Mars College

Camp and Guild
05 Jun 2022 back to blog

Moving towards a neighborhood of semi-autonomous camps and camp services.

The best strategy for the Prisoner’s dilemma trends towards communal benefit only with repeat interactions between players. Without the expectation of future engagement selfishness is the best bet.

Thinking about this in the context of Mars college makes me want to create high level entities which persist over time. Burningman developed a rich culture with a transient population by focusing on theme camps. Coming back year after year theme camps develop personalities and reputations. The Burningman organization can trust that a long-standing camp understands how to operate and can interact meaningfully even if the leads and members of the camp change from year to year. One way Burningman supports theme camps is by connecting them with vendors who deliver water, set up generators, or pump blackwater out of the camp trailers. This relationship would be harder to manage if vendors needed to interface with random individuals.

‘Camps’ and ‘Guilds’ are the high level entities I hope to establish this coming year. Camps provide the physical space and immediate community where people live. Camps care for the needs of their members and orient around what is important to them such as food preferences, music preferences, housing situation, crypto fascination or other interest area. Camps also make a social offering to the community which could be art, music, food, screenings, workshops, or really almost anything. ‘Guilds’ provide core services to the camps. These services make it easier for camps to operate and maintain a healthy environment for their members. Water, Solar, Trash, Internet, Housing, Mail are some of the core services we need guilds for.

The formal semester for Mars College camps will run from early January until the end of March. Camps start with core infrastructure provided by the guilds. This typically includes a pallet rack structure with wifi & solar installed, a crib for the camp entity and a utility area with 5 gallon bottles of purified drinking water, a mail area, trash output, and whatever storage bins the camp stored the year before. Camps have the duration of the semester to fully express themselves thru their camps. By April 1 everything needs to be clean and stripped down ready for the guilds to do the final dismantle.

Guild members arrive early to set up their work environments and install necessary gear at camp locations. In April guilds breakdown and store their workshop as well as whatever specialized gear they have at the camps.

Because of these complexities the Mars College application process will be much longer this year. The core guilds need to get populated with detailed expectations of processes and member commitments defined ahead of time. We can’t finalize camp placements until each core camp service has a fully credible guild signed up to do the actual physical work of setup for the different camps, servicing them during MC, and breaking down and storing all the guild stuff at the end.

If you’re interested in participating reach out now. The more time we put into planning the next Mars College the more fun and productive the experience will be.

I am Interested in Participating in Mars College 2023

posted by: chatsubo.z