thoughts, musings, and bits of potential wisdom

All things outside of Burning Man.

thoughts, musings, and bits of potential wisdom

Postby III » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:21 am

it took me a while to decide what to call this thread.

i wanted to tell some stories, in lieu of giving straight out advice.

we'll see where it goes.
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Postby III » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:23 am

stolen from a mailing list i'm on

A dog had just crossed the railroad tracks when a train came by and
took the tip off his tail. He of course returned to retrieve it. That
dog lost his whole head trying to get a little piece of tail.
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Postby Last Real Burner » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:27 am

III wrote: stolen from a mailing list i'm on

A dog had just crossed the railroad tracks when a train came by and
took the tip off his tail. He of course returned to retrieve it. That
dog lost his whole head trying to get a little piece of tail.


shouldn't that read, "He of course, turned to retrieve it.", III?

"No stupid, just say your with the midget."


musely,
mr smith
Last edited by Last Real Burner on Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby III » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:29 am

on becoming involved with the llc, in whatever way, for whatever reason

Burning Man is a lot like Oz.

Sure, it's a weird city with weird inhabitants that sometimes seems like it's just a dream, but that's not where i'm going with this.

It feels like it's magic. It's easy to believe that there's magic, and it's created by the wonderful wizard. The thing is, there really is magic. It's just that the magic isn't in the city, or in the wizard, it's in you. You've had the magic all along, and all you need is to discover it. The wizard will even tell you so, if you look behind the curtain.

But, if you look behind the curtain, you'll realize that the smoke and the godlike voice and all the other special effects that you thought were part of the magic aren't. They can't be. The magic is in you, not the special effects. Sure, they're pretty, and impressive. But they're not magic.

Be ready to lose that if you look behind the curtain.

archived at http://www.cultureshark.net/wiki/index.php?BehindTheCurtain
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Postby III » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:36 am

this one (as well as the one up there) is for kia: it's about the potential for frustration with being a regional rep

In December of 1997, I met with Pyru, aka Pyru Joe at a coffee shop in Pacific Beach. As far as i can tell, that was the very first San Diego regional gathering. We discussed how to start having events to bring local burners together, so that we could start experiencing what we'd found at Burning Man on a more frequent basis.

The first beach burn, held the following January, was a modest success, in part because we had a number of visitors from Los Angeles. But there was no real spark, and the few people i connected with were not locals. Over the course of that year, we had a few more, with moderate attendance, but there was no real gelling of community.

Somewhere during that time, Joe became the regional rep for San Diego. The next year, a kernel of community was created when a couple of locals got together to form Xara . Joe tried to model the get togethers after local drum circles, while Xara pulled in a different kind of crowd.

Over the next couple of years, what community there was centered around Xara as a theme camp. Other groups, such as the lustmonkeys, joined and spun off again.

Finally, for no discernable reason, right after 2002, something happened. A whole bunch of people, some new to Burning Man and some new to San Diego, but also people who were around both for years, decided to start hanging out. The local mailing list, once primarily used by Joe to announce burns, all of a sudden had two way traffic. Someone suggested a face to face get together, and within weeks after that burn there was a thriving community of people who got together several times a week to share experiences, creativity, and wisdom.

Also, right at that same time, right after things got rolling, Joe left San DIego for greener pastures. His leaving had nothing to do with the success, it was just a matter of bad timing.

The lesson to learn from this is that, as a regional representative, all you can really do is be a contact point for people to get together. You can't force them to create a community. All you can do is give them the opportunity, and wait for time to take its course

aarchived at http://www.cultureshark.net/wiki/index.php?SanDiegoRegionalHistory
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Postby precipitate » Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:14 am

> shouldn't that read, "He of course, turned to retrieve it.", III?

No. It's either:
<pre>He of course returned to retrieve it.</pre>
or:
<pre>He, of course, returned to retrieve it.</pre>
Matter of style which one you choose.

Under no circumstances do you use unmatched commas to set off a clause.
Unless you're German.

(sorry, I couldn't resist)
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Postby antron » Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:33 am

i believe that the magic from burningman is an emergent phenomenon. and that burningman is a complex adaptive system. the magic does not come from any of the parts, yet it comes from all of them.

the order -- the way things turn out a the burn -- is emergent as opposed to predetermined; burningman's history is irreversible, and burningman's future is unpredictable.

burningman aggregates a quite heterogenous group -- artists, engineers, volunteers, greeters, employees, blm, yahoos, media, etc. -- that forms the population of brc. burningman comes into being through the sum of the actions of those 30,000 acting more-or-less independently.

there is some organization, at least there is a core group taking care of some basic infrastructure, but there isn't a global controller of all activities. there are a number of sub groups including theme camps that form and have their own organization and hierarchy not necessarily connected to the burningman hierarchy.

the attendees interact with eachother in a dispersed and unfocused way. there's nobody telling everyone what to do...except when to show up, and when the man burns.

it has been noted that the event has changed dramatically over the years, and the population of attendees seems to be able to roll-with and adapt to the changes as they occur. even at the camp level, there's adaptation -- modification of structures, designs, levels of participation, costumes...

the changes are a source for new opportunities for creation and interaction. while some interactions are familiar, burningman has a continuous kind of novelty that makes this year different from last.

there are a variety of mechanisms for feedback within and across the community. this bbs is one of those mechansims, as are local groups, newsletters, photo journal websites.

and from all of it the magic happens.
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Postby III » Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:34 am

>Under no circumstances

i can't believe you let him get away with "your with the midget".
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Postby precipitate » Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:48 am

> i can't believe you let him get away with "your with the midget".

(a) He didn't ask about that one
(b) I've taken to inserting [penis is] when people use the possessive
instead of the contraction. Keeps me amused.
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Postby blyslv » Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:03 am

III wrote:It feels like it's magic. It's easy to believe that there's magic, and it's created by the wonderful wizard. The thing is, there really is magic. It's just that the magic isn't in the city, or in the wizard, it's in you. You've had the magic all along, and all you need is to discover it. The wizard will even tell you so, if you look behind the curtain.


Halfway through the event, I started saying "we're surrounded by wizards." Not the Wizard of Oz, he was kind of a thug, but Wizards along the line of Gandalf. Not a LOT of flashy pyrotechnics, but things seemed to go better when he was around.

Anybody who can cause multi-ton blocks of granite to be suspended from graceful steel arches in the middle of the desert is a wizard. Anyone who can make an Astral Headwash, a dance space or fresh tuna appear in the desert is a wizard. And I was enthused, not intimidated by the magic I saw. I began searching for my wizard like qualities. I think we all do have them.
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Postby PJ » Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:07 am

Non-fully-formed thought:

I'm a fan of creative chaos. I'm comfortable (in fact most comfortable) when things and situations around me aren't neat and tidy.

I've seen brilliant organizations completely ruined by new management people showing up who, in their desire to straighten up the place a bit, destroyed the very things that were responsible for that organization's excellence.

I've not gotten an impression that newcomers (clueless or otherwise) are being placed in positions of authority in the LLC. However I continue to pick up the scent of fears that a desire to professionalize the event is interfering with what's good about the chaos. My immediate concern is that the quantity of on-site deaths this year will present an opportunity for safety fetishists to spoil much of the fun.
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Postby III » Thu Oct 02, 2003 10:36 am

on the chaos thing:

there was a time when i expected danger and chaos to be a tangible feature of the event (probably had to do with that overrated disclaimer). i felt that having a manageable amount of danger would require people to be alert, aware of their surroundings, and therefore more in touch with the world around them.

i still think it's a good thing, but i also think that people need to be able to get away from that situation, as well. problem is, as soon as you provide an out for people who are overwhelmed, you make it comfortable for people who don't want heightened awareness at all.
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Postby DogBoy » Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:26 am

III Sez-
there was a time when i expected danger and chaos to be a tangible feature of the event

There was a time when danger & chaos were tangible features of the event. There has been what I would call "Safety Creep" that I saw starting in 1997. I understand why, but I do miss the drive by shooting range...
III, I like what you said regarding the danger factor keeping people on their toes. I am surprised that people w/out lights were not being run over left & right out there the last few years. Some people seem to have no idea that they will lose chicken vs an art car, especially if the art car doesn't know your there till they hit you.

I guess I want to see more personal responsibility, not just just in BRC.

[/rant]
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Postby Bob » Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:42 am

> There was a time when danger & chaos were tangible features of the event...

Yeah... the Baker Beach undertow is really vicious...
Last edited by Bob on Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bob » Thu Oct 02, 2003 11:46 am

The site crew's resident tattoo artist just inked a frog on the arm of one of the local yentas. Now all her friends want one.
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Postby Bob » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:17 pm

TMABOPW or whatever:

If it's just a fucking, camping, trip, why did you bring a foot-long military knife?

If it's just a costume, why did you add a foot-long military knife?

Doesn't your powder-coated matte-woodland-green-finish foot-long military knife clash with just about anything?

If the job description included cutting hundreds of board feet of lumber, doesn't the cord on your Skilsaw catch on your foot-long military knife?

What -- you didn't bring a Skilsaw? Even a chainsaw?

While I feel a bit undressed sans Impotence Compensation Cutlery, why am I now sorely tempted to shop for a longer tape measure in a smaller package?
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Postby Badger » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:35 pm

Bob, are you like trying to 'channel' that Last Real Rabbi Dali guy?
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Postby Bob » Thu Oct 02, 2003 12:56 pm

> ...are you like trying to 'channel' that Last Real Rabbi Dali guy?

"Nacht der langen Messer", if anything.

Take "messer" either way you want.

BTW, next time you see Crow ask him about the "demon".
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