August 5th, 2001


pre-playa preparations

Kirsten and I are slipping into pre-Burning Man panic mode. She really has problems with just how stressed I don't get about these things. When it comes to large-scale activities involving lots of people, I generally prefer doing what I can do, and letting the chips fall where they may... but I don't beat myself up too much if things don't work out. If people are interested in making ideas come to life, they pull together and it all just happens out of a common inertia... and if not, they die a quick, merciful death.

Personally, I think every LiveJournal developer should go to Burning Man at some point in their life. I learned a lot about community building there that really had a big impact on my ideas regarding LiveJournal... and no, I didn't take any hallucinogens. Burning Man is an open source community in the truest sense. It's worth noting how the people who oversee Burning Man run things... lots of chaos and freedom, but a strongly implied social contract. Responsibility.

That's the inevitable conflict, isn't it? Art and creativity is all about freedom... and we want the world to have that freedom, but even the most self-reliant, independent artists fight viciously for responsibility... it's just a question of who they think should be responsible and accountable. The individual versus the system.

The truth is that the individual is the system. It takes a nation of millions to hold us back and we're all a victim of our selves. Our selves oppress each other, whether we like it or not. We fight over supposedly scarce resources, when the truth is there is enough of everything for everyone. The answer that Burning Man suggests is to be creative and give openly of your self. Be self-less. Yes, someone may take advantage of you, but someone else might just follow your lead and give freely too. That's how systemic change happens. We are that which must change.

BTW - want to kick in a few bob to help us throw a party in the middle of a desert?!