I had a free autumn weekend. I wanted to go on a hike or do something generally helpful. I remembered a volunteer organization Brontosaurus and serendipitously they offered an event in the interesting region of Jeseníky mountains. So I had a plan for the weekend and as a bonus socialization with new people.

News things/ideas I learnt

  • RegioJet lowcost
    • better optimized compared to České dráhy but some at the cost of traveller’s experience
  • organization structure of Brontosaurus
    • divided in so called “basic articles” (základní článek)
    • They’re not a pool of volunteers allocated to various tasks but rather poeple associated with the articles and those articles are associated with several localities in their neighborhood.
  • history of the region
  • internal freedom
    • I always considered freedom as the relation of an acting individual and environment but one may be also constrained internally.
  • nation = just a connection with past people, no reason to nurture that
  • Intel’s 512b vector instructions and their interesting applications
  • snow = (mountains aren’t Prague)
  • meditation as stateless mind
  • potravinová banka (food bank)
    • Current mode of production and distribution of food isn’t (utilization) optimal, this is an attempt to use food with effectively zero or negative exchange value (approaching expiration) and provide it to those in need instead of disposing as waste.

Was I volunteer?

Simple volunteer definition is someone who does work without compensation (heh, exploited workers are volunteers to certain extent).

Derived definition for this analysis would be someone who does more work than expensed costs are for that purpose.

So the balance is as follows:

  • output (900 CZK)
    • 700 CZK worth of labor
      • 7 hours of unqualified labor ~100 CZK/hour
    • 200 CZK participant fee
  • input (3700 CZK)
    • 490 CZK
      • tax and insurance (calculated as if I were an employee, it makes another 70 CZK/hour)
    • 210 CZK of food
      • dinner (2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, lunch, snack)
    • 3100 CZK organizers time
      • 200 CZK/hour * 1.7 * (6/13) * 10 hours/day * 2 days
      • conservative estimate of organizers’ work cost consumed by me
    • 10 CZK of energy (heating by PB gas)
      • (4 kW * 10 hours) / (45 MJ/kg) * 35 CZK/kg * (1/13)
    • 50 CZK tools
      • amortized cost of tools

I didn’t include organizers preparations costs and transport.

The simple breakdown shows that the organizers work dominates the expenses and thus my contribution can’t be considered volunteering under those conditions (the real volunteers are the organizers who subsidized my work).

Let’s consider working two days for 16 hours in total and having only two organizersmanagers. Then the costs and outputs would be approximately on par with each other (output = 1800 CZK, cost = 1810 CZK). That somehow validates the quantities in the analysis.


The volunteering works thanks to volunteers on both sides (“workers” and organizers). And since zero wage implies zero taxes, it helps as well. The analysis must be taken with a grain of salt as many costs were ignored.


  • social stratification (or rather social clustering as there might be no total ordering)
  • night game
  • variety of names of wheelbarrow
    • I knew no would know kotouč (Moravia) but kolečko (Bohemia) was also not understood
    • I was enlightened with word tačky (Silesia) or variant točky


Reasons for this section:

  • exercise concise portraying of people,
  • aid to recall the people I have met there,
  • guessing who is who.


  • O1 – regional patriot and originator of the “open” Muna idea
  • O2 – balanced and amiable girl (maybe too amiable to make me nervous)
  • O3 – silent, skilled and intelligent guy
  • O4 – always very positive girl (early morning, freezing cold)
  • O5 – Czech/history teacher student bound to the region
  • O6 – curious and communicative guy


  • P1 – listening and rather rational girl
  • P2 – distinctive eyes girl
  • P3 – religious philosopher with whom I could argue long time
  • P4 – collector of vernacular art (songs, fairy tales, legends etc.)
  • P5 – cook and climate dynamics ignorant
  • P6 – silent adventurous youngling girl
  • P7 – very talkative girl with German-sounding nickname
  • P8 – fellow matfyzák
  • P9 – social/human fields polyglot and state employee
  • P10 – all green forester (I don’t know why but multiple people mistook him for me)
  • P11 – airplane mechanic (I didn’t even know there were schools for that in Czechia), military trainee (that I call the determination to specialize on military aircrafts)
  • P12 – musically talented girl
  • P13 – (water) spring designer and low-level programmer

Lessons learnt

  • bring (and use!) second pair of clothes for work (I don’t mind doing the laundry but it’s better for future travel)
  • missing “common topic”, possibly “common goal” (does it matter?)