Mike Judge on Burning Man, Tech Culture

This segment from CNN Money is worth the 3 minutes or so of your time.

Mike Judge created the satirical show Silicon Valley, as well as Beavis and Butthead and Idiocracy. He says that people in Silicon Valley don’t quite know how to enjoy themselves…hmmmm. He hadn’t been to Burning Man when he launched his new show. Billionaire Burner Elon Musk invited him, saying at the after party “it’s like the best party in LA times a thousand”:

"How Much is Elon Musk Like Iron Man?", asked Modern Luxury

“How Much is Elon Like Iron Man?” (Modern Luxury)

“I really feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man, which is Silicon Valley. If you haven’t been, you just don’t get it. You could take the craziest L.A. party and multiply it by a thousand, and it doesn’t even get fucking close to what’s in Silicon Valley. The show didn’t have any of that.”

[Source:  Re/code]

Larry Harvey shared his opinion with Techcrunch:

“You can make a lot of money and do good with it. Elon Musk has made a lot of money.”

Later episodes in Silicon Valley’s first season showed a Burning Man poster in the coder house where the main characters live and work.

Anybody know if Mike Judge made it out to Burning Man in 2014?

Resetting The Set

amber lyonAmber Lyon is a courageous (and gorgeous) journalist. She won three Emmys, among other awards. She blew the whistle on her former employer CNN in 2012, exposing how Middle Eastern royal families paid them for favorable coverage. She was fired for this, which further demonstrates the truth of her allegations.

She came back with a coffee table book about her front-line journalism, “Peace, Love, and Pepper Spray”. Now she is launching an online publication dedicated to “psychedelic journalism”.

It seems Ms Lyon treated her PTSD with ayahuasca, with typically excellent results.

From the St Louis Riverfront Times:

she tried ayahuasca after hearing about the psychedelic plant’s healing effects while a guest on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience.

Lyon traveled to Peru and participated in an ayahuasca retreat. She describes the experience as incredibly healing and since then has taken ayahuasca seven times.

“It’s like hitting the reset button on your brain and life and like going back to your true self.” she says. “And it’s like dissolving your personality and dissolving all of the trauma that you’ve had throughout your life and just starting over.”

Here’s the podcast episode she’s talking about. She seems like a very good person, who cares about the world and is prepared to put her ass on the line to do something about it.

Like all the best sites these days, Amber is going for the  .ME suffix. Reset.Me was inspired by the Ayahuasca and other shamanic medicines Amber encountered on her psychedelic quest. Hey, beats being sent to war zones! The site is “coming soon”.

amber_lyon.JPGThe site, set to launch this month, aims to be a resource for people interested in learning more about psychedelics like ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms as treatments for a wide range of mental and physical ailments. But before last year, Lyon says she had never tried any of these substances before. A straight-edge woman from Chesterfield, Lyon only tried ayahuasca out of desperation to cure her PTSD.

“For me, I was out in the field for 10 years covering violence, fighting, slavery, drug abuse, the underbelly of society,” Lyon tells Daily RFT. “I saw the worst of the worst in my career and I was kind of absorbing the pain of others. I started to have problems sleeping, problems with short-term memory, it got so bad that I couldn’t write and I’m a writer, so that’s when I knew something was wrong.”

But taking pharmaceutical drugs was out of the question because she had seen too much of the negative effects while reporting on those stories.

“I had spent years covering prescription medication addiction to Xanax, Oxycontin, and really had developed a fear of whether these medicines were safe,” she says. “And that’s just personally — I know these medicines have been very effective for people in emergency situations and people rely on these medicines to survive. But for me, I had just seen so many negative side effects of them that I just didn’t want to go there.”

Amber sees her work as more than just journalism, it’s making the world a better place. She offers an answer to one of the questions that has been bugging this site: how, exactly, does getting naked and taking a bunch of shrooms save the world? It seems it’s not just Burning Man with this worldview:

Lyon adds that in addition to treating ailments with natural substances, ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, and other psychedelics could help people stop being so mean to each other, too.

” I think part of the problem of why we’re having so many wars and fighting is because people carry around trauma that they haven’t processed and that manifests itself into anger and in lying, cheating, and stealing,” she says. “So if everyone is able to have access to these medicines to purge that trauma, then we won’t have nearly as many problems in the world.

Healing Late Capitalist Cultural Trauma is one of the objectives of Burning Man’s new web site. This is, of course, coming “soon”. Burning Man’s sense of time has always been somewhat distorted from Defaultia; as just the most obvious example, the #1 story on burningman.com (as I write this) is the forthcoming event with Danger Ranger in San Mateo, which actually already happened a week ago. It’s the latest news on the Burning Man Project site too. Your tax dollars at work.

Here’s some of the back story on Amber Lyon.