Get Your Burning Man Merchandise

Image: Nathan Proudlove/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Nathan Proudlove/Flickr (Creative Commons)

[Update 12/7/14 10:35am]

This post has been restored because some are trying to tie it into the online smear campaign against me.

It’s back here now because readers should able to see for themselves how “terrible” it is, since I am being accused of all kinds of nasty things simply for posting something that a Burner asked me to, and editing it when another Burner asked me to. It also shows the difference between Burners.Me, which respects requests from our audience, and burningman.org, which will not remove even personal details when asked to, and has no problems with its directors spreading outright lies about people. Nothing in this post is a lie, and if the email had said “this offer is for center camp volunteers only”, I would not have posted it. Instead it says that volunteers can purchase hoodies for others (maximum 2 per person).

For the record: I totally support volunteer departments having their own merchandise. I also totally support art projects, art cars, and theme camps having their own merchandise. I think this raises the much bigger issue of “Selective Rule Enforcement”, which you can read more detail about here.

Why would it be so bad if Burners could buy a Burning Man hoodie? Sure, if they had a merch tent at the event, that would be against the rules Principles, but aren’t any transactions outside of Burning Man allowed?

 


 

Thanks to Anonymous Burner for sending us this tip.

Want some cool official Burning Man merch? Only $25, but you have to order by December 9. Don’t tell ’em I sent you!

______________________________________________________________Hello Dusty Friends!!It’s Chi Chi, your friendly swaganatior here, writing to inform you of the status of your amazing Hoodie orders…There is still one week left that you could order a beautiful 2014 Hoodie. All you wonder people who have already ordered through the orginal email thank you and your orders will be out soon. Also, if you order a Hoodie and did not have the time to pick it up on playa I will be sending them out this week!!If you have not already seen it, This Hoodie is Teal on Black with the year 2014 printed in the center of the graphic, also all sizes are mens, And let me tell you these Hoodies are totally COOL. There is a limit of two hoodies per person.And Guess what… They are only $25.00… OMG THAT IS SO CHEAP!!! (that includes shipping, unless shipping to somewhere like Europe, then I will have to get you a special price.)But you only have ONE WEEK to order, YES you heard correctly ONE WEEK.  We will try to have all Hoodies sent out by the holidays!!All Orders Must be in by Tuesday the 9th of December. All Orders must be paid to Paypal Account [snip]

Step one
follow the link to
https://www.paypal.com/home
and sign on or open a paypal account

Step two
go to pay a friend and type in [snip]

If you are paying with a credit or debit card the price is $24 (plus a 1 dollar service fee)
If you are paying with a Paypal balance account or linked bank account the price is $25Step three
Follow this link and fill in the information asked for including you Paypal transaction ID number (the number you receive in the email from Paypal), size you desire,first name, last name, playa name, email, and shipping address. Also for each Hoodie ordered please fill out a separate form.All Orders Must be in by Tuesday 9th of December. All Orders must be paid to Paypal Account [snip]

SEE YOU IN THE DUST!!

[Update 12/5/14 6:51pm]

Glynda from Center Camp has contacted us to say that yes, they are selling Burning Man merchandise, but no, regular Burners can’t buy it.

I’m the Volunteer Coordinator for the Coffee Shop at the Center Camp Cafe and I’d like to let you know that this hoodie offer is only available to verified active Center Camp Cafe volunteers and not the general public.

[Update 12/5/14 7:42pm]

What does “active” mean? What about the paid Center Camp Cafe workers? Can they buy it? I repeatedly asked her these questions, Glynda refused to answer them. But, I removed the links to this offer as per her request. When asked to modify statements on my site by a member of the Burner community, I do it. Which is more than I can say for BMOrg…

Screenshot 2014-12-05 19.38.09

Not even if it’s outright lies from one of their Board of Directors. It seems Burners.Me must be factual – yet still gets accused of misinformation – while burningman.com routinely spouts misinformation, and refuses to correct errors even when asked to. Welcome to the topsy turvy world of the Burning Man Project. Is this what they mean by “making the world a better place?”

[Update 12/6/14 7:38am]

I was sent an offer to buy Burning Man hoodies, which ran out on Dec 9. I promoted the offer here. It did not say “Center Camp only”. Then I was contacted by Glynda, who initially simply clarified that the offer was only for volunteers. I updated the story, as you can see above.

Then Glynda contacted me again, and asked me to remove the links to the PayPal email address. I did that too, and asked her a couple of questions. I never said Center Camp was bad for selling these hoodies. The email I was sent didn’t say “this offer is not available to the public”, and when I received that information, I updated the post. This is a blog, it can change as information comes in – it’s not a Vanity Fair article.

Later in the day, Crystal contacted me and asked why I had put her email address in the post – did I have something against her? I explained that no, I was just trying to promote the offer I got sent. It seemed like a good idea that Burners could get a Burning Man hoodie before Christmas. She was rather upset, so I apologized. At the same time, from the comments to this post, it seems many were finding it hard to keep track of what was going on, and why it was even there if they couldn’t buy hoodies. So I just took the post down, even though I think it highlights some bigger issues.

Now my deletion of the post is being used against me, in online attacks that I will address later today. So I’ve restored it so people can see what’s so “terrible” about this. Sorry Crystal.

I think two issues are highlighted here:

1. Burners.Me responding to our community, when asked by Burners to do something, we do it. Meanwhile, BMOrg Directors spreading total lies, and when asked to correct the lies, saying “we don’t have any policies requiring truth”

2. Selling merchandise. Why would it be so bad if Burners could buy hoodies? Wouldn’t that “help spread Burner culture around the world” – the entire justification behind the Burning Man Project being tax-exempt?

Why can’t artists, art cars, and theme camps sell merchandise to raise funds to bring their projects to the burn? How does that hurt Burning Man’s culture? We’ve covered that previously in these posts:

The Fishy Smell of Corporate Excess

Do Not Use The Words Burning Man

Art Versus Money

Is BMP really trying to spread Burner culture far and wide? Or is this more about control, royalty streams to the founders through their secretive private company, and tax minimization?

 

It’s the Art, Stupid

It seems that, behind every weary merchant visiting the oasis with a caravan of treasures to gift, is a team of Sherpas to wipe their ass. According to the New York Times, the rich people of Burning Man try to “one up” each other with the lavishness of their camps. Whether it’s prototype inflatable dhomes or stackable cubes or 5-star teepees, just having an RV is no longer enough.

neighboorsTeepeeMany Burners have expressed outrage at this behavior, believing that “Radical Self-Reliance” is at odds with “getting others to do your shit for you”. Personally, I think a designated driver is a major safety issue. It sucks to be that person at Burning Man, so if a few people can chip in and pay a driver, Burning Man will survive. I can’t cook, so I don’t mind if someone else cooks for me. If I have to buy that person a ticket, and give them a place in my RV, that’s fine. “Oh you can’t come to Burning Man, you can’t cook”.

I think the deeper shame in this is that the Super-Sherpa-Burners have lost the point. If you want to one-up other rich people at Burning Man, don’t do it on the level of creature comforts and luxury goods that you airlift in with private planes.

OUT-DO EACH OTHER WITH THE ART

Perhaps one way to facilitate this would be promoting a closer link between Big Art and Art Cars, and the Theme Camps behind them. As in, “we’re Thunderdome Camp, and our Art Contribution is Thunderdome”. Or, “we’re Star Star and our Art Contribution is Daily Circus performances”. Right now, shit is going on everywhere, there’s cool shit everywhere to look at, but it’s all pretty anonymous.

burning_man_girls_robert_scalesBurning Man has been called the Special Olympics of Art – just getting there is good enough. The all-inclusive nature of the art means that there is no requirement for talent, nor indeed any form of reward. There is no real after-market for art of this type, and whatever there is has been cobbled together by Burners. Logistics are left up to the creative types, who each have to figure it out for themselves. BMOrg seem more interested in the artists working at their event(s), than getting their art into the broader community independently of their tentacles. And their answer to “people tagging the art” is not “promote the art as sacred”, it’s “more rules”.

Burners pay inflated ticket prices, and only a tiny amount of that goes to the artists – and gets split over just 63 projects. It’s about $12 per ticket – less than the ticket processing fee, or the government cut for all the LEOs.

Many of the artists who are awarded Art Honorarium grants are wealthy in their own right. Why award the project to them, and not to the starving artists who can’t produce a piece without money to buy the materials? The answer lies in politics as much as merit or reason or justice. There are no guidelines for art grants, it’s at the whim of BMOrg, and if they prefer to favor their friends when they come to dispensing our money, who’s stopping them?

If the rich people were to direct the focus of Burner attention away from their own personal comforts and vanities, and towards the contributions they make to this awesome party, I’m sure that would ease the ire of many in the community who feel passionately upset by gentrification.

Will Smith chose not to take one of his fleet of these to Burning Man this year

Will Smith chose not to take one of his fleet of these to Burning Man this year

I’m on your side, rich people! I need A/C too. It’s the desert, FFS. I was using an RV at Burning Man before there even was “radical self-reliance”. I didn’t stop being a Burner just because Larry wrote a page of words one day, 20 years into the event. “Oh, Larry wrote words! Better disable the generator!” Lecture me with the Tin Principles all you want, it doesn’t make you a Burner or take my 11 burns away from me.

To me, going to Burning Man automatically makes you rich – but I accept that many Burners are seriously rich. I know that rich people give SO much to Burning Man, that there wouldn’t be a Burning Man without them. The whole event is based on the premise of ridiculous destruction of wealth for the purposes of temporary entertainment. It’s like people lighting cigars with flaming hundred dollar bills – times a billion.

The Burnier-Than-Thous have it wrong, saying that rich people don’t get it. It seems to me that they are being radically self-reliant if they are smart enough to want privacy in their camps, and playful social interactions with randoms on the Playa. Part of self-reliance is being able to defend yourself and your tribe from dicks. The number of dicks is skyrocketing, and now they are publicly advocating their dickish actions. It’s not the fault of people who can afford to rent RVs that privacy is required; and just because they sleep comfortably doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to “get Burning Man”.

cops gunsMore than anything else, I think it is the government infiltration of Burning Man – both overt and covert – that is driving the walled off RV compounds. You used to welcome any random into your camp, and the first thing you’d offer them would be a beer. If you were passing a joint round – which people did, since it was hundreds of miles away from anywhere, in the middle of the remote desert, at a festival – then you would take a hit and pass it on to someone next to you, even if they were a stranger. Puff puff pass, just likes kids have been doing at festivals since the Sixties.

Then, the cops started doing “stings”. Dressing officers up as Burners – “off duty clothing” – and trying to entrap them into breaking the law in front of them. They’re looking for drugs, for people serving alcohol to anyone underage, for people sharing food, public displays of lewdness, and anything else that could be banned and ticketed. Give them an excuse, and they’ll come to your camp with sniffer dogs. Meaning that one random wandering into your camp and lighting a joint, could spoil it for everyone.

This year, it sounds like the cops were much better – chilled, enjoying the party, taking pictures with Burners. But it’s too late – the trust has been destroyed. This is no longer a city of friends. The trust hasn’t been destroyed by rich people; it’s by all these spies trying to bust innocent Burners, while letting the thieves and vandals run rampant. What Burners want to do is illegal, despite being harmless – from smoking a joint to driving at 6mph in a 5mph zone to shirt-cocking. Rich people didn’t make those rules – alright, technically, at the top pulling the puppet strings of government are the Uber-rich who do make the rules, and yes many Bohemian Grovers go to Burning Man – but most of the rules that have led to these RV compounds and private entrances were made by BMOrg in co-operation with Federal and State authorities.

No-one is affecting your enjoyment Burning Man if they got a free ticket, or didn’t have to pay for their flight. How is getting $400 cash different from getting a free ticket? For many who aren’t rich, getting casual employment for a few shifts at Burning Man is the only way they can attend. Crack down on Sherpas, the rich will still be rich and do whatever they want, but now these poor Sherpas – willing to work for their ticket, instead of being Sparkle Ponies – won’t be able to go.

The answer to this is not “ban Sherpas”. How could you possibly police that, if you can’t stop bike or sign theft? It has been going on for years, and fighting against it now is pointless, in my opinion. The horse bolted a long time ago. You might as well ban planes, RVs, delivery trucks, dance music, cars newer than 2010, and so on. Stealing signs will change nothing, and may lead to violence as people try to defend their property against drug-fuelled vandals with political grudges.

The answer is to change the focus.

earth harp temple of transition

Let people do whatever they want in their camps. That’s their private area, where they and their tribe of friends and family and fellow travellers make their “home within a home” for a week. If they want randoms in their camp, let them make clearly marked “random zones”, where you can come and hang out and get to meet them. Don’t just assume “I’m at Burning Man, and Radical Inclusion says I’m entitled to fall asleep in the middle of your camp”. Usually these “party roadkill” people pass out on the most comfortable spaces, preventing other, awake people from using those.

Burning Man is not about invading your neighbor’s space, in the name of some misguided class war protest.

It’s about the art.

cargo cult painting

BMOrg make the rules, but Burners make the city.  There is something we can do, if enough readers want to help.

Together, we can try to re-direct the focus to the art. Camps should be proud of which art pieces they are bringing to share with the rest of us. If rich people want to sponsor art anonymously, Burning Man lets them hide anonymously within a Theme Camp, and even more anonymously behind a Playa name. Larry Harvey likes to say “no artist at Burning Man ever signed their art”, but let’s change that. Let’s promote the amazing artists behind the event a bit more.

How Will We Do This?

Starting today, we are going to have a competition. “Best of Burning Man”. And it’s going to be as crowd-sourced as we can practically make it, at short notice and with the limited resources of a Gifted blog.

You guys submit here, in the comments on the Web or Facebook, your nominations for best art piece. We will collect the nominations, then present the most popular finalists for a vote. Everyone votes, and we declare a winner.

What does this mean for the artists? Even if they don’t win, they can get a sense of how their piece was perceived by the community. If they would like to participate with the rest of the community, they might want to share something about themselves and their art, and the meaning of the piece.

This is the direct opposite of the way Burning Man does it – receive thousands of applications, and pick a few winners arbitrarily. Every artist can be included in this, and to win, you have to be the best in the eyes of the people. Even to be in the final 20, you will have to have pleased a lot of people.

 

Categories are:

Best Art

Best Art Car

Best Camp

Best Music (camp or Art Car)

Best Music (artist)

Best Photo

Worst of Burning Man – could be Will Crawl, Exodus, rain, bike theft, David Kiss’s performance art piece, anything.

Over to you, Burners. Nominate away! I’m interested to see how this turns out.

Silk Road Move Over, a New Bazaar Is In Town

WIRED magazine has a report on Agora, the new online drug bazaar “marketplace of anything”. It is based on Agorism, a philosophy that a free, stateless society can be achieved via disruptive market means. Forget counter-culture, that meme jumped the shark. It’s time to move on to counter-economics.

From Wikipedia:

Agorism is a libertarian social philosophy that advocates creating a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics, thus engaging in a manner with aspects of peaceful revolution. It was first proposed by libertarian philosopher Samuel Edward Konkin III in 1975, with contributions partly by J. Neil Schulman.[1]

Agorists consider themselves market anarchists. While many characterize it as a form of left-libertarianism,[2] others consider it a branch of, or a transition strategy for achieving, anarcho-capitalism. Agorists generally oppose voting for political candidates and political reform. Instead, agorists stress the importance of alternative strategies rather than politics to achieve a free society. Agorists claim that we can achieve a free society more easily and sooner by employing such alternative methods as education, direct action, alternative currencies, entrepreneurship, self sufficiency, and most importantly “counter-economics“.[1] Agorists consider their message to be scientific because science is an appeal to reason, which they believe is only possible in the Agora or free market; they also argue that State backed, regulated and funded science is illegitimate.[3]

From WIRED.com:

For two and a half years, the Dread Pirate Roberts and his Silk Road black market ruled the Dark Web. But last year’s FBI’s takedown of that narcotics smorgasbord opened the underground trade to competitors. Now those sites have a new leader, one that’s bigger than the Silk Road ever was and continues to grow explosively.

camel moneyThe online bazaar for contraband known as “Agora” now has more product listings than any other online black market, according to a report released last week by the Digital Citizens Alliance, a nonprofit focused on internet safety. The analysis counts 16,137 products for sale on the site, which is protected by the anonymity software Tor and accepts only bitcoin. That’s about 200 more listings than Silk Road 2.0, a reincarnation of the original Silk Road launched earlier this year by several of the same administrators. It’s also several thousand more than were offered on the first Silk Road before its seizure in October of last year.

“Just as on the rest of the internet, users on the dark net are very quick to move on to new things and move away from those products and websites that seem stale and old,” says Adam Benson, communications director at Digital Citizens Alliance. “Maybe that time has come for Silk Road.”

…unlike Silk Road, it allows users to sell several categories of weapons, including powerful semi-automatic firearms. The site is still less permissive, however, than markets such as Evolution, which also allows the sale of hacked credit card information and other stolen goods. Agora’s “market rules” ban not only stolen property but also “assassinations or any other services which constitute doing harm to another,” “weapons of mass destruction,” “poisons,” “child pornography” and “live action snuff/hurt/murder audio/video/images.”

Despite those restrictions, Agora’s administrators haven’t displayed any of the political bravado of Dread Pirate Roberts, who frequently posted libertarian manifestos in Silk Road’s user forums and even hosted an online book club around topics in free market economic theory. Silk Road 2.0 similarly proclaims those radical principles; “You are writing history with every item purchased here,” reads a message on the site’s homepage. “Silk Road is not a marketplace. Silk Road is a global revolt. The idea of freedom is immortal.” 

…Instead of political rhetoric, the tactic that set Agora above the rest of the dark web when it launched earlier this year may have been its sense of exclusivity: Users can sign up only with invite codes, although those codes are freely distributed on other market forums and Reddit and can be reused. “It might build some allegiance,” says Digital Citizen’s Alliance’s Benson, “It gives users a sense that they’ve been vetted and that some people have been weeded out” such as law enforcement, fraudsters or less in-the-know users.

Read the full article here.

It’s an interesting counter-balance to Re-code’s report from Burning Man, about finding Camp Bitcoin next to the Orgy Dome [update – it wasn’t anywhere near orgy dome, according to Burner Debra]:

Flipping through my 160-page official Burning Man book of events, I noticed something strange: Camp Bitcoin was hosting a “worthless currency exchange.”

Bitcoin Camp?! Worthless currency exchange? I had some candies in my backpack that could certainly count as currency here.

It was about 4 pm when I left the Burning Man Reddit meetup, where I had been listening to two dozen guys talk “Star Wars” trivia, and had been misted by someone with a pesticide sprayer full of water. The Redditers told me that the bitcoin guys were just a few streets away, in the Anahasana Village, and that they were a bunch of nerds, real geeks.

The Anahasana Village (Burning Man villages are collections of smaller camps that share resources, like a kitchen) is famous for its contact-improv sessions (standing cuddle puddles) and its Orgy Dome (what it sounds like).

It’s not where one might expect to find Camp Bitcoin.

Looking for Camp Bitcoin at the Anahasana Village gate

Cryptocurrency campers lounging around in Camp Bitcoin, which is really Camp Dogecoin

There, about a dozen bitcoin dudes were sitting cross-legged in a circle under some scaffolding, an old orange parachute draped over it for shade. They were talking about all the money they could have made if they had bought various cryptocurrencies at various points..

One bitcoin camper, lean and shirtless Josh Katen, explained to me that this isn’t really the bitcoin camp anymore.

“The Bitcoin leader was arrested right before Burning Man ’cause he was maybe helping the FBI, and … Anyway, we’re the Dogecoin Camp now,” he said.

Another shirtless fellow…said he had a vision, based on Burning Man’s gifting economy. In his vision, cryptocurrency is just the first step toward making a large-scale gift economy.

“Once we learn to monetize everything, we take this gifting economy out to the world,” Keim said. “We can take the Illuminati’s cyber gold and silver, and distribute it evenly. Once we have this, we can live in abundance, rather than scarcity.”

… came to Burning Man to see what a gifting- and abundance-based economy could look like. Money and branding aren’t allowed at Burning Man. Everyone brings or prepares gifts (alcohol, snacks such as pancakes, or little necklaces that say “Burning Man 2014”) that they exchange.

“One of the biggest barriers to the gift economy is debt, the usury. With cryptocurrency we can reengineer abundance rather than scarcity,”

…someone riding past their camp earlier that day had yelled at them — “F—ing bitcoin’s not allowed on the playa,” or something to that effect. The campers had been surprised but not terribly offended…

“I’m the messiah, and money grows on trees,” Keim said.

No, but seriously, what’s the gist?

“I am the messiah,” he repeated, getting on his dust-and-EL-wire-covered bicycle.

Before I could reenter the tent, an extremely attractive couple stopped me and eyed me up and down.

“This is it, right?” asked the man, who was wearing a top hat and genie pants, which for some reason wasn’t even a turn-off anymore. (I’ve been here too long.)

It?

“Tantra tent?” he asked, cocking his head.

No. Not tantra. Bitcoin.

Sounds like Mr Bitcoin messiah might have been tooting his own horn, if you know what I mean. Scarface, if you don’t.

Full story here.

Kudos to Nellie Bowles and Re/Code, your Burning Man coverage this year has been superb.

Control-of-Bitcoin

Money is technically not banned at Burning Man, and Bitcoins certainly aren’t…yet. The principle of “DeCommodification” conveniently stretches to include a lot of things. If you read the fine print of the Principles, they never actually use the word money. They do, however, place a ban on “consumption” – if you want to partake, you must participate.

Everything’s free but nothing’s for sale. Gifting is encouraged, but barter is verboten.  Volunteering (ie free labor) is encouraged, as long as it is on projects that are for the benefit of BMOrg. The systems they’ve built to facilitate all of this are rudimentary, and don’t seem to be much of an Organizational priority. The priorities are more like new ticketing schemes and revenue streams, corporate tax structure, self-promotion, and Big Data: “Burner Profiles” and Census results. The information collected about us continues to become more detailed, as the ticket prices head skywards.

BMOrg claim to be pioneers in the “sharing economy”, yet it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly they do that relates to it. “We don’t sell drinks” is not quite the same as “we’ve figured out new economic models for people to peacefully co-exist”. Rather than being counter-economics, the economics of Burning Man are not dissimilar to those of the Pharaohs. Pharaoh gets the gold while the sherpas do the labor.

Is this all that could ever be? Do we create a radical experiment, year after year, by doing the same old shit in the same old way – just add Virgins?

This is what cellphones looked like in 1986

This is what cellphones looked like in 1986

Burning Man started in the mid-80’s, when Madonna’s new album was “Like a Virgin” and the first gangsta rap song had just been released. Now we are well into the 21st century. In the 90’s we got the Web, in the Naughties we got smart phones and social media, in the Teenies we got Twitter and Uber and NSA spying and Google buying military robot companies.

Larry Harvey was asked about Bitcoin in New York in 2013.

I’m in Dr Kittay’s class at Columbia University called Technology, Religion, and Future. Today, we had an event on Burning Man, where the Burning Man committee including Larry Harvey (Founder of Burning Man) came in to talk about the event with our class. The link is below

http://blog.burningman.com/2013/10/eventshappenings/event-the-founders-speak-burning-man-technology-religion-the-future/

I asked if they would consider accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. They unanimously said yes! At first Larry was like, hmm never thought about that. Then one guy said, well its not really that stable yet but hell, if it makes people happy lets do it! They all nodded in agreement. Woot! Now they just have to follow up on it by adding the ‘Pay in BTC’ button to the ticket purchase section of their site.

Of course, fast forward a year later and there is not so much as a hint of Bitcoin entering the Burning Man universe, yet alone experimenting with new ideas of liberty like Agorism. Quite what is the vision for this social engineering petri dish over the next century remains to be seen: it’s “coming soon”, like the video of the Founders talk at Columbia. BMOrg are still struggling to mail tickets to people in San Francisco, and are completely unable to mail them to other countries. Meanwhile we have Burnier-Than-Thous bemoaning smart phones, drones, sherpas, dubstep DJs, even the postal service. Will technology innovation in the Default world have to stay there, while Burning Man stagnates, just so that Burnier-Than-Thous can feel they’re doing it better?

Burning-Man-2009-Sphinx-Statue-Pink-girls-woman-women-Desert-Art-Festival-Dust-To-Ashes-photos-pictures-pics-Gerlach-Nevada-NVIs this the future we choose for the experiment of Black Rock City: no more innovation, just more complaining and more douchebags? Rude Man, as I saw it called on Facebook today.

Their Plan for the Playa, it seems, is to force us to accept an ever-increasing range of Default world transactions (all done solely via BMOrg, with the Feds getting a cut too), and an ever-decreasing amount of Gifting. Commerce is banned, so’s barter. Citizens don’t get a say in the city, so there is no political discourse in this civilization – except for the guest speakers the Founders invite in. Burning Man doesn’t care what you believe, as long as it’s the Ten Principles.

Perhaps it is significant that BMOrg are strengthening their ties to the two major political parties, while at the same time trying to dismiss the streak of libertarianism and anarchy that Burning Man originally sprung forth from.

When innovation and creativity are regulated out of existence by bureaucracy, the subversive dissenters, the anarcho-crypto-punks, start looking for remote wildernesses where they can go and create the New New Thing.

“Good riddance!”, cry the Townspeople, when the Sheriffs chase the Cowboys out of town. It matters not to them that the Cowboys started the town, hired the Sheriffs, and invited all the Townspeople in. “Cowboys are bad”, say the Townspeople. “Everyone knows that”.