance in it's pay-out estimate), and tries to use "big words" to sound smart ("seven annum cash out" instead of seven year, "IF ANYONE, PERCHANCE, MIGHT PROVE ANY OF THIS TO BE INCORRECT" - caps in original). The part that kills me is the endless repetition of "maths" - it's not a word, and the fact that the author doesn't have the native intelligence to recognize that calls into question the rest of the article ("by simple maths", "By these maths", "and upon simple maths upon their afterburn reports" [correctly, in English: "doing simple math based on their Afterburn reports"]- those 3 alone in the 3rd paragraph).

Let's see ... bad logic, made up numbers, wild guesses, a rudimentary command of the English language... :roll:
I don't even think this article qualifies the author for Trolling 101 (and it's not like it's hard to get a trolling post put up on burners.me)
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:27 am

Also, I heard people with official laminates get laid easier!
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Sham » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:40 am

theCryptofishist wrote: And I'm a bitter ex-burner who never really trusted the llc.

You're not an ex-burner yet Miss Fishy---NOT YET!
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Savannah » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:44 pm

* Because I don't build or make (large-scale) art, but I found something constructive that needs doing.
* Because it's fun.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby GreyCoyote » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:35 pm

gaminwench wrote:I volunteer at the event for YOU!
I like being part of something larger than my self.
I'm a helper.
I like meeting and greeting and hugging and gifting and :twisted:

This has nothing to do with Bmorg;
they merely facilitate opportunities for me to get my joy on.


This!!! For the win! :mrgreen:

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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Jovankat » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:00 pm

Eric wrote: The part that kills me is the endless repetition of "maths" - it's not a word, and the fact that the author doesn't have the native intelligence to recognize that calls into question the rest of the article ("by simple maths", "By these maths", "and upon simple maths upon their afterburn reports" [correctly, in English: "doing simple math based on their Afterburn reports"]- those 3 alone in the 3rd paragraph).


Incorrect. Maths is a perfectly acceptable abbreviation in pretty much every English speaking country other than the US and Canada. Just cause it's not how it's done in the US doesn't mean it's wrong. There are other countries out there you know :P Americans assuming that their way is the only way is a particular pet peeve of mine, especially on the internet since it's you know, international and all. :twisted:

But apart from that, yes that article was crap.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:16 pm

Jovenkat beat me to it.
I have a nephew who majored in maths in Kings College, Cambridge, so I have all sorts of imaginary authority on the issue.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Jovankat » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:20 pm

I get berated by my mother if I say "math" around her (or on Facebook). She's accepted that I say "cup cake" and "cookie" because I've been able to convince her that they are actually different to "patty cake" and "biscuit" but "math" she just won't accept and I don't really have a justification for using it.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:57 pm

It's carrying the plural from mathematics, I guess.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Jovankat » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:07 pm

Yeah actually that does make sense.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby BBadger » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:11 pm

I've never liked the British use of "maths" instead of "mathematics." It just sounds hillbilly-ish. Don't like "treble" either.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Jovankat » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:13 pm

I can't imagine it sounding hillbilly-ish in an English accent though I make no promises at all for the Australian accent. :P
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:17 pm

Actually, "seven annum" might be a britishism as well.

Doesn't mean that that blog post isn't a pile of nonsense[1], but the language isn't as off as it might seem.

[1]Of course, having said that (and even though I passed over my first thought, "a pile of crap"), I'm automatically marked by the burners.me crowd as "having drunk the kool aid."
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Token » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:02 pm

I volunteer to fuck with people.

I volunteer on projects that can blow up if you fuck up.

I volunteer on dangerous art cuz deep down inside I want someone to jump out of a plane and impale themselves on it.

I volunteer cuz when you have a hammer every problem is a hippie.

I volunteer cuz kerosine in the morning smells like victory.

I volunteer because thousands of ravers tripping balls is like a barrel full of monkeys.

I volunteer for guiding the sheeple into the macabre is laughably simple.

I volunteer so I can feed on your misplaced trust.

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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Jovankat » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:00 pm

Token wrote:I volunteer to fuck with people.

I volunteer on projects that can blow up if you fuck up.

I volunteer on dangerous art cuz deep down inside I want someone to jump out of a plane and impale themselves on it.

I volunteer cuz when you have a hammer every problem is a hippie.

I volunteer cuz kerosine in the morning smells like victory.

I volunteer because thousands of ravers tripping balls is like a barrel full of monkeys.

I volunteer for guiding the sheeple into the macabre is laughably simple.

I volunteer so I can feed on your misplaced trust.

Fuck yer day!


I think this may be the most terrifying thing I've heard said about TTITD :shock:

But depending on how much you are in fact a psychopath it's also a pretty rad damn answer. :twisted:
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Eric » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:11 pm

Jovankat wrote:I think this may be the most terrifying thing I've heard said about TTITD :shock:

But depending on how much you are in fact a psychopath it's also a pretty rad damn answer. :twisted:


Tokens' post is pretty much the philosophy of my favorite bar on the playa (Slow Burn Lounge at Fandango). It's only terrifying to people who are afraid of the dark (because we might be there...)


As for "maths"... *shudder*. Just because some of you other countries insist on misusing the same language doesn't mean I have to like it. Besides, I don't think they were trying to do anything more than sound as pompous as possible to give their speculation weight it doesn't have. I honestly could care less how rich "the founders" get (god that sounds like a cult name) as long as there's a playground in the desert for me to go wild in.
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Re: So why do you volunteer for the BMorg?

Postby Jovankat » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:16 pm

You realize English comes from England right? Is really so hard to accept that there is more than one right way?
So no you don't have to like it but you also can't pretend it's misuse without also proving the stereotype of the American arrogant in his own ignorance. 8)
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