Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Burning Man 2012 – Part Two

 

Burning Man 2012

Burning Man 2012

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.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Latest Stories
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., discussed how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advantage ...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes a lot of work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reduction in cost ...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...