bartering stories

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Postby Chai Guy » Fri Dec 12, 2003 7:33 pm

to see how many times a single item keeps getting passed around just for the sake of giving someone a gift



You mean "re-gifting"?
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Postby Badger » Fri Dec 12, 2003 7:34 pm

Hey Rogue,

That reply fucking was spot on. Thanks for that.

<We really do need a 'best of' folder here on this board.>
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Re: Bringing the Gift Economy to the "Real World"

Postby pissnblood » Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:22 pm

[quote="robbidobbs"]BM has a gift economy, which means (paraphrasing Honeyman) that what you offer to another Burner, already belongs to them.

This is interesting because what is a belonging anyway? what is a possession? ever pondered on how many disputes occur over possessions? who's is who's et cetera. why does something belong to someone, because they paid for it, made it, or it was a gift? what about earning something, what would an economy without currency look like? a market system is possible without currency, how would it work? pu that in your pipe and smoke it, or perhaps journalist lady, put that in your article and write it...or something...yeah...

"if he gets up, we'll all get up, it'll be anarcy"
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Postby Bob » Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:40 pm

Anarcy... that's between Flatbush & Ozone Park, right?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
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Gift? Barter? Ha!

Postby Clint Kaster » Sat Jan 10, 2004 4:58 pm

OK, this totally exposes my cynicism but what the hell, here goes....

Burning Man is NOT a barter economy (nobody wants to put the effort into it) or a gift economy (what's mine is mine unless it's Hood River Vodka in which case, go ahead). The thing nobody really wants to talk about is that this is an economy of EXCESS. Yes, there are folks without j-o-b-s who attend but the vast majority are there to celebrate their excellent year and show it off a little by blowing a LOT of money on a very EXPENSIVE vacation. Oh yeah, we justify it by doing "art" but c'mon....this replaces New Year and has kinda the same result -- a lot of feasting and celebrating. It's a status thing. Didja do something at BM this year? No, couldn't afford it. Work was just too intense....oh, so you're not successful enough to get there. We take too many clothes, too much food, buy too much ice, take too many drugs and find ourselves surrounded by too many friends and too much stimulation. Excess excess excess. If gifts are given, they are the gifts OF the rich (however temporary it might be for some of us) TO the rich. In that moment, we are all wealthy; when we leave, we are paupers all.

Don't get me wrong -- I love this event but...well....if the group I camp with were going to play pool that week I think I would want to be in the poolhall. Hell, I barely made it out of camp the last three years except to work my ass off on our projects. I'm barely aware that people enjoy what we do because running a bus, a performance dome, a jazz club and an installation kicks my ass every year but I have a SERIOUS ADDICTION to pulling it off out there. It gives me the confidence that nothing else can touch me the rest of the year. Because, damnit, I went there and I won. Serious ego trip? Sure. And it's an expression of excess. My gift to you.
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Postby que.f.o. » Sun Jan 11, 2004 12:36 am

Well Clint...Your right, that's pretty fuckin' cynical. But you know, I can see how you perceive your time in BRC that way. I'm neither rich nor poor. Just your basic health care professional supporting his family and trying to make ends meet. Yes, it is a time of excess, thank a diety. I don't get much excess through the year so I revel in it.

If the organizational efforts and sweat you put in for the event reinforces your self worth and abilities, far out and great for you. But personally, I think you need to get out more and interact with your community. For me, that's where the gifting starts.

It's not necessarily the object that's given. It's the opportunity to interact with a new intellect, the opportunity to fuck with someones head, to make the gift meaningful beyond the object it self. During the time of the Floating World we provided our fellow Burners with In-Sanity Preservers. If you wanted to be In-a-Sane state it helped. If you needed to maintain a state of In-Sanity, it preversed that for you. The other side of the pendent was a Free Pass Home. When we found a person who obviously needed a Preserver/Pass he got one, along with the knowledge that if he got lost during his trip in the Unknown World, or if the aftermath of the Burn was too much, the Pass Home would help him get back to his space. Upon hearing the purpose of the pendent, peoples eyes would light up and a typical response was "Oh man, I needed this so bad last night", or "Alright! this will help on my next trip out past that line".

Last year we brought sacred white shells that had been retrieved from the Unknown World. All year we had been working them, saturating them, imbueing them with the spirit of the Burn. I gave one to a guy soon after the Burn and told him the story. You would have thought he had received a gold bar. Of course, he was probably tripping, as I was, but you just know when he pulled it out of his pocket the next morning it would have meaning to him.

The gifts I give are for people who need them or deserve them. You can tell usually, either through conversation or just the look of them. The gift is already theirs.
Is it time to Burn yet?
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Tooting one's own horn

Postby robbidobbs » Mon Jan 12, 2004 11:40 am

There is a great deal of leeway given to those who need to toot their own horn, and I'll be the first to say YEAH, YOUR AMAZING! However, that's where it ends. I work on my BM stuff all year, and put in excessive time during the Event. SO WHAT! I do it for myself, because I care about what we're trying to accomplish as a "utopia" and want it to continue. That's the bottom line for me. If you want to bitch about how much time/money/effort you put into it, or how much you give away, feel free. And while you're belly-aching, think about the acronym HALT. Sit down, drink water, and relax.

There is no call for a pissing contest here, we all put in exactly how much we feel we can offer to the community...by definition. If you would rather work on your project during the Event than lounging at someone else's camp (that they worked very hard on), then that's your choice. You could blow it all off, and run around naked for all I care. Participation is defined by the individual participant, not by anyone's criteria. If you have something to give, then give freely, without expecting commendation or compensation. That's how a Gift Economy must work or it will fail in the long run.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:51 pm

unjonharley wrote:One time I gave my coat at the seen of a acident. The person was cold. Seven years later the coat come back. She remenbered my last. She over heard my wife giving her name at a store. she asked if she and I were related The lady returned the coat and thanked my wife for it's use.


My god, what an amazing story. And a wonderful openness to the wilderness! I'll pass it on to my EMT honey, he'd love it I think. (because of the context and because of what he tries to give at accident scenes.)
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