Will the Org respond to the 2.0 controversy?

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

Will the Org respond to the 2.0 controversy?

Postby bmix » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:42 pm

(These comments are directed toward members of Burning Man's LLC. The word "you" refers to "the Org" throughout. Be advised that this is the fourth time I've scratched everything I've written and started over on this. It may be kinda wordy. Coffee and a smoke would be good about now.)

+++++++++++++

I've been watching this topic pretty closely these last few days, and have spent far more time doing so than I'll care to admit. This year will be my fifth burn. I began going to the event in 2001, and though I've missed a couple years in between, the Playa is never far from my thoughts. I'll spare the details of my life-changing experience; others have told far better stories than I, and the only reason I even mention this is to give you an idea of where I'm coming from in regards to the Burn.

The idea of commercial ventures on the Playa, as represented by the worst-case nightmare of what we fear the Pavilion might be, is pretty much universally revolting, and would likely spell the end of the event, at least for a large number of us. However, the Pavilion is receiving plenty of attention in other threads at the moment. My comments and questions are directed instead toward the Business 2.0 article in itself, and in particular within that, the comments of both Larry Harvey and Marion Goodell.

One can make the observation that many of the quotes in the article read like a journalistic hack-job, that you were so painfully misquoted by the article's author as to make you appear disdainful of the people that attend the very event you operate.

This, however, doesn't ring true, for a couple of reasons: first, you can't totally control the media, but you have a long history of being able to at least steer them in directions you'd like them to go. You've been able to keep a surprisingly tight rein on the press, and have made it clear that the Org makes the rules in that relationship. Therefore, there must have been at least a minimal vetting process in the production of this article. Secondly, if the author was indeed some sort of charlatan out to ruin the event, it seems there would have been some response to the contrary from those so quoted. Instead, in spite of some pretty venomous furor, we have heard nothing from the top. Andie's comments here and on Tribe are helpful and appreciated (at least by me), but don't carry quite the same weight as the person who actually tossed out the offending soundbite.

So, after all this buildup, I suppose what I'd really like to know is: Were the quotes in the Business 2.0 article an actual indication of how you feel about us as a community? If not, then why has there been no response from the higher management to the contrary?

I realize the people here, and over on Tribe, are giving you guys a hammering on this. Please understand--it all comes outta the love, baby. If we didn't care so much, we wouldn't bitch nearly as loud. I also realize you have absolutely no obligation to respond to this; however, I think it would go a very long way toward salvaging some good will on this issue.

So if you'd like to respond, that would be peachy. Otherwise, we can all just rip this apart on the board and put it back together into something more (or less?) coherent. Either way's good by me. I'll be there regardless, at least this year.

+++++++++++++

As a final Postscript... if the Org has indeed made a response somewhere that I haven't stumbled across yet, someone please delete this so I don't look like an even bigger ass than I already am. Thanks...
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:07 pm

I'd like to hear something too. I think this is a very valid concern.
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Postby Chai Guy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:36 am

I personally don't think what they said is really the issue per se. I'm more concerned about:

Who needs branding?


"I'm curious to see what happens at the intersection of art and technology," says B.J. Stanbery, CEO of Austin-based Heliovolt, a maker of thin-film photovoltaic solar cells.

"Then there's Matt Cheney, CEO of MMA Renewable Ventures, which funds clean technologies around the globe and offered to provide Black Rock City with enough solar cells - 270 kilowatts' worth - to light the Man and power the pavilion."

"Branding's important, "Goodell says," but there's a middle ground between having it all over the place and just knowing that it's Current TV and feeling good about the way they're treating you. That's a very interesting potential for companies that see a value in Burning Man culture."


So they're not allowed to display their logos, but who cares, you're taking care of the advertising for them!
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Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:23 am

Wellll....

We've all seen AG here, and know she at least scans this board. I think the question is, is she in some way speaking for the BOD, or is she speaking for AG?

That's always a hard thing (and having been on a different BOD, I know) because even when one says something as ones own opinion, it's frequently (and incorrectly) assumed to be the words of the BOD, whether its in person, on a BOD, or whatever.

Maybe the reason we've heard nothing official from the org is they may well be advised by wiser council than I or you can give to keep distant from this and let their contractors or representatives do the talking. It's the luxury you or I have to sit on the sidelines, throw stuff into the mixing bowl, that they don't.

Seriously - if LH or Maid Marian or MM or whoeverlogged on as themselves - one, they'd be innundated by hangers-on, starstruck gawkers, and angry psychos. That AG does log on is pretty amazing and takes immense guts and I admire her for it. (A PBR awaiteth for you...)

But the problem is, if you're in the org, then people take you for the official mindspeak, and you can't sit on the sidelines, throw monkey poo at the girl leading the mule, have fun, or whatever without people (taking your monkeypoo as official dictum, or speak your mind without people tearing it apart, analysing it, and making a BFD about it. And that sucks.

Once you've worn the target, you find it's fun not to. Because sometimes it's just as fun to step back, work as an employee of someone elses gig, and watch the monkey poo fly from the sidelines. And be able to stir it up occaisonally without becoming a target!

Wir lieben das leben...
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RE: Who needs branding?

Postby bmix » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:29 am

Perhaps you're right; maybe the words they chose aren't the issue at all. I think what I'm after is not necessarily an reason for the action itself, but the background thought that motivated it. If we're truly viewed as a commodity to be purchased and sold, that would go a long way toward explaining the current state of affairs.

I'm not naive enough to expect to see the Org say, "Hey guys! You're absolutely right, we just kicked the 10 Principles in the nuts and didn't even notice! Thanks for calling us on it!" However, something along the lines of "Look, we were trying to act professional for a business magazine, and maybe we took the biz-speak a little too far." I think this is really the most likely scenario, but it would bring some peace (again, speaking only for myself) if there were some acknowledgment of this from someone in a position to make such an acknowledgment.
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Response to BBS

Postby bmix » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:39 am

Also, I'm not expecting someone from the Org to actually log on to reply, for more or less exactly the reasons you stated (they'd drown under the bandwidth of spew). But perhaps some sort of response could be posted elsewhere on the site. Like in the enviroblog area perhaps.

(P.S. Totally off the subject, but should anyone wish to name their musical group "Bandwidth of Spew," please feel free, just get me tickets to one of your gigs. Thanks.)
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Postby Bob » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:42 am

Not that I'd ever agree with you church ladies or the org, but where does it say in the Ten Principles that they have to talk to you at all?
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Postby Archantael » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:57 am

Bob wrote:Not that I'd ever agree with you church ladies or the org, but where does it say in the Ten Principles that they have to talk to you at all?


Bob, there's nothing in the 10 principles that says they have to talk to us. But...we're their funding source that makes all of this possible. If they continue to alienate us like this people are going to bail out, next thing you know those disgruntled people will start supporting those BLM fee increases, and in a short period of time the event can be brought to a halt.

Yeah, that's a bonafide threat.

I'm curious why you care about it so much....do you even attend anymore?
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Postby bmix » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:50 am

Bob wrote:Not that I'd ever agree with you church ladies or the org, but where does it say in the Ten Principles that they have to talk to you at all?


They don't, which I acknowledged in the first post:

bmix wrote:I also realize you have absolutely no obligation to respond to this; however, I think it would go a very long way toward salvaging some good will on this issue.


Arcantael's correct in that the more you alienate people, the less they will be prone to attend. I believe the people that put out the 2.0 magazine might see this as "poor customer service." At any rate, it would serve the Org's own interest to come up with some sort of damage control here.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:09 am

Bob wrote:Not that I'd ever agree with you church ladies or the org...


Church ladies? :roll: Don't lump us so called "church ladies" in with the org. )giggles( That's a tough crowd to play to!!!

Archantael wrote:Bob, there's nothing in the 10 principles that says they have to talk to us. But...we're their funding source that makes all of this possible. If they continue to alienate us like this people are going to bail out, next thing you know those disgruntled people will start supporting those BLM fee increases, and in a short period of time the event can be brought to a halt.

Yeah, that's a bonafide threat.


There are bigger bonafide threats than that.

Bob wrote:...but where does it say in the Ten Principles that they have to talk to you at all?

Archantael wrote:I'm curious why you care about it so much....do you even attend anymore?


Even tho Bob's right, and most everyone realizes this, that they don't have to give a shit about us, it's us, the paying customer, that keeps this event going. If you're unresponsive and disdainful enough to your customer base, don't expect to stay in business long. Especially in this business.

They can totally blow off these 10 principles and the core values and the Burning Man Ethos and the whole 6 pack of playadom, it's their absolute right as the absolute business owners to do it.

Hell... if they wanted to do it, and did it, sold out to Pepsico or General fucking Electric or leased the ranch to Granite Fox and paid their workers to scrap the ranch and make it the biggest, nastiest coal plant on the planet, they can do that.

Would people like it? No. Could they stop it? Likewise... No.

Now, for a rousing round of... (Flipping through the official Acme® Church Ladies Catalog of Rousing Hymns and Medium Range Weaponry (4th edition)) ... "Holy Holy Holy", followed by today's Sermon, "God's work through the miracle of Coal Power"...

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Postby DaBomb » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:18 am

Just to prove the point: I went to send an e-mail to "feedback@burningman.com" as listed here on the BM website on a page entitled "CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY: Feedback Loop" (posted 9/21/2006) (see http://www.burningman.com/news/comm_feedback_06.html) the e-mail came back with the message "Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual mailbox table."

You should ask Andie why our feedback isn't important by contacting her directly. After all, it is her job title "Manager of Communications". I might hazard to warn you though, she'll complain that you're spamming her in-box. It happened to me.
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Postby Bob » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:21 am

You people obviously didn't supply enough volunteers to man the phones over the 'Merkin holiday.
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'Merkin Holiday

Postby DaBomb » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:29 am

[img]http://tanjabarnes.com/images/corporateflag.jpg
[/img]

Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Oops, that's right...safety third!
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Postby Chai Guy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:07 pm

Bob, that church lady thing never ceases to bring a smile to my face. You know we had nothing to do with writing the "10 Principles"
http://www.burningman.com/whatisburningman/about_burningman/principles.html

or the "Mission Statement"
http://www.burningman.com/whatisburningman/about_burningman/mission.html

Those were written by you people. We simply try to point out when the actions don't match up with the words. If you're going to talk the talk, then be ready to walk the walk. You know, I liked Burning Man just fine before they came up with all this bullshit. Can we make it about nothing again?

...where does it say in the Ten Principles that they have to talk to you at all?


From the 10 Principles:
We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

From The Mission Statement:
We believe that the experience of Burning Man can produce positive spiritual change in the world. To this end, it is equally important that we communicate with one another, with the citizens of Black Rock City and with the community of Burning Man wherever it may arise.
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Postby stuart » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:31 pm

I think the ORG kicked ME in the nuts when it came out with the commandments.
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:18 pm

After reading the 2.0 article FULLY, I think we should all wait and see what the Bmorg does when these companies, surrender their equipment to the control of Burning Man.

As I had said before, for as long as the event has been going on, hundreds of private companies have been coming to burning man, using their man power, money and resources to benefit the community. There has been few that have abused the manditory commercial anonymity rules.

The Bmorg spells out that there will be no advertising in any form. So I trust they will not veer from the past.

Lets look at the positive possibilities:

All of these green inventions are given to the artists and camps such as the Mad-Scientists-Collective to creative surreal mind blowning art forms. In their hands and that of the many insightful artists of our community, I believe they will be wonderful.

The true failure of having these extensive resources would be the inability of the Bmorg to turn them into exciting art forms and the pavillon becoming just another techie convention in Vegas.

And I want to believe that the the comments of both Larry Harvey and Marion Goodell was just to sucker these companies into our community.

So lets wait and see.

We must trust them not to really sell themselves and us out!

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Postby Bob » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:03 pm

Sorry, I haven't been to an org consciousness-raising meeting since 2004.

I just don't see that they're doing or saying anything much different from what they started 12-odd years ago wrt a corporate model. Buy a ticket, join a corporate department, see the pavilions and temples their subcontractors provide, and have your fun.

What's the problem? Aren't they doing it for the community Image ?
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Postby Green Wood » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:42 pm

DaBomb wrote:Just to prove the point: I went to send an e-mail to "feedback@burningman.com" as listed here on the BM website on a page entitled "CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY: Feedback Loop" (posted 9/21/2006) (see http://www.burningman.com/news/comm_feedback_06.html) the e-mail came back with the message "Recipient address rejected: User unknown in virtual mailbox table."

You should ask Andie why our feedback isn't important by contacting her directly. After all, it is her job title "Manager of Communications". I might hazard to warn you though, she'll complain that you're spamming her in-box. It happened to me.


Yes, i have tried to speak directly to them, but they use these little deceptive tricks, like have you tried that link on top of this page called, "Contact Management". It doesn't work. They send you to a place to where they first insult you by saying that "you have no Buddies". When I saw that I was so upset that I wanted to commit suicide. What you mean I have no buddies or friends. How did you know that anyway? Then they expect you to know someone in management so you can add their names, but where do you find larrys name. I noticed its not listed. and there is no page listing the important people, just person called, "Action Girl". Hey I'm not looking for some nooky you know, I just want to give them a piece of my mind. Hey has anyone ever gotten some action from that Action Girl anyway.

What's up with that?

Well let me know when I can upgrade to V2.1

Bet they don't even post the download page on this dam site anyway.

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Postby spectabillis » Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:25 am

jesus, its a strange and rare moment to see stuart post out of the blue and bob use an emote.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:46 am

...and bob use an emote.


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Postby actiongrl » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:45 am

the end


And on top of it all, I have it on good authority that a man in a hat signed up for his first ePlaya account the other night AND that he has been hard at work on a response to all this stuff for several days, and that certainly there's more to say.


Other than that, I'll say again because I haven't said so yet in this thread that feedback@ is a once-yearly alias used to collect information for a retreat and yearly review process that we do, so it gets turned on after the event and is not promoted as a yearround feedback loop. In the meanwhile, we do have questions@ or the appropriate department from this list: http://www.burningman.com/blackrockcity ... email.html

Keep in mind the Man burns in 36 days and some of us are already in the desert...but those are otherwise the year round ways to connect. Thanks!
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Postby DaBomb » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:50 am

Bob wrote:What's the problem? Aren't they doing it for the community Image ?


DRINK!!!!
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Postby Barbie » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:57 am

WOW You guys made my head spin off...Relax THE MAN IS GONNA BURN.....wouldn't it be easier just to go with my first idea and get to work on your monkey and/or donkey outfit??? teeheehheeeehhhheee
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Postby MozyBonz » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:02 am

actiongrl wrote:
the end


And on top of it all, I have it on good authority that a man in a hat signed up for his first ePlaya account the other night AND that he has been hard at work on a response to all this stuff for several days, and that certainly there's more to say.


Other than that, I'll say again because I haven't said so yet in this thread that feedback@ is a once-yearly alias used to collect information for a retreat and yearly review process that we do, so it gets turned on after the event and is not promoted as a yearround feedback loop. In the meanwhile, we do have questions@ or the appropriate department from this list: http://www.burningman.com/blackrockcity ... email.html

Keep in mind the Man burns in 36 days and some of us are already in the desert...but those are otherwise the year round ways to connect. Thanks!



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Welcome to e-playa Larry
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Postby capjbadger » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:03 am

actiongrl wrote:And on top of it all, I have it on good authority that a man in a hat signed up for his first ePlaya account the other night AND that he has been hard at work on a response to all this stuff for several days, and that certainly there's more to say.

I'm just waiting to see who's the first dingbat to pull the usual "flaming of the newbie". :lol:

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Postby DaBomb » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:06 am

I'm must waiting for somebody to say the "c" word.

Do-de-do-de-do.

Hi Larry! Welcome!
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Postby helitack » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:13 am

...does he not deserve the same treatment as any other NFG if said poster pulls something completely out of a dark place. Maybe Itzbeyond1zizabagochips will hit him up for a "gift" ticket...or maybe a rebuilt 350 Chevy engine, which IS art, right?...
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Postby Archantael » Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:20 pm

Larry Harvey does not exist. (Even the BM office has signs to that effect! And if it comes from the ORG it automatically, categorically must be true and consumed by the masses without any dissent or additional thought.) Therefore any account claiming to be the hatted one is just another sock, and the eplaya has enough socks.

Now you can thank DVD and myself for pushing the eplaya powers that be to implement plonk! It sounds like it might be very useful before long.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:31 pm

actiongrl wrote:...And on top of it all, I have it on good authority that a man in a hat signed up for his first ePlaya account the other night AND that he has been hard at work on a response to all this stuff for several days, and that certainly there's more to say.


....wondering how Larry taking the time to read Eplaya (and maybe even post) fits into certain conspiracy theories about the intentions of the LLC - can hardly wait to see how this gets spun!

oh yeah, and a hearty "Welcome!" to Larry - stop by the bar for an Edrink when you get a chance....
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Postby spectabillis » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:19 pm

i certainly hope people are civil enough to give him the the benefit to be heard and go through a few cycles of feedback before anyone does the bodyslam. i think it would be valuable to get that kind of interative feedback.

but theres a good chance someone's going to troll and ruin the opportunity for everyone else to have a more serious minded discussion.
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