Radical Sherpa Reliance

A look inside BMP Director Chip Conley’s ultra-luxury “top of the pyramid” camp, Maslowtopia. It’s based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and being the highest version of yourself you can be.

Looks like regular food safety violations going on amongst the multiple workers in their gourmet kitchen. All that money, and no-one could afford gloves?

Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week, gave some insight into who Chip’s guests were:

My camp, called Maslowtopia and organized by famed hotelier Chip Conley (author of Peak), gathered a motley crew of around 100 all-stars from around the world, including incredible artists, organic chefs, and wise Fortune-100 co-founders…

One of those all-stars was an A-list entrepreneur and former top-tier investment banker. Trained at Harvard as a lawyer and forged into the consummate dealmaker, she had literally built economies from scratch

Hexayurt creator (and legendary Burner) Vinay Gupta tweeted a photo of the camp from the air:

image: Vijay Gupta/Twitpic

image: Vinay Gupta/Twitpic

Chip says he put the camp on for his 50th birthday in 2010, so presumably it was a gift and he doesn’t think he “lost money” on it like Jim Tananbaum says he did on Caravancicle.

The extensive credits at the end of the video certainly suggest a large contingent of paid help. Is it Radical Self Reliance if you hire an event production company, catering firm, a team of sherpas to build your camp for you, and a videographer to professionally record the experience? Is it Decommodification if the companies involved promote their Participation in their subsequent online marketing?


maslow cartoon

22 comments on “Radical Sherpa Reliance

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  6. Give credit where credit is due and not pawn as your own words:
    “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

  7. Well the idea of having the financial means to invite a bunch of your friends to a camp you set up is really appealing. I would love to be able to gift that to my friends and party with them at the burn. I really don’t hold that against him at all. The bigger issue is the associated media production of the party. By all means make a video for your friends but why the public production? That just seems cheezy….

  8. The propaganda of personality, what do these symbols mean? Concerning radical self-reliance and de-commodification.. you can’t without other principles coming into discussion. Burning man is resembling western culture because, it was born here? Luck will have the principles expanding to groups around the globe, no two burns the same.
    Radical Self expression means either some are still in some a(n)esthetic awe over maslowtopia, or the economics of burning man have tilt-shifted beyond any moral burners compass. Is it a compromise to look back, and now forward with shaken countenance? The rich, the poor, they express differently, if they wanted to get along, they would go to burning man, right? The deeper questions you can’t ask unless you do so to whomever is your radical inclusive culture, mixing and morphing the media arts of the internet & commercialization with your radical punk rock spirit of self-expression. Does this really matter now, have these words been written? It may have mattered most for interested parties of individual and collective attitudes, if expressed at the burn, the most nurturing environment for the 10 principles, where they have the most impact. Another step to nullify the burn of egoic glory basking in golden delight is to create some radical idea and attempt to radically include your wealthy brethren artists who are compromising the experience and/or understanding of it all? The collective consensus is about the 10 principles? Hiring help with your artistic idea and going the limit doesn’t seem like a far fetched idea for Burning Man. The hired help doesn’t seem to fit at all if they are promoting the alleged “paid” participation in online marketing material not beneficial to burning man & our culture?

    • I get that not every Burner is the same – some are “Burnier” than others. It doesn’t really matter, as long as they are all bringing something to the party. What I think particularly irritates Burners is we feel the Directors of the Burning Man Project should be leading by example – not to mention, the Bylaws of their organization require them to uphold the Ten Principles. I think that is the real issue here, not that some camps have a concierge. One Burning Man, one set of rules, the same for all Burners – not this Selective Rule Enforcement and VIP exclusion.

  9. It’s easy to love everyone and focus of feeling love when you’ve had all the discomforts removed for you by paid workers.

    • Yep but personally I like the temporary discomfort, the dust, the heat the grittiness. It is a great equalizer of people. Why fight the discomforts embrace them! 😀

  10. I don’t care about the health violations or whatever, I just cringe at the “all-star” thing, and just the general douchiness of the people involved. That’s not to say they can’t burn the way they want to, but man…

    • The language is very telling. ‘A-list’, ‘all stars’, ‘legendary’… nothing smells more like new money that thinking you’re an awesome top-dog within society. That over-the-top douchebaggotry lasts for a few years after your first million, then 10 years later you realize what a cunt you’ve been. Then it’s usually too late to change and you end up a cunt until you’re on your deathbed being rude to your nurses and doctors who ‘accidentally’ make your last days on Earth very uncomfortable.

  11. Okay, let me make an addendum since the WordPress Reader didn’t show the whole post before I left a comment >.<

    Disillusioned I guess by the pyramid… though I guess this is the reason why I've felt an aversion to folks who co-opt these developmental hierarchies for their own agendas. It seems clear that's what's happening here. It wasn't as obvious to me through the video because it seems to be like many other Burning Man project videos… Anywho! Glad I took the time to double check your write up.

  12. “We will harness the energies of love…” ah yes, Teilhard de Chardin.

    Great video, thanks for sharing man.

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