Posts by John "Halcyon" Styn

May 1st, 2013  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

Pondering 10 Principles

The Ten Principles:

  1. Radical Inclusion
  2. Gifting
  3. Decommodification
  4. Radical Self-reliance
  5. Radical Self-expression
  6. Communal Effort
  7. Civic Responsibility
  8. Leaving No Trace
  9. Participation
  10. Immediacy

In the middle of all the physical and metaphorical dust storms, The 10 Principles keep the beautiful chaos on track. Some are pretty clear, like “Leave No Trace.” Others are more tricky to get your head around. As a long-time Burner, I am sometimes asked to clarify or explain the Principles as I understand them. Read the official explanations here, and then check out my thoughts in the video above.

These views are solely the views of Halcyon and do not represent the opinions of The Burning Man Organization.

February 8th, 2013  |  Filed under Technology, The Ten Principles

Connectivity Vs. Immediacy

[This post is part of the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man's 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world. We welcome your voice in the conversation.]

connection

“This will never fit into a Twitter update.”

Ten years ago I saw a guy dressed like a stockbroker walking along the Esplanade. He was wearing a dust-covered suit and tie, yelling into a cell phone, “Sell, I said! SELL!!!!” It was cute.

Last year I saw quite a few people checking cell phones at Center Camp throughout the week. It was not cute.

Over the years, cell phone & internet access has become more and more accessible at Burning Man – and I think it is a shame. Do I have any right to dictate how someone behaves or “Radically Expresses” themselves? Nope. But I think the Playa’s rare gift of “Immediacy” is in jeopardy.

I was asked about my thoughts this week and clarified my frustration in the video below.

These views are solely the views of Halcyon and do not represent the opinions of The Burning Man Organization or Major League Baseball.

September 12th, 2012  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

Defending What Matters

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.

Black Rock City is the greatest city in the world.
But every city has assholes. And thiefs. And rapists.

YES, we should continue to assume that we are dealing with the 99.9% of the city that is AMAZING, but be aware that there are dark spots out there among all the light

You can no longer pretend that there are no bikes stolen at Burning Man – you have to use a lock.
And we can longer pretend that there is no Sexual Assault at Burning Man – you have to use good judgement, look out for one another…AND speak up when somebody crosses the line.

There is an important conversation going on on ePlaya about the challenges and need for Rape Kits & other preparations in Black Rock City. (EDIT: Now locked. Additional conversation happening here & new blog post here.)

In this week’s Hug Nation (“Back From Burning Man”) broadcast, I discussed my own camp’s episode this year which involved a camp mate who crossed the line and ended up leaving in cuffs.

What we create within the Walls of BRC is sacred. We need to acknowledge the darkness as it creeps in and banish it with light. Admitting that Burning Man is not a perfect Shangri La is not a failure…it is a necessary step required to defend our borders and create even safer spaces for expression, creation, and Love.

(The sexual assault discussion starts at 27:34.)

September 11th, 2012  |  Filed under Photos/Videos/Media

Lessons Learned 2012

For the “Question of the Week” for my podcast, I asked people to share lessons they learned while at Burning Man.  The responses were amazing.

FYI, the Hug Nation hug starts at 10:22 if you want to pull out before it gets too pink & fluffy.

 

 

September 6th, 2012  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Photos/Videos/Media, The Ten Principles

Halcyon’s Tips & Tricks #13: Decompressing

Time to return to our Alter Ego's

Time to return to our Alter Ego’s

Well, that was amazing.

Now comes the hard part: Adjusting back to life in the default world.

I am not going to pretend it isn’t rough. But after 15 years of making the transition, I wanted to share a few things that help me.

1) You can be the same person.
The default world will not treat you the way that the people of Black Rock City do. But you can still treat everyone here the way that you did out there: Be kind. Be wacky. Open your heart and share your gifts. In time, more and more people will respond as Burners…whether they’ve been to BRC or not. Read more »

August 16th, 2012  |  Filed under Playa Tips

Halcyon’s Tips & Tricks #12 “Artists”

One last message before you head to the Playa. Intended for Virgins, but a good reminder for everyone.

*I’ll be hosting HugNation on the Playa this year again on Tuesday. And again, with a Pink Ride, on Thursday. Join us!

July 24th, 2012  |  Filed under Spirituality, The Ten Principles

The Pffffft Principle vs. The Playa

It is so hard to explain how The Playa can change your life. For me, a huge part of it was finding a community of people who would support and encourage my creative impulses. In a world of voices that say, “pfffft” and roll their eyes at anything outside the norm, it can be downright transformative to be told, “YES! Be You… and do it LOUD.”

As we prepare for another magical year in the dust, thank you in advance for singing your heartsong, and encouraging me to sing mine.

Last year I hosted a talk about this topic in the middle of a Tuesday duststorm on the Playa:

*I’ll be hosting HugNation on the Playa this year again on Tuesday. And again, with a Pink Ride, on Thursday. Join us!

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **

May 18th, 2012  |  Filed under Afield in the World, The Ten Principles

Decommodification Special Report

A blatant disregard of some Burning Man principles has recently been reported. That makes this a good time to look at the Principles and the lines we’ve drawn in the sand.

EDIT: This video is a re-upload with unnecessary corporate names omitted.

EDIT #2: I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful discussion in comments.
I realize now that I made some mistakes.
I was naive about some things, and ignorant of others.
I truly believe that the Playa experiences we created were well-aligned with the Principles. But I see now that acknowledgement of any brand, in any way, at any time, in relation to Burning Man – on or off Playa – is problematic.
Hopefully this conversation will help us move forward as a community.

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **