Trapped in The Multiverse — What Should a Digital Burning Man Be?

The theme of “Multiverse” has, I think, been changed by the pandemic. Before, the Multiverse was something we aspired to experience. Now we are trapped in it — each of us stuck in our own little worlds, growing more and more distant from each other, unable to reach out. That’s really the theme now.

But will a “digital Burning Man” help with that? Why go big? What purpose would a digital Burning Man serve that people can’t just achieve on their own with some Zoom calls? What would a successful event look like?

Those are questions, were Larry still with us, that we would have been debating and discussing in the Philosophical Center for weeks now. I don’t know the answers, and I can’t tell you what Larry would have said, but I can tell you what I would have told him at the beginning of that process.

Location, Location, Location

Burning Man happened in the first place, and grew exponentially in the first place, because it was offering people an experience that they couldn’t get, or didn’t know how to do for themselves in the rest of their lives.

Going to Burning Man is simply not something you can do anywhere else in the world. We all have to do it together.

Is that still true in a pandemic-mandated digital environment? If what we’re doing boils down to creating 10,000 individual “rooms” that are supposed to be analogous to “theme camps,” is that a different, better, experience than a bunch of San Franciscans putting together a party of 30 rooms for 500 people, most of whom will never get to all of them?

A similar issue comes up with another of the major reasons people go to Burning Man: to see their friends and long-time collaborators. That is also something that Burning Man offers that they can’t easily get elsewhere. But that’s no longer true with a digital Burning Man.

In what way will going to Virtual Burning Man be “seeing your friends” in a way that you can’t see them right now, using the exact same technology? If we’re just Zoom calling one another to hang out … what’s the advantage of 100,000 of us doing it at once?

Context Counts

There are a lot of conditions that, unless we specifically try to create them in some form, a virtual Burning Man will simply not possess.

  • Pilgrimage: The journey to Burning Man is, as Anselm Engle once pointed out to me, a kind of personal Hero’s Journey. You leave the rest of your life behind and travel to a kind of underworld. Obviously that just isn’t happening with “shelter in place” Burning Man.
  • Shared hardship: The vast majority of us engage in the same damn process of getting through the gate, waiting in line, baking in the sun, freezing in the night, needing to hydrate constantly … this is a major component of the Burning Man experience, and the way people relate to each other there. This, too, will be absent.
  • Natural beauty: Black Rock Desert is a magical place. Anything you do in that environment gains an added significance and poetry simply because it’s happening there.
  • Barrier to entry: Buying a ticket was actually the easy part. More important was the willingness to go someplace stupidly inaccessible with all your shit packed up. In a digital event, will there be a barrier to entry that isn’t just cost related?

A lot of what makes the experiences we have at Burning Man remarkable are not the things we do, but that they happen in this context. Many, many of the things that are magical when they happen at Burning Man will be mundane and barely interesting when they happen as links from a webpage. Even if we all are doing it at once while wearing onesies.

This doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing — but it does mean that there is simply no way to have an “experience of Burning Man” by doing a vague imitation of what we have done before at Burning Man.

“What” Starts With “Why”

So what are we encouraging people to do? What are we trying to achieve? What experience can we help people achieve that they are not getting in the rest of their lives right now?

I can think of two answers to these questions. Both have implications for what a “digital Burning Man” should be that have not been adequately thought through, to the extent they’ve been thought through at all.

It’s an Experiment

The first is basically that we are conducting a social experiment. Why not see what happens? Experiments are great. The original Burning Man — Larry and Jerry and their families down on Baker Beach — was an experiment. “Hey, what would happen if we tried this?”

But its genius was not that they were imitating something that they already did. They were in fact trying something new. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been an experiment; it would have been board game night.

It’s a Breakthrough

Burning Man was, ultimately, never about how cool it is to burn shit — although that sure helps.  Burning Man is about creating contexts in which we relate to each other differently. We kept coming back, in large part, for that. And there is absolutely no reason we don’t still need that now.

In fact, I think we desperately need ways of breaking through our isolation and reaching one another.  With so much of our ability to connect casually and intimately both gone, we crave new ways of reaching across the space between us, to be present and real to one another.

This is a very good reason to do something. But the truth is that while we are very good at helping people achieve breakthroughs in the context of Burning Man, nobody actually knows how to achieve breakthroughs in this new environment. How could we? We’ve never done it before.

Which brings us back to the need to experiment, but now it’s an experiment with a clear purpose.

So okay … what kind of experiment are we conducting that might achieve this purpose? What should we be asking people to do, besides buy a ticket?

How to Escape From the Multiverse — and Find Each Other

Yeah … I dunno. I mean, I’m right here with everyone else: I’ve never tried to make art in a global pandemic either. Frankly, whatever this event is, we are all going to be attending it as virgins.

All I can say for sure is that this moment is a calling, a struggle with a high bar that we are trying to be worthy of.  Going through the motions, because that’s what we know how to do, is the surest way to fail to live up to our aspirations. Breakthrough moments require risk, and they require vulnerability.

What I’m Pretty Sure I Know

Thus far the most successful breakthroughs I’ve experienced and seen in this context have all started with Immediacy.

Organizers have openly acknowledged where they are, both physically and emotionally. They didn’t try to pretend their living room was an alien planet, or a secret government lab — they were open about the fact they were in their living room. Maybe they’d decorated their living room, maybe they’d done something physical and interesting with it — but there were no pretenses. They were honest dealing with what was around them. They were equally honest and open about their emotional state. They were isolated, they were lonely, it sucked.

The next most important element was Radical Self-Expression, but not theirs — yours. The successful breakthroughs I’ve seen and experienced have begun with Immediacy from the organizers, who  focused on ways to get the participants to be Radically Self-expressive. They’re not trying to present something, they’re trying to bring something out. To coax, to convince, to delight in such a way that it encourages someone else to open up and express themselves in new ways.

This is absolutely true of many of the best Burning Man theme camps. But at a digital distance, trapped in the Multiverse, it’s often all we have.

When it works, this collaborative act of Immediacy and Radical Self-expression generally requires that a risk be undertaken. The experiences offered have an uncertain outcome, and ask that we push ourselves, open ourselves, or put ourselves in another’s hands. We can’t be together, but we can take risks together — and, amazingly, that can be more than enough.

Co-creating the experience of risk together is also a very powerful experience. The truth about so many Burning Man events is that the creators of the theme camps and art often have a much, much better time than the people going through it. A harder time, for sure, but often a better one. So how can you use the circumstances we’re actually in, to genuinely co-create? To offer equal Participation and Communal Effort? To make the experiences truly tailored to the individuals in it right now, even if — especially if — they’re all strangers?

Design for these things, and everything else seems to fall into place.

If you want to see some examples of what this looks like, I’ve offered a few here. I’ve since seen others I’m excited to share soon.

It Should Be Hard, Not Easy

Meanwhile, we return to the question: if these are the kinds of things that work to get us the experiences we need to have — if these are the kind of things that break us out of the multiverse we’re trapped in — then what is the role of a major “Burning Man” style virtual event? What utility is it? What does it add?

When dealing with the Black Rock Desert, Burning Man Project makes our presence there possible at on a mass scale: it helps us deal, up to a point, with extreme obstacles by handling government permitting, liaising with local law enforcement, bringing out porto-potties, making sure key infrastructure exists.

Those obstacles don’t exist in the virtual environment, and so the Burning Man Project isn’t needed to mitigate them. But those obstacles also make Burning Man what it is (hence the longstanding cry to “make Burning Man more inconvenient!”).

Ironically, I think the most important thing the Burning Man Project can do to make this “virtual Burning Man” more like an experience of Burning Man is to create barriers to entry and develop shared struggle. To do it artfully, and delightfully, but to make it harder, not easier, in ways that require people to participate and engage.

In creating a mass virtual Burning Man, the job of the Burning Man Project is to make it a pilgrimage instead of a series of clicks. To develop the hoops that everyone has to jump through to get there. And to make those hoops soul affirming, rather than soul sucking.

What could this look like?  Well, again, I’ve never done this before either. At this point this is a thought experiment. But here are two ideas to start.

  •  What if some theme camps all over the world work with Burning Man Project to develop some breakthrough experiences that they start offering now, not during the event. And what if Burning Man Project were to create a map showing their location and links, and in order to get your ticket validated, you had to go through all of them before the event? Send yourself all around the world (in a manner of speaking), and go to all these theme camps and through their experiences before you could enter the big event. It would be tremendously inconvenient, but it would give us all a common set of experiences, a shared struggle, and a definite sense of what does and doesn’t work well before we got to where we’re going. As the theme camps stamped the participants’ digital passports, they could also add notes that would appear in people’s Burner profiles, creating a kind of scrapbook of experiences they had along the way.
  •  What if we reconsidered the function of the Gate and the Greeters for the new big event? As with all things, what you get out of an experience like this will depend on what you put into it. It actually seems to matter — not to the collective, but to the individual’s experience — if they have prepared the room in which they’re going to be looking through their screen. Instead of letting just letting people log in, what if we first send them to the Greeters or Gate stations, where the volunteers check to see: Is your space prepared? Are you wearing a costume? And if the prospective participant hasn’t prepared either, they say: “Okay, what materials do you have that we can make a little space for you together?” They say: “Let’s see your clothing drawers to try to piece a costume together for you?” The point isn’t to get them to live up to a standard; we’re not looking for quality, but to get them out of the mode of spectating through a screen. Intrusive, annoying, yes — absolutely. Risky — yes. But it’s also potentially a direct, intimate, human experience where you work with someone to co-create something personal. You take a risk, you deal with what your space really is and what you’re really feeling, are asked to be self-expressive, and only then get access to the big event.

Both of these cases make Virtual Burning Man unnecessarily difficult — but the whole point is that Burning Man experiences are often unnecessarily difficult. Both of these things are out of our comfort zones — we don’t mandate costumes! — but they’re certainly not more inconvenient than going to the Black Rock Desert, and the whole point is that we need to get out of our comfort zones.

The purpose of the Burning Man Project in a plague environment — I’m hypothesizing, I could be wrong — is to create these difficulties, and do so artfully, in a way that brings out our shared humanity, rather than smoothing them over.

Make Burning Man Inconvenient Again is more important now than ever. If we do it right, we break out of the multiverse and into a shared space, where we are connected once again.

That’s a good reason to do this.


Top photo: Crowds gather for a performance in deep playa on the first evening of Burning Man 2019 (Photo by Scott London)

About the author: Caveat Magister

Caveat Magister

A member of Burning Man Project's Philosophical Center, Caveat served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Media Mecca from 2008 - 2013, and the lead writer/researcher for Burning Man's education program from 2016 - 2018. Caveat is the author of the The Scene That Became Cities: what Burning Man philosophy can teach us about building better communities. He has also written several books which have nothing to do with Burning Man. He has finally got his email address caveat (at) burningman (dot) org working again. He tweets, occasionally, as @BenjaminWachs

43 Comments on “Trapped in The Multiverse — What Should a Digital Burning Man Be?

  • Some Seeing Eye says:

    I was surprised to hear the idea of a virtual 2020 Burning Man proposed.

    I would suggest the Burning Man Organization strictly control to a low level staff time and Organization costs on this project.

    It is a classic vaguely designed software and experience design problem which always goes wrong; budget, schedule, and expectations.

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  • Deborah Hall says:

    One idea could be to support and entertain global health workers and volunteer in order to “earn” a ticket – unlock via giving back. Feels like the amazing sense of community and love that you feel at Burning Man – in 2020 could be brought to those in our communities who need it the most..

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  • Dusk Rider says:

    Hey BMP-
    I can’t stand the idea. Why would a burner want to be a party to such stupid idea and extraordinary waste of time, effort, and creativity.
    Did you not get the memo… Burning Man/BRC is the antithesis of all this virtual bullshit!!
    I say, can the whole ridiculous virtual plan, save the money, (since you’re so concerned about money) and instead, focus on dealing with the BLM so that we might possibly be able to have a real burn next year.
    While your at it, why don’t you spend your extra time this summer finding alternate sources of funding for your pet vanity projects so that the funds raised from ticket sales go directly to building BRC each year like most of us thought was happening all along. (Hint: you could beg for it like the Temple team has to do every year!)
    Or, failing that, I guess you’ll need to put all those critical “special projects” of yours online and do all that “important Burning Man culture work” in cyber space. Don’t like the sound of that? Doesn’t sound very engaging, participatory, or fun does it? Well neither does the idea of your proposed Virtual Black Rock City. Do you see the hypocrisy here?
    Come on BMP (BORG) get a clue, the community is calling bullshit on your self-styled Burning Man national/global ambassadorships and your blatant disregard for the dedicated citizens of BRC who create the culture you feel the need to spend huge amounts of money to promote and glorify. Hear this: we don’t care about that shit, we just want to get dusty and have great time with our family in our BRC home. Please get your priorities straight and come back down to earth.
    Create the conditions so that BRC can be built, take care of the good people who do all that creating and organizing, and then just back off. That’s all we need or want you to do. Where in the hell did you think you got a mandate from the BRC citizenry to do anything other than that?

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    • Robert Paulson says:

      I would have liked to have been in the meeting when this was put forward and then decided on. It’s so laughably lame it actually fits with what BM has become. It’s actually quite creepy.

      But okay, create an online experience that resembles riding your bike around looking for “art”. Have NPCs taking pictures of goddamn everything and everyone, especially themselves. I don’t know how, but throw in the arguing couples and the people who do nothing and eat all your food and drink all your booze while you do all the work. Cops on every corner. Have DPW driving around in their wrecked wannabe MadMax vehicles calling women fat and stealing whatever isn’t bolted down. Also needed, women shoving their roofie-proof cups in your face to show you how empowered they are against your uncontrolled desire to rape them. The list goes on but you’ll need to pay me for any more. Oh wait, BRC Rangers who think they’re cops on the look out for the most minor infractions on the huge list of rules, then walking up to you like they’re bros only to exert their little bit of power while wearing their retarded Boy Scout uniforms.

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    • Makers says:

      I cannot agree more strongly. My thoughts exactly.

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    • Broomstick Bob says:

      good point, agree 100%. Hope the BM ORG Byzantium will fail, fail badly and then BM would rebuild, fresh from the start, organically and healthy again.

      Time for BM to be reborn

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    • The Hustler says:

      *you’re

      I believe most of us have been aware of Burning Man charities and community outreach projects for a long time, and we’re stoked they exist. Burning Man is more than the annual event in the The Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, it’s a global culture that exists all year.

      I believe you may actually think you have a majority opinion, but you don’t — it’s wildly possible that I have it all wrong. Or, perhaps you’re representing internet trolls, which then you may have the majority opinion.

      We the humans are still trying to figure this shit out.

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    • Spark says:

      If you don’t like it, make it better or don’t join in. No big deal. Sounds like you just like to complain….and yet change doesn’t happen out of contentment. I have no doubt that those that choose to put their energy into something that is working towards following the 10 principles, will come up with anything but an extraordinarily new, different, challenging and expansive experience like nothing that’s come before on the planet. We have an amazing community of creative loving people that can do ANYTHING they set their minds to!

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  • Dustin Fasman says:

    A virtual duet of Caveat singing to Haggis on bagpipes. That’d be a hardship worth enduring.

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  • Robert Groeling says:

    I appreciate this very much. Ill probably never make it to the regular Burning Man, though its been a Bucket List item. My wife visited one of the first Burning Man’s in San Francisco. Ive always been jealous. This is great!

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  • Julia says:

    Can anyone answer me this? Why is a event that is happening almost five months from now getting canceled due to an over exaggerated “Pandemic” that doesn’t come close to tipping the scales for daily mortality rate like AIDS, & Hepatitis which are also contagious????? I don’t get!?

    Here’s a suggestion, maybe just everyone needs to the news off for awhile pay attention to the facts, take things that need to be taken seriously, and ignore the exaggerated B*!!$5iT for a minute??

    Yes, people got sick, and yes people died but can we please be intelligent about this? Keep it in perspective, and act quickly and conscientiously with out turning life into a bad reality show/B movie?

    Thank you for your time and consideration. :)

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    • Jed says:

      Your kidding, right?

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      • Free Cheese says:

        The coronavirus pandemic has been more a media event than anything else. It was never about saving lives, it’s all about conditioning us to accept an increasing level of authority and surveillance.

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    • Doug says:

      It’s an extreme form of virtual signaling. Canceling the event shows how deeply concerned the community organizers are about saving lives, and oh we just have to bite the bullet. They don’t give a shit if you get the boogie-man flu, they want to look like good victims even if it costs them millions. Ignoring that this is a plandemic and underlining the fearmongering of the MSM, canceling shows they toe the line like good soldiers. It also gives their followers (the good citizen army who would turn their own father in to authorities for sneezing twice in a row) something to whip themselves with and cry over.

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    • Dory says:

      As a physician, it’s not an exaggerated pandemic. While AIDS and hepatitis are contagious, you don’t catch it just by touching something. Hospitals need to isolate patients who have coronavirus and health care workers have to protect themselves and be wary of cross contamination. You don’t need to do that for AIDS and hepatitis. This need for precaution and isolation overwhelms hospitals resources and puts healthy healthcare workers at risk.

      People argue the that coronavirus doesn’t have the same number of deaths as cancer or heart disease or smoking. Again, those illnesses are not contagious like corona, and they do not have the intense acuity either. A good percentage of the people in the hospital with corona have been intubated, again using up hospital resources.

      There’s been reports of people getting sick attending birthday parties, funerals, and religious services. An event like BM with one 70k world traveler and questionable hygiene can spread the virus quickly, and you wouldn’t show symptoms until you got home and spread it there.

      Is unfortunate it’s cancelled, but also, it’s the right call because artists and staff need months if not the year to prepare and build their art pieces, it would probably be worse to cancel it last minute

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      • DG says:

        “The intubated, using up resources,”must be regional. I too, work in the healthcare field amongst numerous hospitals in the Southwest. What I have found is that every hospital I’ve visited thus far has a bolus of unused ventilators sitting ready. The need just isn’t there. At least not yet anyway. The media would like for you to believe there is a massive shortage of vents and we need all we can get. It’s just not panning out that way out here in the west.
        I get a kick out of the stories about how GM is making vents now and how Dyson built one in 10 days. What they aren’t telling the public is that GM didn’t design and build their own vents. They are sharing the labor force to do mass production. I’m not putting them down for that. It’s a great idea.
        For someone to design and build a vent from scratch takes a lot of time and certification from the FDA. It’s not a short term endeavor like the media wants people to think. It can and does take months or years to get them passed through the FDA.
        So, yes, the media is thriving on this pandemic or plandemic. Which ever you chose to call it.

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  • Jed says:

    Don’t waste a minute on this! Burning Man has existed in Second Life for more than a decade. And it’s FREE!! Unless of course you want to spend money there. Preserve you precious capital and make plans for 2021.

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  • Rex Blazer says:

    I’ve always felt that it’s human nature that the BMOrg got tired of the main event and wanted to play with new toys -e.g. Fly Ranch, BWB etc. – and I’ve personally felt that the main thing is to keep the main thing the Main Thing. Second Life is a great example of an existing resource that the BMOrg wants to supplant with their own shiny new thing – using our money on this and other “projects” (most of which are redundant with other existing organizations/projects) rather than putting that creativity toward facets and possibilities of the Main Playa Event. If indeed there are financial constraints to the BMOrg this year – let’s focus!

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  • Brian Baker says:

    Thank you Caveat for this thoughtful reflection on what makes Burning Man work and how we might create a meaningful facsimile with our current pandemic related constraints. I am proud of how BMOrg is handling this crisis and I’m eager to support this new effort. Many members of Camp Religious AF are eager to participate and we will be able to include folks who weren’t going to be able to join us in 2020. I’m heartbroken that the real Burn won’t happen and am grateful for the efforts to provide something. Thank you.

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  • Infored says:

    We’ve been here before. People have always strived to connect. Mine the past and our imagine to add means to connect in addition to zoom/skype methods. Develop connections with strangers, who you will be super looking forward to meeting on playa. Examples: Reno group already started a pen pal exchange. Addicted to sock knitting facebook page where strangers become friends and help each other over shared interest. Chain emails on lock down recipes. Makers spaces on You Tube to help each other. Streaming yoga classes.

    Connecting with others ultimately happens in the mind. A time delay to meet the body that cradles the mind can be like anticipating a birthday.

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  • Action Jackson says:

    Good plan. Keep all the normies online while the hardcore Burners go out to the playa and burn old-school. BM 2020 will happen on the playa, just the Org won’t be there and the damn BRC Rangers and DPW won’t be there either. And don’t tell me about the helpless Indians and the 12 people who live in Gerlach. They can hold their breath when we roll through.

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    • ZoomieCat says:

      Wow, being a “hardcore” burner must be so cool. You get to go to the desert without supervision. I would remind you to pick-up after yourself when you’re done with your little camping trip, but I wouldn’t need to remind an old-school burner like you.

      Your apathy doesn’t make you cool.

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      • Action Jackson says:

        We’re actually recruiting now for our own version of DPW. You can apply if you like, PM me. The requirements are that you clean up all our shit when we’re done having fun. There’s no pay but you’ll get a cool T-shirt and 5 cool-kid points, plus you get to brag to your friends that you were there. Limited space available. Please attach a resume’ and cover letter detailing the various ways you enjoy being exploited.

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  • Jean-Paul DuQuette says:

    Yes, I second the notion that there’s a lot to learn from Burn2 (Burning Man in Second Life). In fact, despite the lag for some, I can’t think of a better platform to convey the Burning Man aesthetic online. Music, art, colorful clothes (admittedly on avatars), meeting interesting and creative people – and much safer and more convenient.

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  • Trilo Byte says:

    Let’s not also forget that Burning Man has been doing virtual world burns for more than 15 years. Stop a moment, let that sink in. It might be your first virtual burn, but Burning Man and burners have been doing this a long time. I started participating virtually in 2008, and even started my own virtual Black Rock Desert project in 2016 (with a trash fence and dust storms, no less). It will happen, on multiple platforms and in multiple places… as it’s been doing for some time.

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  • Professor says:

    What about a month long hack-a-thon to build a literal burning man virtual reality. Could be interesting. 2 cents.

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  • I completely agree this is a lame inauthentic idea trying to recreate BRC in everyone’s living room. While I agree the decision had to be made rather than run the risk of cancelling at the last minute after everyone had worked so hard there may be another way to reconceive what Burningman is. Look at the principles. Designate a global burningweek in which burners all over the globe make a concerted effort to embody the principles in their community in whatever way works for each person. I know the ideal has always been to practice these principle in life but we always fail and it gets diluted, if we take a week and put our energy into it, it will be noticed and felt globally. and if you want to go virtual create an online platform to broadcast what you are doing. what does this look like? that is the thought experiment we should be having. Imagine 100s of thousands of people all over the world taking the money they would have spent and spending it on gifting/giving of themselves in their local community. Not just to fellow burners but to their neighbors who are completly baffled and surprised by what is suddenly happening. Gifted art, performance, food, organizing, caring, construction, whatever your skill/gift is, share it, without expectation of compensation or reward. The world will be in shock!!!

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    • Mark Telles says:

      Excellent idea! That would be a plan worth promoting- Too bad it’s not coming from the BMP leadership.

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    • Great idea. Let’s use this opportunity to REALLY take the principals out into the default world. If the org made that the goal and the camps organized on the local level, a decent impact might be felt.

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    • Derek says:

      I never been to burning man, but this comment makes all the sense, for once, leave out the desert and the community and dive into whichever is your direct surrounding and do something out of the norm, exemplifyingthe principles according to your own creativity. And then share it with a common hashtag if you wish.

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  • I love seeing this global event make individuals and large communities make such huge adaptations !!

    VR, crypto, social, awareness, health … just to name a few …

    Lifechanging , global interface changing, a massive energy shift on such a short notice … once in a lifetime oppportunity !! Take that wave !!!

    Count me in !!! I’m all for that !!!
    ( and a whole wagonload of positive perspectives similar to the above … )

    @ Natural Warp

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  • DG says:

    The headlines read, these are the worst of time…I do believe it’s true…

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  • The Hustler says:

    I like this; I like the process — isn’t the process the important part? I like that it incorporates good/bad ideas, absurdity and creativity. I like that I was a little annoyed by it (again, in the best possible way) And judging by the amount of internet trolls negatively commenting, it’s a good solution to a weird circumstance in a strange time.

    What about Burning Man or Black Rock City isn’t a bad idea? And, more importantly, why are the internet trolls so quick to downvote the joy and utility of bad ideas?

    I’ve had a few adventures and learning experiences that started out as bad ideas that I can’t wait to go do again.

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  • Captain Bunny says:

    Burning man changed my life in so many ways – most importantly the ten principles are core to who I am and who I’m trying to become. While not having a face-to-face event that is built on proximity and a dearth of immediate shared experiences, we have the opportunity to create an event that is more available to the default world. Clearly it won’t be the same, but I look at this as an opportunity bring Burning Man to the default world in a novel way that hasn’t been determined yet. I can’t wait to find a project that will not only help me have the shared experiences and creativity I crave, but also build shared experiences for others that may be the impetus for transformation. I’m the human I am today because of this community (and my family). I look forward to blurring the lines this year between the default world and burning man. Maybe it isn’t how we participate virtually, but how we bring our true selves and the types of experiences articulated above as part of our multiverse experience. I’m not sure this makes sense. But rather than critique a choice we can’t change, let’s embrace it and reimagine what an experience can be that society has never seen.

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  • SumB says:

    What about encouraging groups to throw their own themed burning man parties and/or create art pieces that are live streamed over the course of a weekend. Maybe some of the bigger registered parties with larger acts can be entered to view immediately if this is what someone wants to check out – maybe it’s just one DJ. The rest of the parties and art pieces can be a luck of the draw gamble much like what that old hilarious website “chat roulette” was all about. You come into a art piece or party live stream/website you don’t like, you hit “next” and are randomly streamed into the next one to stay as long as you like. Helps keep some of the flavor and randomness of BM experiences alive in that you never know what you’ll come across next. Individuals who want to have their event or art live streamed would perhaps need to be vetted before they’re accepted into the multiverse to make sure all the live stream events all over the world are legit. Again, being able to return to the bigger parties or art pieces as desired when they’re scheduled. Maybe you can go into random “chat roulette” chat rooms as well to speak with random strangers. Just a few visions…hope you all come up with something fun and interactive!

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  • Colin Gunn says:

    As unfortunate as it is, I appreciate you guys exercing due caution. We all want to go to black rock city and ditch our default world problems for a week and embrace a better reality, but the pandemic is a very real thing and our home on the playa is not beyond it’s reach, safety third doesn’t work in this situation, safety first is paramount. Good on you for putting our collective safety first

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