|By Shelly Palmer||
|October 7, 2012 11:28 PM EDT||
In my last column, I wrote about attending Burning Man for the first time. I included lots of links that I highly recommend you click on if you have not yet done so, as they will provide a basic understanding of the beauty of Burning Man. At the end of that last column I wrote:
“Next I will look at Burning Man 2012 through the eyes of a futurist as for me that was unavoidable. There is much that Burning Man has to help humanity face the transformational changes we face here as we enter the Shift Age.”
As a futurist approaching Burning Man for the first time, my thoughts were that this annual event might well provide some metaphorical directions for the future of humanity. Having now become a “burner” and experienced it for nine days, those thoughts were accurate.
The ten principles of Burning Man are not for all humanity but many represent aspects of what humanity must embrace as we fully enter the Shift Age and are at the beginning of the Earth Century. Here are just some of the ones that have clear suggestions for how all of us must live.
Leaving No Trace
Think about the fact that some 62,000 people attended Burning Man this year and that the trash or garbage was minimal. The goal is to have no more than one cubic meter of matter left. I was not there at the very end, but it was clear that this consciousness of leaving no trace was being actively lived all the time. Our Future Wow! team of seven people left absolutely no trace, nor did the Sacred Spaces Village camp of 240 people that we stayed in. None.
Think about the last time you went to an outdoor musical event or concert and how full all the garbage cans were by the end of the evening, mostly filled up with packaging for food and drink. Dozens, if not hundreds, of overflowing garbage cans for a few hundred to a couple of thousand people. Burners tend to bring little or no packaging with them, using Ziploc bags for food, as they can be reused, and do not generate much space when taking them back to home. For nine days of being at Burning Man, our team took back two full garbage bags of trash to deposit back in the default world [what burners call the world outside of Burning Man]. Most burners carry MOOP [Matter Out of Place] bags with them to pick up litter and all have a MOOP patrol when breaking camp.
It is clear that in the next few decades, the definitions of growth and sustainable growth on the planet must become ever more congruent. We simply cannot sustain the species if we spend the planet’s resources and next few decades not moving toward a model of highly sustainable growth. As many of you know, one of my favorite quotes is from Marshall McLuhan: “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth; we are all crew.” I have never experienced that more fully that at Burning Man. Everyone was crew at Black Rock City.
Radical Self Reliance
The great American transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote the great essay “Self Reliance” almost 180 years ago, and it has been a constant theme in American culture ever since. The ability to be self-reliant and not dependent, to be able to sustain oneself simply, was the theme of Thoreau’s in “Walden” some 160 years ago. These are two of America’s greatest writer philosophers. In America we have become detached to a great degree from their writings.
We have become dependent and reliant on systems and institutions for much of our lives. Burning Man, more than anything else I have experienced, resurrects – and yes – radicalizes to some degree the thinking of these two greats. After using one plate, one cup and one set of utensils for a week, riding one bicycle (often through white out dust storms) as my sole means of transportation other than walking, wearing a single pair of boots and carrying all my own water definitely increased my sense of self-reliance. It also made me realize how little I need to be happy. This, of course, goes along with leave no trace. Less is more. (If you haven’t read Walden in a while, burners, you should.)
As I wrote here at www.futurewow.com, Burning Man will take you down to who you are, let you realize who you are not and will then give you the opportunity to live the rest of your life from that point forward. Almost every burner I have spoken to has had the experience of getting rid of “stuff” and living with less after they have left Burning Man. “Stuff” encompasses physical stuff, mental stuff, emotional stuff and psychological stuff. At Burning Man, people were letting go and releasing stuff to an intense level. This, of course, is something essential for humanity going forward. We have to release our collective past to some degree to move forward.
Years ago I wrote about the great reorganizational recession of 2007-2012 when I called it the “too much stuff recession.” This is a common thread among burners and a rapidly growing number of people in the world. We are realizing we can be much happier with less stuff; who we are is not defined by what we have.
I could easily go down the list of the ten principles as many are truly head-on for humanity as we enter the Shift Age, the 21st century and the new millennium. Communal effort, gifting, civic responsibility and participation, all at the highest level, are ideals that humanity has always referenced but now must live them to a greater degree than in the last century.
The simple reality that everything at Black Rock City was brought in and taken away is totally overwhelming when one is there. All the electricity for the incredible lights and monster sound systems, all the water, food, beautiful structures, art and mutant vehicles existed and created magic in the middle of a desert, and then were all taken away.
As a futurist, it seems quite appropriate that the largest number of people to ever attend Burning Man occurred in 2012. Humanity is experiencing change at an ever-accelerating rate; the default world seems somewhat out of control, so the counter-balance of record attendance this year seems as it should be.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
May. 2, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,025
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
May. 2, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,279
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
May. 2, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 951
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
May. 2, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 696
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
May. 2, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,547
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
May. 2, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 970
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
May. 2, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,079
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
May. 2, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 891
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
May. 2, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,332
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
May. 2, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,052
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 2, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 325
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
May. 2, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,073
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
May. 2, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,545
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
May. 2, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 947
Peak 10, Inc., has announced the implementation of IT service management, a business process alignment initiative based on the widely adopted Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework. The implementation of IT service management enhances Peak 10’s current service-minded approach to IT delivery by propelling the company to deliver higher levels of personalized and prompt service. The majority of Peak 10’s operations employees have been trained and certified in the ITIL frame...
May. 2, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,030