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
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up 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. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Back in February of 2017, Andrew Clay Schafer of Pivotal tweeted the following: “seriously tho, the whole software industry is stuck on deployment when we desperately need architecture and telemetry.” Intrigue in a 140 characters. For me, I hear Andrew saying, “we’re jumping to step 5 before we’ve successfully completed steps 1-4.”
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...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing be...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place in November in Silicon Valley, California.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...