COMBUSTION CHAMBER MEETING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2016
ATTENDEES: Clover, Prost, Kat, Monkey, Turtle Bunny, Beth, Henry, Problem,Dahling, Cooper, Chainsaw, Susanne, Breezy, George, Switch, Wrinn, Misty
TOPIC: Flipside Principles
RESOLUTIONS AND ACTION ITEMS
MOTION: Acknowledge Burning Man’s 10 principles as foundational in the creation of ours in places LLC feels appropriate. MOTION PASSED
MOTION: We make time at CC retreat to write up behaviors and values of our community, from looking at the principles we have. MOTION PASSED
AAR LLC Update
- Getting a new TV!
- ‘Engulf’ is the new regional is Kentwood LA. 300 burners to start, among org. longtime flipizens, they took some notes from Flipside. They worked hard to create a solid foundation for future burns. Aside from a few circumstances out of their control. Huge territory, lots of pines and skanky ponds.
Area Facilitators Update
- 1st real LLC AF meeting of the year. Put together permanent calendar.
- Leads nominations close OCT. 28th
- What time will there be notifications?
- Nov. 2nd (before thanksgiving holiday)
- Do we intend to post the calendar someplace so we can all see it?
- Limited visibility, appropriate dates will be made public
- IF you need to see certain dates bring it up and we’ll talk about it
Flipside Principles (Prost)
- Ten Principles of Burning Man
- Radical inclusion
- Radical self-reliance
- Radical Self-expression
- Community Effort
- Civic Responsibility
- Leave no trace
- Duplicates present. Distilled down to 6.5 principles and then a further step to 3 Principles at Flipside
- Principles of Flipside
- Self expression – creative self expression in artistic creation and so
- Accountability – hold ourselves resp. for our own needs
- Cooperation – participants work together to mediate and dissolve conflicts and to create bigger things than anyone could do alone.
- 6 principles we’re worried about:
- Radical inclusion
- Leave no trace
- Many burns are adding the 11th principle of consent in the mix, we should include that to go over it
- Went to a really cool work shop on principles. Flipside was her 1st burn, and didn’t realize that Flipside only had 3 principles. One thing that sticks out to me is that because their so general we cant find a good barometer to gauge. How do we continue to challenge ourselves to uphold these. There are descriptive rather than prescriptive. More like here’s what were doing and this is our compass that we abide by. Lets get more specific. Its easy to dismiss the intricacies. Where would consent fall in those 3 principles. This is a good conversation to have because if I go to another burn where they don’t have principles, is this really a burn? Ethos. Its what makes us unique.
- Immediacy- we seek to over come barriers..
- Our principles are very broad, Burning Man’s principles are more restrictive. More like “rules.”
- How do you provide visualizations for our principles in action how can we show the growing community what we mean? There’s some complexity there and I don’t know what the answer is, but I think there’s an educational aspect missing. This is the challenge. We could do descriptive or umbrella everyone.
- The principles have always been descriptive, not prescriptive. Back in the day, leave no trace meant more…We show up with immediacy and we leave without a trace to question almost if it ever even happened…3 principles are not enough. They could be applied in a church group or boy scout troop. I think 3 is just too strong. You can’t always respect the 10 principles the same all the time. You have to make a trade off. Our 3 principles allow us to not have to make that trade off. Another thing I like is that I can remember ALL of them! I’ve spoken to Burning Man employees who cant remember all 10! While immediacy and decommodification aren’t blatant.
- A Burning Man guy calls the 10 principles “guidelines.” 3 points make a place…10 make an oddly shaped structure. It doesn’t have to be descriptive. Of everything that is our culture. The important thing is that these set up the basis to have that type of conversation.
- I disagree with it. Its more fundamentally a thing. What do we want the principle to do? You can get broad and abstract. WE don’t want to change anyone’s behavior…more of an identity type of thing. One of the reasons organizations write down mottos and principles is to put them down into an operational thing. If you don’t know what to do, go look at the principles.
- Boundary between descriptive and prescriptive
- Vagueness vs specificity
- This is who we want to be, this is who we want you to be to…If you want to be like us change yourself to fit our aspirational principles
- Specificity makes it easier for people to adjust to the principles. Distilling it down to 3 statements on who we are is easier than 10…again, it depends on what we’re trying to do with them.
- How did we end up with 3 instead of 10? In between 10 and 3 are 6.5.. The main principle is genuine self exp. Fewer rules are better. Photography and videography effects on immediacy of the experience. Ice sales, etc.. Why is that a rule? The 10 principles didn’t make sense in discussion as principles…they are more like rules or guidelines. In 2008 when all the 6.5 stuff was going on, in 2010 we decided upon the 3 principles. They encompass all the things Burning Man started and the 6.5 Flipside came up with.
- We wanted principles and not rules. We wanted a frame work to not make it so strict. We have by-laws that are general, we have policies and procedures that are more specific. Having 3 principles makes it more flexible and elegant. More open for interpretation.
- I think we have run into a real issue with identity. There’s probably some utilitarian systems that don’t include accountability and responsibility. On some level saying who we are is like saying who we are in a way other people aren’t. If you have a generalized thing that describes what everyone is about, people wont understand our true culture. One thing to think a bout while we’re building, how do we tell people who we are.
- Is there something that were lacking in our expression with these 3? Checks and balances. If we had a bunch of trash in the camp sites, we probably didn’t communicate LNT well enough. Are we looking at symptoms that are leading us to think we’re not being clear enough with our ethos? Do we do check and balances on if we’re covering all 3 things? For me as a new comer, I was excited to know what made those events different. Are we encouraging 1st timers to have an experience? Nuance possibility of things when at a burn, its overwhelming. Its nice to have reins. Are we admitting that we accept the 10 principles as our foundation of the principles? Are we still connected to that or are we just making our 3 our own? What makes us different? The principles. Are we expressing that and is it being respected?
- In my opinion the 10 lay out the frame work that defines us as a participant created event. As a participant, when I started burning we had the 10 principles. At some point along the way there were 3. Its good to have the community discussing this. What’s the timeline for the transition?
- The 10 principles articulated in 2003. My first year was 97 at black rock. The 2 things they stressed were participation and community. 97- early 2000’s. In many ways it came out of Larry(?) thinking of what makes them unique. It became a yard stick, without it how would you know? There was a big community discussion about burning man turning into a franchise. Burning man perspective, it comes down to “is our behavior adhering to the 10 principles?” Our 3 are a great umbrella but it doesn’t provide enough guidance. Maybe self reliance rather radical self responsibility. There always a discussion…what’s the 11th principle? Maybe we should reconsider revising the statement?
- Are the 10 vs 3 mutually exclusive? Can we in cooperate the 10 into the 3. Can we use them to more clearly define the 3 principles. If we adopt that mindset then its clear to me that adding in consent would fit under accountability. That’s how we can address these issues in a very specific way. We can use them as a tool
- I think looking at the 6 things, I don’t see in our principles. If I look at the other 4, they aren’t rules but they are an important part of our community. Its hard for newbies to understand what’s going on otherwise. I think gifting would be hard to fit under one of our 3. If we can’t find a spot under the 3 principles then we might need to look at a revision.
- I hate the 10 principles…10 commandments. However I think we lost something massive when we went from 10 to 3. It what our social norms are, how can newbies know what community their getting into? Social Norms. I learned tonight, leave no trace. Loved hearing about where that came from. I think we’ve lost somethings, too generic. Is it semantics? Concept behaviors, these example of behaviors…expanding it might be the answer.
- I think that building a list of actions that can come from those and the survival guide. Beneficial to have on website and survival guide…these are somethings or actions that our principles might lead to.
- Our principles might not be different enough to differentiate us…self expression does. Radical is an extreme word, maybe use accountability.
- Something I dislike is not following the principles. Burning Man decommodification…sell coffee. Immediacy…art from burning man to go out into the real word. Their photo policy sucks. The 10…compromise their principles. Gifting is a guideline. We don’t define what a gift is. We could talk about adding that but is gifting what makes our event what it is? Festivals are starting to sound like us. That might be a signal to differentiate ourselves and change our language.
- Principles provide umbrellas for us. Who we are and what we do. What I want is for us to have a list of descriptive elements of what we do. We throw events where there’s no vending. We do sell Ice…we have been doing this for a long time…its not a principle but the ‘what we do things are descriptive.’ Having a list of what we do…descriptive list of things we have observed our events being. We don’t have to have the same list for every event. We can change them to be more appropriate. As long as we make sure that none of these ‘What we do’ statements doesn’t go against one of our principles. It would be best if, for everything we say we do, we draw a line back to some principle. Wrinn and switchs’ idea…I don’t believe that the 10 are divisible into the 3. They are aspects of our 3. Lots of layers there…I don’t think consent should be stuffed into the accountability bucket. 3 principles provide a great foundation for us, we can still have a list of things, perhaps we don’t have to number it. We could potentially take things off the list and not leave a numbered hole.
- Beliefs and actions. Good idea. If you say this is how we apply these principles. Helping is something that distinguishes us from Burning Man. Could say that’s gifting. Communal effort. I feel that’s what makes this community special. Everyone is a helper.
- I am sitting here looking at the website. The website is our outside voice .Most people don’t look at survival guide unless they’re going. Keeping it at 70,000, to say there is no way to allow vending there, is kind of crazy. They want to put peoples art into the world because that’s how the artists make their money.
- So I’m looking at survival guide. 1st burn Flipside 2010. I didn’t get a survival guide, I went on the website. I didn’t know about gifting till the Friday after we got there. I was utterly in disbelief. After going to Flipside I like the idea of having the 3 to give people an idea. Reference burning man but we’re smaller. Having our 3 principles with the break out stuff on the website. I wouldn’t be able to remember to 10 if I was having a conversation.
- Consent. Self Expression is offered as a gift to others. I’m gonna pick on gifting…We talk about this as an experiment of a gift economy but if we’re not describing that as a principle then how is it getting through? When you volunteer, build theme camp, it’s a gift. What’s the most important thing? We’re falling short in describing a few things in this puzzle we’re putting together. I came across this because I went to show someone and it wasn’t there. Education…hey look! This is part of this!
- Further point on gifting. Self-expression Is a form of gifting…that’s how generic the triad is. The thing I want to talk about, noticed a couple times about principles being descriptive vs prescriptive. There’s no advertising, decommodification…event not based on money transactions.
- Fast food commercial used Burning Man to sell. For Flipside, how have I seen this manifest in my own personal experience. How dies that change when we do a town hall? How likely am I to take a teachable moment in any of these places where our community meets. When someone has not gotten the memo. People clearly don’t know if they drop a cig on the ground…are we evaluating a deficiency in our expression and sharing of our principles? Also, by not stating clearly that we value certain principles, are we not owning them in a way? Does that imply a lack of value because these 3 are not specific enough. How do we deal with these things in action? Are we expecting a level of education on these principles? How do we use them as tools and not weapon. Participant got made fun of for lack of costuming…that is the antithesis of our principles. IS there a lack of expression of these expectations?
MOTION: Acknowledge Burning Man’s 10 principles as foundational in the creation of ours in places LLC feels appropriate.
- Do we need to base all of our principles off of Burning Man? You can go to each website and see for yourself. We don’t need to connect the dots for people.
- Are our principles Burning Man principles? Is our comm. Buring Man comm.? Cultural divide, there is a difference in principles. Saying we’re inspired by Burning Man is one thing…to say the 3 are a distillation of the 10 is another. What are we now? I feel like there is a distinction.
- False equivalency that if we do this one comparison, we have to do these other 30 things. I think this motion is for the 3 principles. I think all of these are our principles even if we don’t spell them out. These things are compatible, not in conflict.
- Ex: Whenever looking at 3 principles on website, I see you’re looking at the 3, did you know these are based on the 10 from Burning Man?
- Our principles follow us we for all things all year round. We do a good job of abiding by our principles, not Burning Man. We aren’t living the 10 year round, we are living the 3.
- Recap the motion.
- We’ve moved beyond that.
- Suggestion. You’ve never heard this in a CC…why not just give the explanation of how we got to the 3, a history of where we’ve come from.
MOTION: We make time at CC retreat to write up behaviors and values of our community, from looking at the principles we have.
- We aren’t sure what we want to say…enough evolution has come, been with 3 for a while, reevaluate what we want them to say. We need to take some time to decide where those lie now. Moving this to a retreat makes more sense with more time allotted.
- I don’t think we can sit in this room and word smith something. I am wary to have this discussion outside of the community. Do we explore a different format? WE have 4 non CC members here. I would like to see the community more involved. We can have this talk again, are we really gonna make progress at the retreat?
- Community principles expressed in our event, historically is to facilitate community. I agree, maybe there’s a better way…there’s a cognitive dissonance between old and new participants.
- Idea behind my motion is a list…things like gifting, decommodification. So when we bring this to the community we have something to offer. That’s why I suggest a basic list at the retreat so we can encourage a larger group of people to give feed back. Emphasize this info at the mixer. These are behavior/values our principles do…so people have a clear idea of what to expect.
- Opposed to 2 sets of principles. They are for the community. And AAR…we’re broken if we do that. WE cant run AAR and the year round community. Can’t function on 2 sets. I like the fact that the current 3 are year round. Anything else we add needs to be just as cohesive.
- CC retreat, discussion of Flipside and potentially separate and with burner culture. Purpose of clarification and understanding of where our next steps are. I don’t feel comfortable making recommendations on our culture at CC retreat. We should keep it to CC business. It’s one of those things that’s better to have the conversation first and then ask the community. Sounds like a great place to have that discussion.
- Simplified: I would like to put on the CC agenda a further discussion of Flipside and burner cultures and values at the retreat.
- There’s only so many of us who can show up. The flip side of that, effective communication with community at large is ongoing problem. Best suggestion, surveys? Lots of displaced info on FB.
- That’s an issue. The reason that I don’t want to have this discussion at CC retreat: the community isn’t present statistically and uninvited. If we’re gonna do something where people aren’t invited its because its so involved that our venue doesn’t work for it. It’s a means for us to prep discussion and not actually the policy discussion.
- Discuss at retreat without coming up with hard solutions.
- 4th principle- AGENCY. Idea that setting ourselves apart from other places . One of the things that’s really special is the idea that if you want to be in charge of things you can, if you want to make meaningful decisions you can. You have agency at our events and we value that highly. We try not to make rules to not limit peoples agency. We specifically go out of our way not to do that. Do-ocracy. Agency is important, to take action and do stuff for yourself is important to us. The biggest difference of doing to a rave or a dance party at Flipside is I helped build the dance party.
- There’s a lot of stuff that we value that isn’t reflected in the 10. You wouldn’t come up with consent per say. But we have a paragraph on accountability. Avoidance of unnecessary rules. You can derive that from our principle but not explicit. Do-ocracy comes out of something else, AAR’s 3 purposes. I like monkeys idea, few broad philosophical statements and then the things that grow out of those main points. I support that approach.
- I’m on a branding/marketing kick. Bigger problem of marketing our principles to people. The cream of our crop can’t remember! Being able to live in the year round principles…we need to somehow make these memorable for people.
- 10 or 3 are descriptive. Don’t worry about backing ourselves into a corner. If we brought everything we needed we’d be islands of people who had everything we need. Not to get hung up on ideals…every event goes this way? Year round? Maybe there’s some things that are more lax.
- I’m fine with not living up to one principle if we are picking up on another principle. Our principles are a triangle…sometimes you have to give on one for another to make it work.
- Just because you do something that’s not in line with a principle doesn’t mean your against it. Unfortunately money is the way the world goes round. It would be a financial disaster to include ice prices in the tix cost. Blind tiger wasn’t radically inclusive, you had to earn it. There’s give and take. If you choose to have a fund raiser, you’re doing it to raise money to gift.
TOPIC DISCUSSION CLOSED 10:16PM
- CC Retreat
- Check your email. 12 so far confirmed. Staying in a Villa. We can add people to bring our cost down. Happening in a month.
- How can we pay you back?
- Pay cash, Paypal, etc. Not getting enough email responses.
- Old Business
- Reschedule volunteer recruitment and retention
- Confirming member status for Sparky.
- Does anyone know if Kate is on sabbatical or stepped down?
NEXT MEETING: MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2016
TOPICS: Recycling; Accountability