Google CEO Larry Page Wants a Tech Burning Man

Larry Page at the Google I/O Conference (Photo Credit: James Martin/CNET)
Larry Page at the Google I/O Conference (Photo Credit: James Martin/CNET)

In his keynote speech at this week’s Google I/O developers conference, Google CEO (and long-time Burner) Larry Page suggested the world would benefit from a temporary (if not permanent?) autonomous zone free of social rules where people can experiment with new technologies and innovations, free of the restrictions inherent in attempting to deploy them broadly in the normal world. Essentially, a technology-specific Burning Man.

As reported by TechCrunch, Mr. Page says:

“We don’t want our world to change too fast. But maybe we could set apart a piece of the world … I like going to Burning Man, for example. An environment where people can try new things. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society. What’s the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.”

Suffice to say, we couldn’t agree more.

Here’s more coverage on the talk from Silicon Beat and CNN, and his full speech can be seen here.

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's former Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He was the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Burning Man Journal, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversaw the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.

16 Comments on “Google CEO Larry Page Wants a Tech Burning Man

  • Grant Gaffey says:

    I have been trying to get ahold of google about this idea. If anyone can help me it would be much appreciated thanks. Grant 720-498-8034

    It is important.

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  • Dan Burke says:

    I like this idea. A friend of mine might have the means of such an autonomous zone with his company Blueseed.

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  • Beacon Sway says:

    I wish he would develop a device that would allow me to get virtually laid on The Playa……..physical effort is often sooo humiliating……can’t take Playa rejection again…:(

    Report comment

  • Zaskoda says:

    I’m hoping to bring some new technology to Burning Man in about 2 years. =D

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  • jakiamik says:

    they already have this frequently….they are called hack.A.thons…..much more popular in europe than in the states. if you want to bring innovation to technology, developers must get out from the behind the systems that sequester them. larry page doesn’t ever touch on that.

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  • sand worm says:

    Count me as a Google skeptic. They have no respect for my privacy, and their basic business model is to serve me up as their product to their true customers, the advertisers.
    However, an autonomous zone for them to play in is just fine, a “camp” they could build and play in, so to speak.
    Just don’t expect me to camp there.
    I still think it is cool that their first google art was the burning man.

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  • Bizzbuzz says:

    We’re hoping someone brings a cell-signal-blocking camp. The LAST thing the Playa needs is cell phones!

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  • t groan says:

    Yep, gotta have a way to get around those pesky environmental laws, privacy laws, and basic human rights.

    Imagine the outrage if the Koch brothers asked for something like this. The pseudo-left (i.e. democrats) would be apoplectic.

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  • Anoniempje says:

    “a Tech Burning Man” –> so he’s talking about OHM2013 (Observe, Hack Make, The 6th edition of the Tech Burning Man that has been happening every 4 years since way back in the 80’s.

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  • Kregas says:

    Let’s build it under the sea, and call it Rapture

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  • tribecca says:

    i think this is a great idea for a BM future theme. we can call it ‘green man’, and have a tech pavilion under the Man. companies like google can show off their best tech to the community.

    after the borg killed paul addis, nothing could go wrong this time.

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  • Abbie Lee says:

    There’s an excellent interview of Larry Page(Google Co-Founder) on
    for anyone interested in more of him and how he co-founded Apple with Sergey Brin.

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    their true objection is with their child playing video games.

    All that energy is boxed in, amplified by the space.
    This classic game integrates all-out entertainment with vocabulary
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  • Potzer says:

    Fabulous concept.

    I would love a tech-centric burn.(almost get one by choice anyways but thats besides the point)

    Roundtables/talks all day, showing off crajee visuals/systems all night.

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  • Moose says:

    Google manages to creep me out every chance they get. Gees, I just hope it takes as much time as possible before they can track my ass at this end of the world too.

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  • Scott Bergquist says:

    If you have to worry about fulfilling your occupational duties and making a living, it is difficult to be creative. If you are so rich, a billionaire…., then money is a triviality (Harper’s Index: number of years for the average-spending American family to spend a billion dollars: 10,000 years) and thus it’s easy to talk about “let’s all get together and share ideas and builds, judgment-free, failure-favorable.” Personally, I’ve struggled earning money in the past six years (total income, six years, $40,000) but when I’m unable to work, no thoughts for the job site, the ideas and creativity flow freely: why worry about what you cannot affect (income)?? Maker Faire: I’ve done three “save the world” entries. But dancing humans dressed as robots in silver cardboard boxes are more entertaining. That’s what people want.
    Money. Creativity is a function of how much you worry about money.

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