Playa Similarities

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Playa Similarities

Postby Drawingablank » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:51 am

As I was sitting around in the post hurricane blackout the other day it struck me how similar it was to being on the playa so I made some notes by candle light.

  • It is quite breezy and chilly, much like the playa at night.
  • Night resembles the back roads of BRC late at night - dark with an occasional small light.
  • The full moon makes it lighter outside than inside.
  • No electricity, heat, phones, internet, or tv.
  • Cell service is sketchy at best.
  • There is nothing to buy - Stores are all closed.
  • Many more people walking - gas is in short supply since the pumps require electricity.
  • Intersections are like those in BRC - no traffic lights. Unfortunately it is causing many fatalities since the speed limit is not 5 mph.
  • The hum of generators is pretty common.
  • Aside from candles, our playa gear is providing the bulk of our light.
  • We are living out of coolers.
  • Public transportation (the small amount that is running) is free.
  • There is not a lot to do aside from socializing, drinking, spinning poi, etc... very much like sitting around camp on the playa. Although volunteers are needed, getting to an area where you could be of help poses an immense challenge.
  • We may be losing our indoor plumbing soon. The sewage plant that handles the half million people in this area flooded, then had a catastrophic fire.
  • Wednesday there were dozens of people on the streets in costumes and I was gifting candy.
  • At night it is warmer to hang outside by a burn barrel than it is in the house. This not only reminds me of the playa but also conjurs up images from Max Headroom since all the tv's are out too.

I made these notes the day after Halloween. We had a relatively easy time of it compared to many, but it strikes me that being a family of burners made it much easier for us to adapt. Hundreds of thousands in the region have lost their homes and everything they own, many have died, and in areas the devestation is total. Small areas that have not received much media attention are still awaiting food and water. In a way I suppose not being wealthy enough to live near the beach has been a blessing, but I still feel great sadness for those that are suffering there.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:12 pm

I cannot imagine what it is like! I live in a small city in the middle of the Canadian prairies... The worst we have to contend with right now is the occasional snow storm (ok: freezing rain followed by 1 foot of snow. - not exactly comparable.)

The challenge is to foster that sense of ownership and responsibility that is so prevalent on the playa.

Hang in there DrawingBlank!! {hugs}
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:16 pm

absolutely.


the whole notion of pouring diesel over everything and lighting it on fire sounds truly satisfying.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:24 pm

And, it seems that more attention is being spent on getting computer centers up and running than helping the people... WTF??

http://slashdot.org/topic/datacenter/nyc-datacenters-should-get-power-saturday/
http://slashdot.org/topic/datacenter/nyc-data-centers-struggle-to-recover-after-sandy/
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Roberto Dobbisano » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:28 pm

stretch, i know you're from canadia and all, but it's common knowledge that the things living on staten island are most certainly NOT human.



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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:37 pm

Roberto Dobbisano wrote:stretch, i know you're from canadia and all, but it's common knowledge that the things living on staten island are most certainly NOT human.

have you SEEN Sue Molinari?

"Wild" animals seem to be able to make it work... (I know, - not a fair comparison :) )
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:51 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:absolutely.


the whole notion of pouring diesel over everything and lighting it on fire sounds truly satisfying.

ooh!!! Fire GOOD. :D
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Drawingablank » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:13 pm

stretch80 wrote:And, it seems that more attention is being spent on getting computer centers up and running than helping the people... WTF??

http://slashdot.org/topic/datacenter/nyc-datacenters-should-get-power-saturday/
http://slashdot.org/topic/datacenter/nyc-data-centers-struggle-to-recover-after-sandy/

Well, you have to understand that there are also about 280,000 people living in that area as well so it's not just the data centers that are getting power - and those articles are on a business site so I assume that is the main thrust of the news they deliver.

Much is being done for people in many areas, but a few areas (mainly fairly small islands) seem to be getting little help - probably due to poor access from blocked roads. The news has been helpful in televising the plight of some of those areas and some attention seems to be starting to be directed at them now. It was kinda heart breaking watching a mom with 2 young kids digging through the rubble of a food store to find some food on the news last night, but from what I understand they have finally cleared the road across that island to the town. I just wonder how some of these places were not told to evacuate, or if they were - how much of this misery is self inflicted by not leaving when they were told to.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:53 pm

Drawingablank wrote:Well, you have to understand that there are also about 280,000 people living in that area as well so it's not just the data centers that are getting power - and those articles are on a business site so I assume that is the main thrust of the news they deliver.

Much is being done for people in many areas, but a few areas (mainly fairly small islands) seem to be getting little help - probably due to poor access from blocked roads. The news has been helpful in televising the plight of some of those areas and some attention seems to be starting to be directed at them now. It was kinda heart breaking watching a mom with 2 young kids digging through the rubble of a food store to find some food on the news last night, but from what I understand they have finally cleared the road across that island to the town. I just wonder how some of these places were not told to evacuate, or if they were - how much of this misery is self inflicted by not leaving when they were told to.

slasdot.org is a geek news site. - anything of interest to techy types ;)
I found it ironic that there were no articles about the plight of people in that area, just concerns over businesses. :(

I have always lived in the northern center of North America. So I do not have the experience to understand what living on a coast is like. (I see that as a disadvantage in my sympathy for those living in the affected areas.)

Since the warnings were just predictions (which have been over-estimated in the past), those that stayed thought that that particular storm would be much milder than it was. When the storm hit, it was probably too late to leave - and afterwards there was no way to leave. So, I do not know how to feel about those that stayed.

I do know people are losing their survival instincts. By that I mean the ability to be self-reliant. To be able to function for a week or so with no outside help (or access to outside resources). This is unfortunate.

Nature is always going to be unpredicatable. Some people are going to make poor decisions. That is unfortunate!
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby trilobyte » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:54 pm

Nicely said, Drawingablank. While it sounds like a bit of a joke, I think Burning Man serves as excellent preparedness training for a major disaster (or the coming apocalypse).
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:59 pm

trilobyte wrote:Nicely said, Drawingablank. While it sounds like a bit of a joke, I think Burning Man serves as excellent preparedness training for a major disaster (or the coming apocalypse).

No joke seen here.

All I need is a bit more white fuel and some extra water and I could easily survive a week with everything gone. Depends on what disaster and the time of year. (Would need much more white fuel if it was winter)
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:36 pm

stretch80 wrote:I have always lived in the northern center of North America. So I do not have the experience to understand what living on a coast is like. (I see that as a disadvantage in my sympathy for those living in the affected areas.)

I don't think that not having that frame of reference necessarily keeps you from knowing "things are really fucked up."

Which is pretty much irrelevant, I just had to say something, apparently.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:04 pm

stretch80 wrote:
trilobyte wrote:Nicely said, Drawingablank. While it sounds like a bit of a joke, I think Burning Man serves as excellent preparedness training for a major disaster (or the coming apocalypse).

No joke seen here.

All I need is a bit more white fuel and some extra water and I could easily survive a week with everything gone. Depends on what disaster and the time of year. (Would need much more white fuel if it was winter)



You can use unleaded gas in any "White fuel" device!!! 8)
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:10 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
stretch80 wrote:I have always lived in the northern center of North America. So I do not have the experience to understand what living on a coast is like. (I see that as a disadvantage in my sympathy for those living in the affected areas.)

I don't think that not having that frame of reference necessarily keeps you from knowing "things are really fucked up."

Which is pretty much irrelevant, I just had to say something, apparently.

You can say anything you like, I do not disagree with you!!

Guess I was trying to say that I am unable to completely understand the difference between life in a coastal city vs the life in a prairie city 1000's of mile from the nearest coast.

- end of ramble -
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Savannah » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:39 pm

stretch80 wrote:
trilobyte wrote:Nicely said, Drawingablank. While it sounds like a bit of a joke, I think Burning Man serves as excellent preparedness training for a major disaster (or the coming apocalypse).

No joke seen here.

All I need is a bit more white fuel and some extra water and I could easily survive a week with everything gone. Depends on what disaster and the time of year. (Would need much more white fuel if it was winter)


Agreed, Burners probably have a little extra readiness that is not just tangible, in terms of having supplies on hand, but are armed with self-knowledge in terms of what comforts to satisfy first, some experience with improvisation, and a sort of emotional fitness that says "I can handle this bullshit. This is an adventure."

Speaking of which, I enjoyed these images from NY:

Even Sandy Can't Stop New Yorkers From Being New Yorkers
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/even-san ... eing-new-y

One of my favorites are the "post-it notes to Sandy" New Yorkers left on a shop window.

"Sandy: Don't Fuck with New York!"
"Sandy, I needed a vacation anyway."
"Taxi Drivers Against Sandy!"
"I came to this country for this shit."
"Looters for Sandy!"
"Sandy, you made me like Chris Christie a little bit."
"The East River was never very pretty."
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby aserendipity » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:40 pm

After growing up on 78th Street by the East River
I know it to be a very beautiful river which I often walked along
Only the Playa can contest my loyalty.
And only the Playa has been as challenging and as rewarding as a childhood in Manhattan was.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:01 pm

stretch80 wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
stretch80 wrote:I have always lived in the northern center of North America. So I do not have the experience to understand what living on a coast is like. (I see that as a disadvantage in my sympathy for those living in the affected areas.)

I don't think that not having that frame of reference necessarily keeps you from knowing "things are really fucked up."

Which is pretty much irrelevant, I just had to say something, apparently.

You can say anything you like, I do not disagree with you!!

Guess I was trying to say that I am unable to completely understand the difference between life in a coastal city vs the life in a prairie city 1000's of mile from the nearest coast.

- end of ramble -

Well, no. And I don't have a lot of reference points for living so far inland... Or maybe so inland and north. I just think that sympathy and compassion don't need to understand all the particulars of things being bad to know that they are bad.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby peyote2004 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:59 am

DAB ... I holy you and your family are ok.
I think you're right. Burners may be a bit better prepared for a situation like this. In this day and age, the average joe, doesn't generally have the instincts or now how to survive or thrive.

stretch80 wrote:All I need is a bit more white fuel and some extra water and I could easily survive a week with everything gone. Depends on what disaster and the time of year. (Would need much more white fuel if it was winter)


Being where you're located, I'd prepare for a winter disaster. Back in the ice storm of '98, I was lucky. I live in Ottawa, and we only had to deal with rolling blackouts while power was redirected so they could fix some transformer stations. My sister lives less then an hour out of the city. They went 17 days without power. It was so icy, they couldn't drive anywhere for a week. She was located on a main road, but people living on side roads in the same area went 20-25 days without power. My sister and her family were prepared... They have a generator, and loads of camping gear. They heat the house with a wood stove, and the Benny provided power for the blower and water pump, but not the water heater. They took all the food out of the freezer and placed it on the veranda in coolers. They used their BBQ and camp stove to cook. They were lucky they had the gear available to be self reliant. Many of their Neighbours did not, and had to be evacuated by the military.

I know I was lucky. The majority of power lines in Ottawa are under ground, that's why we didn't lose power... But ever since then, I make sure I have all the things on hand that I need to survive for a week, if anything happens. If there's nothing you're missing, don't put it off to tomorrow, because tomorrow may just end up being the day you need to use it.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Trishntek » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:47 am

Living all of 47 feet above sea level, Sandy inspired me to finally service the genset, fill up the gas cans and propane bottles and settle into the long cool winter of SoCal. The solar/wind array primarily for BM is a great source of emergency power. The only thing I wonder, is whether to elevate the genset and array,,, how much is enough? No matter how prepared we are for things imagined, nature has a way of accomplishing things we cannot imagine.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:11 pm

I suspect that at 47 feet you are likely to be alright for a couple of decades, at least.
Of course, I am not a climatologist, so take that with shakers of salt. However, my guess is that the sea wont rise all at once almost five feet. Still, you might end up in a channel that's bringing rainfall back to the ocean. Where's the nearest stream? Is there any higher ground between it and you?
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby aserendipity » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:17 pm

NO !
There are maps which indicate the changes projected by Climatologists and if you check out J.Balog's work you will find it is speeding up.
However, as Burners are always ready for change, I believe in YOU and your ability to assess whatever comes, speedy or not.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Rice » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:20 pm

I would be more concerned about a quake making one fall into the ocean than rising water levels...

But that is just me being paranoid.

YMMV
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:01 pm

a very simple rule applies, whether it's a theme camp or a city.

without water, food, heat and sleep, people get aggravated and make bad decisions.

social meltdown occurs




imagine this en masse.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby mgb327 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:54 pm

stretch80 wrote:I would be more concerned about a quake making one fall into the ocean than rising water levels...

But that is just me being paranoid.

YMMV

Yeah, Stretch, I never worried all these years about flooding, as I live on the side of a small mountain here in Virginia. Well, shit, August of 2011 was a wakeup. The earthquake. I live 13 miles from the epicenter in Mineral, Va. Fucked my place up, and everyone elses' I know. We all lost stuff, chimneys, breakables, stuff you wouldn't expect. We get hurricanes here at times, Irene was the last. No flooding, just the wind knocked a ton of trees down. No power for 10 days....no problem for me. I can adapt. BM taught me that.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Trishntek » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:37 pm

We are in the Ventura River valley and it has a dike between it and the freeway. We have freeway, railroad and dike protecting us from tsunamis of 30 feet. There was a tidal wave here back in 1912 which did more damage than would happen today. But when we get heavy rains, drainage does become an issue.

When it comes to earthquake, it's a crap shoot. Our chances of survival are directly proportional to the intensity and proximity of the quake. If we slide into the ocean,,, we're fucked anyway you look at it.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:25 pm

stretch80 wrote:I would be more concerned about a quake making one fall into the ocean than rising water levels...

For that to happen, you have to be higher than the sea and on something less than solid.
This slide is a sort of cliche about California and earthquakes and I've gotten to the point of shaking my head sadly.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby Trishntek » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:10 pm

I always figure if the 3k year-old trees have survived this long, why should I think "The Big One" will happen during my scrawny life-span.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:36 pm

I'm not sure if that's a pertinent comparison...
And of course I'm way too near the Hayward Fault, on a section way overdo for a big one...
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby BBadger » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:55 pm

Might be similar in some ways, but the key reason Playa >> Hurricane situation, even in the absence of being at Burning Man: far less humidity.
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Re: Playa Similarities

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:13 pm

Probably true now. In a couple of months?


Where are we on the whole El Nino thing?
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