Eternal September

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

Eternal September

Postby vargaso » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:23 pm

Ha, has Burning Man reached its own Eternal September?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

Eternal September (also September that never ended)[1] is a Usenet slang expression, coined by Dave Fischer, for the period beginning September 1993.[2] The expression encapsulates the belief that an endless influx of new users (newbies) since that date has continuously degraded standards of discourse and behavior on Usenet and the wider Internet.


Of course, some would argue that Burning Man's Eternal September happened the same year as Usenet's. I'm mostly joking, just found this entry interesting.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby BBadger » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:30 pm

Remember that Eternal September was only "eternal" because the rate of newbies entering Usenet surpassed the rate of newbies assimilating into the "culture." It also had to do with the unchecked "population cap" of Usenet.

With the fixed population cap of BM, and just the nature of interest in this event, I expect the system will reach equilibrium relatively quickly. Anyway, birgins are hardly AOL n00bs, and vets are hardly Usenet veterans. Most of the "animosity" being slew out at them is that they have taken the spot of "veterans"--most of whom are just "birgins" who have a few times.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby lemur » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:39 pm

<AOL>ME TOO!</AOL>
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Re: Eternal September

Postby BBadger » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:42 pm

Top posting is awesome!

lemur wrote:<AOL>ME TOO!</AOL>
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Re: Eternal September

Postby trilobyte » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:30 am

Giving this a nudge over to All About Burning Man -> Politics & Philosophy…

Very interesting notion. It also fits the general theory of hipsterism which basically asserts that once something reaches a certain level of popularity, it's no longer considered cool.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Bob » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:17 am

Never too early for dire analogies. The death of the net has been predicted continuously since not too long after its inception.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Inko Gnito » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:02 am

Burn Novice Filmstreifen.gif
Burn Novice Filmstreifen.gif (58.32 KiB) Viewed 3305 times

THE top show this year!
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:49 am

you know, Burning man sold out in 1997.

just sayin'...

now back to your regularly scheduled vaguely pessimistic masturbatory noodlings about the demise of TTITD.


you must be real fun on a date.
vargaso wrote:Ha, has Burning Man reached its own Eternal September?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

Eternal September (also September that never ended)[1] is a Usenet slang expression, coined by Dave Fischer, for the period beginning September 1993.[2] The expression encapsulates the belief that an endless influx of new users (newbies) since that date has continuously degraded standards of discourse and behavior on Usenet and the wider Internet.


Of course, some would argue that Burning Man's Eternal September happened the same year as Usenet's. I'm mostly joking, just found this entry interesting.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Bob » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:25 pm

Might still be an apt analogy for those newsgroups that have a distinct culture and a core group of old hats. Not sure where the newbies come from these days, maybe Google points them there when its algorithms crap out on everything else and can't find a commercial angle to exploit.

By the by, "old hat" is 18th C. Brit slang for the female pudendum. Frequently felt, those old hats.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:57 pm

*shifts uncomfortably in chair*
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Re: Eternal September

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Should I make a couch joke?
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Inko Gnito » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:29 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Should I make a couch joke?


:lol:
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Bob » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:50 pm

Not sure why people react the way they do to the couch, it was just something I mooped in a dust storm after the event one of my last years working on the site crew, and seemed as appropriate as anything for encapsulating the discrete charm of the DPW experience. Someone actually schlepped it out a hundred yards beyond the Esplanade and set it down facing the wind. Or the Man. Yeah, now that I think of it, maybe they had it out there facing the Man on burn night, which actually brings to mind a pleasant image. Just glad it wasn't a sofabed.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:13 pm

Oh, the combination of "old hat" and the couch is what got me.

I rather like it as an avatar.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby gyre » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:10 am

I'm told the real burning man spirit died when the population doubled in one year.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby ygmir » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:57 am

theCryptofishist wrote:Should I make a couch joke?


I do whenever given an opportunity. not that what I do, should make any difference, to anyone, just sayin'.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby vargaso » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:51 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:you know, Burning man sold out in 1997.

just sayin'...

now back to your regularly scheduled vaguely pessimistic masturbatory noodlings about the demise of TTITD.


you must be real fun on a date.
vargaso wrote:Ha, has Burning Man reached its own Eternal September?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

Eternal September (also September that never ended)[1] is a Usenet slang expression, coined by Dave Fischer, for the period beginning September 1993.[2] The expression encapsulates the belief that an endless influx of new users (newbies) since that date has continuously degraded standards of discourse and behavior on Usenet and the wider Internet.


Of course, some would argue that Burning Man's Eternal September happened the same year as Usenet's. I'm mostly joking, just found this entry interesting.


As stated, I was mostly joking, I simply found the Eternal September entry on Wikipedia while surfing around and found it an interesting way to encapsulate the also eternal (and usually unfounded) lament of a cultural phenomenon (ANY cultural phenomenon) "selling out" or "jumping the shark." For chrissakes, some of you on these here boards really can't abide general musings on subjects if it deviates from your seemingly narrow definition of Burning Man. This is a DISCUSSION board.
Last edited by vargaso on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby vargaso » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:57 pm

trilobyte wrote:Giving this a nudge over to All About Burning Man -> Politics & Philosophy…

Very interesting notion. It also fits the general theory of hipsterism which basically asserts that once something reaches a certain level of popularity, it's no longer considered cool.


Yes exactly. For founders of movements, I'd say more than half the enjoyment is gotten out of feeling superior and/or separate from the mainstream, and as soon as that mainstream moves in, it's over for them, regardless of whether the substance of the movement has been compromised, changed or whatever. Those people usually move on, the early adopters take over and make it their own, then the mainstream moves in and the specifics of the movement are absorbed into mainstream culture. It's a natural cycle. As with most things in life, it's 3 stages: founders, early adopters and mainstream.

I'd say Burning Man is entering into the 3rd stage. That's not an inherently negative development, and in fact, it's inevitable.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:28 am

yadda, yadda, yadda.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby trilobyte » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:03 am

I don't think mainstream is what you think it is. Our thing in the desert is only dealing with very low 6 figures worth of demand, in a country that's got 300 million people and a planet of 7 billion. This is a growing pain to be sure, but we're still far far far away from becoming mainstream.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby vargaso » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:17 am

trilobyte wrote:I don't think mainstream is what you think it is. Our thing in the desert is only dealing with very low 6 figures worth of demand, in a country that's got 300 million people and a planet of 7 billion. This is a growing pain to be sure, but we're still far far far away from becoming mainstream.


Well sure, only a very limited number of people relative to even the population of California, let alone the world, has ever been to BM. But I think BM's cultural artifacts (leave no trace, gift economy, temporary city planning, the "maker" phenomenon, even some fashion, etc) are starting to seep into mainstream culture. And this is just the very beginning of this stage.

Simon of the Playa wrote:yadda, yadda, yadda.


I couldn't agree more.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:41 am

Actually, I don't really think of the burn as leading this cultural change, so much as riding the wave, along with other manifestations.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby vargaso » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:53 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Actually, I don't really think of the burn as leading this cultural change, so much as riding the wave, along with other manifestations.


I agree, the timing is right, but for going on 20 years now, BM has at the very least been one of the most visible and out front entities for things like leave no trace and temporary cities. The Occupy movement is a recent example of an event/movement adopting some of BM's principles. And Larry and Co. have, for years now, been invited by government agencies around the world to give talks on temporary communities and city planning, with the idea that what they've learned on the playa could be used during natural disasters.

So, while a statistically minuscule number of people have actually attended BM, it's cultural influence is, I think much larger and at this point, reaching a tipping point, not just in number of people wanting to attend, but in the reach of that influence.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:53 pm

I've always thought of the adoption of LNT more as a tactic mutually developed by the BLM and BRC-LLC for facilitating the permit process, rather than a heartfelt philosophy. No way would I invite 90% of buhrnurz on a trip to a legitimate wilderness area.

And there are a lot of people on the lecture circuit, for better or worse.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:57 pm

Bob wrote:I've always thought of the adoption of LNT more as a tactic mutually developed by the BLM and BRC-LLC for facilitating the permit process, rather than a heartfelt philosophy.

Agreed. Although, some people do seem to be more fervent about it.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby vargaso » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:02 pm

Bob wrote:I've always thought of the adoption of LNT more as a tactic mutually developed by the BLM and BRC-LLC for facilitating the permit process, rather than a heartfelt philosophy. No way would I invite 90% of buhrnurz on a trip to a legitimate wilderness area.

And there are a lot of people on the lecture circuit, for better or worse.


However it evolved, Burning Man is the first thing people associate with Leave No Trace. They didn't invent it. I can remember Sierra Club newsletters from the 80s reminding backpackers to pack out what they packed in. But for large scale events, BM is absolutely the Leave No Trace model. And I'd say the percentage of burners who would be responsible backcountry trekkers is no greater or less than the population in general.

I agree, the lecture circuit is chock full of people with ideas on temporary cities/communities. Most of those people are academics trotting out untested theories. And hey, I love academics with untested theories (seriously), but there are exceedingly few people with practical experience in planning and organizing a large scale, temporary city. Year in and year out. Come to think of it, almost nobody outside of Burning Man and the military.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:33 pm

Why September? Is that when students get their paws on school computers?
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Trishntek » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:39 pm

Did not the Cacophony Society practice LNT? That was before BLM was ever involved.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:24 pm

Trishntek wrote:Did not the Cacophony Society practice LNT? That was before BLM was ever involved.


Who?

The event has been permitted by the BLM since 1991. I believe 2000 was the first year the term "Leave No Trace" came into use in relation to the event, though similar sentiments may have been expressed earlier. First year it was used on the ticket, anyway. First year an effective fire resistant pad was used under the Man and burn platforms were provided along the Esplanade. This was in all in response to more stringent environmental assessment requirements and the realization that [duh] the burn scars and trash left from all previous events were still quite traceable.
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Re: Eternal September

Postby 5280MeV » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:00 am

Is it not also true that the general idea of decommodification at the event is at least partially due to a BLM restriction on commerce? My understanding is that the 'gift economy' was a replacement for an earlier barter economy.

In any case, it seems to me that the circa 1991 Burning Man bears little resemblance to what is happening in 2011-2012, and that the event itself has gone through numerous eternal Septembers and shark-jumps and just evolved past them.

I like the way that Eric put it when he said that the ten principles were essentially retconned over the entire history of the event.

I also think that Cryptofishist is right about BM following trends as much as leading them - as I look around, I see various hints of Burning Man in other activities that my friends are doing, or conversely, if I take off the superiority goggles, I see hints of what they are doing in Burning Man.
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