Burning Man

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pages: 407 words: 90,238

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, Hyperloop, impulse control, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning

“I’m dismantling the Death Star”: Ibid. 21. With so much experience in self-organizing”: Peter Hirshberg, From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond ([N.p.]: Off the Common Books, 2014). 22. It’s for this reason that Rosie von Lila: Author interview with Rosie von Lila, July 25, 2016. 23. Burning Man demonstration projects”: Washoe Tribe installing solar panels at seven sites,” Record-Courier, June 8, 2015; “Stained Glass ‘Space Whale’ to Blow Minds at Burning Man,” Reno-Gazette Journal, November 13, 2015; “How a Chat App for Burning Man Turned into a Tool for Revolution,” AdWeek, March 25, 2015. 24. Burning Man didn’t invent the festival: Hirshberg, From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond. 25. In Europe, we saw this: Jonathon Green, Cannabis (New York: Pavilion Press, 2002). 26. In the 1920’s socialite Mabel Dodge Luhan’s Taos home: Lois Palken Rudnick, Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan House and the American Counterculture (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998). 27.

“Larry and I [had] managed”: Gregory Fernstein, “How CEOs Do Burning Man,” Fast Company, August 27, 2013. 13. . . . New York Times’ John Markoff’s assessment”: John Markoff, “In Searching the Web, Google Finds Riches,” New York Times, April 13, 2003. 14. The company that set the bar: For a complete breakdown of Google’s involvement at Burning Man, see Fred Turner, “Burning Man at Google,” New Media & Society 11 (2009): 73–94. 15. Eric was the only one: Gregory Ferenstein, “How CEOs Do Burning Man,” Fast Company, August 27, 2013; John Markoff, “In Searching the Web, Google Finds Riches,” New York Times, April 13, 2003; and the original citation, Doc Searls, Harvard Berkman fellow, 2002, http://doc.weblogs.com/2002/12/10. 16. Stanford sociologist Fred Turner: Turner, ”Burning Man at Google.” 17. Attending festivals like Burning Man: Author interview with Molly Crockett, 2016. 18.

“If you haven’t been [to Burning Man]’”: Nellie Bowles, “At HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Premiere, Elon Musk Has Some Notes,” ReCode, April 3, 2014. 4. “So embedded, so accepted has Burning Man become”: Vanessa Hua, “Burning Man,” SFGate, August 20, 2000. 5. In 2013, John Perry Barlow, a fellow at Harvard Law School: @JPBarlow, Twitter. 6. Three years later, the actual president: “Just recently, a young person came up to me and said she was sick of politicians standing in the way of her dreams—as if we were actually going to let Malia go to Burning Man this year. Was not going to happen. Bernie might have let her go. Not us.” White House Correspondents Association’ Dinner, April 30, 2016, https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4591479/obama-drops-burning-man-joke. 7. In 2015, a team of scientists led by Oxford’s Molly Crockett: Author interview May 12, 2016, and Burning Man Journal, http://journal.burningman.org/2016/05/black-rock-city/survive-and-thrive/researchers-share-first-findings-on-burners-transformative-experiences. 8. all combine to create a temporary autonomous zone: Hakim Bey, “The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism,” http://hermetic.com/bey/taz_cont.html, anti-copyright, 1985, 1991. 9.


pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom

Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, peer-to-peer, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

Being in the physical presence of other participants adds a dimension of closeness, and a sense of ownership emerges. Members make Burning Man what it is, not some event production company. When you attend Burning Man, you become part of the organization. You own the experience and develop a sense of responsibility and belonging. That's why a virtual Burning Man isn't very appealing. Similarly, an AA circle depends on physical contact to keep members accountable to one another. When you see people face to face, it's harder to brush them off. Because circles don't have hierarchy and structure, it's hard to maintain rules within them; no one really has the power to enforce them. But circles aren't lawless. Instead of rules, they depend on norms. AA has norms about confidentiality and support. Wikipedia has norms for editing entries. The Apache software has norms for developing code. Burning Man has norms for maintaining a gift economy.

The matter is then debated in the public forum until users agree on some sort of compromise, at which time the page is quickly unlocked. But Wikipedia always strives to keep pages open. Even Quadell's page—though regularly vandalized— remains open. Burning Man The Burning Man festival, which happens yearly in the Nevada desert, is known for eclectic costumes, rave music, and a host of naked people on Ecstasy and pot. It's also the only 24/7 decentralized experience you can find these days. Because of its wild reputation, there's a certain embarrassment associated with going to Burning Man—if your coworkers ever tell you that they're taking "a weekend trip to the desert" just before Labor Day, chances are they're not telling you the whole truth. In reality, they're heading seventy miles north of Nowhere, Nevada, to a dry lakebed where over thirty thousand people congregate once a year.

A SEA OF STARFISH Craig's creation is called an "art car," for obvious reasons. There are lots of other art cars at Burning Man, including a school-busturned-disco, a pirate ship on wheels, a menacing shark, even a beatup city-bus-turned-submarine. There are also art installations, like a homemade, hand-powered Ferris wheel. It takes a lot of trust to ride and a little bit of getting used to the fact that there's no one there to make you sign a release form. The other thing that takes getting used to is that nothing costs money. That's the second decentralized quality of Burning Man—it's based on a gift economy. You provide things—from snow cones to hand-decorated T-shirts—because you want to, as a way to contribute to the community, not because you expect anything in return. The only things that you can pay for at Burning Man are ice and coffee. All proceeds rom both go to support the local school district.


Girl Walks Into a Bar . . .: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch

Burning Man, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, East Village, Haight Ashbury, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, the High Line

The evening typically had the same outcome. Imagine my glee when forcing myself out of the comfort zone gave me results: A cute guy who seemed nice and funny asked me out. I had been invited to a holiday party by a friend named Henry, whom I met at Burning Man a few years back. Yes, I, Rachel, went to Burning Man—odd, since I’m not into doing drugs or walking around without my shirt on, which are the two most popular activities that occur at Burning Man. I went one year with one of my best friends, also named Rachel, who has gone to Burning Man every summer for eight years. If you aren’t familiar with Burning Man, it’s a festival out in the middle of a desert in Nevada, where you have to bring in all your own food, supplies, tents, RVs, what have you. Forty thousand people descend on this spot and it becomes an encampment for a week.

One of the dangers of peeing in this situation that never crossed my mind was the possibility of an eighty-foot metal robot just happening to shine it’s megawatt beam of light down upon me at that moment. But let me warn you now, that can happen at Burning Man. It wasn’t the Pee Robot Police. It was just an accidental intersection of art and human need. Flooded in bright white light as if I were in a sci-fi movie, I frantically struggled to pull up my pants, getting pee all over myself in the process. Besides having the social instinct to not be caught with my pants down, for a second I was consumed with the primal fear that this robot was going to fix its metal eye on me, lean in, pick me up, and fling me across the desert. A sculpture of a fifty-foot woman in the middle of the desert—just another day at Burning Man. A lot of people walk around naked at Burning Man, as I said. There’s no pressure to be naked—there are plenty of clothed people, myself being one of them.

There are also seminars. The favorite description I saw was for a seminar on oral sex that you were supposed to attend with your partner. It advised, “Bring wipes. The desert can give you that not-so-fresh feeling.” The coolest part about Burning Man to me were the huge art installations, some several stories high, which are truly amazing. There are also “art cars”: Someone will take, say, an old school bus and magically transform it into a light-up dinosaur that, when driven through the desert at night, is absolutely beautiful. That said, one Burning Man was enough for me. I’m not an eight-timer like my friend Rachel. I’m no high-maintenance traveler, but being out in the middle of the desert with inconveniently located port-a-potties when you are not high on some drug to make you think you are somewhere else just isn’t really my jam.


pages: 334 words: 93,162

This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim

airport security, Alexander Shulgin, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, crack epidemic, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, failed state, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, mandatory minimum, new economy, New Urbanism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, women in the workforce

I began asking friends who were going to hippie happenings to look for the drug. Eventually, I had a network of people poking around for it at concerts and festivals across the country, as well as in towns where you’d expect to find it, such as Boulder and San Francisco. They found nothing—and no one who’d even seen a hit of LSD since sometime in 2001—even at Burning Man, a gathering of thousands in the desert of Nevada. Strolling around Burning Man and being unable to find acid is something like walking into a bar and finding the taps dry. In the fall of 2002, I enrolled at the University of Maryland ’s public-policy school in College Park, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Here, too, I continued my search for acid—and found the campus dry. Undergraduate hippies had only high school memories of the once culture-defining drug.

“Whatever my inner process is that lets me solve problems, it works differently, or maybe different parts of my brain are used.” Burning Man, founded in 1986 by San Francisco techies, has always been an attempt to make a large number of people use different parts of their brains toward some nonspecific but ostensibly enlightening and communally beneficial end. The event was quickly moved to the desert of Nevada as it became too big for the city. Today, it’s more likely to be attended by a software engineer than a dropped-out hippie. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, are longtime Burners, and the influence of San Francisco and Seattle tech culture is everywhere in the camps and exhibits built for the eight-day festival. Its Web site suggests, in fluent acidese, that “[t]rying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.”

Its Web site suggests, in fluent acidese, that “[t]rying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.” At the 2007 event, I set up my tent at Camp Shift—as in “Shift your consciousness”—next to four RVs rented by Alexander and Ann Shulgin and their septua- and octogenarian friends from northern California. The honored elders, the spiritual mothers and fathers of Burning Man, they spent the nights sitting on plastic chairs and giggling until sunrise. Near us, a guy I knew from the Eastern Shore—an elected county official, actually—had set up a nine-and-half-hole miniature golf course. Why nine and a half? “Because it’s Burning Man,” he explained. Our camp featured lectures on psychedelics and a “ride” called “Dance, Dance, Immolation.” Players would don a flame-retardant suit and try to dance to the flashing lights. Make a mistake, and you would be engulfed in flames. The first entry on the FAQ sign read, “Is this safe?


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Sirius: And then, again, there was this huge adoption of Burning Man by the tech culture. Really, suddenly, it became this massive thing that everybody had to do. Joey Anuff: The SRL, rave kind of vibe coalesced into the Burning Man thing. Tiffany Shlain: Burning Man was a big through line! We all went there for years. Amy Critchett: So Michael Mikel, who was one of the founders of Burning Man, was a handyman for Wired. So it definitely was a presence in the early days of Wired. Michael Mikel: I was involved with Burning Man from pretty close to the beginning. I brought in a lot of tech people. The main thing I was doing was just inviting everyone I knew, and putting them on the mailing list. Amy Critchett: My crew, we started going in 1994. Justin Hall: Burning Man in 1994 was just a mass of people who were all parked in the middle of the desert in any which way.

We finalized all the details on the round after that. I guess we figured if we didn’t agree later, that it would be a loan. He liked us and he just wanted to sort of push us forward. Larry Page: It was pretty unreal. Sergey Brin: It was like, That was pretty easy! Brad Templeton: Then they went to Burning Man. Ray Sidney: Sergey put up a Burning Man logo on the website. It was the first Google Doodle. Marissa Mayer: It was more of an out-of-office notification than anything else—it said, “We’re all at Burning Man.” Brad Templeton: There was a Google contingent that camped at Burning Man. I remember saying something rude to Marissa that I shouldn’t have said about wanting to see her naked. She won’t remember that, I hope. Marissa Mayer: Remember, we were all young, and we were all, in addition to being coworkers, friends. Scott Hassan: I was responsible for the shelter and Sergey was responsible for the food.

Terry Winograd: So, the basic idea of the space tether was you put a rock out in space, in orbit, swinging around the Earth with a string all the way down to the ground, and then it’s an elevator. You can just climb up the string like Jack and the Beanstalk, right? Heather Cairns: Yes, the space tether. In those days they were still talking about it. I never thought it was serious but apparently it was. Terry Winograd: They had this desire to be quirky. They were Burning Man before Burning Man. They just enjoyed speculating. “Oh, could we build a space tether? What would it take to build a space tether?” Sergey Brin: I was chatting with Larry a lot. We got along pretty well. Terry Winograd: Sergey and Larry were looking for projects they wanted to do. And so they got connected into the Digital Libraries Project because they were interested in that. Scott Hassan: I was full-time at Stanford as a “research assistant,” but really I was just a programmer.


pages: 295 words: 82,786

The Harm in Asking: My Clumsy Encounters With the Human Race by Sara Barron

Burning Man, Columbine, East Village, medical residency

The event felt terribly precious, and this was in light of the fact that my partner in crime was a Burning Man enthusiast who measured in at five-foot-four. I’m not talking shorter than I am if I’m in heels, I’m talking shorter than I am. Done. The Burning Man and I had been set up by Gwen, a mutual friend, and although Gwen had good intentions, she had horrific matchmaking skills. The Burning Man showed up to our date late and wearing a backpack, and then proceeded to talk almost entirely about Burning Man. On the rare occasions when the Burning Man permitted me to speak, he wouldn’t look me in the eye. He preferred scanning the room as I spoke. Now, in fairness, the Burning Man surely had complaints of his own about me: Like that I showed up in an unsavory thrift-store ensemble. Like that I slapped myself to stay awake as he spoke incessantly about Burning Man. All in all, it was an unpleasant evening out.

All in all, it was an unpleasant evening out. The thing was, though, our mutual disdain was this weird sort of turn-on, and that, I think, was how we wound up having sex. A little booze, a lot of self-loathing. You wind up having sex with people you despise. The Burning Man and I arrived in my bedroom. We got on with the usual business of things, but not before I forgot to draw the curtain on my window. It faced the street. Things went relatively well for, I don’t know, eight minutes? Maybe ten? But then I noticed the Burning Man watching himself in the mirror. It was all very American Psycho, that scene in the movie where Christian Bale is having sex with the prostitutes prior to bashing their heads in with some sort of radiator part, and he makes a face in the mirror that’s all like, “Well, aren’t I the sexy king?”

Jan and I exchanged greetings, and then she stood there for a moment, and then came back inside. Well. You can just imagine where the sexual momentum was at that stage. There’d been the mirror gazing, the chin knocking, the cherry-on-top that was the verbal interaction with Jan. I could not have felt any less engaged, and so was delighted when the Burning Man did an awkward slither of a dismount and said, “Uh, well, I should get going, I guess. I’ve got a full day of work tomorrow. And I’ve got all my Burning Man photos, which I have to edit down and post to Facebook.” I slapped myself in the face. “That sounds … rewarding,” I said. “But also exhausting. So, well, like you said: it’s probably time to go.” TWO WEEKS LATER, I was out for a power-walk through Prospect Park. I had originally planned on a run, but quickly I learned that I am not actually capable of breathing while I run.


pages: 427 words: 112,549

Freedom by Daniel Suarez

augmented reality, big-box store, British Empire, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, corporate personhood, digital map, game design, global supply chain, illegal immigration, Naomi Klein, new economy, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, RFID, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the scientific method, young professional

The sheriff nodded and looked at Ross. They nodded to each other, and then suddenly Ross saw a very strange series of D-Space alerts running through his HUD listing--all highest priority. They indicated the launch of a number of different processes he'd never heard of, but one of which caught his eye: Burning Man Instantiated. "Wait a minute. . . ." The sheriff frowned at him. "What?" Ross was tracking something moving along Main Street--a D-Space call-out unlike any he'd seen before. It was wreathed in flame and bore the name Burning Man, a two-hundredth-level Champion. Ross had never heard of such a level before. It was coming their way. "Get your HUD glasses on, Sheriff. Something's up." He looked like he'd had enough games, but he moved out of Ross's sight, while Ross tried to peek out into the street. Ross could see two ASVs in the street, drawing fire from other townspeople in nearby buildings.

Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Epigraph Part One - December Chapter 1: // Dark Pool Chapter 2: // Operation Exorcist Chapter 3: // Going Viral Chapter 4: // End of the Line Chapter 5: // Getting with the Program Chapter 6: // Waymeet Chapter 7: // Shamanic Interface Chapter 8: // Erebus Part Two - March Chapter 9: // Seed Police Chapter 10: // Corn Rebellion Chapter 11: // Hunted Chapter 12: // Masterwork Chapter 13: // Epiphany Chapter 14: // The China Price Chapter 15: // Political Inversion Chapter 16: // Pwned Chapter 17: // Immortality Chapter 18: // Underworld Chapter 19: // Crossroad Chapter 20: // Data Curse Chapter 21: // Exploit Chapter 22: // Identity Theft Part Three - July Chapter 23: // Ultimatum Chapter 24: // Green Desert Chapter 25: // Black Ops Chapter 26: // Privacy Policy Chapter 27: // Reunion Chapter 28: // Sky Ranch Chapter 29: // Scorched Earth Chapter 30: // Quarantine Chapter 31: // Extermination Chapter 32: // The Burning Man Chapter 33: // Epic Fail Chapter 34: // Cold Reality Chapter 35: // Infil Chapter 36: // Downtime Chapter 37: // Logic Bomb Chapter 38: // Ghost from the Machine Chapter 39: // End Game Chapter 40: // Exit Strategy Further Reading Acknowledgements About the Author ALSO BY DANIEL SUAREZ Daemon DUTTON Published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.

The two sides viewed each other across the table. BCM: "I hope we can count on your support, Mr. Director. . . ." Chapter 3: // Going Viral Darknet Top-rated Posts +175,383| What makes Roy Merritt's legend so powerful is that it was unintentional. He was a mere artifact on the surveillance tapes at the Sobol mansion siege, but his successful struggle against the impossible is what immortalized him as the Burning Man. PanGeo**** / 2,194 12th-level Journalist "Roy Merritt represented all that was best in us. That's what makes the loss of him so hard to bear." Standing before a flag-draped casket, the minister raised his voice to carry above a cold, Kansas wind. "I knew Roy from the time he was a child. I knew his father and his mother. I saw him grow to become a loving husband, a caring father, and a respected citizen.


pages: 243 words: 76,686

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Airbnb, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Filter Bubble, full employment, gig economy, Google Earth, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Minecraft, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Port of Oakland, Results Only Work Environment, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, source of truth, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, union organizing, white flight, Works Progress Administration

In his tribute to Felix, who passed away in 2017 after a battle with brain cancer, Smiley Poswolsky writes that “Levi would spend hours (literally, hours) walking around with the production team at night, making sure each tree was perfectly lit and would make someone feel the magical power of being in nature.”6 The camp’s aesthetics, philosophy, and madcap humor suggest that the vibe that Felix was so meticulously designing for was specifically informed by Burning Man. And indeed, Felix was a Burning Man enthusiast. Poswolsky fondly recalls the time Felix was invited to speak alongside Dennis Kucinich at IDEATE, a camp at Burning Man. Felix took the opportunity to evangelize: Levi took a shot of tequila, made himself a Bloody Mary, and wearing a white dress and a pink wig, went over and spoke for forty-five minutes on the importance of unplugging from technology, as our friend Ben Madden played a Casio synth in the background. I couldn’t tell you exactly what Levi said that morning since I was delirious, but I do remember that everyone who was there said it was one of the most inspiring talks they had ever heard. Much has been written lately about how Burning Man is not what it used to be. Indeed, it breaks most of the rules that Levi adopted for his own experiment.

The festival, which started as an illegal bonfire on Baker Beach in San Francisco in 1986 before moving to Black Rock Desert, has become an attraction for the libertarian tech elite, something Sophie Morris sums up nicely in the title of her piece on the festival: “Burning Man: From far-out freak-fest to corporate schmoozing event.” Mark Zuckerberg famously helicoptered into Burning Man in 2015 to serve grilled cheese sandwiches, while others from the upper echelon of Silicon Valley have enjoyed world-class chefs and air-conditioned yurts. Morris quotes the festival’s director of business and communications, who unflinchingly describes Burning Man as “a little bit like a corporate retreat. The event is a crucible, a pressure cooker and, by design, a place to think of new ideas or make new connections.”7 While Felix and Poswolsky may have been old-school Burners who disdained corporate yurts with AC, the direction Camp Grounded was headed in when Felix passed away was not without its similarities.

Smiley Poswolsky, “The Man Who Gave Us All the Things: Celebrating the Legacy of Levi Felix, Camp Grounded Director and Digital Detox Visionary,” Medium, January 12, 2017: https://medium.com/dear-levi/the-man-who-gave-us-all-the-things-e83ab612ce5c. 5. Digital Detox, “Digital Detox® Retreats”: http://digitaldetox.org/retreats/. 6. Poswolsky. 7. Sophie Morris, “Burning Man: From far out freak-fest to corporate schmoozing event,” The Independent, September 1, 2015: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/festivals/burning-man-from-far-out-freak-fest-to-corporate-schmoozing-event-10481946.html. 8. Digital Detox, “Corporate Offerings”: http://digitaldetox.org/corporate-2/. 9. Richard W. Hibler, Happiness Through Tranquility: The School of Epicurus (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984), 38. 10. Epicurus, “Principal Doctrines, XIV,” in The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia, trans. and ed.


pages: 383 words: 108,266

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

air freight, Al Roth, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, endowment effect, financial innovation, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, IKEA effect, invisible hand, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, market bubble, Murray Gell-Mann, payday loans, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair

At that time, I got a phone call from John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, inviting me to an event that proved to be both an important personal experience and an interesting exercise in creating a moneyless society. Barlow told me that I had to come to Burning Man with him, and that if I did, I would feel as if I had come home. Burning Man is an annual weeklong event of self-expression and self-reliance held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, regularly attended by more than 40,000 people. Burning Man started in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco, when a small crowd designed, built, and eventually set fire to an eight-foot wooden statue of a man and a smaller wooden dog. Since then the size of the man being burned and the number of people who attend the festivities has grown considerably, and the event is now one of the largest art festivals, and an ongoing experiment in temporary community. Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms.

Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms. Money is not accepted at Burning Man. Rather, the whole place works as a gift exchange economy—you give things to other people, with the understanding that they will give something back to you (or to someone else) at some point in the future. Thus, people who can cook might fix a meal. Psychologists offer free counseling sessions. Masseuses massage those lying on tables before them. Those who have water offer showers. People give away drinks, homemade jewelry, and hugs. (I made some puzzles at the hobby shop at MIT, and gave them to people. Mostly, people enjoyed trying to solve them.) At first this was all very strange, but before long I found myself adopting the norms of Burning Man. I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been.

I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been. I’m not sure I could easily survive in Burning Man for all 52 weeks of the year. But this experience has convinced me that life with fewer market norms and more social norms would be more satisfying, creative, fulfilling, and fun. The answer, I believe, is not to re-create society as Burning Man, but to remember that social norms can play a far greater role in society than we have been giving them credit for. If we contemplate how market norms have gradually taken over our lives in the past few decades—with their emphasis on higher salaries, more income, and more spending—we may recognize that a return to some of the old social norms might not be so bad after all. In fact, it might bring quite a bit of the old civility back to our lives. CHAPTER 5 The Influence of Arousal Why Hot Is Much Hotter Than We Realize Ask most twentysomething male college students whether they would ever attempt unprotected sex and they will quickly recite chapter and verse about the risk of dreaded diseases and pregnancy.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global pandemic, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application, zero-sum game

It’s a peculiar story: cultural anarchism melded with technologies developed for and by the U.S. military, unleashed in the service of both commerce and creativity, yet also accused of undermining both.49 Google, in particular, incorporates a twenty-first-century form of countercultural hedonism in its corporate structure and everyday work environment: the ethos of Burning Man. Burning Man is an annual festival held at the end of August in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. Thousands of people gather to camp and celebrate with music, drugs, art, and digital technology. Turner highlights the fact that many important players in the technological industries of Northern California regularly participate in Burning Man. For two weeks a year, Silicon GOOGL E ’S WAYS A ND ME A N S 71 Valley’s elite can immerse themselves in a grand network of human beings connecting for the sake of creating. “If the workers of the industrial factory found themselves laboring in an iron cage, the workers of many of today’s post-industrial information firms often find themselves inhabiting a velvet goldmine: a workplace in which the pursuit of selffulfillment, reputation, and community identity, of interpersonal relationships and intellectual pleasure, help to drive the production of new media goods,” Turner writes.50 Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have been regular Burning Man attendees since the 1990s.

“If the workers of the industrial factory found themselves laboring in an iron cage, the workers of many of today’s post-industrial information firms often find themselves inhabiting a velvet goldmine: a workplace in which the pursuit of selffulfillment, reputation, and community identity, of interpersonal relationships and intellectual pleasure, help to drive the production of new media goods,” Turner writes.50 Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have been regular Burning Man attendees since the 1990s. At the festival, Page and Brin would have encountered a radically decentralized social structure, one that facilitates creativity, collaboration, and experimentation with little or no “command and control.” Burning Man, Turner concludes, is a distillation of the “cultural infrastructure” that nurtures Google, a spiritual manifestation of what Yochai Benkler calls “commons-based peer production.”51 As the sociologist Dalton Conley has described, many of the most highly rewarded workers—those on the creative side of the technology industries—are either trapped in something like a velvet goldmine or struggling to get into one.

It will do the same if it suspects that a site has faked the number of incoming links. So the human element in Google’s search business is present and perhaps growing. It’s important to look critically at the people who are making these decisions and the cultural backgrounds from which they have emerged. They are, as might be expected, by and large technicians and technocrats. A “SOVIET OF TECHNICIANS” AT BURNING MAN Google is built to support a technocratic way of working. Its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and most of its early employees are computer scientists by training. It has always been the sort of place where those devoted to solving some of the biggest challenges in logic, mathematics, and linguistics can find a supportive yet challenging environment.41 It’s the paradigm of the sort of practice that has emerged quickly over the past twenty years and that now dominates the scientific agenda in many fields: entrepreneurial science—the intersection of academic “pure” science and industrial technoscience.42 This technocratic mode of organization is anything but new.


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Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

., disco’s 120 beats per minute) brought Page’s idea of time into popular music. Like Sean Parker, Page liked Burning Man, saying, “[It’s] 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?” In fact, Page and his partner Sergey Brin were so entranced with Burning Man that they cited Eric Schmidt’s attendance there as one of the major reasons they agreed to hire him as CEO after the Google board decided that Page and Brin needed “adult supervision.” I suppose Parker and Page both embrace Burning Man because for a long weekend it approximates the “free cities” model they embrace—in which polities are privately owned and unregulated by states—an ideal way for capitalists to avoid the “mob mentality” of democracy.

This all probably sounds incredibly pretentious and narcissistic. In the same interview Parker bemoaned contemporary culture’s scarcity of revolutionary thinkers like Jim Morrison or Jack Kerouac. It is a bit rich to hear the rebel venture capitalist who travels every year to the Burning Man festival in the hope of recapturing his Jim Morrison dream bemoan the tired thinking of his fellow Americans—despite the wholesale wreckage his adventures have wrought on American culture, including the very music business Morrison depended upon. For the uninitiated, Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada over Labor Day weekend. It has been described as “an experiment in community and art” influenced by ten main principles, including “radical inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression.”

Chapter Five: Digital Destruction The film The Social Network, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, is a remarkably honest telling of the birth of Facebook. David Kirkpatrick, The Facebook Effect (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010). David Kirkpatrick, “With a Little Help From His Friends,” Vanity Fair, September 6, 2010, www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010/10/sean-parker-201010. Samantha Krukowski (ed.), Playa Dust: Collected Stories from Burning Man (San Francisco: Black Dog, 2014). Ken Auletta, Googled: The End of the World as We Know It (New York: Penguin, 2009). Most of the email quotes from YouTube come from depositions in the Viacom International, Inc. vs. YouTube, Inc. lawsuit. Austin Carr, “Reddit Co-Founder, The Band’s Ex-Tour Manager Debate SOPA, Anti-Piracy and Levon Helm’s Legacy,” Fast Company, April 19, 2012, www.fastcompany.com/1834779/reddit-cofounder-bands-ex-tour-manager-debate-sopa-antipiracy-and-levon-helms-legacy-video.


pages: 304 words: 91,566

Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich

"side hustle", airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cryptocurrency, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, game design, Isaac Newton, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, offshore financial centre, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, zero-sum game

As it turned out, Cameron was too busy working through his feelings to remember where the camp was located. But maybe that was for the best; as he later discovered, Zuckerberg had flown into Burning Man on a helicopter to help serve the grilled cheeses. If Cameron and Tyler had attended, who knows what would have happened? Was it even possible that they might have also hugged it out with Zuckerberg? On the playa, among the dust of the earth and the sea of humanity, among all that spirituality, love, and gratitude, could even the Winklevii and Zuckerberg have let bygones be bygones over grilled cheeses? Well, it was a nice idea. * * * Cameron opened his eyes to find himself sitting behind his desk in his glass office in New York, as far from the Black Rock City desert and Burning Man and the never-ending playa as he could be. Sometimes it was hard to know why a specific memory bubbled up when it did; that hug on the Esplanade seemed like such distant history.

Eventually, The Man would be set on fire toward the end of the one-week festival, a tradition that gave this place its name and symbolized one of the main principles of the gathering: “Radical self-expression.” To many of the seventy thousand people populating the desert around Cameron, known as “Burners,” it was an annual pilgrimage or raison d’être that bordered on being religious. And nearby to the Burning Man was the Temple, a spiritual structure that housed the “Soul” of the Man. A cathartic wooden sanctum, where people left photos and notes and inscribed messages written to themselves, to loved ones, or sometimes to no particular person at all, just anyone passing by. They contained advice, wisdom, joy, happiness, gratitude, inspiration, heartbreak, heartache, loss, trauma, pain; the entire range of deep inner emotions and experiences that cut to the core of what it meant to be a human, experiencing life on this earth with all of its vicissitudes.

An emotional journey, at times overwhelming, that left you with an intense sense of gratitude and inner peace. When the Temple burned on the last day of the festival, it unlocked all of its emotional content in a release, a rebirth, so powerful, so spiritual, that it helped assuage the grief and begin the healing process, closing a chapter to begin anew. Cameron wasn’t exactly sure what had brought Tyler and him to Burning Man that summer; a friend’s invite, an escape from East Coast humidity, pure curiosity—but he was glad they’d come. No matter who you were when you headed to that desert, the atmosphere could change you; even if the change was momentary, it was something worth experiencing. They were staying in the “Lost Lounge,” a conglomerate of canvas, tentlike cubes stacked together, a sort of makeshift desert motel.


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The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life by Bernard Roth

Albert Einstein, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, deskilling, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, school choice, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, zero-sum game

I told Mike to forget about the meetings unless he needed me for some reason; I would wait to see the final result. When the festival arrived, I went at a prearranged time to Mike’s campsite at Burning Man. I brought along Adrian and Steve, two very capable engineers who were part of my Burning Man group and who had a keen interest in seeing the final product. Mike’s presentation was a disaster. Clearly he had not finished, and during his demonstration the instrument worked badly or not at all. Mike was embarrassed, I was embarrassed, and Adrian and Steve were embarrassed for him. Had I been asked to evaluate Mike for a job at that moment I would not have been able to recommend him in good conscience. Fast-forward three years. I was again at Burning Man with Adrian and Steve, watching a dance performance by a group called the Flaming Lotus Girls, done in conjunction with an amazing animated sculpture called Serpent Mother, a 168-foot-long metallic sculpture of a skeletal serpent coiled around her egg.

Success is doing what you love and being happy about it. To learn how to get a better handle on your perceptions, emotions, and behavior, it is useful to look at how you think. YOU GIVE EVERYTHING ITS MEANING Mike, a graduate student in my class at Stanford University, planned to design a musical instrument for that summer’s Burning Man festival as his project. The festival is held each year the week before Labor Day in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada; among the main attractions at Burning Man are massive art pieces, machines, and structures created by the participants. Mike got the idea of doing his project in my class because we both attend the festival. Mike wanted to construct a wearable pipe organ powered in a most unusual way: it would contain a small fire-powered boiler that would then provide steam that could be directed through different pipes to produce music.

My China trip occurred shortly after the normalization of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, and there was a great societal thrust in China to learn English. No matter what city I was in, every time I left my hotel there would be people waiting outside wanting to practice English. I was enthralled by their eagerness to learn, and at times ended up sitting in the street correcting pronunciation while several people read aloud to me. Some years later, when I started participating in the Burning Man festival, I was again struck by the power of self-motivation. I witnessed thousands of people who put in endless hours of labor (and, in some cases, lots of money) to create things that had no commercial value. They were doing it for self-satisfaction and the entertainment of their friends; they thought what they were making was cool and they were proud to show it off. Again I thought about this in contrast to my experience as a teacher.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

“Science fiction writers are versed in the more technical aspects of space flight, and so there is a lot of exchange and inspiration that flows between NASA scientists and writers.” MacDonald told us that science fiction writers are sometimes invited to speak at NASA conferences. Science fiction author and blogger Cory Doctorow, for example, published a novella for Project Hieroglyph, a platform for science fiction stories. Doctorow wrote about maker-space hardware hackers and Burning Man devotees who build 3-D printing robots to send to the moon. Accompanying the story, Hieroglyph hosts on their website a discussion with scientists around the feasibility of 3-D printing on the moon. Hieroglyph is a matchmaker of sorts, encouraging the conversion of science fiction stories into reality. The name comes from the recognition that certain stories serve as “hieroglyphs” or symbols—like Isaac Asimov’s robot—that activate the minds of engineers, entrepreneurs, and scientists around how an innovation can come to be.

Or: What can we learn from the festival spirit to inspire everyday life? Historically, harvest festivals and religious festivals and feasts were used to usher in celebratory and sacred events that offered a departure from the hardship of everyday life. Many of today’s festivals are big music festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury, but increasingly, there are more experimental festivals like the Secret Garden Party in England, the Borderland in Sweden, and Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada. As Kenning told us, he was interested in exploring how the goodwill of festival culture could be brought “outside the festival gates to combat the tedium and isolation of working life.” What he found was that for many, festivals provided an escape from self-consciousness. Festivalgoers were able to feel a sense of unity and connection. Festival life offered opportunities for spontaneity and the full experience of the senses.

HONORING THE TEMPORARY FICTION The value of provoking is in starting a conversation. A protest movement doesn’t last forever. A science fiction novel is only so many pages. A prank holds its surprise only so long before it is revealed. But groups of people who ask the right questions or probe alternatives often pave the way for true change to emerge. Cultures like live-action role-playing or Burning Man that pop up temporary worlds can generate insights that spill over into mainstream reality. We may not all want to spend all our time dressed in festival garb and bartering in a desert gift economy, isolated in a simulated Mars mission, or protesting in Zuccotti Park, but the temporary worlds created by the provocateurs spark dialogue in our mainstream culture and create the conditions for innovation to occur.


pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg

affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, creative destruction, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norman Mailer, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, survivorship bias, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

But later it turned into much more than that, for Eben and Annie . . . When we got back from Burning Man, I saw a post late one night on Eben’s blog, saying he was organizing a small, private gathering in Ojai, California, with relationship teacher David Deida, one of the experts I’d learned most from about how to have a great relationship with Jena. I leapt out of my desk chair, ran to our bedroom, woke Jena up, and yelled, “Eben is hosting a private gathering with David Deida later this month! It costs twenty-five hundred dollars a person to attend and it’s in California. We’re going!” Jena mumbled something semi-coherent about talking about it in the morning, and went back to sleep. I called Annie and told her about the opportunity; she said she fell madly in love with Eben the second he opened his mouth at the talk at Burning Man (he is a rather dashing fellow), but she hadn’t gotten further than hand-shaking after Eben’s talk.

Imagine the leaders are the water near the top, ready to burst out of the fountain. The water about to burst out is being pushed up by water below it. If you want to succeed, find leaders who are doing amazing things in the world, and push them up. Find powerful people and help them reach their goals. If you’re of service to them, they will be of service back.” Almost a year later, I was at the Burning Man festival in Nevada with Jena. I heard through the grapevine that Eben was at the festival and that he’d be giving a talk. Jena and I have a friend named Annie Lalla, who is an amazing relationship coach, but who was struggling in her business because she was resisting learning sales and marketing skills. I forced Annie to join me at the lecture, dragging her there kicking and screaming, so that she might learn something about marketing from Eben.

Eben moved from LA to New York to live with Annie, and they are now engaged. If that story of how I met an amazing mentor—who has taught me way more free of charge than any college professor ever did for tens of thousands of dollars—sounds like a long and twisty road, that’s because such stories in real life almost always are. There’s no quick-shot formula for connecting with powerful mentors. Elliott did it through inviting leaders to ski trips. I did it via Burning Man and a relationship workshop. These may be extreme lengths, but one good mentor can literally change the direction of your entire life. It’s worth the effort. Here’s a story about how I met a second great mentor in my life, Bryan Franklin, whom I introduced you to in the Introduction. I had kept hearing about this guy Bryan (http://www.bryanfranklin.com) through friends of friends. He was supposed to be one of the most successful executive coaches in the country.


You're a Horrible Person, but I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice by The Believer

Burning Man, haute cuisine, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, nuclear winter, Saturday Night Live

I know, why end this with a confused, ethnically charged remark? So you start seeing turtles like I do—as pawns in a cultural war. Morgan Murphy Dear Morgan: My boyfriend wants to go to Burning Man, but the last time he was there, he had sex with a man covered in silver body paint. He says it was just a onetime thing—how often do you get to fuck a silver man?—but I’m worried that it might happen again. Am I right to be concerned? Glenn Davenport, IA Dear Glenn: I hate to break it to you, but your boyfriend is gaaaaay. You two fellas have obviously been together awhile if this is his second Burning Man, but if he’s fucking a man (covered in silver paint, no less), then he is a homosexual, and you need to figure out if that’s something you’re willing to live with. I would advise approaching him gently on this subject, as nobody wants to be dragged out of the closet.

I would advise approaching him gently on this subject, as nobody wants to be dragged out of the closet. Perhaps bring it up to him while he’s blowing you. Above all, don’t judge him. I happen to know that you’re required to fuck a man covered in silver paint to get into Burning Man. It’s a policy established in 1998, after a complaint that paper tickets were wasteful and added to the festival’s already excessive littering. Inserting one’s penis into a silver man is the ultimate form of recycling. That way, if the Burning Man Police want to know if you’ve paid your entrance fee, they can simply ask to see your silver penis. It’s quite brilliant in its simplicity, and kind to Mother Earth. Other events now implementing the “fuck a man covered in silver body paint” policy include Lollapalooza, various FM radio stations’ “Jingle Balls,” and the Westminster Dog Show.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

We should be focused on building the things that don’t exist,” he said.67 “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.” Thus did Page lay out what one critic identified as his “techno-libertarian utopia.”68 Burning Man, the annual countercultural festival of what it calls “radical self-expression” and “self-reliance”69 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, has already established itself as one of the most fashionable events on the Silicon Valley calendar, with tech entrepreneurs bringing their own celebrity chefs, hiring teams of “Sherpas” to treat them like “kings and queens,” and erecting air-conditioned yurts in the desert.70 But Page’s vision is to take Burning Man out of the desert. “I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society,” he explained to his developers.

“I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society,” he explained to his developers. “What’s the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.” But Page—or “Larry,” as everyone in Silicon Valley likes to call this member of America’s 0.0001% multibillionaire class—may already have the “safe place” for his vision of secession. That laboratory where technologists can experiment with new things on society actually exists. Burning Man has already been liberated from the Nevada desert. It is now called San Francisco. Today the San Francisco Bay Area has become the vehicle, both literally as a transportation network and otherwise, for a radical experiment in “self-reliance.” As the laboratory for the most important social experiment of our age, the Bay Area has come to represent a libertarian fantasy about how Internet companies can somehow detach themselves from their wider responsibilities in society and how networked technology can replace government.

The answer, then, can’t just be more regulation from government. Noblesse oblige, after all, can’t be legislated. As critics like Tim Wu have argued, the answer lies in our new digital elite becoming accountable for the most traumatic socioeconomic disruption since the industrial revolution. Rather than thinking differently, the ethic of this new elite should be to think traditionally. Rather than seceding to Burning Man or Mars, this plutocracy must be beamed back down to earth. “Move fast and break things” was the old hacker ethic; “you break it, you own it” should be the new one. Rather than an Internet Bill of Rights, what we really need is an informal Bill of Responsibilities that establishes a new social contract for every member of networked society. Silicon Valley has fetishized the ideals of collaboration and conversation.


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Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

“It’s a way of assuring people that they are scientists and artists,” said Indian-born engineer Krishna Bharat, who used his 20 percent time to invent Google News. It’s also a way to encourage engineers to push the envelope, to assume that their mission is to disrupt traditional ways of doing things. There is at Google a utopian spirit not unlike that found at Burning Man, the annual anarchic-animistic retreat in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert that culminates in the burning in effigy of a giant wood and desert brush “man.” It does not go unnoticed by their friends that Brin and Page have been regular attendees at this weeklong retreat in August, whose Woodstock-like spirit is captured in Burning Man’s ten stated principles, which include a devotion “to acts of gift giving”; creating “social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising”; and “a radically participatory ethic” that can lead to “transformative change.”

In the late nineties, when pop-up ads were the dominant way to advertise on the Web, the founders had the Google tool bar block them. They declined to place ads on their most valuable piece of real estate, the uncluttered opening Google page containing the search box. Brin and Page resisted ads because they shared an allergy then common among Webheads and many folks who attended Burning Man: that advertising was like a rude stranger interrupting a conversation to sell you something you neither wanted nor needed. “These guys were opposed to advertising because they had a purist view of the world,” said Shriram. Like some Burning Man attendees, Page and Brin were—no other word will do—odd. Barry Diller, the CEO of the InterActiveCorp, a diverse collection of such e-commerce sites as Expedia and Ticketmaster, recalled visiting Page and Brin in the early days of Google. As they talked, Diller was disconcerted to see that Page did not lift his head from his PDA device; and Brin arrived late, on Rollerblades.

“Your choices suck”: author interview with Mel Karmazin, May 13, 2008. 12 “I will believe in the 500-channel world”: Sumner Redstone speech before the National Press Club, October 19, 1994. 13 Vinod Khosla ... once told: “An Oral History of the Internet,” Vanity Fair, July 2008. 13 “a tsunami”: author interview with Craig Newmark, January 11, 2008. 14 Nielsen reported: The Nielsen Company, “Three Screen Report,” May 2008. 14 In 2008, more Americans: press release from the Pew Research Center for People & the Press, December 23, 2008. 14 the number one network teleuision show: Nielsen Media Research. 14 an estimated 1.6 billion: Universal McCann study, “Wave.3,” March 2008, and John Markoff, the New York Times, August 30, 2008. 14 newspapers, which traditionally claimed nearly a quarter: JackMyers.com. 14 lost 167,000 jobs: Advertising Age report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 18, 2008. 14 two hundred billion dollars: Myers Advertising and Marketing Investment Insights, annual advertising spending forecast, September 15, 2007. 14 plunge below 20 percent: McCann Erickson Worldwide chart of percentage of ad dollars by media, 1980-2007. 15 it took telephones seventy-one years ... just five years: Progress & Freedom Foundation report, January 16, 2008, and “The Decade of Online Advertising,” DoubleClick, April 2005. 15 thirty-four technology stocks: charts provided to the author by Yossi Vardi. 15 1 million job applications: author interview with Lazslo Bock, August 22, 2007. 15 Its revenues... from advertising and other Google statistics: Google’s SEC filing for fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, Google Amendment No. 9 to Form S-1, filed with the SEC August 18, 2004, and Google 10-K filed with the SEC, December 31, 2008. 16 daily advertising impressions: Google Product Strategy Meeting attended by the author, April 16, 2008. 16 Google’s hundreds of millions of daily auctions: reported in its Google 10-K SEC filing for the year ending December 31, 2007. 16 index contained: Google’s third-quarter earnings report, October 16, 2008. 16 billions of pages per day: Google internal documents for March 2008, presented at an April 16, 2008, Google Product Strategy Meeting attended by the author. 16 tens of billions: May 2007 revenue report, the Interactive Advertising Bureau. 16 YouTube ... twenty-five million unique daily visitors; DoubleClick posted seventeen billion: Eric Schmidt presentation to Google employees, April 28, 2008. 16 Google’s ad revenues in 2008: “Media Spending 2006-2009 Estimates,” JackMyers. com, January 29, 2008. 16 “We began”: Google 10-K filed in 2008 for the period ending December 31, 2007. 16 “We are in the advertising business”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, October 9, 2007. 17 likens Google to ... Andy Kaufman: author interview with Marc Andreessen, May 5, 2007. 17 “I sometimes feel”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, March 2, 2007. 17 seventy million dollars: Adam Lashinsky, “Where Does Google Go Next?” Fortune, May 26, 2008, and confirmed by Google. 18 conveys a sense of freedom: author interview with Krishna Bharat, September 12, 2007. 18 Burning Man’s ten stated principles: Burning Man Web site. 18 “Google is a cross”: author interview with Peter Norvig, August 21, 2007. 18 She described the culture as “flat”: author interview with Stacy Savides Sullivan, August 21, 2007. 19 the best U.S. company to work for: Fortune, January 2008. 19 salaries are modest: SEC 14-A filing, March 24, 2009. 19 stock option grants: Google 10-K filed with the SEC for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2008. 19 more applicants are accepted by Harvard... packet about each: author interviews with Lazslo Bock, August 22, 2007, Leesa Gidaro, September 12, 2007, and David Drummond, March 25, 2008, and Google orientation for new employees, October 8, 2007, attended by author. 20 consisted of 130 people: author interview with David Krane, August 22, 2007. 20 a total of eight hours of his time: author interview with a senior executive at Google. 20 a blog explaining why he left: “Why Designer Doug Bowman Quit Google,” Google Blogoscope, March 21, 2009. 20 “knowledge workers”: author interview with Hal Varian, March 28, 2008. 20 “In some ways”: author interview with Paul Buchheit, June 9, 2008. 21 user experience matters most: author interview with Matt Cutts, August 20, 2007. 21 “church/state wall”: author interview with Larry Page, March 25, 2008. 21 four thousand dollars a day: Jason Calacanis blog from AdSense, July 28, 2008. 21 one thousand employees have received this subsidy: supplied to the author by Google. 22 “moral force”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, June 11, 2008. 22 “great values”: author interview with Al Gore, June 10, 2008. 23 “How can you”: author interview with Eric Schmidt, September 12, 2007. 23 Winograd . . . recounted a discussion at a TGIF: author interview with Dr.


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Berlin Wall, Burning Man, Donner party, East Village, illegal immigration, index card, medical residency, pre–internet, rent control, Saturday Night Live, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

Sorry, Pete, you don’t know the freedom of the seventeen-dollar coat when caught at a party with an ex-boyfriend and his new hot girlfriend. And that, my friends, is how to execute an Irish exit. Thank you, Forever 21! *I feel like I’m constantly being ditched for the Burning Man Festival. The Burning Man Festival is an annual festival that is an “experiment in human expression.” Only something reprehensible would be so vague. There are only a few things that I’ve never actually done that I can say I categorically hate. One is Burning Man. The others are sky-diving, ménage à trois, and when parents tell stories about their babies and incorporate impressions of their babies’ voices. I love hearing about your kid! Just use your normal voice! Guys Need to Do Almost Nothing to Be Great FORGIVE ME, but being a guy is so easy.

The only snag is you have to be comfortable lying directly to the faces of people you like. There has really been only one time when someone actually busted me on it. It occurred at my friend Louisa’s birthday, on the roof of the Downtown Standard Hotel in L.A. when I was twenty-seven. I was having a crummy time because I was supposed to go with my friend Diana but she couldn’t make it at the last minute because she was going to Burning Man.* Diana was going to be my wingwoman because I knew my ex-boyfriend was coming to the party with his new girlfriend, Chloe. A word about Chloe: Chloe was so young (or young-looking) she’d actually played the daughter of an actress four years older than me on a TV show. But the worst thing about Chloe is that she was sweet. Chloe approached me. CHLOE (shyly): Can I just say you’re my hero? I took the Long Island Rail Road out to see Matt & Ben when I was in middle school.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Accept that no one knows what information will prove to be critical, or in which hands information might change everything. More and better information, and more and better ways to make sense of it, is the source of competitive advantage in complexity. MEMBERSHIP How we define and cultivate relationships; the boundaries and conditions for entering, inhabiting, and leaving teams and organizations. Once a year, about a hundred miles outside of Reno, the Burning Man festival descends upon the desert for a weeklong social experiment in community, art, transcendence, and bacchanalia. Seventy thousand people supported by two thousand volunteers appear out of nowhere and stand up a self-contained society founded on ten principles: radical inclusion, self-reliance, self-expression, community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace.

You may find yourself. You may find God. You may run into Elon Musk (no relation). And the total cost to participate in this cashless economy where you’ll be totally reliant on the people around you? It could be $2,000 or more. Tickets for last year’s event sold out in just thirty-five minutes. This isn’t Lollapalooza. It’s not a few hours in the sun with your friends. This is a way of life. Burning Man is a classic example of membership done well. When it comes to membership, it’s helpful to think of an organization as a set of membranes—cells within cells within cells. Each membrane, or team boundary, is made up of requirements and agreements, both spoken and unspoken. Honor them and you’re in. Dishonor them, and you’re out. The most traditional boundary, and the one we talk about most, is employment status.

Not every employee feels the same level of loyalty, or inclusion, or participation. No, membership is really a social status. It’s an identity. It’s a living agreement. Boundaries can be clearly defined or purposefully blurry. Agreements within teams can be explicit or informal. Enforcement can be lenient or strict. What matters is that we are intentional. Evolutionary Organizations play with these continuums in an increasingly nonbinary way. Burning Man blurs the lines between attendee and host, customer and volunteer, and in so doing creates a richer and more participatory experience. Airbnb does the same. A host in one city is often a guest in another. Wikipedia does the same, as do countless open-source projects and peer-to-peer platforms. The future of membership may end up looking like many ways to play, clearly defined and held simultaneously.


pages: 480 words: 123,979

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier

4chan, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, cosmological constant, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, game design, general-purpose programming language, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, impulse control, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons

A typical happening would not involve actual VR experiences, for the equipment was rare and expensive. Instead, guru candidates would talk about VR. There would be speaker after speaker, plus VR-themed bands, weird party decorations, strange locations, all evoking what VR might be like someday. That old world of speculative VR obsession, the psychedelic tech party circuit, evolved into today’s Burning Man festival, or at least Burning Man as it is at night, when you no longer see the mountains but only the blinking lights of human invention. A simulation of what it might be like to be able to improvise reality fully; a simulation of a simulation. Remembering the era of VR-themed parties evokes feelings of guilt and anger in me, even today. Anger because there was an excess of guru wannabes who aggressively pecked at me because they wanted the prominence.

The company that sold Moondust asked if I could present it at the preeminent computer graphics convention, SIGGRAPH. This conference straddled industry and academia, so I wondered if being there in an official capacity might give me an opening. That year’s SIGGRAPH, in Boston, turned out to be nutso and exuberant. It was one of those countercultural gatherings that was still small enough to get away with genuine chaos, like the first few years of Burning Man. Also, as was true back in the hut, computers weren’t fast enough to do much yet, so people had to get weird to pass the time until Moore’s Law came through. All the strands of fate clustered during my first visit to the Boston area. Before SIGGRAPH was over, I had decided to move there for a while, found a few new lifelong friends, met a woman I would eventually marry (if only bizarrely and briefly), met my most cherished mentor, and got my first real research gig.

The Suicide Club is in the city, the Whole Earth Catalog moved to Marin—sigh—and Survival Research Lab doesn’t even come around anymore. No one interesting can afford the rents anymore.” You might not know about these early Silicon Valley institutions. The Suicide Club was a punk urban adventure club that would do things like climb the Golden Gate Bridge illegally. It was one of the progenitors of Burning Man. That’s where “Leave No Trace” comes from.7 Survival Research Labs staged walloping, genuinely dangerous, and giant performance art with equipment scrounged in Silicon Valley. Like a living, unsupervised guinea pig operating—for real—a tank with a thirty-foot flamethrower. You’d have to sign your life away to attend a show. All of these scenes would play roles in creating the first VR company, but I didn’t know that yet.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, Shai Danziger, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

At that time, I got a phone call from John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, inviting me to an event that proved to be both an important personal experience and an interesting exercise in creating a moneyless society. Barlow told me that I had to come to Burning Man with him, and that if I did, I would feel as if I had come home. Burning Man is an annual week-long event of self-expression and self-reliance held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, regularly attended by more than 40,000 people. Burning Man started in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco, when a small crowd designed, built, and eventually set fire to an eight-foot wooden statue of a man and a smaller wooden dog. Since then the size of the man being burned and the number of people who attend the festivities has grown considerably, and the event is now one of the largest art festivals, and an ongoing experiment in temporary community. Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms.

Burning Man has many extraordinary aspects, but for me one of the most remarkable is its rejection of market norms. Money is not accepted at Burning Man. Rather, the whole place works as a gift exchange economy—you give things to other people, with the understanding that they will give something back to you (or to someone else) at some point in the future. Thus, people who can cook might fix a meal. Psychologists offer free counseling sessions. Masseuses massage those lying on tables before them. Those who have water offer showers. People give away drinks, homemade jewelry, and hugs. (I made some puzzles at the hobby shop at MIT, and gave them to people. Mostly, people enjoyed trying to solve them.) At first this was all very strange, but before long I found myself adopting the norms of Burning Man. I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been.

I was surprised, in fact, to find that Burning Man was the most accepting, social, and caring place I had ever been. I’m not sure I could easily survive in Burning Man for all 52 weeks of the year. But this experience has convinced me that life with fewer market norms and more social norms would be more satisfying, creative, fulfilling, and fun. The answer, I believe, is not to re-create society as Burning Man, but to remember that social norms can play a far greater role in society than we have been giving them credit for. If we contemplate how market norms have gradually taken over our lives in the past few decades—with their emphasis on higher salaries, more income, and more spending—we may recognize that a return to some of the old social norms might not be so bad after all. In fact, it might bring quite a bit of the old civility back to our lives. Reflections on Social Norms: Lessons on Gifts When we mix social and monetary norms, strange and undesirable things can happen.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

It had no contact with the outer world; it was a universe itself.’50 At the centre of the circular city is a ‘green heart’, the Park, an Eden of forest and rivers, ‘a memory of what Earth had been in the days before the desert swallowed all but Diaspar’.51 Of course, this is a bleak vision of the distant future, but it is one that reveals the profound trust we have placed in the city as a bulwark against the vagaries of a hostile universe, a trust that has served our species well for millennia. For this reason, it is certain that whatever shape they take, cities are where the future of humanity lies. Burning Man Burning Man is a unique arts event, as well as an exercise in city building. It began with a small evening bonfire on a San Francisco beach in 1986. This gathering of twenty friends evolved into today’s temporary city of some 47,000 people known as Black Rock City. The event now takes place in the savage 40°C heat and blinding dust storms of the Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada, for one week each year.

It is held during the week prior to and including Labor Day weekend in late summer. The forty-foot effigy of ‘the Man’ is burned the night before Labor Day. The next day everyone packs up their things, removes all traces of the city and drives off across the flat, white desert. Aerial view of Black Rock City, a temporary community created for the Burning Man event in the Nevada desert. Unlike other festivals, Burning Man is created entirely by its participants. Black Rock City is viewed by the organisers as an experimental community, which encourages its members to express themselves by creating artworks and challenges them to be self-reliant to a degree not normally encountered in everyday life. Selling things or attempting to make money out of the event is forbidden, otherwise there are no rules about how to behave, save those that serve to protect the wellbeing of the rest of the community.

What is remarkable about these Phoenician cities is that their power came not from military strength, but from their skill at conducting business and from the desire of people in other lands to trade with them. Trade played a vital role in the growth of cities in medieval Europe. Fairs helped kick-start trade on the continent. Fairs were sprawling wood and canvas temporary cities, which had been held outside the walls of cities since the Dark Ages. They resembled today’s Black Rock City, created for a few weeks each year in the Nevada desert for the Burning Man festival. Fairs were great occasions in the life of the city – ‘vast and elaborate pageants’, which usually took place during religious holidays and attracted droves of traders, entertainers and visitors.25 As Richard Sennett has said, fairs helped to develop ‘the first tissues between cities, connecting market to market’. Fairs taught Europeans the power of trade and, as cities became more wealthy, trade began to be conducted not just during the fair but throughout the year.26 World’s Fairs Inspired by the tradition of medieval fairs, the first international exhibition took place in 1851.


pages: 522 words: 162,310

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, Celebration, Florida, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, large denomination, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Snapchat, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, young professional

As Las Vegas turned into a city posing as a theme park—with hotel-casinos that were huge new simulations of ancient Egypt (the Luxor), medieval England (the Excalibur), the seventeenth-century Caribbean (Treasure Island), Renaissance Italy (the Venetian), contemporary France (Paris Las Vegas), and New York City (New York–New York)—the number of visitors tripled. At the other end of Nevada in the 1990s, a different adult fantasy theme park, chic and singular, was established for one week a year—Burning Man. On the Fantasyland family tree, Burning Man has deep roots in the late 1800s (the original world’s fairs), but the main trunk is from the 1960s (hallucinogens, happenings, be-ins, Woodstock, costumes-as-clothes, worship of nature and the primitive), and adjacent stalks from the 1980s (live action role-playing) and ’90s (cosplay). Every year since its founding, bohemian fantasists have assembled, as many as twenty-five thousand or more at a time, to spend a week in the desert several hours from Reno, camped in a mile-and-a-half-wide semicircle called Black Rock City.

And as the cultural critic Neil Postman put it in his 1985 jeremiad about how TV was replacing meaningful public discourse with entertainment, we were in the process of amusing ourselves to death. 27 Making Make-Believe More Realistic and Real Life More Make-Believe IT IS NOT MUCH OF a stretch to say that in the 1980s and ’90s, our country became an amazing coast-to-coast theme park, open twenty-four hours. The boundaries between entertainment and the rest of life were definitively dismantled. America became addicted to the make-believe of drag—by which I mean everything from new buildings meant to look old or foreign to the geeks at Comic-Cons and Burning Mans dressing up as fictional beings. Casinos were suddenly ubiquitous. Celebrity-obsessed news media sprawled. Reality television was born. And consider wrestling, the professional and fake kind, which suddenly became a huge, quintessentially American cultural phenomenon and business. To me, all professional sports exist adjacent to Fantasyland. Every NFL or NBA game is a televised adventure story, a narrative played out according to rules of strictly defined genre—but unscripted, the outcome unknown, entertaining spectacle and real life merged.

They spend a sum approaching $100 million for each of their Brigadoons. They dress as unicorns, birds, mermaids, geishas, chanteuses, time travelers, butterflies, anything, everything, or they wear no clothes at all. They roam around superb fantasy architecture—rococo polygons and furniture the size of small houses, glowing flowers as big as trees, bridges, log cabins, Shangri-La temples. At Burning Man, they step through the looking glass—that is, through the LED screen—to inhabit Azeroth or Tatooine or the fan-fictionalized nice section of the postapocalyptic Mad Max world. Not so long ago, American adults never dressed up in costumes, certainly not as an annual ritual. When my daughters reached their early twenties, obsessing more than ever over their Halloween costumes, they were shocked when I told them that.


pages: 334 words: 104,382

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Women too will spread the word among their female friends, and the expectations are hardly hidden. “They might say, ‘Do you want to come to this really exclusive hot party? The theme is bondage,’” one female entrepreneur told me. “‘It’s at this VC or founder’s house and he asked me to invite you.’” Perhaps this culture is just one of the many offshoots of the sexually progressive Bay Area, which gave rise to the desert festival of free expression Burning Man, now frequented by the tech elite. Still, the vast majority of people in Silicon Valley have no idea these kinds of sex parties are happening at all. If you’re reading this and shaking your head, saying, “This isn’t the Silicon Valley that I know,” you may not be a rich and edgy male founder or investor, or a female in tech in her twenties. And you might not understand anyway. “Anyone else who is on the outside would be looking at this and saying, ‘Oh my God this is so fucked up,’” one female entrepreneur told me.

You get invited only if you can be trusted and if you’re going to play ball. “You can choose not to hook up with [a specific] someone, but you can’t not hook up with anybody, because that would be voyeurism. So if you don’t participate, don’t come in,” says one frequent attendee, whom I’ll call Founder X, an ambitious, world-traveling entrepreneur. This is the same general spirit at play in the orgy dome at Burning Man, popular among techies. “No spectators” is the slogan out on the playa, and so it is back home. They don’t see themselves as predatory, of course. When they look in the mirror, they see individuals setting a new paradigm of behavior by pushing the boundaries of social mores and values. “What’s making this possible is the same progressiveness and openmindedness that allowed us to be creative and disruptive about ideas,” Founder X told me.

“The men don’t have to prostitute themselves, because they have the money . . . ‘I should be able to have sex with a woman because I’m a rich guy.’ That is not even one particle progressive; that is the same tired bullshit. It’s trying to blend the new and keeping the old attitudes, and those old attitudes are based in patriarchy, so they come at the expense of women.” Jennifer Russell, who runs the established Camp Mystic at Burning Man, is more sympathetic. “Men and women are equally drawn to creating a structure that invites their full sexual expression and events like this are a safe place to dabble,” she says. “It’s way better than a swingers club would feel because this is at a home and you are surrounded by people you know.” Married VC admits, however, that for many men, these parties aren’t so much about self-expression than they are about simply sport fucking.


pages: 87 words: 25,823

The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism by David Golumbia

3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, currency peg, distributed ledger, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, jimmy wales, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, smart contracts, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks

In fact, it’s not clear which is more worrisome. As objects of discourse, Bitcoin and the blockchain do a remarkable job of reinforcing the view that the entire global history of political thought and action needs to be jettisoned, or, even worse, that it has already been jettisoned through the introduction of any number of digital technologies. Thus, in the introduction to a bizarrely earnest and destructive volume called From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond (Clippinger and Bollier 2014), the editors, one of whom is a research scientist at MIT, write, “Enlightenment ideals of democratic rule seem to have run their course. A continuous flow of scientific findings are undermining many foundational claims about human rationality and perfectibility while exponential technological changes and exploding global demographics overwhelm the capacity of democratic institutions to rule effectively, and ultimately, their very legitimacy” (x).

Existenz 8, no. 2: 47–63. —. 2013b. “The Superlative Summary.” Amor Mundi (July 14). http://amormundi.blogspot.com/. Casey, Michael J. 2014. “Bitcoin Foundation’s Chief Jon Matonis to Resign.” Wall Street Journal (October 30). http://www.wsj.com/. Chomsky, Noam. 2015. “Creating the Horror Chamber.” Jacobin (July 28). http://www.jacobinmag.com/. Clippinger, John H., and David Bollier, eds. 2014. From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in a Digital Society. Boston: ID3 / Off the Common Books. Conner, Claire. 2013. Wrapped in the Flag: What I Learned Growing Up in America’s Radical Right, How I Escaped, and Why My Story Matters Today. Boston: Beacon Press. “Controlled Supply.” Bitcoin wiki. http://en.bitcoin.it/. Cox, James. 2013. Bitcoin and Digital Currencies: The New World of Money and Freedom.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

But doing so requires a rather radical reversal in the way we evaluate business processes and the purpose of technology itself. By reducing human beings to mere cogs in a machine, we created the conditions to worship growth over all other economic virtues. We must reckon with how and why we did this. MASS MASS MASS For a happy couple of centuries before industrialism and the modern era, the business landscape looked something like Burning Man, the famous desert festival for digital artisans. The military campaigns of the Crusades had opened new trade routes throughout Europe and beyond. Soldiers were returning from faraway places after having been exposed to all sorts of new crafts and techniques for building and farming. They even copied a market they had observed in the Middle East—the bazaar—where people could exchange not only their goods but also their ideas, leading to innovations in milling, fabrication, and finance.

Likewise, our digital economy is still more in its “horseless carriage” phase than in that of the automobile—more “moving pictures” than full-fledged cinema. That is, we conceive of the digital in terms of the limits of the previous landscape rather than the potentials of the new one. It’s time to understand these potentials not as threats to business as usual but as the true promise of digital economics. THE DIGITAL MARKETPLACE: WINNER TAKES ALL Those of us who thought the digital marketplace was going to look something like a Burning Man festival got it wrong—at least in the short term. The distributed nature of the net, with its decentralized connectivity and ad hoc social activity, appeared to augur an equally distributed marketplace. Instead of buying everything at Walmart and watching our personal and community wealth extracted by a highly centralized corporation, we would now enter a new phase of peer-to-peer commerce. The values of the bazaar would be revived by the Internet.

The geographically local emphasis of the artisanal era is echoed in the consciously bounded investing and business practices of our era. Subsistence farming of the preindustrial era finds new expression in the sustainability agriculture agenda of today. This leap forward by hearkening back is characteristic of any great cultural or economic shift. That’s why at the vanguard of digital culture we see the retrieval of lost medieval values and practices, from the Burning Man festival to peer-to-peer currencies, and paganism to steampunk handcrafts. It’s not moving backward. It doesn’t constitute a regression so much as a recursion—a rediscovery of something old but in an entirely contemporary context. As Pope Francis put it, preempting this very accusation, “Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur.”10 Keep the progress, but recover the lost values.


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The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

For example, in a 2007 press release, Verizon announced it was committed to allowing any wireless device and any app on its network. See news.vzw.com/news/2007/11/pr2007-11-27.html. 22. The best account of such a future is a novel by Cory Doctorow, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (New York: Tor Books, 2003); it is also the evident vision of the Burning Man festival. On the relationship between the tech world and Burning Man, see Fred Turner, “Burning Man at Google,” 145. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tim Wu is an author, a policy advocate, and a professor at Columbia University. In 2006 he was recognized as one of fifty leaders in science and technology by Scientific American magazine, and in 2007, 01238 magazine listed him as one of Harvard’s one hundred most influential graduates. He writes for Slate, where he won the Lowell Thomas gold medal for travel journalism, and he has contributed to The New Yorker, TIME, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Forbes.

To understand this unusual level of consumer preference and trust in a market with other real choices is to understand the source of Google’s singular power. But is this a stroke of cold luck, or is Google something special? Quite enough has been written about Google’s corporate culture, whether one looks to the cafeterias that serve free food, the beach volleyball, or the fact that its engineers like to attend the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert.14 Not that such things aren’t useful inducements to productivity or the exception in corporate America, but they are more nearly adaptations of a general Silicon Valley corporate ethos than one particular to Google, a point the company readily admits. Boiled down, the Google difference amounts to two qualities, rather than any metaphysical uniqueness. The first, as we’ve already remarked, is its highly specialized control of the Internet switch.

The effect of the financial panic on the telephone girls is described in Casson, History of the Telephone, 155. 12. The idea of describing Google as a switch comes from my colleague Charles Sabel at Columbia. 13. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Googlization of Everything: How One Company Is Transforming Culture, Commerce, and Community and Why We Should Worry (London: Profile Books, 2010). 14. This particular corporate tradition is described in Fred Turner, “Burning Man at Google: A Cultural Infrastructure for New Media Production,” New Media & Society 11 (2009): 145. 15. As quoted in, among other places, Janet Lowe, Google Speaks (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2009), 39. Google’s origins at Stanford are described in John Battelle, The Search (New York: Portfolio, 2005). 16. “At SBC, It’s All About ‘Scale and Scope,’ ” BusinessWeek, November 7, 2005. 17.


pages: 370 words: 129,096

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

addicted to oil, Burning Man, cleantech, digital map, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, global supply chain, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, money market fund, multiplanetary species, optical character recognition, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

By 2004, Lyndon and his brothers, Peter and Russ, wanted a new challenge—something that not only made them money but, as Lyndon put it, “something that made us feel good every single day.” Near the end of the summer that year, Lyndon rented an RV and set out with Musk for the Black Rock desert and the madness of Burning Man. The men used to go on adventures all the time when they were kids and looked forward to the long drive as a way to catch up and brainstorm about their businesses. Musk knew that Lyndon and his brothers were angling for something big. While driving, Musk turned to Lyndon and suggested that he look into the solar energy market. Musk had studied it a bit and thought there were some opportunities that others had missed. “He said it was a good place to get into,” Lyndon recalled. After arriving at Burning Man, Musk, a regular at the event, and his family went through their standard routines. They set up camp and prepped their art car for a drive.

“They wrap this shiny Mylar material around the model and vacuum it, so that you can really see the contours and shine and shadows,” Tarpenning said. The silver model was then turned into a digital rendering that the engineers could manipulate on their computers. A British company took the digital file and used it to create a plastic version of the car called an “aero buck” for aerodynamics testing. “They put it on a boat and shipped it to us, and then we took it to Burning Man,” Tarpenning said, referring to the annual drug-infused art festival held in the Nevada desert. About a year later, after many tweaks and much work, Tesla had a pencils-down moment. It was May 2006, and the company had grown to a hundred employees. This team built a black version of the Roadster known as EP1, or engineering prototype one. “It was saying, ‘We now think we know what we will build,’” Tarpenning said.

Musk put on a display of strength and determination at the event as well. There was a wooden pole perhaps thirty feet high with a dancing platform at the top. Dozens of people tried and failed to climb it, and then Musk gave it a go. “His technique was very awkward, and he should not have succeeded,” said Lyndon. “But he hugged it and just inched up and inched up until he reached the top.” Musk and the Rives left Burning Man enthused. The Rives decided to become experts on the solar industry and find the opportunity in the market. They spent two years studying solar technology and the dynamics of the business, reading research reports, interviewing people, and attending conferences along the way. It was during the Solar Power International conference that the Rive brothers really hit on what their business model might be.


A Paradise Built in Hell: Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit

Berlin Wall, Burning Man, centre right, Community Supported Agriculture, David Graeber, different worldview, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, Loma Prieta earthquake, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, South of Market, San Francisco, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, War on Poverty, yellow journalism

I have been to a regional Rainbow Gathering, and my response was mixed—I’m not big on clouds of pot smoke, hugs from strangers, hybridized religious appropriations, and grubby personal style—but I saw the desire and partial realization of a goal of creating a mutual-aid gift-economy society and an impressive and moving atmosphere of sweetness, openness, and generosity. A crucial aspect of Rainbow Gatherings that was not true of Wood-stock in 1969 or Burning Man now is that it truly exists as far outside the monetary economy as possible. Burning Man, the huge annual desert gathering, charges a steep admission, patrols to keep the nonpaying out, hires a company to supply and maintain hundreds of chemical toilets, contracts a local hospital to set up a clinic on-site, and leaves all major decisions to the staff of the limited-liability corporation it has become. (Many of the paying attendees, however, create their own gift communities within their camps or with offerings of music, dance zones, drinks, and spectacle to the general public.)

They were dedicating their brand-new temple the day that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, and the head monk from Vietnam, a visiting senior monk, about eighteen elderly women, a neighboring African American family, a Vietnamese American Texas doctor who studied with the monk, and several others took shelter in the attic after the waters of the storm surge rose to the ceiling of the temple. They did not know for the several hours that they were trapped there in the dark whether the water would continue to rise, but the monks chanted, everyone remained calm, and afterward the national Vietnamese community brought relief supplies and aid in rebuilding the temple (as did the Burners without Borders project started by participants in the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert). The doctor who had been stranded there told me, “Everything is so impermanent. One day we’re having a celebration and a grand opening and the next day it’s all destroyed. So you just sit down and think deeply. It does shock me to go through that. But as for the people it’s very hard. First of all they’re poor to start with.” But the temple was rebuilt, and the monk who heads it was more than cheerful about the disaster when I visited the rebuilt temple.

This was the hardest I have ever worked as I got up at 7:00 am to work till midnights each night with sweat pouring down me all day in the 95-103 degree sun. Yet the faces who came each morning and thanked us for giving them hope made it all worth it.” They were serving as many as four thousand meals a day, much of it food donated by the Organic Valley cooperative, in a geodesic dome tent donated by people from Burning Man. That a bunch of latter-day hippies found common ground with evangelical Christians is in some way typical of disasters; the crisis created circumstances in which their common goals mattered a lot and their divergent beliefs and lifestyles didn’t. Some of the churches were doing good works a century ago and may well be doing them a century from now. Their stability has value. So does the instability of the counterculture groups, the ability to improvise and adapt.


Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

A Pattern Language, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business climate, citizen journalism, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, experimental economics, experimental subject, Extropian, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telephone, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, more computing power than Apollo, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, pez dispenser, planetary scale, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, social intelligence, spectrum auction, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, web of trust, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Ricochet, a wireless modem network that had been shut down when its owner, Metricom, filed for bankruptcy protection, temporarily reactivated its network for the use of emergency workers near ground zero. In the San Francisco Bay Area, a resource center and interest group for wireless activists grew out of PlayaNet—instant broadband infrastructure for a temporary autonomous zone in the middle of nowhere.28 Every year, 25,000 dionysiac technogeeks gather for a collective art ritual in the Nevada desert, the Burning Man festival, constituting the fifth-largest city in Nevada for a week.29 Burning Man has dozens of radio stations and its own WiFi network, one of the earliest. PlayaNet gave birth to the Bay Area Wireless Users Group (BAWUG), which maintains a mailing list of over a thousand and sponsors monthly meetings. BAWUG member Cliff Skolnick publishes a map of voluntarily open WiFi networks in the San Francisco area (which is how I discovered that p2p maven Cory Doctorow had moved from Toronto).

Erika Jonietz, “Unwiring the Web,” Technology Review, December 2001, <http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/innovation11201.asp > (22 February 2002). 24. Townsend, telephone interview by author. 25. Dana Spiegel, email correspondence, 29 January 2002. 26. Jonietz, “Unwiring the Web.” 27. Peter Meyers, “In a Pinch, Wi-Fi Fills the Gap,” New York Times, 4 October 2001, <http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/04/technology/circuits/04ACCE.html?ex=100> (23 February 2002). 28. PlayaNet, <http://www.playanet.org > (23 February 2002). 29. Burning Man, <http://www.burningman.com > (23 February 2002). 30. Cory Doctorow, email correspondence, 25 February 2001. 31. “SFLan Manifesto,” <http://www.sflan.com/index.html > (23 February 2002). 32. John Markoff, “The Corner Internet Network vs. the Cellular Giants,” New York Times, 4 March 2002, <http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/04/technology/04MESH.html > (6 March 2002). 33. Michael Behar, “The Broadband Militia,” Washington Monthly, March 2002, <http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0203.behar.html > (6 March 2002). 34.

See Bits and atoms Attentive billboards Auctions and the Prisoner's Dilemma and Reed's Law and reputation systems See also Auctionweb eBay Web site Auctionweb Augmented reality Aula project (Helsinki) Australia Automobiles: GPS devices in manufacturing of Axelrod, Robert Baker and McKenzie Barcode readers Barpoint service Battle of Seattle Baudrillard, Jean BAWUG (Bay Area Wireless Users Group) BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) News Beatles Becker, Gene Behlendorf, Brian Bell Canada Bell Labs See also AT&T (American Telephone & Telegraph) Bellovm, Steve Benkler, Yochai Bennahum, David Bentham, Jeremy Benzon, William Berners-Lee, Tim Big game hunting See also Hunting Big Sky Telegraph system Billboards, attentive BIND software Bioacoustics research Biology and reputation systems and self-organizing systems and threshold models Bits and atoms: dance of "marriage of," BlackBerry pagers Blink.com Web site Blogs Bluetooth Bluetooth Special Interest Group BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) Boingo Botfighters Botswana Bozofilters BPDG (Broadcast Protection Discussion Group) Bricklin, Dan Britain See also United Kingdom Bronowski, Jacob Browsers, advent of Brunner, John Bryant Park Bryant Park Restoration Corporation Bug's Life, A (film) Building Wireless Community Networks (O'Reilly Associates) Buildings, computer chips in See also Smart rooms Burning Man festival Bush, Vannevar Business plans Butera, William Cable: Internet access modems television Cancer Capitalism Carnegie Bosch Institute Carpenter, Loren Center for Bits and Atoms (MIT) Chechen rebels Chicken game See also Game theory Chwe, Michael Suk-Young Circuit-switched networks Cities, digital Cisler, Steve Citizen Watch Company CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) City of Bits (Mitchell) Civil libertarians Clark, Andy Climate change Clothing.


We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, East Village, game design, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, uber lyft, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Kan, along with Emmett Shear and Michael Seibel, sold Twitch, which started way back when as Justin.tv in the Crystal Towers apartments, to Amazon in 2014 for almost $1 billion. That same summer, Huffman and his friends all flew to Ibiza for Seibel’s bachelor party. Huffman dominated the club dance floors all over the Mediterranean island. Also in the summer of 2014, Kan spent evenings and weekends enlisting a group of about twenty friends to prepare for Burning Man, the sixty-thousand-person, clothing-optional experiment in radical self-reliance that takes place at the end of August. As every Burning Man participant is encouraged to gift services or goods to others, Kan’s camp would be called Bao Chicka Wow Wow and would provide warm pork buns to hungry residents of the temporary city. Kan also wanted to create a mobile piece of public art, in the form of a massive “art car,” as many roving vehicles of the playa are known.

While Kan and others hunted down materials—polycarbonate panels, LED lighting, welding tools—Huffman troubleshot the vehicle’s engine. The physical engineering challenge was a welcome respite from his typical days managing Hipmunk programmers. By 2014, Burning Man had become a weeklong creative outlet for outsider artisans everywhere, but for Silicon Valley’s tech plutocrats it had become an almost mandatory annual social event, an opportunity to rub sunburned, sand-specked elbows with millionaire and billionaire attendees such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Jeff Bezos. Kan’s friends, Huffman included, spent the end of August camping in Black Rock City and roaming it in their massive iceberg on wheels, which had been dubbed “Titanic’s End.” Huffman had embraced the Burning Man mantra of “radical self-reliance.” Like so many after the 2008 financial meltdown, he had become concerned about the stability of government and the risks associated with large-scale unrest.

Sometimes, on nice days, he would take a candidate up to the top floor of 420 Taylor, which was no longer empty; it was equipped with communal tables and desks. He’d open the glass doors to the sprawling, sunny rooftop deck and show them to a chaise. He’d kick his feet up, lean back, and maybe rest a hand behind his head. He was trying to stay balanced. In late August 2017, he took a vacation, out to Burning Man with his girlfriend, Elvie Stephanopoulos. During a windstorm, sand whipping up from the playa, he swooped her up into the air. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, over which was draped a goofy red Hawaiian shirt, and kicked her dusty black boots up in the air. Under a vintage marquee sign whose letters read “stage your own death,” they kissed. Live from Hollywood August 1, 2017, was a helluva last hurrah for Alexis Ohanian.


Western USA by Lonely Planet

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donner party, East Village, edge city, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, Maui Hawaii, off grid, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supervolcano, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Wildflower Village MOTEL $ ( 775-747-8848; www.wildflowervillage.com; 4395 W 4th St; r $50-75, B&B $100-125; ) Perhaps more of a state of mind than a motel, this artists colony on the west edge of town has a tumbledown yet creative vibe. Murals decorate the facade of each room, and you can hear the freight trains rumble on by. BURNING MAN For one week at the end of August, Burning Man (www.burningman.com; admission $210-320) explodes onto the sunbaked Black Rock Desert, and Nevada sprouts a third major population center – Black Rock City. An experiential art party (and alternative universe) that climaxes in the immolation of a towering stick figure, Burning Man is a whirlwind of outlandish theme camps, dust-caked bicycles, bizarre bartering, costume-enhanced nudity and a general relinquishment of inhibitions. Eating Reno’s dining scene goes far beyond the casino buffets. Old Granite Street Eatery AMERICAN $$ ( 775-622-3222; 243 S Sierra St; dishes $9-24; 11am-10pm Mon-Thu, 11am-midnight Fri, 10am-midnight Sat, 10am-4pm Sun) A lovely well-lighted place for organic and local comfort food, old-school artisanal cocktails and seasonal craft beers, this antique-strewn hot spot enchants diners with its stately wooden bar, water served in old liquor bottles and its lengthy seasonal menu.

Weird Stuff There’s a lot of empty space in the West, and this emptiness draws out the weird in people. From dinosaur sculptures to two-headed squirrels to festivals that celebrate desert creativity, weird is the way to go. The bumper sticker we saw in Jerome says it best: ‘We’re all here because we’re not all there.’ Route 66 This two-lane ode to Americana is dotted with wacky roadside attractions, especially in western Arizona (boxed text, Click here) Burning Man Festival A temporary city in the Nevada desert attracts 55,000 for a week of self-expression and blowing sand (boxed text, Click here) Roswell Did a UFO crash outside Roswell, New Mexico in 1947? Museums and a UFO festival explore whether the truth is out there (Click here) Seattle’s Public Sculptures In Fremont, look for a car-eating troll, a human-faced dog and some folks waiting, and waiting, for the train (Click here) Venice Boardwalk Gawk at the human zoo of chainsaw-jugglers and Speedo-clad snake-charmers (Click here) Museums Modern art.

PERSEIDS Peaking in mid- August, these annual meteor showers are the best time to catch shooting stars with your naked eye or a digital camera. For optimal viewing, head into the southern deserts. September Summer’s last hurrah is the Labor Day holiday weekend. It’s a particularly nice time to visit the Pacific Northwest, where nights are cool and the days reliably sunny. Fall colors begin to appear in the Rockies. BURNING MAN Outdoor celebration of self-expression known for elaborate art displays, an easygoing barter system, blowing sand, and the final burning of the man. This temporary city rises in the Nevada desert the week before Labor Day (see boxed text, Click here). GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL This three-day celebration of beer in Denver is so popular it always sells out in advance, when 400 US breweries get in on the sudsy action (Click here).


pages: 237 words: 74,109

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Extropian, future of work, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, means of production, medical residency, new economy, New Urbanism, passive income, pull request, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, union organizing, universal basic income, unpaid internship, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

Whenever we saw a stranger at the gym wearing a T-shirt with our logo on it, whenever we were mentioned on social media or on a client’s blog, whenever we received a positive support ticket, we shared it in the company chat room and we felt proud, genuinely proud. * * * I began wearing flannel. I bought Australian work boots and biked to work in them, sweating. I incorporated B vitamins into my regimen and felt more awake, more cheerful. I began dipping into EDM. It was a vestige of Burning Man that never went out of season in the Bay Area, like ecstatic dance or LED-studded sculptures or psychedelic leggings. Listening to EDM while I worked gave me delusions of grandeur, but it kept me in a rhythm. It was the genre of my generation: the music of video games and computer effects, the music of the twenty-four-hour hustle, the music of proudly selling out. It was decadent and cheaply made, the music of ahistory, or globalization—or maybe nihilism, but fun.

An engineer was rumored to have lived in the office for a while, sleeping in a lounge area atop an indoor shipping container—a visual pun on shipping code—until he was discovered, by the security team, bringing home a date. My coworkers treated it as much like an office as a clubhouse. People roamed around barefoot, juggling and playing guitar. They came in wearing expressive and ironic clothing: spandex leggings printed with unicorn emojis, shirts printed with teammates’ faces, bondage collars, Burning Man pelts. Some played video games while they half worked, or napped in the coder caves—dark, cushioned booths designed for those who worked best under conditions of sensory deprivation. It seemed like half of the engineers were DJs—a group of developers regularly performed at a club in the Mission, with a data scientist who projected angular and geometric visualizations on a screen behind them.

He had grown up poor, he reminded me; he had spent years working on actual assembly lines before teaching himself to code. “It’s not about a means of solidarity or longevity for them. It’s just about personal leverage. When I was exposed to asbestos, nobody doing comp-sci at an Ivy League was showing up to help.” I had not chosen the right audience. I was not prepared for this argument. This was just the next phase of the artisanal fetish, the engineer said. It was like LARPing, like Burning Man. “It’s a working-class MMOG,” he said, shooting me a withering look. “We are not vulnerable people.” I felt ashamed about my own class privilege, everything I took for granted. My closest brush with manual labor was breaking down cardboard boxes in the basement of an independent bookstore. I retrieved additional seltzer waters for us, tangerine flavor. We made uneasy jokes about what a tech workers’ union would strike for: ergonomic keyboards, a more inclusive office dog policy.


pages: 273 words: 85,195

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, full employment, game design, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Mars Rover, new economy, off grid, payday loans, Pepto Bismol, precariat, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, six sigma, supply-chain management, union organizing, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Y2K

That was Don Wheeler, the former jet-setting software executive who’d written me a proud paean about workamping and who appears here under a pseudonym. Don was the first member of CamperForce I met, a sharp and entertaining storyteller who spent long hours regaling me with tales of life on the road. He was originally scheduled to work his last CamperForce shift on December 21. His post-Amazon plans included passing through Quartzsite—he called it “Burning Man for geezers”—and visiting friends in the Colorado Rockies. But something very unusual took place instead. In what would become three years of reporting on CamperForce workers, I would never witness anything like it happen again—Amazon offered Don a full-time, year-round job. “Hey, I’m seventy, who else is going to hire me?” he joked by email. In company jargon, Don was about to become an “Amazon associate.”

But then memories of stealth parking return—how it feels to hide behind covered windows, your heartbeat quickening at a stranger’s approaching footsteps. I walk away. Encountering so many nomads around Brooklyn is eye-opening. It’s not the first time this project has hit close to home, though. Midway through reporting, I learned that Swankie’s younger son, a software engineer from Seattle, is someone I’d met years earlier at Burning Man. Later on, LaVonne and I realized that one of her dear friends is married to a journalist pal of mine in Berkeley. Both times I wondered: What are the odds of that? Maybe not so low. After all, millions of Americans are wrestling with the impossibility of a traditional middle-class existence. In homes across the country, kitchen tables are strewn with unpaid bills. Lights burn late into the night.

U.S. most unequal: “Inequality Update,” Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, November 2016, https://www.oecd.org/social/OECD2016-Income-Inequality-Update.pdf. 248. Comparing nations’ inequality: http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/SI.POV.GINI/rankings. 248. Octopus in a coconut: https://www.facebook.com/LADbible/videos/2969897786390725. ALSO BY JESSICA BRUDER Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man Photographs by Jessica Bruder. Photograph page 34 courtesy of Linda May. Copyright © 2017 by Jessica Bruder All rights reserved First Edition For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110. For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact W.


pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Early on, we decided that “you can be serious without a suit,” and enshrined that notion in the “10 Things We Know to Be True,” a list of ten beliefs that guide how we run our business.vi We even play with our brand, something that most companies hold sacrosanct, swapping our regular logo for Google Doodles on our website. The first one, on August 30, 1998, was a tongue-in-cheek out-of-office notice for Larry and Sergey: The Burning Man Google Doodle. © Google, Inc. They had gone to Burning Man, an annual festival of art, community, and self-reliance in the Nevada desert. The figure in the middle represented the Burning Man himself. On June 9, 2011, we commemorated Les Paul, one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, with an interactive Doodle. If you brushed the guitar strings with your mouse or finger, you made music. You could even hit the red button to record and share your song. By some estimates, visitors to our site spent over 5.3 million hours making music that day.39 The Les Paul Google Doodle. © Google, Inc.

Finally, thank you to the remarkable Googlers I get to work with each day and to the amazing, amazing People Operations team. I’ve told them before and I’ll keep saying it: It’s a privilege to be able to work alongside you, learn from you, create with you. There’s not a team like you on the planet, and it’s a gift to enjoy your company. Photo Credits Here: Google Images & Tessa Pompa Here: Google & Burning Man Here: The Google Doodle team Here: Google Maps Here: Google Maps Here: Google Maps Here: Google Maps (maps.google.com/oceans) Here: Google Maps Here: Google Maps Here: Change.gov Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Creative Lab Here: Photo courtesy of Brett Crosby Here: Inspired by Adam Wald Here: Google Here: Google Here: Paul Cowan Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Google Here: Courtesy of Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J.


Southwest USA Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Columbine, Donner party, El Camino Real, friendly fire, G4S, haute couture, haute cuisine, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), low earth orbit, off grid, place-making, supervolcano, trade route, transcontinental railway, walkable city, Works Progress Administration, X Prize

The main drag is C St; check out the visitor center (775-847-4386, 800-718-7587; www.virginiacity-nv.org; 86 S C St; 10am-4pm) inside the historic Crystal Bar. Nearby is the Mark Twain Bookstore (www.marktwainbooks.com; 111 S C St; hours vary). GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! For one week at the end of August, Burning Man (www.burningman.com; admission $210-320) explodes onto the sunbaked Black Rock Desert, and Nevada sprouts a third major population center – Black Rock City. An experiential art party (and alternative universe) that climaxes in the immolation of a towering stick figure, Burning Man is a whirlwind of outlandish theme camps, dust-caked bicycles, bizarre bartering, costume-enhanced nudity and a general relinquishment of inhibitions. The cheesy, old-fashioned Way It Was Museum (775-847-0766; 113 N C St; adult/child $3/free; 10am-6pm) offers historical background on mining the lode.

Kitsch & Offbeat There’s a lot of empty space in the Southwest, and this empty space draws the weird out of people. And we mean that as a compliment. Dinosaur sculptures. Museums of the bizarre. Festivals that spotlight cannibals and desert creativity. Perhaps the bumper sticker we saw in Jerome says it best: ‘We’re all here because we’re not all there.’ Route 66 This two-lane ode to Americana is dotted with wacky roadside attractions, especially in western Arizona (Click here). Burning Man A temporary city in the Nevada desert attracts 55,000 for a week of self-expression and blowing sand (Click here). Roswell, NM Did a UFO crash outside Roswell in 1947? Museums and a UFO festival explore whether the truth is out there (Click here). Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park Roadside dinosaurs at their kitschy, animatronic best (Click here). Wacky museums The death mask of John Dillinger (Click here), mummified bobcats and Doc Holliday’s card table (Click here)keep things kitschy in Arizona.

The Strip Over-the-top goes over-the-top at Vegas’ newest designer-label malls: Crystal’s at City Center and the Shoppes at Palazzo (Click here). Singing Wind Bookshop Destination indie bookstore has everything you’ll ever want to read about the Southwest, and a whole lot more (Click here). month by month Top of section Top Events Sundance Film Festival, January Cactus League, March Telluride Bluegrass Festival, June Burning Man, September Balloon Festival, October January Start the New Year swooshing down mountain slopes in New Mexico, Utah and yes, even Arizona. Artsy events like film festivals and poetry readings will turn your mind from the cold. Snowbirds keep warm in Phoenix and Yuma. COWBOY POETRY Wranglers and ropers gather in Elko, NV for a week of poetry readings and folklore performances. Started in 1985, this event has inspired cowboy poetry gatherings across the region.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

In the gentrifying Mission District, there is the famous (and notorious) hackerspace Noisebridge, together with the original location of its feminist rejoinder, Double Union. On the Oakland side of the border with Berkeley, a cavernous nightclub-turned-community-center called the Omni Commons is home to Sudo Room, a hackerspace with an anarchist bent, and Counter Culture Labs, where civilian scientists tinker with donated instruments and synthesize new forms of vegan cheese. And of course there is Burning Man, the Bay Area’s annual sojourn into the barren Nevada desert that manages to be both free and expensive, open and exclusive, all at once. Sign at a 2014 [freespace] storefront on Market Street in San Francisco. Hacker experiments turn into systems and workflows, then ways of life, then corporations. Git, for instance, is a program Linus Torvalds designed to manage the deluge of code contributions for Linux from all over the world; now it’s the basis of GitHub, a corporate social network and project manager that determines the pecking order of coders.

We welcomed developments like when Managed by Q, an investor-backed gig platform for office cleaning, opted to share 5 percent of the company with its workers.17 But when we called something a platform co-op, outright, we meant co-op, in the same way the International Cooperative Alliance and the global sector means it, seven principles and all—co-op the way Mondragon means it, the way the Rochdale Pioneers meant it. But rather than sharing ownership among neighbors or co-workers, these were sharing it over the internet. Early on, lots of people came into this effort craving an instant co-op Uber replica—the same world-disrupting unicorn, except a nice, cooperative version. But we had to realize that Uber came out of a particular kind of ecosystem in Silicon Valley, of accelerators and investors and Burning Man camps and tech schools. To do things cooperatively, we’d need to undertake the patient work of building another kind of ecosystem. Scholz began forming a Platform Cooperativism Consortium to wrangle the various organizations involved, while I took to mapping the network in an online directory, the Internet of Ownership.18 I noticed that the ownership designs appearing among the baby platform co-ops weren’t just copying what was out there already.

Some of these might be versions of the unaccredited tech boot camps that promise to produce coders in a matter of weeks, like the Enspiral Dev Academy that I visited in New Zealand. Some might look like the degree-granting institution that Leland Stanford envisioned for the university that became the corporate training-ground for Silicon Valley. But education also happens through culture. Cooperative tech will need festivals more inclusive than Burning Man, journalism less gaga for startup bros than Wired, and a geography that doesn’t concentrate the gains into unaffordable places like Mountain View and Palo Alto. A group of women founders has called for a new culture of “zebra” startups, as opposed to the unicorns that VCs covet. Zebras are real, they say, whereas unicorns are imaginary; zebras run in herds and care for each other, but unicorns always seem to be alone.


pages: 349 words: 102,827

The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers Is Building the Next Internet With Ethereum by Camila Russo

4chan, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, always be closing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asian financial crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hacker house, Internet of things, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, mobile money, new economy, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X

After dabbling in the extremes of the political spectrum, he finally just defined himself as a “hippie anarchist.” And that doesn’t jibe with an office job. He sold everything he owned and bought physical bars of silver and gold coins to store his savings so that he could rely as little as possible on banks. He backpacked around South America, Southeast Asia, and India for two years (but always made the trek back home for Burning Man), and financed himself thanks to a friend who was selling his precious metals and transferring the cash. One day his friend thought of using Bitcoin to make the transfers. Griff loved the idea of currency that wasn’t issued by any government and exchanged his real gold for digital gold. He went back to the United States to live with a girlfriend in West Hollywood, where he worked as a massage therapist—he was using the skills he picked up in Thailand—but he couldn’t stop thinking about Bitcoin.

At around that time, on September 5, the original attacker had withdrawn his booty from the “dark DAO” on the Ethereum Classic chain. It was 3.6 million ETC, or about $5.5 million at the time. Giving Ethereum the middle finger once more, they then donated 1,000 ETC to the Ethereum Classic development fund. As the DAO thief was running off with his ill-gotten bag of cryptocurrency, Griff Green was making his annual pilgrimage to Burning Man, the weeklong, crazy, happy, hippie gathering in the middle of the Nevada desert. Amid art installations and spontaneous musical performances, Griff, decked out in a red Santa hat and Santa-like jacket over a green T-shirt and shorts, took the stage to proselytize about decentralized autonomous organizations. He was still pitching his vision for DAOs as enthusiastically as ever. He told the audience of about twenty sunburnt and dusty festival goers sitting on the floor and on pink sofas that he had just participated in a project that “allows people with money and a desire to change the world to connect directly to the people with the plan and the time to implement that plan to change the world.

,” Twitter, July 20, 2016, https://twitter.com/avsa/status/755764078098915328. 6. didn’t last long: Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (@initc3org), “Heady days in Ithaca: Vitalik Buterin + IC3 Co-Directors celebrate Ethereum Hard Fork with champagne and forks,” Twitter, July 26, 2016, https://twitter.com/initc3org/status/758000698881613824/photo/1. 7. “and special interests”: “Keep the Original Censorship Resistant Ethereum Going,” Ethereum Classic website, 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20160802024753/https://ethereumclassic.github.io/. 8. “lost a single dime”: Ptelepathetique Movies, “The DAO Explained (with Griff Green) Burning Man 2016,” YouTube, uploaded October 7, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmVkpfivr8Q. 22: The Shanghai Attacks 1. praise from the community: Vitalik Buterin, “Geth 1.4.12: From Shanghai with Love, hotfix for recent DoS issues. Please update!” Reddit, 2016, https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/53fbi0/geth_1412_from_shanghai_with_love_hotfix_for/. 2. year to about 250: “New Dapps per Month,” State of the Dapps, https://www.stateofthedapps.com/stats/platform/ethereum#new. 23: The Burning Wick 1. misogynistic messages instead: giatrosgiatros, “Stop Bashing MEW,” Reddit, 2016, https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/5cfap3/stop_bashing_mew/d9w12vd/. 24: Accidentally Ether Rich 1. would go higher: Nathaniel Popper, “Bitcoin Price Soars, Fueled by Speculation and Global Currency Turmoil,” New York Times, January 3, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/business/dealbook/bitcoin-price-soars-fueled-by-speculation-and-global-currency-turmoil.html. 2. constant in 2017: US Securities and Exchange Commission, “Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.; Order Disapproving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendments No. 1 and 2, to BZX Rule 14.11(e)(4), Commodity-Based Trust Shares, to List and Trade Shares Issued by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust,” news release no. 34-80206, March 10, 2017, https://www.sec.gov/rules/sro/batsbzx/2017/34-80206.pdf. 3. the crypto Super Bowl: Stan Higgins, “Consensus 2017 Recap: The Biggest Main Stage Moments,” CoinDesk, May 27, 2017, updated May 29, 2017, https://www.coindesk.com/consensus-2017-recap-biggest-main-stage-moments. 4.


Lonely Planet Pocket San Francisco by Lonely Planet, Alison Bing

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, edge city, G4S, game design, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Mason jar, Silicon Valley, stealth mode startup, Stewart Brand, transcontinental railway, Zipcar

Drinking 15 Coffee to the People Cafe Offline map Google map The people, united, will never be decaffeinated at this utopian coffee shop with macramé on the walls, leftist bumper stickers covering tables, a social-change reading library, and 5% of your vegan muffin purchase pledged to community organizations – plus enough fair-trade coffee to revive the Sandinista movement. (1206 Masonic Ave; 6am-8pm Mon-Fri, 6am-9pm Sat & Sun; Haight St; ) 16 Noc Noc Bar Offline map Google map Who’s there? Dreadlocked graffiti artists, electronica DJs and Mad Max–inspired fashion designers, that’s who. This place looks like a post-apocalyptic cave dwelling designed by Tim Burton, and serves a sake cocktail that’ll keep you buzzed until the next Burning Man. Beer and sake drinks only; bring cash. (www.nocnocs.com; 557 Haight St; 5pm-2am; Haight St) 17 Toronado Pub Offline map Google map Glory hallelujah! Beer lovers, your prayers have been heard. Be humbled before the chalkboard altar, which lists 50-plus beers on tap and hundreds more bottled, including spectacular seasonal microbrews. Bring cash, come early and stay late, with a sausage from Rosamunde ( Click here ) next door to accompany ale made by Trappist monks.

(www.amoeba.com; 1855 Haight St; 10:30am-10pm Mon-Sat, 11am-9pm Sun; Haight St) 28 Piedmont Boutique Clothing, Accessories Offline map Google map Glam up or get out at this supplier of drag fabulousness: faux-fur hot pants, airplane earrings and a wall of feather boas. These getups aren’t cheap, honey, because they’re custom-designed in-house, built to last and in demand by cabaret singers, cross-dressers, Burning Man devotees, strippers and people who take Halloween very seriously – in other words, everyone in SF. (www.piedmontsf.com; 1452 Haight St; 11am-7pm; Haight St) 29 Loyal Army Clothing Clothing, Accessories Offline map Google map Food with high self-esteem is a recurring theme on this San Francisco designer’s cartoon-cute tees, totes and baby clothes: a bag of chips says, ‘All that and me!’ while California sushi rolls brag, ‘That’s how we roll!’


pages: 196 words: 54,339

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

1960s counterculture, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, disintermediation, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, game design, gig economy, Google bus, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, invisible hand, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, new economy, patient HM, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, theory of mind, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Vannevar Bush, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

The values that were lost or repressed during the last one: environmentalism, women’s rights, peer-to-peer economics, and localism. The over-rationalized, alienating approach to science is now joined by the newly retrieved approaches of holism and connectedness. We see peer-to-peer networks and crowdfunding replacing the top-down patronage of the Renaissance, retrieving a spirit of mutual aid and community. Even the styles and culture around this activity, from Burning Man and craft beer to piercing and herbal potions, retrieve the human-scaled, medieval sensibilities repressed by the Renaissance. A renaissance does not mean a return to the past. We don’t go back to the Middle Ages, bloodletting, feudalism, or sword fights in the street. Rather, we bring forward themes and values of previous ages and reinvent them in new forms. Retrieval makes progress less purely linear—not so much a ladder as a spiral staircase, continually repeating the same pattern, but ascending all the way.

The relationship between individuals and society has always been framed as a necessary compromise: we are told we must sacrifice our personal goals for the sake of the many. But what if it’s not a zero-sum, either/or? Humans, at our best, are capable of embracing seeming paradox. We push through the contradiction and find a dynamic sensibility on the other side. We can think of our newly retrieved collectivism as a way of being both figure and ground at the same time. This is the idealized artistic community envisioned by Burning Man; it’s the politics of consensus that informed Occupy; and it’s the distributed economy aspired to by the open source and blockchain movements—to name just a few. Each of these movements depends on our comfort with what we could call a fractal sensibility, the notion that each tiny part of a system echoes the shape and structure of the whole. Just as the veins within the leaf of a single fern reflect the branches, trees, and structure of an entire forest, the thoughts and intentions of a single individual reflect the consciousness of the whole human organism.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

., STUDY OF AN EFFICIENT SERVER SELECTION METHOD FOR WIDELY DISTRIBUTED WEB SERVER NETWORKS (2000), http://www.isoc.org/inet2000/cdproceedings/1g/1g_1.htm (“In order to disperse the load on a Web server, generally the server cluster is configured to distribute access requests, or mirror servers are distributed geographically or situated on different networks.”); see also Jonathan L. Zittrain, The Generative Internet, 119 HARV. L. REV. 1974, 1994 n.72 (2006) (mentioning companies that provide edge-caching services). 53. See, e.g., Lemley & Lessig, supra note 48; Tim Wu, Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination, 2 J. TELECOMM. & HIGH TECH. L. 141 (2003). 54. See Burning Man, http://www.burningman.com/ (last visited Dec. 2, 2007); see also Xeni Jardin, Burning Man Never Gets Old, WIRED NEWS, Aug. 25, 2003, http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2003/08/60159. 55. See FCC, WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU, HIGH-SPEED SERVICES FOR INTERNET ACCESS: STATUS AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2004, at 6 (2005), available at http://www.fcc.gov/ Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Reports/FCC-State_Link/IAD/hspd0705.pdf CHAPTER 3. CYBERSECURITY AND THE GENERATIVE DILEMMA 1.

It is one thing for the Internet to work the way it was designed when deployed among academics whose raison d’être was to build functioning networks. But the network managed an astonishing leap as it continued to work when expanded into the general populace, one which did not share the world-view that informed the engineers’ designs. Indeed, it not only continued to work, but experienced spectacular growth in the uses to which it was put. It is as if the bizarre social and economic configuration of the quasi-anarchist Burning Man festival turned out to function in the middle of a city.54 What works in a desert is harder to imagine in Manhattan: people crashing on each others’ couches, routinely sharing rides and food, and loosely bartering things of value. At the turn of the twenty-first century, then, the developed world has found itself with a wildly generative information technology environment. Today we enjoy an abundance of PCs hosting routine, if not always-on, broadband Internet connections.55 The generative PC has become intertwined with the generative Internet, and the brief era during which information appliances and appliancized networks flourished—Brother word processors and CompuServe—might appear to be an evolutionary dead end.

See Harvard University, Berkman Center Berners-Lee, Tim, 95 Bessen, James, 190 Bidder’s Edge, 224, 225 biometric readers, 228 BitTorrent, 90, 121, 287n113 BlackBerries, 57, 101, 118, 176 Black Hat Europe hacker convention (2006), 56–57 blogs: from automated robots, 207–8; captcha boxes of, 207–8; censorship of, 113; Libertarian model in, 131; power of, 88, 95; spread of, 148, 151; of teens, 231 Blossom, 195–96 Bomis search engine, 133, 289n19 bookmarks, 58 books.google.com (Web site), 224–25, 242 Bork, Robert, 202 Bostic, Keith, 38 Boston College, data loss by, 204 botnets, 45–47 Boyle, James, 113 Bricklin, Dan, 2 Brin, David, 209 broadband: PC accessibility via, 4; remote updates of, 53; tragedies of the commons in, 158 Brother, “smart” typewriters, 19, 20, 34 browsers, development of, 29 Burning Man festival, 34 business, “long tail” of, 214 “Bus Uncle” of Hong Kong, 211 cable television, 181–82, 183 Camp, Jean, 160 Cap’n Crunch whistle, 40, 42 captcha boxes, 207–8, 227 cars. See motor vehicles Carter, Tom, 22 Carterfone, 22, 25, 26, 81, 121, 182 CB simulator, 23 censorship, 105, 113–17; amplification of, 114–17; circumventing, 180; by commercial filtering programs, 114–15; and endpoint control, 125; Mill on, 98–99, 100; post hoc scrubs, 116; retroactive, 109 CERT/CC (Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center), 39, 147–48 chaos, in absence of law, 128 Chapman v.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

., https://www.google.com/about/our-story/, archived at https://perma.cc/63XD-AZCA; “A Building Blessed with Tech Success,” CNET, October 14, 2002, https://www.cnet.com/news/a-building-blessed-with-tech-success/, archived at https://perma.cc/H4W8-RSJE; Verne Kopytoff, “The Internet Kid is Growing Up Fast,” The San Francisco Chronicle, September 11, 2000, A24. 8. Ken Auletta, Googled: The End of the World as We Know It (New York: Penguin Press, 2010), 20. 9. Stephanie Schorow, “Web heads go ga-ga for Google, for good reason,” Boston Herald, December 4, 2001, 51. 10. Fred Turner, “Burning Man at Google: a cultural infrastructure for new media production,” New Media & Society 11, nos. 1 & 2 (2009): 73–94; “Ten Principles of Burning Man,” https://burningman.org/culture/philosophical-center/10-principles/, archived at https://perma.cc/KS28-9M36. 11. Auletta, Googled, 80. 12. John Battelle, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (New York: Portfolio, 2005). 13. Google, “Ten things we know to be true,” https://www.google.com/intl/en/about/philosophy.html, archived at https://perma.cc/G865-BALX. 14.

Magazine cover stories declared the end of the mania, grim-faced analysts switched their “buy” ratings to “sell,” and Wall Street attention shifted back to the more predictable rhythms of blue-chip stalwarts. The rocketing rise of Amazon felt like a fever dream, Apple had run out of product ideas, Microsoft had been ordered to split itself in two, and Google was a garage operation whose leaders seemed more interested in going to Burning Man than turning a profit.3 How quickly things change. Fast-forward to the present, and Silicon Valley is no longer merely a place in Northern California. It is a global network, a business sensibility, a cultural shorthand, a political hack. Hundreds of places around the world have rebranded themselves Silicon Deserts, Forests, Roundabouts, Steppes, and Wadis as they seek to capture some of the original’s magic.

The quirks and perks were typical Silicon Valley style, an update of HP’s back-patio horseshoes and Tandem’s swimming pool, but the primary-colored playfulness of the Google campus topped anything the tech world had seen before.9 Lest Googlers become distracted by all the increasingly luxe bells and whistles around the Plex, the founders continually emphasized the boundary-defying significance of what they were trying to do. Earlier self-actualizing Valley generations had Esalen; the post-2000 crowd had Burning Man. The annual festival of art and drugs and free expression in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert—a self-described “catalyst for creative culture in the world” that the co-founders attended faithfully each year—became metaphor and motif for all things Googley. An homage to the Man adorned the foyer of one of the buildings on Google’s campus. The company sponsored shuttle buses to take Googlers to Black Rock each year.


pages: 169 words: 56,555

Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush by Geoff Dyer

Burning Man, Joan Didion, Ronald Reagan

‘It takes about 80,000 rivets, 30,000 washers, 10,000 screws and bolts to help make an aircraft fly,’ read posters scattered round the boat, ‘and only one nut to destroy it.’ The line of silent people advanced towards us, a slow-moving force of anti-nature. We stood our ground and then turned and joined the hunt. A couple of guys held leather pouches. When people found something—a piece of metal, small bits of stone, stuff too small even to have a name—they held it up and dropped it in a pouch. I was reminded of the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert with its scrupulous adherence to the policy of Leave No Trace and a similar obsession with MOOP (Matter Out Of Place). It was a lovely day—it was a lovely day every day—but there was no time, at the end of the FOD walk, to just hang out, stroll around, enjoy the view. People dispersed quickly, went back to their sunless submarine life below deck. On the way back to my room I paused to listen to the Captain’s daily announcement.

And I’m glad I hadn’t because there couldn’t have been a better first time and place to hear this big-bellied hog-call of a song than here with these kids all lined up and kicking out their limbs as though the Gulf was just a big ole lake in a militarized patch of rural Texas. Everyone piled their trash in cardboard boxes the size of kids’ play pens. At the box for metals a young female rating collected the tabs in a box because they were made of a different, more valuable metal than the rest of the tin. It was like Burning Man again in the way that people always tried to pick up any bit of stay trash that was blowing about the place. Spotting a brief lull in the queue for steaks I snapped a couple of prongs off my fork, broke my knife in two and went up to Harvey with my paper plate. ‘Excuse me, Harvey, I wonder if you have any metal cutlery?’ ‘Why’s that, limey?’ ‘Because my steak was so tough that it actually bust my fork.


pages: 236 words: 66,081

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky

Andrew Keen, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, experimental economics, experimental subject, fundamental attribution error, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Kevin Kelly, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, social software, Steve Ballmer, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, ultimatum game

The mystery isn’t why older people started e-mailing each other; the mystery is how we could have convinced ourselves that e-mail use was mainly about technological novelty rather than social continuity. Given the right opportunities, humans will start behaving in new ways. We will also stop behaving in annoying old ways, even if we’ve always tolerated those annoying behaviors in the past. At the 2006 Burning Man, an annual cultural festival in the Nevada desert, some energetic techies built a phone booth that could make calls via satellite. They proudly invited their fellow Burners (as attendees are called) to make free phone calls, but few people were able to, because no one could remember any phone numbers, and no one had brought their mobile phones to look them up. (Mobile phones don’t work in that part of the desert.)

See generational difference; senior citizens; young people aggregation of cognitive surplus collaborative participation and coordination and creation and sharing and of free time value and alchemy ALS altruistic punishment amateurs connectedness and coordination and motivation and as producers professionals versus satisfaction and societal cynicism and website design and America Online Amtrak Anderson, Chris Anderson, Philip anime Apache webserver Ariely, Dan Association of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women audiences autonomy, as personal intrinsic motivation Avenir, Christopher Bacca, Pippa Backflip Ballmer, Steve basic groups BeExtra.org behavior cognitive surplus and deterrence and effects of new media tools and inconvenience and internalized standards and norms of opportunity and satisfaction and self-governance and social networks and technology and value and behavioral economics Behlendorf, Brian Benesch, Christine Benkler, Yochai Berstell, Gerald Bibles Bion, Wilfred Blair, Ian Bokardo weblog Bonaventure, Saint books Boyle, Robert Brides on Tour Bruni, Luigino bulletin boards Burning Man festival Cameron, Judy Care2.com carpooling Carr, Nicholas Cassiopeia Catholic church chaos cheating chemistry Christakis, Nicholas civic engagement civic sharing civic value Clarke, Julie CNN.com cognitive surplus aggregation of civic value and communal versus civic value and connectedness and experimentation and free time and generous, public, and social behaviors and harnessing with new media tools market experience and participation and PickupPal and programmers’ use of public and civic value and scale and voluntary contributions and collaborative participation Apache software and competition and development of ideas and Invisible College and passive participation versus social production and collective action combinability common resource management commons-based peer production communal sharing communal value communications revolutions community advertising and combinability and communities of practice creating culture and of shared interest commuting competency, as personal intrinsic motivation competition complacency connectedness amateurs and cognitive surplus and media and social media and as social motivation value and Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) consumption assumed preference for consumers’ media production making and sharing versus participation versus television and coordination amateurs versus professionals and social media and transportation and Copernicus copies costs of Bibles of books of coordination of copying discovery costs experimentation and of public address of sharing spite and of television viewing CouchSurfing.org creativity aggregation and amateurs versus professionals communally created projects fan fiction and governance of groups and reduced television consumption and satisfaction and social production and See also making and sharing Cross, Penny crowding-out effect culture behavioral norms and community and creation of diversity in groups creating public value and growth phase of social media and Invisible College and Napster and new media tools and norms of online study groups and open source software and participation and participatory culture sharing and social media and social production and Ultimatum Game and value and customer versus product research Dahl, Roald David Foster Foundation day-care centers Deci, Edward defaults Delicious.com democracies Derrick, Jaye deterrence de Tocqueville, Alexis Dictator Game digital folk art digital media coordination and copies and economics of as part of real world sharing and symmetry of digital sharecropping Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK) DonorsChoose.org eBay education Eisenstein, Elizabeth e-mail emotions Encyclopedia Britannica Etsy experimentation collaborative participation and falling costs and publication and value and external threats extrinsic motivation Facebook amateurs versus professionals and Association of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women audience-and-cluster spectrum and Causes application cost of social coordination and creation of online study groups and PickupPal and Responsible Citizens face-to-face contact fairness falsifiability fan fiction FanFiction.net Fanning, Shawn fansubbing networks Farrell, Michael feedback FictionAlley.org fines Firstgiving.com Flickr.com Foray, Dominique Fowler, James Fowles, Jib freedom freeloading free time aggregation of cognitive surplus and creating culture and Deci’s Soma experiment and industrialization and making and sharing and opportunities for combining as social asset television viewing and French Impressionist painters Frey, Bruno Friendster fundamental attribution error Gabriel, Shira garbage pick-up generational difference generosity See also sharing Geocities Gleyre, Charles global availability of information global organization Gneezy, Uri Goette, Lorenz governance collaborative participation and of groups power imbalances and value and Gowing, Nik Granovetter, Mark gratitude Groban, Josh Grobanites Grobanites for Africa Grobanites for Charity groups collaborative participation and creation of civic value and emotional components of external threats and governance of group/individual desires internal threats and postpartum support groups study groups Groznic, Larry Gui, Marco Gutenberg, Johannes Gutenberg economics Güth, Werner Haifa, Israel Hallisey, Kelly Hank, the Angry Drunken Dwarf happiness HarryPotterFanFiction.com health-care system Here Comes Everybody (Shirky) Hersman, Erik Hickey, Dave Hill, Dan hobbies Hugenberg, Kurt IBM ICanHasCheezburger.com Idealist.org incomplete contracts inconvenience indulgences industrialization internalized standards internal threats internet accessibility and aggregation and opportunities and post-Gutenberg economics and See also digital media; new media tools; social media intimacy intrinsic motivation amateurism and autonomy as competency as connectedness as creating culture and Deci’s Soma puzzle experiment and extrinsic motivation versus generosity as gratitude as launching new social media and membership as opportunity and payment and private action and public action and social media and Invisible College Ito, Mimi JavaRanch JoshGroban.com Josh Groban Foundation Kahle, Brewster Kahneman, Daniel Kamen, Dean Kamiya, Gary Karatas, Murat Keen, Andrew Kelly, Kevin Kenya Kenyan Pundit blog Kingston, Maxine Hong Kiva.org KOAM.com Kobia, David Lahore, Pakistan Leadbeater, Charlie Lee Myung-bak Lenin, Vladimir Linux operating system lolcats London, England looky-loos Lou Gehrig’s disease Luther, Martin mailing lists making and sharing broadcast media versus social media consumption versus free time and lolcat images and motivation for wider distribution of See also social production Mangalore, India markets communal sharing versus crash of 1987, emotional components of transactions motivation and selfishness and Ultimatum Game and value and Markus, Megan McEwan, Melissa McHenry, Robert McWilliams, Andrew media balanced versus unbalanced changes in landscape of connectedness and cultural diversity and definitions of fluidity of fusion of public/personal media interactivity versus consumption as means of sharing South Korean beef protests and stability of See also digital media; new media tools; professional media makers; social media; television medical information Meetup.com membership amateur design and PatientsLikeMe.com and as social motivation Ultimatum Game and value and Merton, Georgia Microsoft Minow, Newton Mirzoeff, Nicholas misogyny mobile phones Amtrak’s quiet cars and cameras and global interconnection and memorizing phone numbers and Twitter Ushahidi and morality Moro, Silvia motivations amateurs and authority and creating public value and crowding-out effect fan fiction and focus groups and surveys and making and sharing and market alterations of personal motivations social media and for using free time using new social tools and working for free and See also extrinsic motivation; intrinsic motivation; social motivation music, sharing mutual obligation Napster Nasiff, Henry Joseph Jr.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Albert Einstein, American ideology, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Capitalism did not conquer just because it raised living standards and gave us products like automobiles, refrigerators, and color television. Its winning formula was that it made space for eccentric individuals with unconventional ideas. Other economic systems have failed because they were intolerant to dissent and treated nonconformity as a vice. The deserts of the Siberian tundra, for instance, never had a Burning Man festival like the annual gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, which draws more than 60,000 techies, entrepreneurs, and others for a celebration of creativity, ingenuity, and self-expression. Without such freedom, investment, innovation, and experimentation cannot thrive. Capitalism, argues the erudite economist Deirdre McCloskey in a series of books on the bourgeois society, lived off individual dignity and virtuous behavior, but also helped their profusion.43 Capitalism’s political history certainly has dark moments of war and oppression.

Chance character (i), (ii) Belgium profit margins (i) taxi services and regulation (i) Bell, Alexander Graham (i), (ii) Bell Labs (AT&T) (i) Bellamy, Edward (i) Bellman, Richard (i) benchmarking (i), (ii) benefits, and incomes (i) Benz, Karl (i) Bergman, Ingmar (i) Berkshire Hathaway (i) Berle, Adolf (i) Berra, Yogi (i) Bezos, Jeff (i) Bhide, Amar (i) big firms big firm market dominance (i) and investment allocation for innovation (i) and private standards (i) relative importance of in European countries (i) reputation of (i) see also firm boundaries; firms; multinational (global) companies “big swinging dicks” (i) big-data business models (i) biofuels and EU regulation (i) see also energy sector biotechnological sector, and EU regulation (i) Bismarck, Otto von (i) bitcoin (i) BlackBerry (i) blackboard economics (i) Blackrock (i) blockchain (mutual distributed ledger) technology (i) Blue Ribbon Commission (US) (i) The Blues Brothers (movie) (i) boom and bust cycles (i), (ii), (iii) boomer (or baby boomer) generation (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Boston Consulting Group index of complicatedness (i) on performance imperatives (i) on working time of managing teams (i) branding (i), (ii) Brazil and BRIC concept (i), (ii) taxi services and regulation (i) BRIC as a Bloody Ridiculous Investment Concept (i) countries (Brazil, India, Russia, and China) (i), (ii) Bridgewater (i) Brin, Sergey (i) Britain see United Kingdom (UK) British managerialism (i) Brockovich, Erin (i) Brookings (i) Brown, Gordon (i) Brynjolfsson, Erik, The Second Machine Age (Brynjolfsson and McAfee) (i), (ii) budget process, and compliance officers (i) Buffett, Warren (i), (ii) bureaucracy and capitalism (i), (ii) and competition (i) and compliance officers (i) and globalization (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and IBM (i) and index of complicatedness (Boston Consulting Group) (i) and Indian economy (i) and managerialism (i), (ii), (iii) and organizational diversification (i) and principal–agent debate (i) and socialism (i) see also bureaucracy brake; bureaucrats; corporate managerialism; managerialism bureaucracy brake, and regulation (Germany) (i) bureaucrats vs. entrepreneurs (i), (ii) see also bureaucracy; bureaucracy brake Burning Man festival (Nevada) (i) Burns, Scott, The Clash of Generations (Kotlikoff and Burns) (i) business-building skills, vs. financial skills (i) business cycles, and productivity (i) business development, and strategy (i), (ii) business information technology (IT) services (i) business investment and cash hoarding (i) and corporate net lending (i), (ii) declining trend (i) explanations for decline (i) and financial regulation (i), (ii) and gray capitalism (i) investment allocation for innovation and big firms (i) low investment growth vs. fast corporate borrowing growth (i) measuring issues (i) and mergers and acquisitions (i) and policy uncertainty (i), (ii) and shareholders (i), (ii), (iii) UK business investment (i), (ii) US business investment (i), (ii) see also asset managers; investment; R&D business management (i), (ii) see also corporate managerialism business productivity growth (i) Business Week, on Peter Drucker (i) CAC 40 index (France) (i) cadmium (i), (ii) Canada diffusion of innovations (i) GDP figures (i) North American Free Trade Agreement (i) cancer research, and innovation (i), (ii) capital accumulation, and capitalism (i) capital expenditure (capex) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv)n39 capital markets (external) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) capitalism and agency (i) and asset bubbles (i) and bureaucracy (i), (ii) and capital accumulation (i) “complex by design” capitalism (i) criticism of Western capitalism (i) crony capitalism (i) death of capitalism utopia and socialism (i) decline of Western capitalism (i) and digital age (i) and dissent (i), (ii), (iii) and eccentricity (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) and economic dynamism (i), (ii), (iii) and Enlightenment (i), (ii) and entrepreneurship (i), (ii) financial capitalism (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) free-market capitalism (i) and individual freedom (i), (ii), (iii) and innovation (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) joint-stock capitalism (i), (ii) and labor vs. work (i) vs. the market (i), (ii) Marxist monopolistic theory of (i) “middle-aged” capitalism (i), (ii), (iii) “money manager capitalism” (Hyman Minsky) (i) and organization (i) and planning machines (i) rentier capitalism (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) and Swedish hybrid economy (i) and technology (i) see also capitalist ownership; corporate managerialism; entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship; the future (and how to prevent it); globalization; gray capitalism; regulation; rich people capitalist ownership and corporate globalism (i) and diversification (i) and gray capitalism: case of Harley-Davidson Motor Company (HD) (i); decline/obituary of capitalist ownership (i); dispersed ownership (i); gray ownership (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi); severing gray capital–corporate ownership link (i) ownership structure reforms (i) and pensions (i) and principal–agent problem (i) and uncertainty (i) car industry car sales and regulation (i) driverless vehicles (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) German car production and value chains (i) lean production (i) US environment-related regulations (i) Carew, Diana G.

(i) Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, “Soviet–Harvard illusion” (The Black Swan) (i) tax havens (i) taxes and debt vs. equity financing (i), (ii) and labor (i) and policy uncertainty (i) in Sweden (i) taxi services and driverless cars debate (i) and regulation (i) tech entrepreneurs (i) tech incubators (i) technofeudal society (i) technological platforms, and regulation (i) technological singularity (i) technological unemployment (i), (ii) technology and capitalism (i) dystopian visions of (i) and economy (i), (ii), (iii) and employment (i) and French dirigisme (i) and innovation success (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and “scientific civilization” thinking (i) technology angst vs. technology frustration (i) technology blitz theory (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and vertical specialization (i) see also artificial intelligence; automation; diffusion; innovation; New Machine Age thesis; robotics/robots technostructure (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) telecommunications and deregulation (i) and globalization (i) and investment (i) see also Ericsson telephone (i), (ii) see also mobile phones/technology; smartphones Teles, Steven (i) Teller, Astro (i) 1066 and All That (Sellar and Yeatman) (i) Tesla (i) Texas, Special/Permanent School Fund (i) TFP (total factor productivity) growth (i), (ii), (iii) Thiel, Peter (i), (ii) Thomson, George (i) Tiberius (i) Time magazine, “The Committee to Save the World” (i) TNT, attempted acquisition of by UPS (i) total factor productivity (TFP) growth (i), (ii), (iii) Toynbee, Arnold (i), (ii) trade interfirm vs. intrafirm trade (i) see also global trade; mercantilism; protectionism transaction costs (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) transmission costs (i), (ii), (iii) transparency Linaburg Maduell Transparency Index (LMTI) (i) and regulation (i), (ii) and sovereign wealth funds (i), (ii) Transparency International (i) “triple helix” models (i) “triple revolution” (i) trucking industry (US), shortages of drivers (i) Trump, Donald (i), (ii) Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (i), (ii) Tullock, Gordon (i) Twitter, and Nobel Peace Prize (i) Uber (i), (ii), (iii) unbundling of production first (i) second (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) uncertainty and compliance officers (i), (ii) and entrepreneurship (i) and financial regulation (i) and globalist worldview (i), (ii) market uncertainty (i), (ii) policy uncertainty (i), (ii) and probabilistic approach (i), (ii) and risk (i), (ii) and strategy (i) see also predictability; regulatory complexity/uncertainty; volatility unemployment and decoupling (productivity/wages) thesis (i) and Great Recession (i) and New Machine Age hype (i) and productivity (i) technological unemployment (i), (ii) see also labor unicorns (firms) (i) United Kingdom (UK) “boom and bust” and Gordon Brown (i) business investment: declining trend (i); as a proportion of GDP (i) corporate net lending (i), (ii) corporate profit margins (1948–2014) (i), (ii) dependence on larger enterprises (i) EU Leave campaign and older generation (i) exports to China (i) financialization of real economy (i) and globalization (i), (ii), (iii) income inequality and generations (i) “Independent Review of UK Economic Statistics” (Charles Bean) (i) London Stock Exchange and sovereign wealth funds (i) managerialism (i) Middle Ages economy (i) pension deficits (i) pensioners vs. working-age households incomes (i) productivity and incomes (i) productivity puzzle (i) R&D spending (i) retirement savings (i) United States (US) academia and speech codes (i) American Financial Stability Oversight Council (i) banks: and compliance officers (i); and financial regulations (i) Blue Ribbon Commission (i) Burning Man festival (Nevada) (i) capital expenditure (capex) (i)n39 car industry: driverless cars (i); and environment-related regulations (i); and lean production (i) Code of Federal Regulations (i) Consumer Protection Act (i) corporate cash hoarding (i) corporate net lending (i), (ii) corporate profit margins (1948–2014) (i), (ii) corporate renewal levels (i) corporate retained earnings figures (i) corporations’ decline (1980s) (i) debt vs. equity (i) diffusion of innovations (i) dockers and containerization (i) Dodd–Frank Act (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) (i) Federal Register (i) Federal Reserve (i) financial governance (1990s) (i) financialization of real economy (i) firm entry-and-exit rates (i), (ii), (iii) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (i), (ii), (iii) GDP figures (i), (ii) and globalization (i), (ii), (iii) high-tech sector (i) Inc 500 ranking (i) incomes: and benefits (i); inequality and generations (i); inequality and productivity (i); and productivity (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) information and communications technology: hardware investment as share of GDP (i), (ii); intensity and productivity (i); sector (i), (ii) investment: business investment declining trend (i), (ii); corporate borrowing and low investment levels (i); corporate investment and shareholders (i), (ii); institutional investors (i); private investment (i) labor: ATMs and teller jobs (i); farming occupation statistics (i); job creation and destruction trends (i), (ii), (iii); labor market flexibility, low rates of (i); occupational licenses (i), (ii); staff turnover rates (i); truck drivers, shortages of (i) market concentration (1997–2012) (i), (ii) Memphis International Airport and FedEx hub (i) mergers and acquisitions (i) New York Stock Exchange (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v) North American Free Trade Agreement (i) Organization Man (i) pessimism and capitalist decline (i) policy uncertainty (i), (ii) productivity: downward trend (i), (ii), (iii); via foreign operations (i)n46; and ICT intensity (i); and income inequality (i); and incomes (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v); total factor productivity (TFP) growth (i), (ii)n11; and un/employment (i) profit margins (i) public debt (i) public pensions (i) R&D spending (i), (ii), (iii) regulation/deregulation: air cargo services deregulation (i); car industry and environment-related regulations (i); Code of Federal Regulations (i); compliance officers and Dodd–Frank rules (i); drone aircraft rules (i); green building codes (i); index of regulatory freedom (i), (ii); index of regulatory trade barriers (i), (ii); medical devices (i); taxi services (i), (ii) retirement savings (i) robots, fear of (i) Silicon Valley (i), (ii), (iii) start-ups and entrepreneurship (i), (ii) stock market crash and modern portfolio theory (i) subprime mortgage crisis (i) subsidies to firms (i) Texas Special/Permanent School Fund (i) trade: and big business (i); index of regulatory trade barriers (i), (ii) Wall Street (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) universities, and erosion of dissent (i) University of Chicago (i) University of Oxford, Future of Humanity Institute (i) UPS, attempted acquisition of TNT (i) urbanization, and diffusion of innovations (i) value vs. numbers (i) value innovation (i) value chains fragmentation of (i), (ii), (iii) and German corporations (i) globalization of (i), (ii) and market concentration (i) marketization of (i) and outsourcing of supply chains (i) “slicing up” of (i), (ii) and specialization (i), (ii) see also supply chains Van Reenen, John (i) Vanguard Group (i) Vernon, John A.


pages: 391 words: 123,597

Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, the High Line, the scientific method, WikiLeaks, young professional

I was supposed to be back in Mexico City in time for the meeting on Tuesday morning with Alexander, but it was a long weekend, with the Monday a federal holiday in the States, and no passport office would be open until Tuesday morning. I wouldn’t be able to get the replacement travel documents in time to fly back to Mexico City for the meeting. It didn’t help that my vacation had been at Burning Man. I had never been to anything like it. Begun as a summer solstice event in San Francisco in the late ’80s, Burning Man had since grown into a global phenomenon in which tens of thousands of people came together to form a massive, idealistic, money-free impromptu “city” of tents and campers. The celebration went on for a week and culminated in the torching of a forty-foot-tall effigy made of wood. The event was a revelation to me, wild revelry and relaxation, like nothing I had ever experienced before and certainly nothing like my job at Cambridge Analytica.

“Black Rock City” was full of people who survived in the desert by giving (their water, time, skills) to others—not taking or expecting anything in return—the opposite of the data business I was caught up in. The experience of participating in a society that reimagined an ethical way for people to interact with each other was so transformational that many “Burners” tend to call it home. Alexander would never understand. I was shaking when I called to tell him what had happened. He was still in London, and he fumed. The fact that I had been at Burning Man, something he saw as “frivolous,” and that I had been so thoughtless as to misplace my passport, made him even angrier. I had been irresponsible, he said, childish and selfish. When we finally met up on Wednesday morning in the Polanco office, he had already met, unsuccessfully, with Peña Nieto and Slim—the day before, and this had further enraged him. Now he took me into a tiny unfurnished room out of hearing range of the rest of the Mexico team and told me he wanted to fire me.


pages: 273 words: 76,786

Explore Everything by Bradley Garrett

airport security, Burning Man, call centre, creative destruction, deindustrialization, double helix, dumpster diving, failed state, Google Earth, Hacker Ethic, Jane Jacobs, Julian Assange, late capitalism, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, shareholder value, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight, WikiLeaks

These groups were (and are) known as the Drainiacs and the Cave Clan in Australia; Diggers of the Underground Planet in Russia; Ars Subterranea, Jinx Crew and LTV Squad in New York City; the Cacophony Society in San Francisco; the Action Squad in Minneapolis; Angels of the Underground in Canada; the Berlin Underground Association in Germany; and various cataphile groups in Paris, including UX.33 Interestingly, the Cacophony Society was a spin-off of the San Francisco Suicide Club, founded in 1977. Founding member John Law later helped established the Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, which now attracts ten of thousands of visitors each year.34 The first recorded internet-facilitated large-scale urban explorer meet-up was attended by about thirty individuals in Brooklyn in 2002. It was organised by the LTV Squad, a graffiti group turned urban-explorer crew, and was followed by an even larger meet-up in Toronto in June 2004, where sixty-five people gathered to go exploring together.

Brick, Subterranean Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2009). 26 John Hollingshead, Underground London (London: Kessinger, 2009 [1862]); Charles Dickens, All the Year Round (London, 1861). 27 Whipplesnaith, The Night Climbers of Cambridge (Cambridge: Oleander Press, 2007 [1937]). 28 See Tom Whipple, ‘Confessions of a Night Climber’, Times, 2 November 2007. 29 Tom Wells, ‘Deck the Halls with, er, 150ft-high Santa Hats’, Sun, 4 December 2009. 30 Patrick Sawer, ‘Cambridge University’s 1958 Car on Roof Prank Secrets Revealed’, Telegraph, 28 June 2008. 31 Jon Lackman, ‘The New French Hacker-Artist Underground’, Wired, 20 January 2012. 32 Steven Jones, The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert Is Shaping the New American Counterculture (San Francisco: CCC Publishing, 2011). 33 Geoff Manaugh, The Bldg Blog Book (San Francisco: Chronicle, 2009). 34 D. Wershler-Henry, ‘Urban Life: Usufruct in the City’, Globe and Mail (2005), quoted in Steven High and David W. Lewis, Corporate Wasteland (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), p. 42. 35 Ashley Fantz and Atika Shubert, ‘Wikileaks “Anonymous” Hackers: “We Will Fight” ’, CNN, 10 December 2010. 36 Lucy Osborne, ‘Urban Explorers Enter London’s Landmarks’, Evening Standard, 10 November 2011. 37 David Pinder, ‘Old Paris No More: Geographies of Spectacle and Anti-Spectacle’, Antipode 32: 4 (October 2000). 38 Quentin Stevens, The Ludic City: Exploring the Potetial of Public Spaces (London: Routledge, 2007). 39 Michael Scott, ‘Hacking the Material World’, Wired 1: 3 (July/August 1993). 40 E.


pages: 302 words: 74,350

I Hate the Internet: A Novel by Jarett Kobek

Anne Wojcicki, Burning Man, disruptive innovation, East Village, Edward Snowden, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, liberation theology, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, packet switching, PageRank, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Whole Earth Catalog

Google X was Google lying about the company’s actual function, using the methods of advertising to obfuscate its revenues derived from advertising. Google X was the pointless indulgence of one of the world’s richest men. It was Sergey Brin’s hobby. It was his awkward way of picking up chicks. It was the absolute heights of decadence. In any practical sense, Sergey Brin had left Google. He was a middle-aged party boy with weird mistresses and a habit of going to Burning Man every August. Burning Man was a big party in the desert where Sergey Brin would pretend like money didn’t matter and that he wasn’t a capitalist. He would surround himself with younger naked people who were high on drugs and dressed like low-rent circus performers and who were simply thrilled to be around someone famous. Eric Schmidt, who Brin and Page made CEO of Google long enough to shepherd the company through its initial public offering, was like Zeus, the king of the gods.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator

He was always game for a hot tub hang, enjoyed theme parties that obliged one to rent a tux. As he grew further from his Canadian roots and became a Californian, Camp grew his hair past his shoulders, affecting a kind of neo-hippie vibe. He looked as if he’d be just as comfortable hanging out with a surfboard in Long Beach as he would hunched in front of a MacBook Pro at the Creamery. Camp later became an annual regular at Burning Man, the weeks long off-grid bacchanal in the Nevada desert attended by thousands of techies and hippies from all across the West Coast. StumbleUpon was his claim to fame, a kind of early social network conceived back when he was in college in Calgary, long before the rise of Facebook. The site was perfect for the days of the desktop web; StumbleUpon flicked users between different websites at random, promising to offer surprising and delightful suggestions for users to “stumble upon” and enjoy.

Travis Kalanick frequently compared building a startup to parenting a young child. A good founder lives and breathes the startup. As Mark Zuckerberg said, a founder moves fast and breaks things. The founder embraces the spirit of “the hacker way”; he is captain of the pirate ship. A good founder will work harder tomorrow than he did today. A good founder will sleep when he is dead (or after returning from a week at Burning Man). Like Kalanick at Red Swoosh, a good founder shepherds his company through difficult funding environments, but chooses his benefactors wisely. A good founder takes credit for his company’s successes, and faces the blame for its shortcomings. A good idea for a company, even if it lands at the right time and in the right place, is still only as good as the founder who runs it. Most important of all, there can only ever be one real founder.

See also specific countries AT&T, 59, 92 Atwood, Renee, 135 August Capital, 31 Austin, Texas, 115, 116 Axis Theater, 10–15 Babbage, 39 Baker, Ed, 137, 174, 254 Baldwin, Alec, 90 Bangalore, India, 148 Bannon, Steve, 207 Bar Crudo, 78 Barrett, David, 49 BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), 41 Bass, Robert, 277 the Battery, 4 BD, Akshay, 148 Beijing, China, 142 Benchmark Capital, 14, 40, 65, 70, 78–80, 282–86, 311–17, 320, 323, 324–26, 335 attempts to find Kalanick’s replacement and, 314–16 Grand Bargain and, 326–27 plan to force Kalanick’s hand, 289–91, 292–306 Benioff, Marc, 201 Benton, Dan, 67 Best Buy, 39 Beyoncé, 7–8 Bezos, Jeff, 11, 13, 35, 54, 69, 140, 231n, 332 Biewald, Lukas, 49 Big Tech, 201 Bigwords.com, 26 BlackBerry, 36 “Black Gold,” 139 Bloomberg Businessweek, 121 Bloomberg News, 237, 254, 256 Blue Bottle, 98 Bob, 241, 242, 243, 244, 246 Bonderman, David, 101, 202, 255, 270, 272, 274, 276–84, 296, 321 Booker, Cory, 179 Brazil, 174 Brin, Sergey, 34, 54, 76–77, 96, 100, 121, 140, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180 Brown, Mike, 150n Buffett, Warren, 76–77 Burkle, Ron, 23 Burner, 146 Burning Man, 42 Burns, Ursula, 327 Bush, George W., 229 Bush, Sophia, 193 Bush administration, 33 BuzzFeed, 127n, 128–31, 129n, 156 BuzzFeed News, 128–31 Cabulous, 78 Caldbeck, Justin, 285 California, 168. See also specific cities transit authorities in, 254–55 Callinicos, Brent, 122–24, 278 Cambridge, England, 228 Cambridge Analytica, 200 Camp, Garrett, 56–58, 60, 64, 101, 270–72, 287–88, 301, 313, 324, 341 allegiance to Kalanick, 97, 270–72, 287–88, 301 fixation on branding, 58 founder’s challenge and, 53–54 on Uber’s board, 79–80 vision for Uber, 40, 41–45, 48–50, 85 Campbell, Harry, 248 Carlisle, Doug, 293 Carnegie Mellon University, 184 Carolan, Shawn, 192, 288, 293, 301–2 Carr, Paul, 119, 129 Carter, Graydon, 126, 163n Carter, Shawn, 54, 194.


pages: 264 words: 79,589

Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground by Kevin Poulsen

Apple II, Brian Krebs, Burning Man, corporate governance, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, index card, Kickstarter, McMansion, Mercator projection, offshore financial centre, packet switching, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, traffic fines, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zipcar

Two months later, Kimi was talking to him on the phone from prison when she heard a pop! and the smell of acrid smoke filled her nostrils. The motherboard on Max’s server had burst into flames. Max tried to calm her—all she had to do was replace the motherboard. He could do it in his sleep. Max talked her through the process, but Kimi was realizing she wasn’t cut out for life as the prison wife of a hacker. In August, she went to the Burning Man festival in Nevada to forget her troubles. When she got home, she broke some bad news to Max over the phone. She’d met someone else. It was another betrayal. Max took the news with eerie calm, interrogating her about every detail: What drugs was she on when she cheated on him? What sexual positions did they use? He wanted to hear her ask for his forgiveness—he’d have given it to her in a heartbeat.

After five months, Norminton and his schemes were sent home to sunny Orange County, California, while Max remained at Taft with another year left on his sentence—long, tedious days of bad food, standing for count, and the sound of chains and keys. In August 2002, Max was granted early release to a sixty-one-bed halfway house in Oakland, where he shared a room with five other ex-cons. Kimi met with Max to present him with divorce papers. She was getting serious with the guy she’d met at Burning Man; it was time, she said, for Max to let her go. Max refused to sign. Max’s relative freedom at the halfway house was tenuous—the facility demanded that he obtain gainful employment or go back to prison, and telecommuting wasn’t allowed. He reached out to his old contacts in Silicon Valley and found his employability had been shattered by his high-profile hacking conviction and over a year in prison.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

You need strong leadership to manage the community, because although there are no employees, people still have responsibilities and need to be held accountable for their performances. Typically, there are three steps to building a community around an ExO: Use the MTP to attract and engage early members. The MTP serves as a gravitational force that attracts constituents into its orbit. Tesla, Burning Man, TED, Singularity University and GitHub are good examples of communities whose members share common passions. Nurture the community. Anderson spends three hours every morning attending to the DIY Drones community. Elements of nurturing include listening and giving back. DIY Drones blueprints were open sourced and available from day one, which was fine, but it turned out that the members really wanted DIY Drone Kits.

Airbnb hosts and users fill out evaluation forms; taxi disrupters Uber, Lyft and Sidecar encourage clients and drivers to rate one another; and the news platform Reddit invites users to vote on stories. In 2013, Reddit, which has just fifty-one employees, most of whom manage the platform, saw 731 million unique visitors cast 6.7 billion votes on 41 million stories. Talk about a platform…(More on this later.) Tony Hsieh, CEO of Las Vegas-based Zappos, was inspired by the Burning Man community to combine both physical and trait-based communities within his Las Vegas Downtown Project. The project combines work and play in an urban landscape with homes, infrastructure, hacker spaces, shops, cafe/theater and art. In addition to the goal of helping to transform the downtown area into the most community-focused large city in the world, Hsieh aims to create the smartest place on the planet by maximizing the chances of serendipitous learning between Zappos insiders and outsiders.


San Francisco by Lonely Planet

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, G4S, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, Joan Didion, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mason jar, New Urbanism, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Britex Fabrics FabricS Offline map Google map (www.britexfabrics.com; 146 Geary St; Mon-Sat; & Powell St; Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde) No reality design show can compare with the four floors of nonstop fashion drama at Britex. First floor: designers bicker over who gets first dibs on caution-orange chiffon. Second floor: glam rockers dig through a velvet goldmine. Third floor: Hollywood stylists squeal ‘To die for!’ over ’60s Lucite buttons. Top floor: fake fur flies and remnants roll as costumers prepare for Burning Man, Halloween and your average SF weekend. Le Sanctuaire Food, Drink Offline map Google map (www.le-sanctuaire.com; 5th fl, 315 Sutter St; 10:30am-4:30pm Mon-Fri, by appointment; Sutter & Stockton Sts; Powell-Mason & Powell-Hyde) Mad scientists, thrill seekers and professional chefs get buzzed, speakeasy-style (read: appointment only), at this culinary curiosity shop. Here you’ll find anchovy juice, spherifiers to turn fruit into caviar, salt for curing meats and, of course, that hallmark of molecular gastronomy: foaming agents.

Quality doesn’t come cheap – expect to pay $10 to $16 a glass – but you can get bargain French takeaway from the Spencer on the Go food truck often parked out front and enjoy it with your wine. Shine Bar, Club Offline map Google map (www.shinesf.com; 1337 Mission St; admission free-$10; 9pm-2am Wed-Sat; Van Ness) Underground house parties erupt at tiny, offbeat Shine, decorated with disco balls and gold fabric wall panels that look like someone’s Burning Man craft project. The DJs are hype for such a small bar, and when the beats heat up, barstools get shoved aside and the whole place becomes a dance floor; check the online calendar. Dig the photo booth, and the tricky bathroom mirror – people primping in the mirror have no idea anyone using the facilities can watch them rub lipstick off their teeth with a finger. 111 Minna Bar, Club Offline map Google map (www.111minnagallery.com; 111 Minna St; admission free-$15; & Montgomery St) A superhero here to rescue the staid Downtown scene, 111 Minna is a street-wise art gallery by day (open from noon to 5pm Wednesday to Saturday) that transforms into a happening lounge space and club by night (evening hours vary).

Fire Engine Tours ( 415-333-7077; www.fireenginetours.com; Beach St at the Cannery; adult/child $50/30; tours depart 1pm) Hot stuff: a 75-minute ride in an open-air vintage fire engine over Golden Gate Bridge. Dress warmly in case of fog. Green Tortoise ( 800-867-8647, 415-956-7500; www.greentortoise.com) Quasi- organized, slow travel on customized, biodiesel-fueled buses with built-in berths that run from San Francisco to points across California and beyond, including Bay Area day tours to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz; three-day trips to Yosemite or Death Valley; three-to-five-day jaunts to Burning Man and other festivals; and three-to-seven-day coastal trips south to Monterey, Big Sur and LA. Precita Eyes Mission Mural Tours ( 415-285-2287; www.precitaeyes.org; adult $12-15, child $5; 11am, noon, 1:30pm Sat & Sun) Muralists lead two-hour tours on foot or bike covering 60 to 70 murals in a six to 10 block radius of mural-bedecked Balmy Alley; proceeds fund mural upkeep. Public Library City Guides (www.sfcityguides.org; tours free) Volunteer local historians lead tours by neighborhood and theme: Art Deco Marina, Gold Rush Downtown, Pacific Heights Victorians, North Beach by Night and more.


pages: 547 words: 148,732

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Mother of all demos, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, scientific worldview, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Whole Earth Catalog

On one side was a quartet of tall, slender, curving Psilocybe cubensis, one of the more common species of magic mushroom. On the back was a quotation from William Blake that, it occurred to me later, neatly aligned the way of the scientist with that of the mystic: “The true method of knowledge is experiment.” It seems that the previous summer Roland Griffiths had gone for the first time to Burning Man (had I heard of it?), and when he learned that no money is exchanged in the temporary city, only gifts, he had the mushroom medallions minted so he would have something suitable to give away or trade. Now, he gives the coins to volunteers in the research program as a parting gift. Griffiths had surprised me once again. Or twice. First, that the scientist had attended the arts-and-psychedelics festival in the Nevada desert.

Brand thinks LSD’s value to his community was as an instigator of creativity, one that first helped bring the power of networked computers to people (via SRI computer visionaries such as Doug Engelbart and the early hacker community), but then was superseded by the computers themselves. (“At a certain point, the drugs weren’t getting any better,” Brand said, “but the computers were.”) After his experience at IFAS, Brand got involved with Ken Kesey and his notorious Acid Tests, which he describes as “a participatory art form that led directly to Burning Man,” the annual gathering of the arts, technology, and psychedelic communities in the Nevada desert. In his view, LSD was a critical ingredient in nourishing the spirit of collaborative experiment, and tolerance of failure, that distinguish the computer culture of the West Coast. “It gave us permission to try weird shit in cahoots with other people.” On occasion, the LSD produced genuine insight, as it did for Brand himself one chilly afternoon in the spring of 1966.

See also neuroscience of psychedelics Brand, Stewart, 182, 183–85, 359 Brave New World (Huxley), 160 breathwork, 242–44, 245, 245n, 306 Brewer, Judson and expansion/contraction of consciousness, 322, 325 and meditation experiment, 392–95 and quieting of default mode network, 305, 306, 322, 390–91 Bronfman, Jeffrey, 49 Bucke, R. M., 289 Buckley, Lord, 157 Buddhism, 16, 288, 305, 392 Burgess, Tammy, 346 Burning Man, 83, 184 Bush, George, 27, 181 Caen, Herb, 204 California Institute of Integral Studies, 232–33, 402 Canada, 147–50, 171, 198 cancer patient research, 331–58 and authenticity questions, 347–49 and birth experiences, 338–39, 344 common themes in, 344–46 criticisms of research, 350n and death rehearsal process, 346 and fear of death, 8, 79, 336–37, 346–47 and fear/anxiety during treatments, 341, 345 and flight instructions, 338, 341 follow-up study, 351–52 Griffiths’s landmark paper on, 10–11, 29–30 meaning in, 352–55 and mystical experiences, 79, 349, 350–51 at New York University, 332–33, 337–38 origins of, 338–39 and Patrick Mettes, 332, 336, 337–38, 340–44, 346–47, 356–57 and perspective shifts of patients, 339–40 and psycholytic LSD therapy, 159 results of, 349–50 at Spring Grove, 218 treatment rooms in, 331–32 and visions of death, 345–46 volunteers’ accounts of, 351–52 cannabis and marijuana, 36, 37, 138, 138n, 204, 299 Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering (Kessler), 383 Carhart-Harris, Robin on consciousness-expansion, 322 and depression pilot study, 329–30, 376–81 on disorganizing effect of psychedelics, 314, 314n and effect of psilocybin on brain activity, 300–301 and Feilding, 297, 299 and Gopnik, 323–24 on political effects of psychedelics, 315 on predictive/sensory data, 310–11 psychoanalysis research of, 296–97, 311 on rewiring of brain, 316, 320, 327, 384 on value of psychedelic experiences, 315, 328 See also default mode network (DMN); entropic brain theory carpenter ants, 89, 96–97 CBS News, 57, 113 celebrities on psycholytic LSD therapy, 156–57, 171 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and cultural upheaval of the sixties, 206–7 and Hubbard, 166, 171–72 MK-Ultra experiments of, 59, 113n, 172, 172n, 206, 207 and psychotomimetic model, 172 and search for LSD applications, 142, 206 Centre for Psychiatry, Imperial College London, 295–96 Charnay, Amy, 66–67, 73 Chekhov, Anton, 381, 382 children consciousness of, 323–28 and default mode network (DMN), 312, 328 memories from childhood, 222, 307 problem solving in, 325–28 as R&D stage of species, 327 and suppression of entropy, 328 Claviceps purpurea, 84.


Northern California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, housing crisis, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, McMansion, means of production, Port of Oakland, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the built environment, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Mind-Bending Festivals Northern California hosts some of the most wild, wacky and wonderful festivals in the nation. Not for the xenophobic, these festivals are a study in diversity. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass San Francisco’s best free music festival hosts three days of A-list folk, rock, bluegrass and country artists. Reggae on the River In the heart of Humboldt County, this music event is all dreadlocks and Jamaican-influenced jams. Burning Man A trippy art party that also happens to be the world's greatest experiment in culture and community. San Francisco Pride Month The last Sunday in June, a million people descend upon San Francisco to celebrate Gay Pride Day. Bay to Breakers May's zany, costumed Embarcadero to Ocean Beach race; joggers dressed as salmon run upstream. Kinetic Grand Championship An elaborate, yearly sculpture race otherwise known as the triathlon of the art world.

Redwood Coast Mysterious and majestic, this wild coast of big trees and brooding surf feels lost in time. Sonoma Coast State Beach A series of rocky coves and sandy beaches reveal the awesome power of nature. Big Sur This enchanting, rugged stretch of Hwy 1 wins for its cypress trees, rocky cliffs and striking ocean vistas. Month by Month Top Events California State Fair, July North Lake Tahoe SnowFest, March Pride Month, June Mendocino Coast Whale Festivals, March Burning Man, August January Typically California's wettest month. Coastal regions go quiet. The hills turn green. Mountain ski resorts are packed on weekends, quiet on weekdays. Bay Area skies gray. Wine Country a bargain. zChinese New Year San Francisco’s Chinatown (www.sanfranciscochinatown.com/events/chinesenewyearparade.html) sounds like a war zone, as firecrackers announce the lunar new year with parades, lion dancers and street vendors.

Wildflowers peak in the High Sierra. 5Strawberry Festival at Monterey Bay The messy marquee event (www.celebratestrawberries.com; hearly Aug) at this Watsonville festival is the pie-eating contest, but live music and tons of fruit keep families entertained. The berries are entirely local: Watsonville produces almost 90% of all the strawberries grown in the US. zBurning Man Although Burning Man (https://burningman.org) happens in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, it began in San Francisco and draws tens of thousands of Northern Californians, who celebrate art's ephemeral nature, radical inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression. No commerce or advertising allowed. Make arrangements way ahead. September Summer’s last hurrah is Labor Day weekend, when cities empty and parks get crowded.


pages: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

Conceivably, given sufficient funding, a small enclosed colony could be built there, or on another planet; but the costs would be so much higher than for an equivalent artificial ecosystem on Earth, and therefore the scale so much more limited, that anyone proposing space travel as a solution to global warming must be suffering from their own climate delusion. To imagine such a colony could offer material prosperity as abundant as tech plutocrats enjoy in Atherton is to live even more deeply in the narcissism of that delusion—as though it were only as difficult to smuggle luxury to Mars as to Burning Man. The faith takes a different form among the laity, unable to afford that ticket into space. But articles of faith are offered, considerately, at different price points: smartphones, streaming services, rideshares, and the internet itself, more or less free. And each glimmers with some promise of escape from the struggles and strife of a degraded world. In “An Account of My Hut,” a memoir of Bay Area house-hunting and climate-apocalypse-watching in the 2017 California wildfire season—which was also the season of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria—Christina Nichol describes a conversation with a young family member who works in tech, to whom she tried to describe the unprecedentedness of the threat from climate change, unsuccessfully.

But however manipulated by marketing consultants, and however dubious its claims to healthfulness, wellness also gives a clear name and shape to a growing perception even, or especially, among those wealthy enough to be insulated from the early assaults of climate change: that the contemporary world is toxic, and that to endure or thrive within it requires extraordinary measures of self-regulation and self-purification. What has been called the “new New Age” arises from a similar intuition—that meditation, ayahuasca trips, crystals and Burning Man and microdosed LSD are all pathways to a world beckoning as purer, cleaner, more sustaining, and perhaps above all else, more whole. This purity arena is likely to expand, perhaps dramatically, as the climate continues to careen toward visible degradation—and consumers respond by trying to extract themselves from the sludge of the world however they can. It should not be a surprise to discover, in next year’s supermarket aisles, alongside labels for “organic” and “free range,” some food described as “carbon-free.”


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

Jason Shen introduces the idea. “We’re everything for rides. We want to change the way people travel by making it super easy and fun to share rides with other people.” The number of rideshare posts on Craigslist—about a thousand are listed at the moment for just the San Francisco Bay Area—provides encouraging evidence of demand. Shen says they will start off with long-distance ridesharing, to the upcoming Burning Man festival in the desert and also between San Francisco and Los Angeles. As the other startups do at the end of their presentations, Shen offers to the batch the expertise of his team’s members: “Kalvin and Randy are developers,” he says, and as for himself, he knows how to stay motivated in the face of rejection. “I’ve gotten rejected thirty days in a row,” he says, a reference to his putting himself through “Rejection Therapy,” in which one must make unreasonable requests so that one is rejected by a different person, at least once, every single day—inuring one to the pain of rejection.1 (One example of Shen’s bid to be rejected: he asked a flight attendant if he could move up to first class for free.

., 54–55 Brandeis University, 164 Brandery, The, 42 Braveheart, 181 Brezina, Matt, 39 Brightcove, 101, 104 Broadcast.com, 26 Brown, David, 41 Bubinski, Ryan, 124–25, 147–49, 192–93, 194–96, 227 Buchheit, Paul angel investor, 61, 204–5 Dropbox, 225 early career, 203 FriendFeed, 204, 265n8 Google, 61, 63, 203–4 Science Exchange, 171, 175, 176, 180–81 Tagstand, 151, 156–59 YC partner, 63, 150 Buenos Aires, 64 Buffalo, NY, 237 Bugatti Veyron, 101 Burning Man, 121 Busque, Leah, 54 BuySimple, 125 BuySimple/Minno, 105–9 BuzzLabs, 210 C++, 15 Cambridge, MA, 13, 16, 63, 64 Campbell, Brian, 110–17 CampusCred Demo Day, 216 finalist interview, 20–21 Graham, Paul, 174 hackathon hosts, 134–36 MobileWorks, 138 office hours, 110–14 sales representative, 114–17 Can’t Wait, 160 Canada, 101 Cao, Xuwen, 47 Capital Factory, 42 Castro Street, Mountain View, 99, 125 Chan, Hamilton, 51 Chang, Emily, 55 Chesky, Brian, 103 Chicago, 40, 41, 51, 169, 223 Chicago Tribune, 170 China, 17, 238 Chopra, Aneesh, 267n5 Chou, Paul, 98–100, 218 Christiansen, Bjarne, 103 Cincinnati, OH, 42 Clerky, 125–26, 214–15 cloud computing, 2 CloudFront, 101 Clustrix, 78 Codecademy, 231, 238, 239 Code Year, 227–28, 267n1, 267n5 Demo Day, 215–16 Heroku, 196 idea, 148–49 launch, 194–96 Rehearsal Day, 192–93 Cohen, David, 41 Collison, John, 61, 64–66 Collison, Patrick, 61, 64–66 Columbia University, 112, 124 Comcast, 133, 165 Comedy Central, 121 Commodore PET, 156 Computer History Museum, 1, 230 ConAgra, 152 Conde Nast, 106, 152, 155 Conway, Ron, 28, 87, 88, 89, 91 Cornell University, 24, 237 cosplay, 192 Coupons.com, 208 Craigslist, 113, 120, 153, 163, 187–88, 211 Cuban, Mark, 26 CueCat, 157–58 Cybercent, 105 Cybercoin, 105 Dallas, TX, 41, 47 Deglin, George, 191–92 Dell, 165 Denmark, 17, 51, 223, 238 Deutsche Bank, 57 Digicash, 105 Dixon, Chris, 30, 31 Dolphin, David, 17–18 Dorsey, Jack, 91 Draw Something, 225 Dropbox, 119, 123, 230 crowded market, 231 investors seeking next, 95, 207 Kicksend, 188–89 Snapjoy, 186–87, 188 Socialcam, 147 Y Scraper, 224 YC, 3–4, 37, 43, 88, 103, 131, 161, 225 Dubai, 238 Dublin, 17 Dunn, Matthew, 101–2 DuPont, 24 Duracell, 127 Durham, NC, 41 Durkin, Nikki, 267n6 Dwan, Michael, 43–44, 103, 130–33, 186–87 Eaton, Brook, 106, 108 eBay, 60–61, 141, 159, 172 eBoys (Stross), 4–5 Elance, 172 Elankumaran, Pradeep, 188–89 Electronic Arts, 167 Eliot, T.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

“Like, it’s before the Internet.” He went on: Maybe we should set aside some small part of the world, you know, like going to Burning Man, [that would serve as] an environment where people try out different things, but not everybody has to go. And I think that’s a great thing, too. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out some new things and figure out: What is the effect on society? What’s the effect on people? Without having to deploy it into the normal world. And people who like those kinds of things can go there and experience that. It’s not only Page. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk dream of establishing Learyesque space colonies, celestial Burning Mans. Peter Thiel is slightly more down to earth. His Seasteading Institute hopes to set up floating technology incubation camps on the ocean, outside national boundaries.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Subsequent early stage investors would include some Silicon Valley legends, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who put in $250,000 in 1998. “There was no business plan,” said Bezos to journalist Ken Auletta in a New Yorker article. “I just fell in love with Larry and Sergey.”18 And so Google, the company, was born. That first year, they embodied the caricature of a young Silicon Valley start-up, complete with pilgrimages to Burning Man, fancy perks to lure top talent, and plenty of hanky-panky. “Sergey was the Google playboy,” remembers Charlie Ayers, the first company chef, whom Page and Brin hired when the company had only twelve employees.19 “He was known for getting his fingers caught in the cookie jar with employees that worked for the company, in the masseuse room. He got around. HR told me that Sergey’s response to it was, ‘Why not?

But by 2012, he was growing concerned about the way in which the engineers at the company paid little attention to the impact of their design choices—making the phone beep or buzz with each new email, for example. Huge amounts of money and time were spent on fine-tuning details, but in Harris’s view, very little was spent on asking the big question: Are we actually making people’s lives better? After a revelatory moment at (where else?) the infamous Burning Man event in the Nevada desert, he put together a 144-slide presentation and sent it to ten other Googlers (the presentation later spread to five thousand more). Entitled “A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users’ Attention,” the deck contained statements such as “Never before in history have the decisions of a handful of designers (mostly men, white, living in SF, aged 25–35) working at 3 companies—Google, Facebook, and Apple—had so much impact on how people around the world spend their attention.”29 The presentation made waves among engineers at the middle ranks, but according to Harris, the top brass (Page himself discussed the topic with Harris) had no interest in making the business model shifts his deck suggested.


pages: 379 words: 109,223

Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business by Ken Auletta

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, corporate raider, crossover SUV, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, Google Glasses, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, NetJets, Network effects, pattern recognition, pets.com, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, éminence grise

He has an ability to be broad and strategic when needed, but at the same time he has the ability to be very detail oriented.” Sorrell is constantly in motion, jetting on commercial airlines to attend most ad conferences, be they in Los Angeles or Barcelona, to visit WPP offices in India or Brazil, to sit in on board meetings in Beijing or New York, to chair WPP’s four times yearly Stream conferences in Greece, Cannes, and elsewhere, to attend Google confabs in Sicily and Burning Man in Nevada. The incessant e-mails help forge his reputation as a micromanager, as does his fecund memory for promised but unmet executive goals. More than a few WPP executives, not wanting to be quoted, complain that Sorrell nearly suffocates them with his over-their-shoulder attention to detail. Sorrell describes the claim that he is a micromanager as “a compliment,” explaining that the CEO of a company whose size is equal to “a ministate” must delve into details.

When they reconnected after his marriage to Cristiana, she was struck by the change. “When I came upon him he looked ten years younger. He had a different energy. He had a delight in life. I think it’s from having a very happy union. He’s amused by it. He has a wonderful capacity for play. You’d never believe that because of how hard he works. But Cristiana is a player. She likes to dance. She likes to go to unusual things.” She lured him to attend Burning Man in the Nevada desert. She gave birth to their baby daughter in the fall of 2016. One can fill notebooks with the criticism heaped upon Sorrell. But these don’t paint a complete picture. If we just froze the picture when David Ogilvy called him “an odious little shit” we would miss what happened next. After they met for the first time, Ogilvy wrote Sorrell: “To my surprise, I liked you. . . .


Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, bitcoin, Burning Man, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, index card, jimmy wales, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, McJob, Menlo Park, nuclear paranoia, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Ted Kaczynski, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, young professional

If you compare requests people enter in their Google searches with the items on display at Maker Faire, there is the exact same sense of predictable randomness; the need to find faster, better and cheaper goods and services; a semiotic disconnect from one object to another; and an embrace of glitches as an aesthetic. If the maker aesthetic strays in any one cultural dimension, it would probably be slightly in the direction of Burning Man, but more along the lines of Maker Faire dads building fire-breathing stainless steel golems to enhance a backyard weekend drum circle. After overloading on the noise and imagery of the fair, I found myself at the far end of the hall, taking a breather by a chain-link fence I thought was there to close off unused space. Wrong. It was a drone testing ground. I looked in and there were five or so drones being test flown by a small group of people.

Pass me the Splenda.” As Karen left the lunchroom, Lydia said to her co-workers, “People always seem to fall in love during that magical time before one person sees the other person display their signature crazy behaviour. Poor Karen.” But Karen’s heart mended from her break with Bartholomew, and within two years she was engaged to a guy who made sculptures out of cardboard boxes that he took to the Burning Man festival in the California desert. And life went on. Bartholomew grew older and buggier. People stopped using land-line telephones altogether. Everyone on Earth used smartphones, even starving people in starving countries. Phones basically cost nothing to make and were as common as, well, the packs of Splenda used in the office lunchroom. All the languages on Earth collapsed and contracted, and Bartholomew’s endgame scenario was coming true: language was dying.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, one-China policy, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, selection bias, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, turn-by-turn navigation, undersea cable, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Scott Epstein had early experience marketing products like Miller Beer, Gorton Fish Sticks, and Tropicana. Later at Excite, he built a multimillion-dollar campaign around the Jimi Hendrix song “Are You Experienced?” His time at Google was brief and rocky. “They were contrarian,” Epstein would later say of the Google founders. “They rejected everything that smacked of traditional marketing wisdom.” Larry and Sergey had their own spin on spin. In 1999, at Burning Man (the posthippie festival in Death Valley that Page and Brin regularly attended), they’d been impressed that someone had projected a laser image onto a nearby hill. Wouldn’t it be great, they asked Epstein, if we could laser google onto the moon? More plausible was their suggestion that Google underwrite shows on NPR, and thus began a long history of public radio sponsorship. To create his marketing plan, Epstein wanted to get a good sense of how consumers viewed Google.

In a video of the 1986 prank, you can see Schmidt, wearing glasses with lenses so huge that he looks sort of like a grown-up version of the nerd kid Steve Urkel in Family Matters, staring in stunned but admiring disbelief at the Volkswagen Beetle that his employees had fully disassembled and then reassembled in his office. To cap things off, Brin later said, “He was the only candidate who had been to Burning Man.” When Doerr put Schmidt together with Page and Brin in late 2000, all parties saw the advantages of having Schmidt at Google. Even though they had disagreements in the hours of conversation leading up to the job offer, the Google cofounders respected his acumen and saw that his experience—ranging from start-up to heading a public company—would be a virtue. “He has an amazing group of skills,” says Page.

., 9–11, 358–62 Ayers, Charlie, 133–34, 154, 289 Babel Fish, 63 BackRub, 17, 18, 21–24, 26, 28–31; renamed Google, 30–31 Baidu, 4, 273, 279, 281, 292–98, 304, 305, 307 Bailey, David, 58, 59 Baker, Mitchell, 208 Bak, Lars, 209 Ballmer, Steve, 197, 282–83, 380 Barnes & Noble, Nook, 228 Barroso, Luiz, 197–98 BART system, 45, 56 Bartz, Carol, 346 Beard, Ethan, 375–76 Bechtolsheim, Andy, 28, 33–34, 73, 74 Bell, George, 29–30 Berkshire Hathaway, 147, 149 Berners-Lee, Tim, 15–16 Bezos, Jeff, 12, 34, 57, 80, 355, 363 Bharat, Krishna, 38–39, 40, 46, 54, 58, 239 Billington, James, 352 Bisciglia, Christophe, 199–200 Blogger, 101, 335, 374, 376 Bock, Laszlo, 141–42, 256–57, 259, 260 books: and Amazon, 355–56, 363 and class action lawsuit, 9–11, 358–67 digitization of, 11, 347–67 Google Book Settlement, 362–67 metadata in, 351 nondestructive scanning, 348–51, 353, 360 Ocean, 350–55 online future of, 352, 360 “orphan,” 357, 359, 366 payment for use of, 360–63 in public domain, 354 publishers of, 356–62 snippets of, 353, 356, 357, 362 and social good, 360–61, 364, 365, 366 transformative use of, 353–54 Boolean syntax, 36 Boorstin, Robert, 329 Braddi, Joan, 143 brain, virtual, 66, 67–68, 232, 385–86 Branson, Richard, 254 Bray, Tim, 136 Brilliant, Larry, 258 Brin, Michael, 274–75 Brin, Sergey, 3, 5, 16 achievements of, 53, 383 and advertising, 84, 86, 90, 92, 94, 95, 97, 101, 103–6, 108, 110–11, 334, 336–37 ambition of, 128, 139 and applications, 205, 207, 208, 210, 240–42 and artificial intelligence, 385–86 birth and early years of, 13–14, 274–75, 310 and birth of Google, 31–34 and Book Search, 11, 347, 350–52, 364 on capturing all the web, 22–24, 52, 58, 60 on changing the world, 6, 72, 97, 120, 125, 146, 232, 316, 384 and China, 267, 273–74, 276, 277–79, 283, 305, 307, 310–12 and eco-activism, 241 and email, 169–72, 174, 178, 179 and Excite, 29 and funding, 32, 33–34, 73–75 and government issues, 329 and IPO, 146–47, 149–54 and language translation, 63 and management, 74, 75–77, 79–82, 110, 143, 158–60, 162–66, 228, 235, 252–53, 260, 273, 373–74, 386, 387 marriage of, 126, 253 as Montessori kid, 121–25, 127–28, 149 and Obama, 316, 318, 329 and PageRank, 21–24, 48–49 and popular culture, 238 and privacy, 174, 176–77, 253–54, 337 and secrecy, 32, 72, 106, 218 and smart phones, 215–16, 224, 226–30, 234–36 and social networking, 372, 377–78, 380 and speed, 185, 207 and Stanford, 13–14, 16, 17, 28, 29, 34 and trust, 221, 237 values of, 127–28, 130, 132, 135, 139, 141, 146, 196, 275, 305, 364 and web links, 18, 51 and Yahoo, 344 and YouTube, 248, 264 browsers, 204–12 Google Chrome, 208–12, 220, 221, 228, 354 open-source, 204 as operating systems, 210–12 and privacy, 336–37 browser wars, 206, 283 Buchheit, Paul, 102, 259 and email, 167–71, 176, 178–80, 185, 370 and Google motto, 143–44, 170 Buffett, Warren, 147, 149 Burning Man, 76, 80 Bush, Vannevar, 15, 44 Buyer, Lise, 70, 148, 150, 151–52, 154 Buyukkokten, Orkut, 371 Buzz, 377–80 Cairns, Heather, 125 Campbell, Bill, 143, 158–60, 218, 237 Caribou (later, Gmail), 169–71 Cavanaugh, William, 366 Center for Democracy & Freedom, 337, 339 Cerf, Vinton, 222 Chan, Wesley, 113–15, 166, 205, 233–36, 291 Changchun, Li, 306 Chavez, Pablo, 329–30, 346 Chen, Steve, 243–44, 247–51, 264 Cheriton, David, 27–28, 33–34, 79 Cheung, Harry “Spider-Man,” 41, 125, 128 Chin, Denny, 9–10, 365–66 China, 276–314 aim to do good in, 279–80, 303–4, 313 bureaucracy of, 277–79, 280, 291, 295, 298, 304, 312 censorship in, 268, 273, 276, 277, 279, 280–81, 283–86, 290, 293, 295, 297–98, 303–8, 310–13 competition in, 278, 281, 292–98, 300, 305–6, 313 cooperation with government in, 279, 284–85, 292, 297, 299, 301, 302, 305 cultural differences in, 278, 290, 291, 292, 298, 302–3 Google closed in, 311–14, 383 Google’s Chinese name, 287–88 Google’s launch in, 287–89 license to operate in, 277, 279, 280, 295, 340 Obama town meeting in, 324 Olympic Games in, 304 recruitment in, 290–91 “red pockets” in, 297 search in Chinese language, 272–74, 280, 294, 299–300, 304, 306 security issues in, 267–68, 270, 298, 301–2, 303, 308–11, 313–14 stolen code in, 300, 309 and U.S.


Robot Futures by Illah Reza Nourbakhsh

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Burning Man, commoditize, computer vision, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, phenotype, Skype, social intelligence, software as a service, stealth mode startup, strong AI, telepresence, telepresence robot, Therac-25, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

First, the cost and complexity of Robot Smog 25 technology needed to make a custom, remote control robot has decreased significantly. Almost anyone can, in a weekend, make a primitive robot, and the construction kits now available make that first robot larger, heavier, and stronger. The second trend is one of attitude. We, as a culture, celebrate scrappy do-it-yourself (DIY) invention, through the world of Burning Man, Maker Faire, Craft, and other such outlets. By building a robot out of a variety of found parts, Terrill joined a celebrated club of enthusiasts who appreciate the idea of building a new device through remix—recycling and repurposing by using parts in ways they were never originally intended to be used. Even with a purpose as ethically troubling as the BumBot’s, the aura of Terrill being a modern-day inventor provides an afterglow that softens the concerns many have regarding the actual details of what he does with the robot.


pages: 549 words: 116,200

With a Little Help by Cory Efram Doctorow, Jonathan Coulton, Russell Galen

autonomous vehicles, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, death of newspapers, don't be evil, game design, Google Earth, high net worth, lifelogging, margin call, Mark Shuttleworth, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sensible shoes, skunkworks, Skype, traffic fines, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban planning, Y2K

He had a little bit of dried food in the corner of his mouth and his tongue crept out and licked at it as he concentrated. 586 "Want to tell me about June, 1998?" 587 Greg turned rotated his head this way and that. "I'm sorry?" 588 "You posted a message to alt.burningman on June 17, 1998 about your plan to attend Burning Man. You posted, 'Would taking shrooms be a really bad idea?'" # 589 It was 3AM before they let him out of the "secondary screening" room. The interrogator was an older man, so skinny he looked like he'd been carved out of wood. His questions went a lot further than the Burning Man shrooms. They were just the start of Greg's problems. 590 "I'd like to know more about your hobbies. Are you interested in model rocketry?" 591 "What?" 592 "Model rocketry." 593 "No," Greg said. "No, I'm not." Thinking of all the explosives that model rocketry people surrounded themselves with. 594 The man made a note, clicked some more.


California by Sara Benson

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, planetary scale, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the new new thing, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Hot August Nights ( 775-356-1956; www.hotaugustnights.net) Catch the American Graffiti vibe during this seven-day celebration of hot rods and rock and roll in early August. Hotel rates skyrocket to their peak. * * * GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! For one week at the end of August, Burning Man (www.burningman.com; admission $210-295) explodes onto the sunbaked Black Rock Desert, and Nevada sprouts a third major population center – Black Rock City. An experiential art party (and alternative universe) that climaxes in the immolation of a towering stick figure, Burning Man is a whirlwind of outlandish theme camps, dust-caked bicycles, bizarre bartering, costume-enhanced nudity and a general relinquishment of inhibitions. And when the last wig-wearing Burner heads home, volunteers make sure to leave no trace, picking up every last hot pink sequin

To drive to Twin Peaks, head southwest on Market St as it climbs steeply uphill (it becomes Portola Ave) and then turn right on Twin Peaks Blvd. The sleepy sweep of streets from Stanyan to the Pacific is known as the Sunset, with hopping foodie hubs along Irving St around 9th and 19th. Take the N Judah all the way out to the Pacific, and you’ll end up at surfer cafés where conversations revolve around sex wax (for your board, of course). At blustery Ocean Beach (Map) the scene is dominated by wet-suited wave riders and Burning Man devotees keeping warm around ritual fires in new artist-designed tiled firepits. Be sure to follow park rules about fire maintenance and alcohol (not allowed) or you could get fined. On rare sunny days the waters may beckon, but only hardcore surfers and sea lions should brave these riptides. One mile south, Fort Funston (Map; 415-239-2366; Skyline Blvd; 6am-9pm) will double-dare you to hang-glide off cliffs and spelunk defunct Nike missile silos near the parking lot.

Aub Zam Zam (Map; 415-861-2545; 1633 Haight St; 3pm-2am) Arabesque arches, jazz on the jukebox and enough paisley to make Prince feel right at home pay homage to the purist Persian charm of dearly departed cocktail fascist Bruno, who’d throw you out for ordering a vodka martini. Noc Noc (Map; 415-861-5811; 557 Haight St) Who’s there? Dreadlocked graffiti artists, electronica DJs and Mad Max–inspired fashion designers, that’s who. This place looks like a post-apocalyptic cartoon cave dwelling, and serves a sake cocktail that’ll keep you buzzed until the next Burning Man. Mad Dog in the Fog (Map; 415-863-2276; 530 Haight St; 11:30am-2am Mon-Fri, 10am-2am Sat & Sun) Footie fans watch matches live on GMT, and know-it-alls arrive by 8:30pm Tuesdays and Thursdays to compete for free beer on Trivia Nights. There’s no hard liquor or credit-card machine, but cash will get you beer, darts and occasionally live rockabilly. THE RICHMOND Rohan Lounge (Map; 415-221-5095; 3809 Geary Blvd; 6pm-midnight Mon-Thu, 6pm-2am Fri & Sat, 6-11pm Sun) Soju sophistication, with Korean spirits mixed with watermelon juice for Bond Girl–worthy soju-tinis and inspired bar bites from garlic edamame to the kimchi sampler.


pages: 195 words: 39,959

The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking by Juli Bauer, George Bryant

Burning Man, Mason jar

(Author’s site: http://robbwolf.com) INFORMATION/RECIPE BLOGS GEORGE Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations civilizedcavemancooking.com PaleOMG (JULI) paleomg.com Against All Grain againstallgrain.com Balanced Bites balancedbites.com BrittanyAngell brittanyangell.com Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com The Clothes Make the Girl theclothesmakethegirl.com The Domestic Man thedomesticman.com Elana’s Pantry www.elanaspantry.com Everyday Paleo everydaypaleo.com Fat-Burning Man fatburningman.com Health-Bent health-bent.com theKitchn thekitchn.com Nom Nom Paleo nomnompaleo.com Paleo Comfort Foods paleocomfortfoods.com Paleo Cupboard paleocupboard.com Paleo Parents paleoparents.com Primal Palate primalpalate.com Real Food Liz realfoodliz.com SlimPalate slimpalate.com The Spunky Coconut thespunkycoconut.com Stupid Easy Paleo stupideasypaleo.com Underground Wellness undergroundwellness.com The Urban Poser urbanposer.blogspot.com Whole9 whole9life.com Zen Belly zenbellycatering.com RECIPE INDEX Breakfast Sun-Dried Tomato Sweet Potato Hash Banana Bread Waffles with Mixed Fruit Topping Pumpkin Waffles Baked Banana Chip Crusted French Toast Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread Sweet Potato Quiche Delicata Squash Frittata Lavender Vanilla Bean Granola Lemon Raspberry Swirl Muffins Vanilla White Peach Muffins Biscuits & Gravy Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes Bacon Sweet Potato Hash with Apples & Pears Cinnamon Rolls Fig Blueberry Jam Blackberry Pear Jam Starters & Snacks Rosemary Crackers Sweet Plantain Guacamole Easy Guacamole Candied Bacon Pulled Pork Nachos Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Avocado Caprese Stacks Prosciutto Pears with Balsamic Reduction Citrus Mint Sugar Salad Soups & Hearty Salads Sage & Shallot Delicata Squash Soup Creamy Cauliflower Soup Crock-Pot French Onion Soup Pumpkin Tomato Soup Squash Medley Lavender Soup Chicken Zoodle Soup Savory Beef Chili Steak Fajita Salad Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad Cranberry Chicken Salad Pork Dishes Pan-Seared Rosemary Sage Pork Chops with Apples & Pears Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Twice-Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash Perfect Ribs Shredded Pork Meatloaf Loaded BBQ Sweet Potatoes Asian Cabbage Slaw Pork Burgers Perfect Meatballs with Sage Sweet Potato Noodles Beef Dishes Sweet & Savory Open-Faced Sliders Four-Layer Beef & Bacon Casserole Bacon Beef Stew Marinated Steak & Pineapple Kabobs Carne Asada Garlic & Thyme Standing Rib Roast Mongolian Beef over Cauliflower Rice The Perfect Burger Rosemary Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs with Tomato Sauce Chicken Dishes Chicken Apricot Curry Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs Lemon & Chive Pasta with Chicken Thighs Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken Hot Wings Honey Ginger Wings Slow Cooker Tomatillo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Chicken Fritters Fish & Seafood Dishes Herb Cauliflower Mash with Seared Sea Scallops Creamy Seafood Risotto Shrimp Scampi Honey-Glazed Salmon with Pomegranate & Pineapple Salsa Bacon-Wrapped Scallop & Melon Skewers Sides Honey Dijon & Rosemary Grilled Sweet Potatoes Dill Butternut Squash Fries Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad Grilled Baby Bok Choy Bacon Pecan Cabbage Asian Marinated Asparagus Honey Lime Roasted Carrots Coconut Cauliflower Curry Parsnip Puree Cauliflower Rice Refreshing Smoothies & Warming Drinks Watermelon Mint Chiller Afternoon Pick-Me-Up (Coffee Smoothie) Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Latte Gingerbread Latte Pineapple Green Smoothie Banana Berry Smoothie Ginger Apple Pear Smoothie Orange Cream Smoothie Desserts Coffee Pecan Ice Cream Blueberry Rosemary Ice Cream Honey Pistachio Ice Cream Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies Lemon Poppyseed Cookies No-Bake Tropical Escape Cookies Gingersnap Pumpkin Butter Cookie Sandwiches Candied Bacon Chocolate Brownies Vanilla Bean Chocolate-Cayenne Cake Lime Pound Cake Frozen Blueberry Cheesecake Black & White Cake Chocolate Coffee Bread Pudding Individual Apple Crisps Condiments, Nut Butters, & Nut Milks Pistachio Pesto Garlic Aioli Avocado Mousse Pico de Gallo Blueberry BBQ Sauce Tangy BBQ Sauce Coconut Butter Macadamia Nut Butter Maple Cinnamon Pecan Butter Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Homemade Nut Milks Acknowledgments No book is just one person’s adventure, and this one in particular has been quite the team effort.


pages: 159 words: 42,401

Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance by Jessica Bruder, Dale Maharidge

anti-communist, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, cashless society, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Occupy movement, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Robert Bork, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web of trust, WikiLeaks

After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to more than eight years in prison. It was probably for the best that I didn’t know that in the moment, since it would have just made me more nervous. Like Dale, I felt utterly unprepared for anything that might happen. Being a journalist was no help — I couldn’t talk about anything that was going on, and, besides, much of my reporting focused on subcultures. I had written a book about Burning Man and was now in the early stages of researching a new one, Nomadland, about older Americans who’d traded traditional homes for vans and RVs, becoming itinerant workers to navigate an increasingly polarized economy. The whole situation continued to make me uneasy. Meanwhile, Snowden had fled from Hong Kong and was stranded in Moscow, where he was seeking asylum. Greenwald was in Rio de Janeiro, where he lived.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

I embrace it and practice it myself in a lightened form, which could be called homeopathic. Just about every technologist I know harbors some Rousseauian fetish in the closet. The same fellow who might work on “Augmented Wilderness,” a technology in which a virtual world is perceived to be superimposed on a remote wilderness trail, will seek out the wild primitivist side of Silicon Valley rituals like Burning Man. The room where I am writing this is filled with rare, archaic, acoustic musical instruments that I have learned to play. I find that digital ways of making music are missing something and I will not let go of that thing. This is entirely reasonable. Is there really something essential and vital about acoustic instruments that computers can’t touch? Another incarnation of Pascal’s bargain presents itself.

Brian, 169n artificial hearts, 157–58 artificial intelligence (AI), 23, 61, 94, 95, 114, 116, 136, 138n, 147, 155, 157, 178, 191, 192–93, 325, 330, 354, 359n artificial memory, 35 art market, 108 Art of the Long View, The (Schwartz), 214 ashrams, 213 assets, 31, 60 “As We May Think” (Bush), 221n asymmetry, 54–55, 61–66, 118, 188, 203, 246–48, 285–88, 291–92, 310 Athens, 22–25 atomic bomb, 127 “attractor nightmare,” 48 auctions, 170, 286 aulos, 23n austerity, 96, 115, 125, 151, 152, 204, 208 authenticity, 128–32, 137 authors, 62n automata, 11, 12, 17, 23, 42, 55, 85–86, 90–92, 97–100, 111, 129, 135–36, 155, 157, 162, 260, 261, 269, 296n, 342, 359–60 automated services, 62, 63, 64, 147–48 automated trading systems, 74–78, 115 automation, 7, 85, 123–24, 192, 234, 259, 261, 343 automobiles, 43, 86, 90–92, 98, 118–19, 125n, 302, 311, 314, 343, 367 avatar cameras, 265 avatars, 89n, 265, 283–85 baby boomers, 97–100, 339, 346 bailouts, financial, 45, 52, 60, 74–75, 82 Baird-Murray, Kathleen, 200n “Ballad of John Henry, The,” 134–35 bandwidth, 171–72 banking, 32–33, 42, 43, 69, 76–78, 151–52, 251, 269n, 289, 345–46 bankruptcy, 2, 89, 251 bargains, 64–65, 95–96 Barlow, John Perry, 353 Barnes & Noble, 62n, 182 barter system, 20, 57 Battlestar Galactica, 137, 138n “beach fantasy,” 12–13, 18, 236–37, 331, 366–67 Beatles, 211, 212, 213 behavior models, 32, 121, 131, 173–74, 286–87 behavior modification, 173–74 Belarus, 136 belief systems, 139–40 Bell, Gordon, 313 bell curve distribution, 39, 39–45, 204, 208, 262, 291–93 Bell Labs, 94 Bentham, Jeremy, 308n Berners-Lee, Tim, 230 Bezos, Jeff, 352 big business, 265–67, 297–98 big data, 107–40, 150, 151–52, 155, 179, 189, 191–92, 202–4, 265–66, 297–98, 305, 346, 366, 367 big money, 202–4, 265–67 billboards, 170, 267, 310 billing, 171–72, 184–85 Bing, 181–82 biodiversity, 146–47 biological realism, 253–54 biotechnology, 11–13, 17, 18, 109–10, 162, 330–31 Bitcoin, 34n BitTorrent, 223 blackmail, 61, 172–73, 207, 273, 314, 316, 322 Black Monday, 74 blogs, 118n, 120, 225, 245, 259, 349, 350 books, 1–2, 62, 63, 65, 113, 182, 192, 193, 246–47, 277–78, 281, 347, 352–60 bots, 62, 63, 64, 147–48 brain function, 195–96, 260, 328 brain scans, 111–12, 218, 367 Brand, Stewart, 214 brand advertising, 267 Brandeis, Louis, 25, 208 Brazil, 54 Brooks, David, 326 Burma, 200n Burning Man, 132 Bush, George H. W., 149 Bush, Vannevar, 221n business data, 112–13, 150, 189 business plans, 107–8, 117–20, 154, 169–74, 175, 236, 258, 301–2, 344–45 cached data mirrors, 223 Cage, John, 212 California, University of, at Berkeley, 104, 107–8, 111, 172 call centers, 177n Caltech, 94, 184 Cambridge, Mass., 157–58 cameras, 2, 10, 89, 265, 309–11, 319 capital flows, 37, 43–45, 47, 49, 201, 329, 355–56 capitalism, 11, 16–17, 20, 43–46, 47, 49, 66–67, 79, 208, 243, 246–48, 258, 260–63, 272, 273n, 277, 329 capital resources, 86 “captured” populations, 170–71 carbon credits, 87, 88, 298–99, 300, 301–3, 314 cartels, 158 Catholic Church, 190 cell phones, 34n, 39, 85, 87, 162, 172, 182n, 192, 229, 269n, 273, 314, 315, 331 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 199–200 chance, 23n change acceleration, 10, 21, 130–33, 136, 193–95, 217 chaos, 165–66, 273n, 331 cheating, 120, 335 Chicago, Ill., 47 China, 54, 70, 85, 87, 199, 200, 201, 208 Christianity, 190, 193–94, 293 Christian Science, 293 civility, 293–94 civilization, 123, 255, 300, 311, 336 civil liberties, 317–24 classified ads, 177n click-through counts, 183, 286, 347 clothing, 89, 260, 367 Cloud Atlas, 165 cloud processors and storage, 11–12, 19, 20, 42, 62, 88, 92, 100, 110, 113, 121, 124n, 144, 146n, 147, 149, 151, 153–54, 168, 203, 209, 245–46, 255, 258, 261–62, 274, 284, 292, 306, 311–13, 326, 338, 347–48, 350, 359 code, 112, 272 cognition, 111–12, 195–96, 260, 312–13, 314, 315, 328 Cold War, 189 Coleman, Ornette, 353 collectives, 358–60 collusion, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 Columbia Records, 161n commercial rights, 317–24, 347 commissions, 184 communications industry, 258 communism, 136, 153, 291, 344 compensatory servers, 64 competition, 42, 60, 81, 143–44, 147, 153, 180, 181, 187–88, 246–48, 326 complexity, 53–54 Computer Lib/Dream Machines (Nelson), 229 computer programmers, 113–14, 123, 286n computers: artificiality of, 130, 134 calculations by, 146n, 147–48, 149, 151 cloud processors and, see cloud processors and storage development of, 53, 129–30 as machines, 22–25, 123, 129–30, 155, 158, 165–66, 178, 191, 193, 195, 248, 257–58, 261, 328 memory of, 146n networks of, see digital networks parallel, 147–48, 149, 151 personal (PCs), 158, 182n, 214, 223, 229 programming of, 113–14, 120, 123, 157, 180, 193, 248, 272, 286n, 342, 362–63 remote, 11–12 reversible, 143n security of, 175, 345–46 servers for, 12n, 15, 31, 53–57, 71–72, 95–96, 143–44, 171, 180, 183, 206, 245, 358 software for, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 68, 86, 99, 100–101, 128, 129, 147, 154, 155, 165, 172–73, 177–78, 182, 192, 234, 236, 241–42, 258, 262, 273–74, 283, 331, 347, 357 user interface for, 362–63, 364 computer science, 113–14, 120, 123, 157, 180, 193, 248, 272, 286n, 342, 362–63 conflicts of interest, 62n Confucianism, 214, 215–16 connectivity, 171–72, 184–85, 273, 296n, 309, 316, 331 consciousness, 195–96 conservatism, 148, 149–51, 153, 204, 208, 249, 251, 253, 256, 293 construction industry, 151 consultants, 69–72 consumer electronics, 85–86, 162 consumer-facing sites, 179–80, 182, 216 consumers, see economies, consumer “content farms,” 120 contracts, 79–82, 172, 182, 183–84, 246–48, 314, 347, 352–53 copyright, 44, 47, 49, 60, 61, 96, 183, 206, 207, 224–26, 239–40, 263–64 corporations, 265–67, 307, 314, 348–51 correlations, 75–76, 114–15, 192, 274–75 correlative algorithms, 75–76 corruption, 31, 48, 77, 235, 257, 341n cost comparisons, 64 cost-effectiveness, 136–37 cost externalization, 59n countercultures, 24 Craigslist, 177n credit, 52, 116, 177, 193, 287–90, 305, 320, 337–38 credit cards, 185, 186, 269n credit ratings, 52, 116, 177, 193, 320 creepiness, 305–24 crime, 48, 307, 311, 319–21 crowdsourcing, 21, 86, 119–20, 356 cryptography, 14 currencies, 286–87 customer service, 177 cyberactivism, 14, 199, 200–201, 210, 308–9, 335–36, 339 cyberattacks, 201 cybernetics, 230 cyberpunk literature, 309, 356n Daedalus, 22 data, 12, 20, 50–54, 55, 71–76, 92, 167n, 174, 176–77, 178, 196, 223, 234–35, 246–48, 256–58, 271–75, 286–87, 292, 300, 307, 316, 317–24, 347 see also big data databases, 20, 71–72, 75–76, 178, 192, 203 data copying, 50–51 data mining, 120 dating services, 108–9, 113, 167–68, 274–75, 286 Deadpool, 189 death denial, 193, 218, 253, 263–64, 325–31, 367 death tolls, 134 debt, 29, 30n, 54, 92, 95, 96 Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Graeber), 30n decision-making, 63–64, 184, 266, 269–75, 284n decision reduction, 266, 269–71, 284n deconstructionism, 131 democracy, 9, 32–33, 44, 90–92, 120, 200, 202–4, 207, 208, 209, 209, 210, 246–48, 277–78, 321, 324, 336, 342 Democratic Party, 202 demonetization, 172, 176n, 186, 207, 260–61 denial of service, 171–72, 312–13, 315 depopulation, 97, 133 depressions, economic, 69–70, 75, 135, 151–52, 288, 299 deprinters, 88 derivatives funds, 56, 60, 149, 153, 155, 301 determinism, 125, 143, 156, 166–68, 202, 328, 361 devaluation, 15–16, 19–21 developed world, 53–54 Diamond, Jared, 134 dice throws, 23n Dick, Philip K., 18, 137 differential pricing, 63–64 digital cameras, 2 digital networks, 2–3, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19–21, 31, 35, 49, 50–51, 53, 54–55, 56, 57, 59, 60–61, 66–67, 69–71, 74, 75, 77–80, 92, 96, 99, 107–8, 118–19, 120, 122, 129–30, 133n, 136–37, 143–48, 192, 199, 209, 221–30, 234, 235, 245–51, 259, 277, 278, 286–87, 308–9, 316, 337, 345, 349, 350, 355, 366–67 design of, 40–45 educational, 92–97 effects, 99, 153, 169–74, 179, 181–82, 183, 186, 207, 305, 362–63, 366 elite, 15, 31, 54–55, 60, 122, 201 graph-shaped, 214, 242–43 medical, 98–99 nodes of, 156, 227, 230, 241–43, 350 power of, 147–49, 167 punishing vs. rewarding, 169–74, 182, 183 tree-shaped, 241–42, 243, 246 see also Internet digital rights movement, 225–26 digital technology, 2–3, 7–8, 15–16, 18, 31, 40, 43, 50–51, 132, 208 dignity, 51–52, 73–74, 92, 209, 239, 253–64, 280, 319, 365–66 direct current (DC), 327 disease, 110 disenfranchisement, 15–16 dossiers, personal, 109, 318 dot-com bubble, 186, 301 double-blind tests, 112 Drexler, Eric, 162 DSM, 124n dualism, 194–95 Duncan, Isadora, 214 Dyson, George, 192 dystopias, 130, 137–38 earthquakes, 266 Eastern Religion, 211–17 eBay, 173, 176, 177n, 180, 241, 343 eBooks, 113, 246–47, 352–60 eBureau, 109 economic avatars, 283–85, 302, 337–38 economics, 1–3, 15, 22, 37, 38, 40–41, 42, 67, 122, 143, 148–52, 153, 155–56, 204, 208, 209, 236, 259, 274, 288, 298–99, 311, 362n, 363 economies: austerity in, 96, 115, 125, 151, 152, 204, 208 barter system for, 20, 57 collusion in, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 competition in, 42, 60, 81, 143–44, 147, 153, 180, 181, 187–88, 246–48, 326 consumer, 16–17, 43, 54, 56n, 62, 63–65, 72–74, 85–86, 98, 114, 117, 154, 162, 173–74, 177, 179–80, 182, 192, 193, 215, 216, 223, 227, 241, 246, 247, 248–64, 271–72, 273, 286–88, 293, 323, 347–48, 349, 355–56, 357, 358–60 depressions in, 69–70, 75, 135, 151–52, 288, 299 dignity in, 51–52, 73–74, 92, 209, 239, 253–64, 280, 319, 365–66 distributions in, 37–45 of education, 92–97 efficiency in, 39, 42–43, 53, 61, 66–67, 71–74, 88, 90, 97, 118, 123, 155, 176n, 187–88, 191, 236, 246, 310, 349 entrepreneurial, 14, 57, 79, 82, 100–106, 116, 117–20, 122, 128, 148–49, 166, 167, 183, 200, 234, 241–43, 248, 274, 326, 359 equilibrium in, 148–51 financial sector in, 7n, 29–31, 35, 38, 45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 56–67, 69–70, 74–80, 82, 115, 116–20, 148n, 153–54, 155, 179–85, 200, 208, 218, 254, 257, 258, 277–78, 298, 299–300, 301, 336–37, 344–45, 348, 350 freedom and, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 global, 33n, 153–56, 173, 201, 214–15, 280 government oversight of, 44, 45–46, 49, 79–80, 96, 151–52, 158, 199, 205–6, 234–35, 240, 246, 248–51, 299–300, 307, 317, 341, 345–46, 350–51 growth in, 32, 43–45, 53–54, 119, 149–51, 236, 256–57, 270–71, 274–75, 291–94, 350 of health care, 98–99, 100, 153–54 historical analysis of, 29–31, 37–38, 69–70 humanistic, 194, 209, 233–351 361–367 of human labor, 85, 86, 87, 88, 99–100, 257–58, 292 identity in, 82, 283–90, 305, 306, 307, 315–16 inclusiveness of, 291–94 information, 1–3, 8–9, 15–17, 18, 19–20, 21, 35, 60–61, 92–97, 118, 185, 188, 201, 207, 209, 241–43, 245–46, 246–48, 256–58, 263, 283–87, 291–303, 331, 361–67 leadership in, 341–51 legal issues for, 49, 74–78 levees in, 43–45, 46, 47, 48, 49–50, 52, 92, 94, 96, 98, 108, 171, 176n, 224–25, 239–43, 253–54, 263, 345 local advantages in, 64, 94–95, 143–44, 153–56, 173, 203, 280 market, 16–17, 20, 23–24, 33–34, 38, 39, 43–46, 47, 50–52, 66–67, 75, 108, 118–19, 126, 136, 143, 144–48, 151–52, 155, 156, 167, 202, 207, 221–22, 240, 246–48, 254–57, 261, 262–63, 266, 277–78, 288, 292–93, 297–300, 318, 324, 326, 329, 344, 354, 355–56; see also capitalism mathematical analysis of, 40–41 models of, 40–41, 148–52, 153, 155–56 monopolies in, 60, 65–66, 169–74, 181–82, 187–88, 190, 202, 326, 350 morality and, 29–34, 35, 42, 50–52, 54, 71–74, 252–64 Nelsonian, 335, 349–50 neutrality in, 286–87 optimization of, 144–47, 148, 153, 154–55, 167, 202, 203 outcomes in, 40–41, 144–45 political impact of, 21, 47–48, 96, 149–51, 155, 167, 295–96 pricing strategies in, 1–2, 43, 60–66, 72–74, 145, 147–48, 158, 169–74, 226, 261, 272–75, 289, 317–24, 331, 337–38 productivity of, 7, 56–57, 134–35 profit margins in, 59n, 71–72, 76–78, 94–95, 116, 177n, 178, 179, 207, 258, 274–75, 321–22 public perception of, 66n, 79–80, 149–50 recessions in, 31, 54, 60, 76–77, 79, 151–52, 167, 204, 311, 336–37 regulation of, 37–38, 44, 45–46, 49–50, 54, 56, 69–70, 77–78, 266n, 274, 299–300, 311, 321–22, 350–51 risk in, 54, 55, 57, 59–63, 71–72, 85, 117, 118–19, 120, 156, 170–71, 179, 183–84, 188, 242, 277–81, 284, 337, 350 scams in, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 self-destructive, 60–61 social aspect of, 37–38, 40, 148–52, 153, 154–56 stimulus methods for, 151–52 sustainable, 235–37, 285–87 transformation of, 280–94, 341–51 trust as factor in, 32–34, 35, 42, 51–52 value in, 21, 33–35, 52, 61, 64–67, 73n, 108, 283–90, 299–300, 321–22, 364 variables in, 149–50 vendors in, 71–74 Edison, Thomas, 263, 327 editors, 92 education, 92–97, 98, 120, 150, 201 efficiency, 39, 42–43, 53, 61, 66–67, 71–74, 88, 90, 97, 118, 123, 155, 176n, 187–88, 191, 236, 246, 310, 349 Egypt, 95 eHarmony, 167–68 Einstein, Albert, 208n, 364 elderly, 97–100, 133, 269, 296n, 346 elections, 202–4, 249, 251 electricity, 131, 327 Electronic Frontier Foundation, 184 “elevator pitch,” 233, 342, 361 Eloi, 137 employment, 2, 7–8, 11, 22, 56–57, 60, 71–74, 79, 85–106, 117, 123, 135, 149, 151–52, 178, 201, 234, 257–58, 321–22, 331, 343 encryption, 14–15, 175, 239–40, 305–8, 345 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 338 End of History, The (Fukuyama), 165 endoscopes, 11 end-use license agreements (EULAs), 79–82, 314 energy landscapes, 145–48, 152, 209, 336, 350 energy sector, 43, 55–56, 90, 144, 258, 301–3 Engelbart, Doug, 215 engineering, 113–14, 120, 123–24, 157, 180, 192, 193, 194, 217, 218, 248, 272, 286n, 326, 342, 362–63 Enlightenment, 35, 255 enneagrams, 124n, 215 Enron Corp., 49, 74–75 entertainment industry, 7, 66, 109, 120, 135, 136, 185–86, 258, 260 see also mass media entrepreneurship, 14, 57, 79, 82, 100–106, 116, 117–20, 122, 128, 148–49, 166, 167, 183, 200, 234, 241–43, 248, 274, 326, 359 entropy, 55–56, 143, 183–84 environmental issues, 32 equilibrium, 148–51 Erlich, Paul, 132 est, 214 Ethernet, 229 Etsy, 343 Europe, 45, 54, 77, 199 evolution, 131, 137–38, 144, 146–47 exclusion principle, 181, 202 Expedia, 65 experiments, scientific, 112 experts, 88, 94–95, 124, 133–34, 178, 325–31, 341, 342 externalization, 59n Facebook, 2, 8, 14, 20, 56–57, 93, 109, 154, 169, 171, 174, 180, 181, 188, 190–91, 200n, 204, 206, 207, 209, 210, 214, 215, 217, 227, 242–43, 246, 248, 249, 251, 270, 280, 286, 306, 309, 310, 313, 314, 317, 318, 322, 326, 329, 341, 343, 344, 346, 347–48, 366 facial recognition, 305n, 309–10 factories, 43, 85–86, 88, 135 famine, 17, 132 Fannie Mae, 69 fascism, 159–60 fashion, 89, 260 feedback, 112, 162, 169, 203, 298, 301–3, 363–64, 365 fees, service, 81, 82 feudalism, 79 Feynman, Richard, 94 file sharing, 50–52, 61, 74, 78, 88, 100, 223–30, 239–40, 253–64, 277, 317–24, 335, 349 “filter bubbles,” 225, 357 filters, 119–20, 200, 225, 356–57 financial crisis (2008), 76–77, 115, 148n financial services, 7n, 29–31, 35, 38, 45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 56–67, 69–70, 74–80, 82, 115, 116–20, 148n, 153–54, 155, 179–85, 200, 208, 218, 254, 257, 258, 277–78, 298, 299–300, 301, 336–37, 344–45, 348, 350 firewalls, 305 first-class economic citizens, 246, 247, 248–51, 273, 286–87, 323, 349, 355–56 Flightfox, 64 fluctuations, 76–78 flu outbreaks, 110, 120 fMRI, 111–12 food supplies, 17, 123, 131 “Fool on the Hill, The,” 213 Ford, Henry, 43 Ford, Martin, 56n Forster, E.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

There’s no simple software interface for them and you always have a separate piece of hardware that actually flashes the code onto them.”33 What he needed was a cheap and simple microcontroller on which students could quickly load code from their laptops so they could focus on application design, not circuit design. The vast bulk of people interested in physical computing were hackers and artists, not engineers. As Phillip Torrone described it on the blog of Make magazine, a kind of latter-day Popular Science for hardware hackers, “it’s nice to pay your dues and impress others with your massive Art of Electronics book, but for everyone else out there, they just want an LED to blink for their Burning Man costume.”34 The solution to physical computing’s steep learning curve came from Italy’s own Silicon Valley, the town of Ivrea. Best known as the hometown of pioneering Italian computer maker Olivetti, in the early 2000s Ivrea was the site of a short-lived but highly influential design school, the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII). Ivrea, like the Interactive Telecommunications Program, was a magnet for hardware tinkerers and attracted students who pioneered improvements on industrial microcontrollers, such as Colombian artist Hernando Barragán, whose Wiring prototyping platform was a huge step forward for nonengineers who wanted to experiment with physical computing.

The enormous cultural impact of that psychedelic freak-out on American society can be felt today, and it still casts a long shadow over San Francisco. There, Hirshberg has been a driving force behind a new creative space just down the hill from Haight-Ashbury, the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Both physically and spiritually, it sits at the intersection of that 1960s counterculture and a new techno-utopianism. It’s just a few steps to either Twitter’s headquarters or the head office of Burning Man, the radical art festival that builds a temporary city in the Nevada desert each summer. Though he takes inspiration from the hippies, Hirshberg is politically pragmatic. He soon slaps his laptop shut and stops playing dumb. “Look,” he says, “in the 60s you protested the establishment. Today you just write to its API.” For Hirshberg, the way to accelerate change is to plug revolutionary software directly into government databases.


pages: 455 words: 133,322

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Andy Kessler, Burning Man, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, Peter Thiel, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Whole Earth Review, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator

In May 2003, the same time that Hoffman was launching LinkedIn, Pincus unveiled Tribe.net, a social network where members could create a “tribe” around a specific interest. Tribe.net was originally intended to help members share Craigslist-type classifieds so they could buy things from people they knew. Its tribal quality, however, quickly became its trademark, and its most cohesive online tribes were not the ordinary-Joe ones Pincus had envisioned. They included regular attendees at the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada as well as devotees of alternative sexual practices, more interested in just connecting than in buying and selling things. Sean Parker fell in with this San Francisco social networking mafia. At that time, Parker shared a house with Stanford students in Palo Alto, where Friendster was already taking off, and several of these guys were already in his own real-world social network.

Index ABC.com, 298 AboutFace, 145 Abrams, Jonathan, 70–72, 73, 75–76 Academy Awards, 298 Accel Partners, 114–27, 215 Facebook’s meetings and deal with, 117–18, 119–20, 122, 124–26, 129, 130, 143, 146–147, 170, 183, 318, 320, 322, 323 fees of, 114 social networking interest of, 115 Addeman, V, 213 AdSeed, 111–12 AdSense, 111, 324 Advance Research Projects Agency (ARPAnet), 66 advertising: cookies and, 142 engagement, 260–61 gender targeting of, 142 on MySpace, 177–78 targeting of, 141–43, 247, 266, 307 see also Facebook, advertising on Aeneid (Virgil), 138 Affinity Engines, 78 Agarwalla, Jayant, 228, 229 Agarwalla, Rajat, 228, 229 AIDS Vaccine Initiative, 254 AKQA, 263 Alexa Internet data service, 281 Allen, Paul, 216 Alliance of Youth Movements Summit, 291 Allposters.com, 132 Al Qaeda, 291, 292 Amazon.com, 158, 161, 178, 250 ambient intimacy, 203–4 American Growth of Cairo, 280 American Library Association, 209 America Online (AOL), 12, 67, 94, 188, 237, 296, 335 chat rooms of, 293 Instant Messenger (AIM) of, 27, 29, 137, 144, 162, 187, 219 Amherst Regional High School, 207 Anderson, Tom, 74–75, 76, 139 Anderson, Will, 289 Andreessen, Marc, 135, 152, 165–66, 272, 312, 319–20, 321 Anglo-Irish Bank, 204 Angwin, Julia, 74, 76, 153 Apache Web server tools, 38 Apple, 102, 104, 112, 141, 176, 188, 209, 215, 218, 220, 226 iChat, 219 aQuantive, 237 Arizona, University of, 43 Armenia, 291 Armstrong, Tim, 237, 238 Arrington, Michael, 304 Asana, 269, 301 Asian Avenue, 69 Association of Harvard Black Women, 24, 25, 26 Association of National Advertisers, 271 Australia, 16 Authoritas: One Student’s Harvard Admissions and the Founding of the Facebook Era (Greenspan), 84–85 Bahamas, 275 Ballmer, Steve, 237–38, 239–41, 245, 267 Baloun, Karel, 137, 138 Barranquilla, Colombia, 4, 5 Baylor University, 101 BBC, 211 Beacon, 201, 246–48, 250–51, 254, 258, 259, 324 Beard, Ethan, 306, 313 Bebo, 152, 335 Bedecarre, Tom, 263, 264 Beirut (beer drinking game), 55, 96, 129, 144, 175 Ben & Jerry’s, 264, 265 Benchmark venture capital, 53, 71, 112, 268 Berkshire Hathaway, 108 Bermuda, 290 Betancourt, Ingrid, 1, 6 Bewkes, Jeff, 187 Bezos, Jeff, 320 Bing, 326 Black, Tricia, 42, 43, 44, 61, 129, 138 BlackBerry, 50, 316 BlackPlanet, 69 blogging, 128, 263 Borthwick, John, 329 Boston University, 37 Bosworth, Adam, 191 Botha, Roelof, 104, 105 Bowdoin College, 79 boyd, danah, 68 Brainstorm, 166 Brand, Stewart, 66 Brazil, 16, 78, 87, 276, 281–82 Breyer, Jim, 115, 138, 148, 198, 236, 251, 254, 320–21, 322 Accel’s investment in Facebook set up by, 119–21, 122, 168 and broadening Facebook to new demographics, 149, 150 open registration and, 196 Parker’s arrest and, 146–47 Yahoo offer and, 183–84, 185–86 Zuckerberg’s dinner with, 122, 168 Brilliant, Larry, 66 Brin, Sergei, 216, 254 broadband, 76 Bronfman, Edgar, Jr., 54, 125 Brown, Scott, 294 Brown University, 37 Brunei, 275 Buddy Media, 267 Buddy Zoo, 27 Buffett, Warren, 108–9 Burma, 291 Burning Man festival, 73 Burton, Jeremy, 299–300 Bush, George W., 290, 294 BusinessWeek, 169 Buyukkokten, Orkut, 77–78 cages, 225–26 California, University of, at Santa Barbara, 292–93 Callahan, Ezra, 103, 111, 126 Caltech, 38 Cambodia, 275 Campus Network, 101 Camus, Albert, 49 Canada, 16, 275, 328 Cassidy, John, 173 Causes, 224–25, 231–32 Chan, Priscilla, 47, 170, 174, 186, 253 Chase credit cards, 175–76 Chatter, 301 Chavez, Hugo, 1 cheerleaders, 141, 142, 247 Cheever, Charlie, 158, 202–3, 220, 269 Chen, Steve, 129 Chernin, Peter, 161 Chien, Chi-Hua, 116 Children of Jihad (Cohen), 280, 281 Chile, 15, 275, 276, 278, 281 China, 105, 276, 282 Christman, Michael, 223 Cisco, 104 Classmates.com, 67, 335 Clemons, Nick, 293 Clinton, Bill, 307 Clinton, Hillary, 204, 293 Clippinger, John, 328 Club Nexus, 36, 77–78, 79, 84 CNN, 296, 298, 306 Coast Guard, U.S., 295 Coca-Cola, 272 Cohen, Jared, 280, 290 Cohler, Matt, 135, 136, 138, 143, 162, 163, 257 in departure from Facebook, 268, 270 DeWolfe’s meeting with, 139 Facebook stock and, 90, 322 on failure of work networks, 173 investors and, 114, 116, 117–20, 121–23, 126, 128 as maturest member of team, 128 and opening of Facebook to new demographics, 149, 150, 196 Parker’s arrest and, 146 platform work of, 222 recruited to Facebook, 105, 116 recruiting by, 129, 130–31 on the “social graph,” 157 at Viacom meeting, 160 Yahoo’s negotiations with, 183, 184, 185 CollegeFacebook.com, 101 Collegester.com, 79 Colleran, Kevin, 138, 139–40, 330 advertising targeting by, 142 Colombia, 1–6, 7, 8, 16, 265, 278, 288, 290, 291 Columbia University, 35, 36, 79, 91, 101, 291 Community, 297 Compete research firm, 326 “Computer as Communication Device, The” (Licklider and Taylor), 66 comScore Media Metrix, 170, 272, 273, 306 condoms, 295 ConnectU, 83 Consumer Federation of America, 209 Consumerist, 308, 310 consumer monetization, 262 Consumers Union, 308 Conway, Ron, 110, 114 cookies, 141–42 Cornell University, 36, 79 cost per acquisition (CPA), 140 cost per thousand views (CPMs), 139–40, 141 Course Match, 19–20, 23, 27, 29, 31, 32, 80, 306 Cox, Chris, 181, 188, 191, 192, 296, 330 Craigslist, 43, 44, 229 Crampton, Tom, 283 Crest White Strips, 176–77 Crowd of One, A: The Future of Individual Liberty (Clippinger), 328 CrowdStar, 232 Cruise, Tom, 56–57, 98 Cuba, 291 CUCommunity, 36, 79, 101 custom targeting, 141, 247 Cyworld, 69 Czech Republic, 16 Daily Jolt, 79 Daily Mail, 205 Daily Telegraph, 211 Daily Wildcat, 190 D’Angelo, Adam, 38, 44, 53, 64, 130, 143, 162, 242, 322 Buddy Zoo built by, 27 in departure from Facebook, 268–69, 270 Facebook code improved by, 132 at Frisson party, 103–4 interviewing by, 131 new schools added to Facebook by, 37 News Feed and, 181 platform work of, 220, 223 on privacy, 208 Synapse built by, 26, 37, 98, 218 Wirehog and, 99, 100, 104, 131 Dartmouth, 37 Dartmouth University, 36–37, 79, 91, 92 Da Vinci Code, The (Brown), 143 Davis, Gareth, 230 Dawson-Haggerty, Stephen, 46 death panels, 294 Def Jam, 176 Deitch, Melanie, 195 Delaware, 62 Dell, Michael, 304 Deloitte Consulting, 203 Democracy in America (Tocqueville), 223 Denmark, 280 derivative value, 261 Design Within Reach, 221 DeWolfe, Chris, 75, 76, 138–39, 222 Digg, 152, 296 digital cameras, 76 Digital Sky Technologies, 232, 284–285, 322–23 Disney, 272 Dodgeball, 184 Dolan, Shaun, 206 dot-com bust, 69, 70, 88, 114, 236, 245 DoubleClick, 324 Draper, Tim, 120, 122 Draper Fisher Jurvetson, 120 Drucker, Peter, 136 Dublin, 285 Dylan, Bob, 233 Dyson, Esther, 12 eBay, 9, 48, 53, 88, 220 e-condoms, 295 Edelman Digital, 264 Efrusy, Kevin, 115, 116–21, 122, 124, 130, 133, 134, 135, 215 Egypt, 8, 280, 289, 291 Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), 201, 208–9, 233, 309 Eliot, T.


pages: 778 words: 239,744

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Burning Man, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, fault tolerance, fear of failure, gravity well, high net worth, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Khartoum Gordon, lifelogging, neurotypical, pattern recognition, place-making, post-industrial society, Potemkin village, Richard Feynman, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, the market place, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl

Of all the pictures in the collection, only remembrance was complex. So what tears, now, is my body crying up above in the daylight? What complexity measures my situation; what wild, improbable blending of snowflake patterns can do justice to this? And: if I could put my tears under a microscope here and now, inside my refuge, what would I see? My world in pieces, or my house full of police, or a burning man in a room full of ghosts? The mobile that used to hang over my bed when I was a child? What should I decide to see? There’s probably no category for a woman in my position, no word in the lexicon to describe the emotions I feel. Perhaps my tears are unique, the information they contain dense and unanticipated and full of newness. They should be scooped up and preserved, at least analysed. Perhaps the pattern of them expresses who I am, or where, and something strange could come of looking at them

Bekele’s surgeon-jailer. There have been no names for villains in any of this, she realises: Smith is commonplace. Megalos merely means ‘great’. No names, just the things themselves. ‘He doesn’t have a name for me anymore,’ Hunter says, as if overhearing. ‘Just this. This is the meaning of it all. That he can do this to me, and it can disappear, and if that can happen, then the world is broken.’ The burning man leans close to adjust something around her head, and Neith feels the agony and the urge to flee. She hears the words in her head, feels them in her mouth. A puzzle, like everything else. A partial homonym. A flambeau. A torch. A torturer. Who belongs in some measure to her. He is on her side, and for that she must accept a measure of culpability. ‘Diana Hunter,’ Neith says, as if trying out the words.

It is only when their palms touch, soft, dry Hunter and cool Mielikki Neith, that the Inspector understands how important the contact was. This woman is real, and they are in some measure the same. ‘If this is your interrogation, am I like them?’ Hunter’s face is endless. ‘Is there an answer to that question which would change what you’re going to do?’ No, she considers. There is not. Of course not. The right thing. * The burning man leans closer. ‘Oh ho!’ he says. Oh ho! ‘Inspector, we are out of time.’ A smile flickers on Hunter’s face, and on the ravaged face of the body in the chair, defying a stroke-born paralysis of one side. ‘Out of time. Dive. Dive. Dive.’ Oh ho! Darkness falls, and when it does Neith can see in the sky the thing she least wanted to see: a vast, finned shadow lined against a darker background, slow and terrifying.


pages: 220

Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea Into a Global Business by Mikkel Svane, Carlye Adler

Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, credit crunch, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, remote working, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, web application

I liked our corner in the heart of it all, with the little offbeat restaurants like Tu Lan, Showdogs, and farmerbrown. I liked The Warfield, originally built as a vaudeville theater and still one of the coolest concert venues in the Bay Area. I liked the city vibe, and I liked that this was one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods, where rents were still relatively low and where there was a lot of legroom and “heartroom” for new creative businesses. Burning Man had set up headquarters in the area. I knew that technology businesses like Zendesk need creative businesses and inspiration around them in order to evolve. And placing ourselves at what I saw as literally a physical intersection between technology and creativity could only do the business good. 156 Page 156 Svane c09.tex V3 - 10/24/2014 10:32 P.M. Innocence Lost Also, I was used to the area.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

It’s why the old proverb says, “When student is ready, the teacher appears.” DON’T BE PASSIONATE You seem to want that vivida vis animi which spurs and excites most young men to please, to shine, to excel. Without the desire and the pains necessary to be considerable, depend upon it, you never can be so. —LORD CHESTERFIELD Passion—it’s all about passion. Find your passion. Live passionately. Inspire the world with your passion. People go to Burning Man to find passion, to be around passion, to rekindle their passion. Same goes for TED and the now enormous SXSW and a thousand other events, retreats, and summits, all fueled by what they claim to be life’s most important force. Here’s what those same people haven’t told you: your passion may be the very thing holding you back from power or influence or accomplishment. Because just as often, we fail with—no, because of—passion.


pages: 532 words: 155,470

One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness

active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War

ross Evans, interview with the author, august 7, 2007; aaron Weiler, Namibian Bicycle Ambulance Project, available at http://bikecart.pedalpeople.com/namibia. See Megulon 5, “i Meet the Hard Times Bike Club and live to Tell the Tale,” Chunk 666, October 10, 1997, available at http://www.dclxvi.org/chunk/outside/htbc/ meet.html; C. Bales, “The rat patrol,” in Reglar Wiglar, no. 19 (Chicago: Self-published, 2003). For more on Circus redickuless and the Hard Times Bike Club, see Brian Doherty, This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground (new york: little and Brown, 2004), 140–146. Mykle Hansen, “Hell on Wheels,” The Portland Mercury, June 8, 2000. Johnny payphone, “Mutant Bike Culture past and present,” Ghostride Magazine, no. 4 (2006): 23–26; Chris Carlsson, Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners Are Inventing the Future Today (Oakland, Ca: aK press, 2008), 117.

Sanjam records, 1996. lp. Dix, W. F. “Motoring for people of Moderate Means.” The Independent 70 (april 13, 1911): 775–777. Dixon, leon. National Bicycle History Archive. available at http://nbhaa.com/. Dodge, pryor. The Bicycle. paris: Flammarion, 1996. Doherty, Brian. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. new york: public affairs Books, 2007. ———. This Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground. new york: little and Brown, 2004. Domosh, Mona, and Joni Seager. Putting Women in Place: Feminist Geographers Make Sense of the World. new york: Guilford press, 2001. Donnelly, Thomas Michael. Quicksilver. Columbia pictures Corporation, 1986. Film. Dorgan, Byron l. Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America. new york: Thomas Dunne Books/St.


pages: 562 words: 146,544

Daemon by Daniel Suarez

Berlin Wall, Burning Man, call centre, digital map, disruptive innovation, double helix, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, high net worth, invisible hand, McMansion, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RFID, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, web application

Ross grabbed Merritt’s arm. “No heroics, Roy.” “I don’t plan on any.” The Major blocked his path. “Where are you going?” Merritt looked calmly at him. “I’m going to see how that prick deals with flash-bang grenades. Unlock the gaming pit, Major.” The Major appraised Merritt for a moment, then grabbed a radio and headset from a nearby charging station. The man looked as determined as he had in the famous Burning Man images from Sobol’s mansion. He tossed them to Merritt. “Good luck.” The Major watched him exit. Philips turned back to the monitor and keyed the mic again. “Loki, Sobol is using you. What you’re doing is high treason. If you surrender now, I can help you.” “You can help me?” He laughed. “I’m not the one who needs help. The society you’re defending is doomed.” “It’s your society, too, Loki.”

Gragg could now see the rider’s face. “Roy Merritt…holy shit.” Gragg smiled in spite of himself. The famous Roy Merritt—known to every Daemon operative in the world. The man who tackled Sobol’s home defense system and survived—the entire ordeal captured on Sobol’s security cameras. The one and only Roy Merritt was hanging on to Gragg’s car. Gragg was being pursued—and pursued damned well—by the Burning Man himself. He should have known. The son of a bitch had a knife, and he was doing more damage than a squad of corporate military. Gragg couldn’t deny some level of admiration. Merritt had probed Gragg’s defenses, found a hole—one that would be filled in the future—and improvised an exploit. What hacker couldn’t admire the man’s cojones? His instincts? Gragg waved his hand, sending the BMW and its entire escort pack to a screeching halt.


pages: 189 words: 57,632

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

AltaVista, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, en.wikipedia.org, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Law of Accelerating Returns, Metcalfe's law, Mitch Kapor, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, optical character recognition, patent troll, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Skype, slashdot, social software, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Perhaps we can call this "boyd's Law" [NOTE TO EDITOR: "boyd" is always lower-case] for danah [TO EDITOR: "danah" too!] boyd, the social scientist who has studied many of these networks from the inside as a keen-eyed net-anthropologist and who has described the many ways in which social software does violence to sociability in a series of sharp papers. Here's one of boyd's examples, a true story: a young woman, an elementary school teacher, joins Friendster after some of her Burning Man buddies send her an invite. All is well until her students sign up and notice that all the friends in her profile are sunburnt, drug-addled techno-pagans whose own profiles are adorned with digital photos of their painted genitals flapping over the Playa. The teacher inveigles her friends to clean up their profiles, and all is well again until her boss, the school principal, signs up to the service and demands to be added to her friends list.


pages: 239 words: 62,005

Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, butterfly effect, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, Donald Trump, failed state, gender pay gap, illegal immigration, immigration reform, job automation, low skilled workers, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, school choice, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, unpaid internship, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

While libertarians err on the side of absolute personal choice here, I believe that some minimal governmental guidelines are appropriate to better ensure we don’t become a nation of addicts. This is where my belief in individual liberty conflicts with the notion of creating a stable, functioning society. Thus the light touch of government. Interestingly, I’d be happy to be proven wrong here. Maybe there is some utopian alternative; perhaps there’s a Burning Man–type city in which every drug known to humankind would be legal and work out just fine. But I suspect not. Until this happens, the best compromise is to remove all federal restrictions and kick everything back to individual states. If some states want to completely declassify everything, then so be it—it’s their choice, just as it’s your choice to leave if you are unhappy with their decision.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

The emphasis is on producing new and networked objects, and the response was strong enough that Frauenfelder and his coworkers decided that they could expand into producing live events to bring together their community, offering demonstrations and workshops, and growing the number of people interested in these new DIY phenomena. The resulting events, called MAKER Faires, drew from other communities, like the DIYers who have been such a huge part of the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, and became social spaces that blended consumption and production, fan and maker, and online interaction with real-life excitement. The point here is less the commercial success and long-term viability of the etsy and MAKE DIY communities than the ways in which their very existence points toward a future of blended real and virtual communities devoted to the material production of culture along with its integration into more open spaces of commerce, trade, and exchange.


pages: 237 words: 67,154

Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, a New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet by Trebor Scholz, Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, capital controls, citizen journalism, collaborative economy, collaborative editing, collective bargaining, commoditize, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, deskilling, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, minimum viable product, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer, post-work, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, SETI@home, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Not only were peer-to-peer currencies outlawed, but guilds were disbanded, the commons were privatized, and craftspeople used to being paid for the value they created became wage laborers working by the hour, with no ownership stake in their enterprises. Laugh all you like at the rise of artisanal beers and hand-knitted sweaters, but these seemingly precious throwbacks augur the retrieval of the medieval sensibility as surely as Burning Man, Game of Thrones, and the newly expanded menu of body modifications offered by the piercing place at the mall. We are already retrieving the lost spirit of medievalism in our culture and media. The migration of this sensibility to our economy is next. And necessary. Through the establishment of guilds, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, technologists are setting their own standards for how they’ll apply their skills—and the price of the NASDAQ is not on their list.


pages: 229 words: 67,869

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks

I wondered: was unashamedness something that some people just had? Or was it something that could be taught? And that was how I discovered a man teaching a course in how to refuse to feel ashamed. 8 THE SHAME ERADICATION WORKSHOP Twelve Americans - strangers to one another - sat in a circle in a room in the JW Marriott hotel in Chicago. There were buttoned-down, preppy-looking businessmen and women, a young Burning Man type drifter couple, a man with a Willie Nelson ponytail and deep lines in his face. In the middle sat Brad Blanton. He was a large man. His shirt, open to his chest, was yellow-white, like his hair. With his sunburned face he looked like a red ball abandoned in dirty snow. Now he stirred. ‘To begin,’ he said, ‘I want you to tell us something that you don’t want us to know.’ ‘A lot of people move around in life chronically ashamed of how they look, or how they feel, or what they said, or what they did.


pages: 279 words: 71,542

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Burning Man, Cal Newport, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, price discrimination, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs

Following this established path, Harris, once sufficiently schooled in the art of mind-device interaction, dropped out of the master’s program to found Apture, a tech start-up that used pop-up factoids to increase the time users spent on websites. In 2011, Google acquired Apture, and Harris was put to work on the Gmail inbox team. It was at Google where Harris, now working on products that could impact hundreds of millions of people’s behaviors, began to grow concerned. After a mind-opening experience at Burning Man, Harris, in a move straight out of a Cameron Crowe screenplay, wrote a 144-slide manifesto titled “A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users’ Attention.” Harris sent the manifesto to a small group of friends at Google. It soon spread to thousands in the company, including co-CEO Larry Page, who called Harris into a meeting to discuss the bold ideas. Page named Harris to the newly invented position of “product philosopher.”


pages: 216 words: 70,483

Comedy Sex God by Pete Holmes

Burning Man, Haight Ashbury, Maui Hawaii, Rubik’s Cube, Steve Jobs

As much as Ram Dass called this path a “pathless path,” once we were on it, it felt very much like a path. Fortunately, just as I was beginning to despair I saw the bright, open, real-life face of Duncan Trussell as he walked into the tent with his girlfriend. I eagerly waved him over, happy to have another comedian with whom we could share our hesitations. I sat him down, whispering conspiratorially, “What are we doing here? This feels like Burning Man. These people look like they make their own soap.” Duncan laughed, but he was into it. “Just wait, man,” he said. “You’ll see.” After sitting quietly through a traditional Hawaiian musical performance that was lovely but seemed to have nothing to do with anything, the room hushed as a young man pushed Ram Dass in his wheelchair into the room. Some people stood up. Some people clasped their hands together in the namaste prayer position, others cheered.


pages: 211 words: 66,203

Life Will Be the Death of Me: ...And You Too! by Chelsea Handler

airport security, Burning Man, Donald Trump, forensic accounting, impulse control, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, zero-sum game

They were both impossible to wrangle. If I managed to grab Bert and tried to put a leash on him, he’d flinch or snap as soon as I touched his neck. Tying a leash around a dog’s midsection also doesn’t work, and if you don’t believe me, try it. They were skittish and confused, and where there wasn’t drool on the floor, there was piss. My house smelled like a chamber pot and looked like the grounds of the Burning Man festival, three days after it ended. Once Brandon and Tanner arrived, it was revealed upon further family discussion that not only were these dogs not potty-trained, they hadn’t lived indoors ever. Somewhere along the way, Tanner had forgotten to disclose this little tidbit of information when he was doing their background check. Brandon almost hit Tanner that day. “So, they’re wildlings?”


pages: 624 words: 180,416

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

anti-globalists, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, double helix, Internet Archive, inventory management, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, post-materialism, random walk, RFID, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, union organizing, wage slave

It only took a week on the Boston ride before they had their third and fourth nodes. The third was outside of San Francisco, in a gigantic ghost-mall that was already being used as a flea-market. They had two former anchor-stores, one of which was being squatted by artists who needed studio space. The other one made a perfect location for a new ride, and the geeks who planned on building it had cut their teeth building elaborate Burning Man confectioneries together, so Perry gave them his blessing. The fourth was to open in Raleigh, in the Research Triangle, where the strip malls ran one into the next. The soft-spoken, bitingly ironic southerners who proposed it were the daughters of old IBM blue-tie stalwarts who’d been running a women’s tech collective since they realized they couldn’t afford college and dropped out together.

“That’s heresy around here,” he said. “You going to take them to Disney World while you’re in Florida? It’s a lot bigger, you know—and it’s a different division. Really different feel, or so I’m told.” “You kidding? Perry, we came here for your ride. It’s famous, you know.” “Net.famous, maybe. A little.” He felt his cheeks burning. “Well, there will be one in your neck of the woods soon enough.” He told her about the Burning Man collective and the plan to build one down the 101, south of San Francisco International. Kettlebelly returned then with the kids, and he managed to get them into their seats while sucking back a coffee and eating a biscuit from the basket in the center of the table, breaking off bits to shove in the kids’ mouths whenever they protested. “These are some way tired kids,” he said, leaning over to give his wife a kiss.


pages: 296 words: 76,284

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, commoditize, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, New Urbanism, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, Zipcar

In keeping with the findings of economists like Harvard’s Edward Glaeser, who has found that innovation happens faster in cities because proximity to others breeds creativity, a big part of Hsieh’s plan is to draw entrepreneurs from all over the country with a network of co-working spaces where dozens of start-ups can set up shop and work in close proximity to one another. Hsieh wants as many of his employees—and those of the other start-ups—to live in the area as possible, and he knows that having good schools is critical, so his team is working on building an early-childhood school set to open later this year. He’s investing in bringing displays of artwork from the Burning Man festival to the area, and his team is developing bike-sharing and car-sharing programs. “The idea went from, ‘Let’s build a campus’ to ‘Let’s build a city,’” Hsieh says over shots of Fernet, the bitter digestif that has become the team’s signature drink, at his new neighborhood’s Cheers equivalent, the Downtown Cocktail Room. Hsieh has a vision to create his own version of the sidewalk “ballet” Jane Jacobs described, a place where people can live, work, and play without leaving their neighborhood.


pages: 259 words: 73,193

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection by Michael Harris

4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test

For my peers and me, this confusion is all around us, an ambient fog, though we don’t often name it. We look up symptoms on Mayoclinic.org but indulge in “natural” medicine; we refuse to obey any church’s laws, yet we want to hold on to some idea of spirituality and read our Eckhart Tolle; we hunch plaintively over our cell phones for much of the year and then barrel into the desert for a week of bacchanalian ecstasy at the Burning Man festival. One friend of mine, who is more addicted to his phone than most, visits a secret traveling sauna once a month located inside a specially outfitted van. He gets naked with a bunch of like-minded men and women and chats about life inside the van’s superheated cabin; then he tugs his clothes back on and reenters his digital life. I’m at the point where I won’t call one experience authentic and the other inauthentic.


pages: 254 words: 76,064

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

What used to take companies three months from factory to store now only took three days—to anywhere in the world. They also went to HAX Accelerator, a hardware incubator in the middle of the market district, which is run by a pair of French entrepreneurs.34 What the group experienced at all of these companies was an entire ecosystem. From the bespoke little shop making fifty blinking computer-controlled Burning Man badges to the guy rebuilding a phone while eating a Big Mac to the clean room with robots scurrying around delivering parts to rows and rows of SMTs—the low cost of labor was the driving force to pull most of the world’s sophisticated manufacturing here, but it was the ecosystem that developed the network of factories and the tradecraft that allows this place to produce just about anything at any scale.


pages: 232 words: 78,701

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

affirmative action, bitcoin, Burning Man, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, clean water, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Skype, Snapchat, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, upwardly mobile

These people live in a dreamland that exists only in their heads where women are already equal. They think because they have that one boss who is a woman, we’ve made enough progress. They know that one person who didn’t take her husband’s last name, and he doesn’t even care! We can pack it in! Those people are lying to themselves, but they’re not as bad as the people who hear the word “feminist” and think of a caricature version of the bra-burning man-hater whose purpose is to tear down all men. (Most feminists I know love our bras for keeping our nipples from telling everyone the weather.) Way too many people have come to think of feminism as the belief system of hating or emasculating men. Misandry is not feminism, and if an eye for an eye makes the world go blind, we will all need service dogs if we try to fight hate with more hate. Wanting equal rights for women is not synonymous with wanting fewer rights for men, just like me having the option of ordering a salad doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to order red meat.


pages: 266 words: 77,045

The Bend of the World: A Novel by Jacob Bacharach

Burning Man, haute couture, helicopter parent, Isaac Newton, medical residency, phenotype, quantitative easing, too big to fail, trade route, young professional

Someone said, He’s definitely got a problem but I don’t want to say anything because he’d probably just tell me that I do a lot, too, but that’s totally not the point and he knows it. Someone said, Fucking mosquitoes. Someone said, There’s never any food here we should drive down to the gas station who’s coming? Someone said, Who’s Winston Pringle? Someone said, I saw them making out in one of those boxes. Someone said, Last year they lit the whole thing on fire like at Burning Man but I guess maybe it caught someone’s car on fire, too, so this year they’re just doing a regular bonfire. Someone said, This weed sucks have you see Scooty? Someone said, Where the fuck is Mandy? Someone said, I’ve got a job interview there tomorrow but I told them I was going to probably be late or maybe have to miss it and they were all, like, Well, if you miss it you don’t get the job and I just think that’s such bullshit because I have a life, too, you know.


pages: 299 words: 79,739

Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson

British Empire, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, Jeff Bezos, moral panic, Stewart Brand, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, wikimedia commons

The influx of pilgrims each year is the single largest annual migration of human beings on Earth. (Far more people travel annually during Chinese New Year, but they are distributed in rural regions across China, not converging on a single destination as they do in the hajj.) Each year, the Saudis erect an immense pop-up city outside Mecca consisting of 160,000 air-conditioned fiberglass tents, each housing fifty pilgrims, a desert settlement that makes the temporary housing of Burning Man look like a shantytown. Because the Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle, each Islamic year is approximately eleven days shorter than a year following the Gregorian calendar, which means that the actual timing of the hajj shifts backward from year to year. Measured by a Western calendar, a hajj that begins January 1 would be followed the next year by one that commences on December 20. In 1695, the last month of the Islamic calendar corresponded to July on the Gregorian calendar, which meant that the voyage from Surat to Mecca—roughly the same distance as sailing from Istanbul to Gibraltar—would need to begin in late spring to give the traders on board sufficient time to do business in Mocha and other port cities along the way.


pages: 312 words: 78,053

Generation A by Douglas Coupland

Burning Man, call centre, Drosophila, hive mind, index card, Live Aid, Magellanic Cloud, McJob, new economy, post-work, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking

Pass me the Splenda.” As Karen left the lunchroom, Lydia said to her coworkers, “People always seem to fall in love during that magical space before one person sees the other display their signature crazy behaviour. Poor Karen.” But Karen’s heart mended from her break with Bartholomew, and within two years she was engaged to a guy who made sculptures out of cardboard boxes, which he took to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. And life went on. Bartholomew grew older and buggier. People stopped using land-line telephones altogether. Everyone on earth used PDAs, even starving people in starving countries. All languages on earth collapsed and contracted and Bartholomew’s endgame scenario was coming true—language was dying. People began to speak the way they texted, and before he was fifty, language was right back to the level of the log and the roaring fire.


USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Wildflower Village MOTEL $ ( 775-747-8848; www.wildflowervillage.com; 4395 W 4th St; r $50-75, B&B $100-125; ) Perhaps more of a state of mind than a motel, this artists colony on the west edge of town has a tumbledown yet creative vibe. Murals decorate the facade of each room, and you can hear the freight trains rumble on by. BURNING MAN For one week at the end of August, Burning Man (www.burningman.com; admission $210-320) explodes onto the sunbaked Black Rock Desert, and Nevada sprouts a third major population center – Black Rock City. An experiential art party (and alternative universe) that climaxes in the immolation of a towering stick figure, Burning Man is a whirlwind of outlandish theme camps, dust-caked bicycles, bizarre bartering, costume-enhanced nudity and a general relinquishment of inhibitions. Eating Reno’s dining scene goes far beyond the casino buffets. Old Granite Street Eatery AMERICAN $$ ( 775-622-3222; 243 S Sierra St; dishes $9-24; 11am-10pm Mon-Thu, 11am-midnight Fri, 10am-midnight Sat, 10am-4pm Sun) A lovely well-lighted place for organic and local comfort food, old-school artisanal cocktails and seasonal craft beers, this antique-strewn hot spot enchants diners with its stately wooden bar, water served in old liquor bottles and its lengthy seasonal menu.

You’ll find country crooning, wondrous carvings (in butter), livestock shows, sprawling food stalls and a down-home good time in America’s heartland. Runs over 10 days in mid August. September With the end of summer, cooler days arrive, making for pleasant outings nationwide. The kids are back in school, and concert halls, gallery spaces and performing arts venues kick off a new season. BURNING MAN FESTIVAL Over one week, some 50,000 revelers, artists and assorted free spirits descend on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create a temporary metropolis of art installations, theme camps and environmental curiosities. It culminates in the burning of a giant stick figure (www.burningman.com; Click here). NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL Just one of many big film fests (www.filmlinc.com; Click here) in NYC (Tribeca Film Fest in late April is another), this one features world premiers from across the globe, plus Q&As with indie- and prominent directors alike.

The first state to legalize gambling, Nevada is loud with the chime of slot machines singing out from gas stations, supermarkets and hotel lobbies. There’s no legally mandated closing time for bars, so get ready to see sequin-clad grandmas in the casino, beers in hand and trading dollars for blackjack chips, at 2am. Nevada banks on what people really want. Wherever you travel in the Silver State, just remember that Nevada is weird. Witness the peaceful riot of self-expression at Burning Man, try to spot alien UFOs, visit atomic-weapons testing grounds and drive the ‘Loneliest Road in America’: they’re all part of this surreal, unforgettable landscape. Information Prostitution is illegal in Clark County (which includes Las Vegas) and Washoe County (which includes Reno), although there are legal brothels in many of the smaller counties. Nevada is on Pacific Standard Time and has two areas codes: Las Vegas and vicinity is 702, while the rest of the state is 775.


pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

Albert Einstein, Alexander Shulgin, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, private space industry, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

A week after checking out of the hospital, as June sweeps into July, at 10:45 a.m., Mara drops 140 mgs of MDMA, adding a booster pill of another 55 mgs about an hour later. “Buy the ticket,” said Hunter S. Thompson, “take the ride.” 6. Rick Doblin is fifty-six years old, with a strong, stocky frame, curly brown hair, a wide forehead, and a face creased with laugh lines. His demeanor is mostly high school guidance counselor, though his stories are often Burning Man. He was born Jewish, in Oak Park, Illinois, and raised, he says, “under the shadow of the Holocaust.” This produced a teenager who eschewed sports and girls for books about civil disobedience. At fourteen, he had already devoted his life to social justice. By sixteen, he’d decided to become a draft resister, meaning he would always have a criminal record and “couldn’t be a lawyer or a doctor or do most of the things a good Jewish boy was supposed to do.”


pages: 303 words: 81,071

Infinite Detail by Tim Maughan

3D printing, augmented reality, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cognitive dissonance, friendly fire, global supply chain, Internet of things, Mason jar, off grid, Panamax, post-Panamax, ransomware, RFID, security theater, self-driving car, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, the built environment, urban decay, urban planning

The sound systems are out, dotted here and there like alien monoliths, bass resonating through the architecture. People are dancing, talking, sitting. Smoke rises from makeshift fires and barbecues. Here and there tents have been thrown up by those who won’t or can’t leave. Pure carnival vibes. It’s somehow both friendly and apocalyptic, welcoming and tense at the same time, like Glastonbury Festival or Burning Man dropped into an urban space too cramped and ill-designed to safely hold it. “Have you seen the chat recently?” Rush is continuing. “Looked at the public timelines? It’s a fucking mess. It’s just full of randoms screaming at each other. It’s impossible to follow anything, impossible to make announcements, get information out … It’s a fucking mess. It’s all conspiracy theories and lies. People making up unsubstantiated shit and other people believing them.


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

Accounting History Review 21(3), 309–345. Omwansa, T., and N. Sullivan. 2012. Money, Real Quick: The Story of M-Pesa. London: Guardian Books. Pantaleone, W. 2014. Italy seizes 556,000 euros in fake coins minted in China. Daily Mail, 12 December. Peck, M. 2013. Ripple credit system could help or harm Bitcoin. IEEE Spectrum, 14 January. Pentland, A. 2014. Social physics and the human centric society. In From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond (ed. D. Bollier and J. Clippinger), pp. 3–10. Boston, MA: ID3. Perez, C. 2005. The changing nature of financial and institutional innovations. In Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, pp. 138–151. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Postman, N. 1993. The judgement of Thamus. In Technopoly, pp. 3–20. New York: Vintage. Pringle, H. 1998. The cradle of cash. Discover, October, p. 52.


pages: 345 words: 84,847

The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt

active measures, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, haute couture, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, lone genius, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, microbiome, Netflix Prize, new economy, New Journalism, pets.com, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, X Prize

Similarly, Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead revisits Shakespeare’s Hamlet from the perspective of two minor characters. John Gardner’s novel Grendel retells the epic poem Beowulf from the vantage point of one of the monsters. Taking myths and fables from around the world, students can shift points of view to make something new. Another strategy is to update stories. In Tim Manley’s Alice in tumblr-land, King Arthur parties at Burning Man, Thumbelina stars in a reality TV show, and the Frog Prince sits in a park wearing a sign that says “Free Hugs.” Alternate histories are another technique for honing intelligent intuitions by extrapolating creatively from what students have learned. Kingsley Amis’ novel The Alteration imagines what modern times would be like if Henry VIII had never ruled England. In Amis’ version, Henry VIII’s older brother still dies young, but not before bearing a son, who defeats Henry and inherits the throne.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

And the message has been the same all along, from Paris in ’68 to the Berlin Wall, from Warsaw to Tiananmen Square: Let the kids rock and roll!3 The connection between counterculture and corporate power was a typical assertion of the New Economy era, and what it implied was that rebellion was not about overturning elites, it was about encouraging business enterprise. I myself mocked this idea in voluminous detail at the time. But it did not wane with the dot-com crash; indeed, it has never retreated at all. From Burning Man to Apple’s TV commercials, it is all over the place today. Think of the rock stars who showed up for Facebook billionaire Sean Parker’s wedding in Big Sur, or the rock ’n’ roll museum founded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen in Seattle, or the transformation of San Francisco, hometown of the counterculture, into an upscale suburb of Silicon Valley. Wherever you once found alternative and even adversarial culture, today you find people of merit and money and status.


pages: 239 words: 80,319

Lurking: How a Person Became a User by Joanne McNeil

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, Chris Wanstrath, citation needed, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, feminist movement, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, helicopter parent, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, l'esprit de l'escalier, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, packet switching, PageRank, pre–internet, profit motive, QAnon, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing complete, We are the 99%, web application, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

But contrast these recent statements with what was written in a 2003 New York Times profile of danah boyd: “Friendster is trying to cut off any behavior that is not in line with their marketing perspective and the idea that this is a dating site,” boyd told the Times. “He didn’t want to know anything that would help user experiences unless it has to do with dating … At another point he told me that it was my type of people who were ruining the system, meaning the Burning Man, freak, San Francisco crowd” (Jonathan Abrams, Internet History podcast, September 19, 2016; Michael Erard, “Decoding the New Cues in Online Society,” The New York Times, November 27, 2003). The quote about Friendster as a “way to surf through [Abrams’s] friends’ address books for good-looking girls” comes from another New York Times story (Gary Rivlin, “Wallflower at the Web Party,” October 15, 2006).


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

For that to happen, not only would there have to be some syncretistic convergence at the popular level between Oprah devotees, practicing Hindus, and would-be druids and shamans, but the highbrow pantheists—the intellectuals and tastemakers—would need to embrace a clearer cultic aspect for their faith, a set of public rituals of the kind we associate with, say, classical Roman devotions, as opposed to just private experiences with ’shrooms or meditation. (Burning Man almost gets you there, but not quite…) Maybe that’s impossible; the Western intelligentsia tiptoed in that direction in the spoon-bending, “What’s your sign?” days of 1970s religion, but nowadays our intellectuals seem embarrassed by anything too frankly supernaturalist, and our Silicon Valley overlords prefer to launder their religious impulses through techno-utopianism rather than New Age rituals.


The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work by Vishen Lakhiani

Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, performance metric, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, web application, white picket fence

Connection is a deeply seated desire for all humans. We crave it. And when we get it in the workplace, life and work fuse together seamlessly. As the founder of a company in personal growth, I witness over and over how people struggle alone with thoughts and experiences that are universal. I’ve experienced hundreds of transformational events where people connect more deeply than they usually do in public—from Burning Man to A-Fest to Mindvalley University. It’s magical when groups are given permission to share authentically. That’s when our insecurities, challenges, weirdnesses even, dissolve. This allows people to shift from feeling alone, confused, and fearful to feeling supported, understood, and fearless. Social bonds are the number one variable that raises a person’s physical health, mental state, and day-to-day performance.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, scrolling frantically for Greg Kidd’s number. Kidd was one of the few people Jack trusted in San Francisco. As of a few minutes ago, he might have become the only person he trusted in San Francisco. The two had worked together in the past, and although a business they had once started in partnership had ended with near bloodshed, Kidd had always been there for Jack. In 2005, after Jack had spent a week at Burning Man, traipsing through Black Rock City and dancing inebriated until sunrise to techno music, he had shown up on Kidd’s doorstep in Berkeley, jobless and essentially homeless. He had been a different Jack back then, sporting blue dreadlocks and grimy clothes. Still, Kidd had taken him in and let him stay in the guesthouse in the backyard. He also gave him a job as a nanny for his newborn baby. A blue-haired, dreadlocked nanny with a nose ring in Berkeley.


pages: 302 words: 87,776

Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dr. Dan Ariely, Jeff Kreisler

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, bitcoin, Burning Man, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, experimental economics, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, mobile money, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Uber for X, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

He may have even paid more overall, and still his joy was higher. This pattern has not escaped the attention of some businesses. Prepayment has become trendy. Fancy restaurants like Trois Mec in Los Angeles, Chicago’s Alinea, and New York’s Atera are now encouraging customers to prepay for meals online. But prepaying isn’t just a trend, it’s all around us. We buy Broadway tickets, airfare, and Burning Man passes well before we use them. Heck, you paid for this book before you consumed it, rather than waiting to finish the last page (at which time you’ll likely want to send us a thank-you note with a substantial tip). If we pay for something before consuming it, the actual consumption of it feels almost painless. There is no pain of paying at that time, nor any worrying about paying in the future.


pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

air freight, Alexander Shulgin, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, John Bercow, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, Mother of all demos, Network effects, nuclear paranoia, packet switching, pattern recognition, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, pre–internet, QR code, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sexual politics, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

‘I’ve got this,’ said a mate unenthusiastically, passing me a wrap. ‘We got it off the net, and we did it in Berlin. It’s horrible but you might like it.’ Hardly a recommendation. But I’m a curious type. I’ve taken my fair share of pills and powders in two decades of drug-taking, with Ecstasy, cocaine and ketamine regularly on the menu, as well as the occasional acid or mushroom trip. I even did DMT once, and rattled around Burning Man 2005 guzzling the postcode drugs (2C-B, 2C-E and their chums). I asked my mate more. Turns out it was something synthetic. ‘One of those new ones, off the net,’ he said. The important thing was to only do a tiny amount. He stressed this: ‘Just half what you’d do if it was K.’ I knew about the new synthetics and I knew dosage was a serious thing: overdo it even a little and you’d be cabbaged or worse.


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

additive manufacturing, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, peer-to-peer rental, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Zipcar

Every age must find its balance between the two, and in every age the domination of either one will bring with it the call for its opposite. —Lewis Hyde, The Gift, 49 It is May 2015, and I’m contemplating the future of capitalism at OuiShare Fest, a gathering in Paris with a decidedly non-capitalist vibe.1 Over a thousand sharing-economy enthusiasts have gathered in and around the main venue, a giant red tent called Cabaret Sauvage, for a celebration that feels part TED, part Burning Man, and part Woodstock. I’m sitting outdoors enjoying the springtime sun with two of the founders of OuiShare and eating my conference-provided lunch, a bowl of organic lentils and beets. Behind me, preparations are afoot for the Love Fest, an all-night party that brings the three-day event to a close. Volunteers take turns on a pedal-powered generator connected to large acoustic speakers, producing short bursts of piped-in music that compete with the enthusiastic live singing of a band nearby.


pages: 324 words: 93,175

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Burning Man, business process, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, second-price auction, software as a service, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, young professional

Ayelet is currently a professor at the University of California, San Diego. (If you happen upon another Gneezy on my list of collaborators, this is not because it is a popular last name.) Uri Gneezy Uri is one of the most sarcastic and creative people I have ever met. Both of these skills enable him to turn out important and useful research effortlessly and rapidly. A few years ago, I took Uri to Burning Man, and while we were there he completely fit into the atmosphere. On the way back he lost a bet and, as a consequence, was supposed to give a gift to a random person every day for a month. Sadly, once back in civilization he was unable to do so. Uri is currently a professor at the University of California, San Diego. Emir Kamenica I met Emir through Dražen and soon came to appreciate his range of skills and depth of economic thinking.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

Both drivers and passengers could create profiles, with photos, links to their social media and blogs, information about languages they speak, and details of what they are interested in. Profiles could also include a very short audio clip (telling us, say, what you had for breakfast, or a joke) because we had learned from research that people are more likely to trust someone if they can hear the other person’s voice. People could form groups that either would be open to all (the Burning Man group, the rock climbing group, the IKEA group) or private (the Arlington youth soccer group), and trips could be broadcast easily to the entire group. You could create trip alerts so that if anyone was ever going between your neighborhood and IKEA, or New York, or Walden Pond, you would know about it. A map on your personalized home page would show you where rides that originated near you were going that day, letting serendipity guide your travel.


pages: 364 words: 93,033

In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors by Doug Stanton

Burning Man, traveling salesman

Dropping their syringes and rolls of bandages, Haynes and Schmueck ran across the deck and up a ladder to the next deck, which led to the number-one smokestack and several gun mounts. Here, boys were cutting down life vests and passing them out to a constant flow of men. Haynes grabbed as many as he could, and then he and Schmueck ran back down the ladder to their writhing patients. Haynes approached the burned man with the wings for skin. As he loosely tied the canvas straps around the man, he kept telling him, “I have to do this. I have to do this. Oh Christ, I have to do this.” The man screamed as Haynes pulled the vest snug. And then Haynes turned his attention to the next wounded man. Working steadily by the weak light of an intermittent moon, he tried his best as his heart broke. What happened next was almost too much to bear, but he watched without averting his eyes.


pages: 340 words: 91,745

Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin

Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Burning Man, business intelligence, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Donald Trump, double helix, dumpster diving, East Village, feminist movement, forensic accounting, fudge factor, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Lyft, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, telemarketer, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

I abhor routine. He talked of sailing the world, trekking Aconcagua, visiting the White House. Power! Excitement! And yes, love. Grown-up love. Not backbreaking, mind-numbing passion, which tends to induce craziness. But life-mate kind of love. The kind of love on which foundations are built. The beauty of it was that he wasn’t the sort of man I usually went for, which is to say he didn’t know a Burning Man from a burning bush, nor did he care. He (non-ironically) liked the music of the 1970s Muzak band Bread. He was up at 5:00 a.m. As far as I’m concerned, nothing good happens before 10:00. I worried about our different nocturnal habits. But compromise is key, right? The person you end up with is rarely the person you thought you’d end up with. The person you have the best sex with is not necessarily the person you should marry.


pages: 1,280 words: 384,105

The Best of Best New SF by Gardner R. Dozois

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Columbine, congestion charging, dark matter, Doomsday Book, double helix, Extropian, gravity well, lateral thinking, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent, Y2K, zero-sum game

I looked around and it was true: on the opposite side of the aisle, two seats ahead, Milo sat watching me over his shoulder, a trickle of blood running down his forehead. One corner of his mouth pulled tighter in a rueful smile. Mr. Graves came back from the front seat and shook my hand. I saw the fat singer from the country club, still naked. The locker-room boy. A flickering light from the back of the bus: when I turned around there stood the burning man, his eye sockets two dark hollows behind the wavering flames. The shopping-mall guard. Hector from the hardware store. They all looked at me. “What are you doing here?” I asked Ruth. “We couldn’t let you go on thinking like you do. You act like I’m some monster. I’m just a person.” “A rather nice-looking young lady,” Graves added. “People are monsters,” I said. “Like you, huh?” Ruth said.

I get along fine, don’t I?” The mall guard broke in. “Actually, miss, the reason we caught on to you is that someone saw you walk into the men’s room.” He looked embarrassed. “But you didn’t catch me, did you?” Ruth snapped back. She turned to me. “You’re afraid of change. No wonder you live back here.” “This is all in my imagination,” I said. “It’s because of your drugs.” “It is all in your imagination,” the burning man repeated. His voice was a whisper. “What you see in the future is what you are able to see. You have no faith in God or your fellow man.” “He’s right,” said Ruth. “Bull. Psychobabble.” “Speaking of babble,” Milo said, “I figured out where you got that goo-goo-goo stuff. Talk – ” “Never mind that,” Ruth broke in. “Here’s the truth. The future is just a place. The people there are just people.

That means ‘Fuck you too.’” I shook my head to try to make them go away. That was a mistake: the bus began to pitch like a sailboat. I grabbed for Ruth’s arm but missed. “Who’s driving this thing?” I asked, trying to get out of the seat. “Don’t worry,” said Graves. “He knows what he’s doing.” “He’s brain-dead,” Milo said. “You couldn’t do any better,” said Ruth, pulling me back down. “No one is driving,” said the burning man. “We’ll crash!” I was so dizzy now that I could hardly keep from being sick. I closed my eyes and swallowed. That seemed to help. A longtime passed; eventually I must have fallen asleep. When I woke it was late morning and we were entering the city, cruising down Eglinton Avenue. The bus had a driver after all – a slender black man with neatly trimmed sideburns who wore his uniform hat at a rakish angle.


pages: 342 words: 95,013

The Zenith Angle by Bruce Sterling

airport security, Burning Man, cuban missile crisis, digital map, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Iridium satellite, market bubble, new economy, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, Y2K

And that’s got me very, very concerned. This UFO you’re witnessing, is it still up there?” Of course the UFO was still up there. It wasn’t there like a piece of aircraft metal—it was there like a terrifying bloody haze, occult, supernatural. “Yeah. It’s still there. It’s hovering. I think it’s watching us.” “Tom, I never thought I would have to use this with you. But I learned this in the chill-out tent at Burning Man. Tell that thing to move, Tom. Give it an order, out loud. Speak right to it. Because if it’s all in your head, then it’ll do whatever you say.” “That proves I’m crazy.” “You’re the boss, Tom. Tell that thing where to get off.” DeFanti craned his neck and stared. He was encountering a UFO. He didn’t have many choices. “Move left!” In all its uncanny majesty, the intruder slowly did as he said.


pages: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

CHAPTER 3 REBEL-KINGS IN WORRISOME BERETS One recent November, Stacey Asher and Greg Ferenstein and a few thousand other citizens of MarketWorld found themselves aboard a 145,655-register-ton Norwegian cruise ship bound for the Bahamas. The idea of doing well for yourself by doing good for others is a gospel, one that is celebrated and reevangelized at an unending chain of tent revivals around the world. The citizens of MarketWorld can reinforce the mission at conference after conference: Davos, TED, Sun Valley, Aspen, Bilderberg, Dialog, South by Southwest, Burning Man, TechCrunch Disrupt, the Consumer Electronics Show, and now, at Summit at Sea, on a cruise ship full of entrepreneurs wishing to change the world. Summit at Sea was a four-day-long maritime bacchanal honoring the credo of using business to change the world—and perhaps of using “changing the world” to prosper in business. It brought together a great many entrepreneurs and financiers who invest in entrepreneurs, some artists and yoga teachers to keep things interesting and healthy, and various others who tend to run in those circles and whose bios refer to them using terms like “influencer,” “thought leader,” “curator,” “convener,” “connector,” and “community manager.”


pages: 379 words: 99,340

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Ayatollah Khomeini, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, business cycle, citizen journalism, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, dark matter, David Graeber, death of newspapers, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, housing crisis, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, job-hopping, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Port of Oakland, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, too big to fail, traveling salesman, University of East Anglia, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, young professional

The immoral act in question, let’s recall, consisted of teenagers exchanging music files.[11] Few incidents better illustrate the pervasiveness of authority as a belief system which anoints the chosen few, or the implacable fury of the anointed against a trespassing public. If Jack Valenti had had the power to convict Shawn Fanning to 19 ½ years in a Federal penitentiary, I’m fairly certain he would have done so. A Burning Man on Facebook Lights the Way for Political Change in Tunisia You could object that this has been a tragic tale, signifying nothing. Even if Hoder threatened the Iranian authorities on the plane of morality, little was changed down here on planet Earth. The Islamic Republic rolled on, dictatorial as always, still ruled by unpleasant men. Hoder continues to agonize in Evin Prison, living out the longest sentence ever pronounced against a blogger in Iran.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

In southern Australia in 2018, Tesla announced plans to build the world’s largest “virtual power plant,” covering the roofs of fifty thousand homes with solar panels that will be linked together to supply the grid. The panels are going up on public housing first, cutting residents’ power bills by a third.12 Again, we’re not talking about earth shelters in Aspen built of adobe and old tires by former software executives who converted to planetary consciousness at Burning Man. The Borkowskis’ house couldn’t be more ordinary: the girls’ rooms feature Frozen bedspreads and One Direction posters, as well as two rabbits and a parakeet named Oliver. The family had no particular interest in the environment: “If it’s not on the Disney Channel, I don’t hear about it,” Sara told me. The house sits in a less-than-picturesque neighborhood, in a town made famous for its junkies.


pages: 2,323 words: 550,739

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, Updated Ed. by Patricia Schultz

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bretton Woods, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, estate planning, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

BEAVER CREEK: Tel 800-842-8062 or 970-476-9090; www.beavercreek.snow.com. Cost: lift tickets from $81. RITZ-CARLTON BACHELOR GULCH: Avon. Tel 800-241-3333 or 970-748-6200; www.ritzcarlton.com. Cost: from $195. BEST TIMES: ski season mid-Nov–early Apr. Party Arty BURNING MAN Black Rock City, Nevada Don’t worry if you can’t find Black Rock City on a map. It exists for only a few short days—erected on a playa, a dried-up lake bed, in the middle of the scorching Nevada desert. But for its self-proclaimed citizens, it is its own universe and the place they consider home. It is the setting for Burning Man, a weeklong art project/installation/festival that celebrates art, survival, and life—and the opportunity for some 25,000 fierce individualists to go crazy. The first “Man” was burned on a beach in San Francisco by friends Larry Harvey and Jerry James on June 21, 1986.

And yet participants, many of whom go year after year, report very little other than kindness, silliness, and great inspiration. The peak (though it takes place on the penultimate night) is the burning of the “Man,” a four-story wooden figure erected with great care, only to be destroyed in an act of sacrifice and acknowledgment of the fleetingness of art and life itself. Then the Tribe of the Burning Man returns to what clansmen call the “default world,” already planning for next year. WHERE: 120 miles north of Reno. Tel 415-TO-FLAME; www.burningman.com. Cost: from $225, includes entrance fee and a campsite. When: late Aug–early Sept. Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? COWBOY CULTURE Nevada The American cowboy is the very symbol of American spirit, strong and proud. Embodied on the silver screen by everyone from John Wayne and Alan Ladd to Robert Duvall, he is the essential masculine hero figure.

., 715 Buffalo Chip, S.Dak., 660 BUFFALO NATIONAL RIVER, Ark., 391 Buffalo Outdoor Center, Ark., 391 Buffalo Roundup, S.Dak., 654 Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival, S.Dak., 654 BUFFALO WINGS, N.Y., 141–42 Buffy’s, Mass., 52 Buhl Planetarium, Pa., 229 Bullfrog Marina, Utah, 792 Bully’s Soul Food, Miss., 441 Burdick Handmade Chocolates, N.H., 77 BURLINGTON, Vt., 92–93 Burlington Bike Path, Vt., 93 BURNING MAN, Nev., 724–25 Burntside Lodge, Minn., 549 Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Va., 256 Bushnell Park, Conn., 13 BUTCHART GARDENS, B.C., 1059–60 Butcher and Singer, Pa., 225 Butcher Hollow, Ky., 404 Butler, Md., 125 Butler Wash Petroglyph Panel, Utah, 789 Butterfly Tours, B.C., 1047 Buttermilk, Colo., 703 Byron T’s Saloon, N.Mex., 742 C Cabbage Key, Fla., 326 Caboose Ice Cream, Ga., 331 CABOT TRAIL, Cape Breton Island, N.S., 986–87 CADDO LAKE, Tex., 774–75 CAESARS PALACE, Nev., 727–28 Caesars Tahoe, Nev., 726 Café Adelphi, N.Y., 203 CAFÉ ANNIE, Tex., 772 Café Beaujolais, Calif., 830 Café Boulard, Fla., 325 Café Campagne, Wash., 898 Café Cardoza, Fla., 318 Café des Amis, La., 435 Café Diablo, Utah, 792 Café du Monde, La., 425 Café Poca Cosa, Ariz., 700 Café Vermilionville, La., 422 Café Wha?


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

The trial balloon of an information technology free zone echoes remarks made in 2013 by Google CEO Larry Page during his Google I/O keynote speech, as he wondered aloud about a “Google Island” where we “set aside a part of the world. … 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.”34 Page compared his speculative temporary autonomous zone to Burning Man, a city that comes and goes on an annual cycle unlike an actual island, and so of only limited experimental significance and value. Page's thought bubble presents more than few problems, even taken at face value (especially taken at face value). “Without having to deploy it to the whole world” implies that the island is a society-sized laboratory with all the standard measures in place to isolate and contain contaminants from entering or exiting.35 Accordingly the test-bed can prototype the ideal software society within its formal boundary only if that border is enforced by draconian walls and firewalls.

See also camp/enclave; walled gardens within airports, 155–156, 324 within cities, 311–312 conflicts, 9, 120, 144 economy of, 323 of enclosure and escape, 22, 32–33, 149–150, 172–176, 303 enforcing, 310 as envelope-interface, 172–173 formal and informal, 97 geopolitical geography of, 6–7, 97, 120, 144, 172–173, 308–310, 323–324, 409n42 globalization destabilizing and enforcing, 23 interfaces as, 220 Internet, 318 reversibility of, 23, 32–33, 148–149 of self, 262 software, 315 of technology, 29 virtual, 309 Borges, Jorge Luis, 209, 211, 363 Chinese Encyclopedia problem, 451n61 bots, 278, 344 boundaries of self, 262 Bourdieu, Pierre, 424n41 “Brain Is the Screen, The” (Deleuze), 219 brand, power of, 128, 130 Branzi, Andrea, 150–151 Brassier, Ray, 390n19 breach theory, 113 Brin, David, 454n75 Brin, Sergey, 139 Broad Museum, 320 bunker. See camp/enclave bureaucracy, 7, 342 Burning Man, 315 Burroughs, William S., 157 Bush, George W., 322 California Ideology, 57, 385n20 Calit2 (California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology), 267 CalTrans building, 320, 322–323 Calvino, Italo, 147 Cameron, David, 399n37 camp/enclave. See also borders defined, 368–369 exceptionality of, 23, 32–33 free of information technology, 313, 315 gated communities as, 311–312 interiority/exteriority of, 173–175, 311–312 nomos of the Modern, 20, 369 refugee, 174–175, 308, 312 reversibility of, 23, 32–33, 312, 324 walled gardens compared, 187 Campus 2 (Apple), 186–187, 189, 320 Čapek, Karel, 279 capital, computational, 80–81 capitalism accomplishments of, 332 algorithmic, 72, 80–81 Anthropocenic, 213 cognitive, 110, 116, 203, 241, 258, 295 digital, 80 future of, 321 industrial/postindustrial, 80, 128, 254 of people versus things, 212 capitalist pricing problem, 333, 337, 369 carbon economy, 98 carbon footprint China, 259 of data computing, 92–96 electricity generation, 95 India, 95 stabilizing, 259, 303 US, 259 carbon governance, 88–90 carbon police, 306 Carpenter, John, 427n51 cars car+phone hybrid, 280 communication in, 280 driverless, 238, 279–283, 342, 344, 437nn57–58 (see also Google Car) hacking, 283–284 human-driven, 283, 344–345 redefining, 238–239 vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) networks, 281–282, 438n60 cartography function of the state, 119 cassiterite, 82 Castells, Manuel, 416n28 catallaxy, 329–331, 375 Celebration, Florida (Disney), 311 cellular phones.


Lonely Planet's Best of USA by Lonely Planet

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, mass immigration, obamacare, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, Works Progress Administration

. (%415-831-1200; www.amoeba.com; 1855 Haight St; h11am-8pm) Amoeba Records / RANAPICS / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO © Britex Fabrics Fabric Map Google Map Runway shows can’t compete with Britex’s fashion drama. First floor: designers bicker over dibs on caution-orange chiffon. Second floor: glam rockers dig through velvet goldmines. Third floor: Hollywood costumers make vampire movie magic with jet buttons and silk ribbon. Top floor: fake fur flies as costumers prepare for Burning Man, Halloween or an average SF weekend. (%415-392-2910; www.britexfabrics.com; 146 Geary St; h10am-6pm Mon-Sat; g38, jPowell-Mason, Powell-Hyde, mPowell, ZPowell) Electric Works Art, Books Map Google Map Everything a museum store aspires to be, with a fascinating collection of arty must-haves – beeswax crayons, East German ice-cream spoons, Klein bottles, vintage wind-up toys – plus limited-edition prints and artists’ books by David Byrne, Enrique Chagoya and other contemporary artists.


pages: 390 words: 108,171

The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos by Christian Davenport

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Burning Man, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, high net worth, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, life extension, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, multiplanetary species, obamacare, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, private space industry, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, X Prize, zero-sum game

FOR WEEKS, MUSK and a small SWAT team of SpaceX employees had spent their Saturdays working on the Mars architecture, and the presentation. But they seemed to overlook a key detail—the Q & A session that would follow. The organizers left the microphones accessible to anyone in the audience, and it soon took a turn into the absurd, as general audience members took the opportunity to ask Musk whatever they wanted. Someone named Aldo, who sounded as if he was stoned, said he had just gotten back from Burning Man, the annual pilgrimage in the Nevada desert, where he said it was cold, dusty, and uncomfortable—and compounded by overflowing sewage. “Is this what Mars is going to be like—just a dusty, waterless shitstorm?” Aldo asked. Another guy told Musk he wanted to give him a comic book about the “first man on Mars, just like you.” But he couldn’t get by the guards protecting the stage, and asked, “Should I just throw this onto the stage?”


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

(Second Life is rebooting itself as a 3-D world in 2016, code-named Project Sansa.) Avatars communicated via text balloons floating over their heads, typed by owners. It was like walking around in a comic book. This clunky interface held back any deep sense of presence. The main attraction of Second Life was the completely open space for constructing a quasi-3-D environment. Your avatar walked onto an empty plain, like the blank field at a Burning Man festival, and could begin constructing the coolest and most outrageous buildings, rooms, or wilderness places. Physics didn’t matter, materials were free, anything was possible. But it took many hours to master the arcane 3-D tools. In 2009 a game company in Sweden, Minecraft, launched a similar construction world in quasi-3-D, but employed idiot-easy building blocks stacked like giant Legos.


pages: 398 words: 109,479

Redrobe by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

air freight, Burning Man, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Kickstarter, music of the spheres

His skin was an all-over pattern of eyes that stared or slowly blinked at the Colt. In one of the man’s hands was a rope, except that when the rope saw the Colt it opened its mouth and hissed. And the man’s other three arms were waving slowly like seaweed caught in a gentle tide as fire danced up his sides burying him beneath an aura of fractal-edged flame. ‘Fucking Jesus,’ said the Colt, and the burning man grinned. ‘Right idea, wrong culture.’ The Colt grinned back, wickedly. Still busy cutting itself in and out of loops, finessing silent corns connections… And if the old man of the flames knew what the ghost of the gun was doing he didn’t let it show. Though given the glint in a thousand eyes, the Colt wouldn’t have liked to bet on him not knowing. ‘Tsongkhapa,’ the Colt said finally, when the information fell into place.


Coastal California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, flex fuel, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Lyft, Mason jar, New Journalism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Hardcore EspressoCAFE ( GOOGLE MAP ; %707-823-7588; 81 Bloomfield Rd; h5am-7pm Mon-Fri, 6am-7pm Sat & Sun; W)S Meet local hippies and artists over coffee and smoothies at this classic NorCal, off-the-grid, indoor-outdoor coffeehouse, south of downtown, that’s essentially a corrugated-metal-roofed shack surrounded by umbrella tables. Jasper O’Farrell’sBAR ( GOOGLE MAP ; %707-829-2062; 6957 Sebastopol Ave; hnoon-2am) Busy bar with billiards and live music most nights; good drink specials. 7Shopping Antique shops line Gravenstein Hwy S toward Hwy 101. Funk & FlashCLOTHING ( GOOGLE MAP ; %707-829-1142; www.funkandflash.com; 228 S Main St; h11am-7pm) Disco-glam party clothes, inspired by Burning Man. Midgley’s Country Flea MarketMARKET ( GOOGLE MAP ; %707-823-7874; www.mfleamarket.com; 2200 Gravenstein Hwy S; h7:30am-4:30pm Sat, 6:30am-5:30pm Sun) The region’s largest flea market. Copperfield’s BooksBOOKS ( GOOGLE MAP ; %707-823-2618; www.copperfields.net; 138 N Main St; h10am-7pm Mon-Sat, to 6pm Sun) Indie bookshop with literary events. BeekindFOOD, HOMEWARES ( GOOGLE MAP ; %707-824-2905; www.beekind.com; 921 Gravenstein Hwy S; h10am-6pm Mon-Sat, to 4pm Sun)S Local honey and beeswax candles.

I Madonnari Italian Street Painting FestivalART, FOOD ( GOOGLE MAP ; www.imadonnarifestival.com; hMemorial Day weekend, generally last weekend in May; c; g6, 11)F Colorful chalk drawings adorn Mission Santa Barbara’s sidewalks over Memorial Day weekend, with Italian-food vendors and arts-and-crafts booths too. oSummer Solstice CelebrationFESTIVAL (%805-965-3396; www.solsticeparade.com; hlate Jun)F Kicking off summer, this wildly popular and wacky float parade down State St feels like something out of Burning Man. Live music, kids' activities, food stands, a wine-and-beer garden and an arts-and-craft show happen all weekend long. Santa Barbara County FairFAIR ( GOOGLE MAP ; %805-925-8824; www.santamariafairpark.com; Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S Thornburg St, Santa Maria; adult/child $10/8, child under 5yr free; hmid-Jul; c) This old-fashioned county fair combines agriculture exhibits, carnival rides and lots of food and wine.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Johnson’s formal title at Airbnb was general counsel, but as Chesky’s first significant senior hire, she became more of a consigliere. She helped Chesky recruit his original chief financial officer, Andrew Swain, who came from the accounting software maker Intuit, as well as Mike Curtis, vice president of engineering from Facebook, who could help Nate Blecharczyk manage a large engineering team and a global, rapidly scaling website. Chesky trusted Johnson and befriended her; they twice attended the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert together with groups of friends and colleagues and he said they spoke “every day, multiple times a day.”2 Chesky had good reason to make a veteran attorney his first major outside hire. The company had mounting regulatory challenges around the world, where its fierce sense of its own righteous mission was clashing with an increasingly hostile reception in cities like San Francisco, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and particularly New York City, its largest market at the time.


pages: 441 words: 113,244

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity From Politicians by Joe Quirk, Patri Friedman

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Celtic Tiger, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, Dean Kamen, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, financial intermediation, Gini coefficient, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, stem cell, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, young professional

Patri, who had already founded two intentional communities, set out to test his idea the year after the Seasteading Institute was founded. Four years later, the principles of seasteading emerged in microcosm. Like a Fish to Water In the summer of 2009, the Seasteading Institute hosted the first annual floating festival of self-governance on the Sacramento Delta and called it Ephemerisle, which has since come to be known as “Burning Man on the water.” Every year, a few hundred people create a makeshift island by connecting a variety of boats, platforms, inner tubes, and floating art projects. Want to attend? Bring your own land. The annual event has since blossomed without our help and with no central organizer. This kick-start method is the essence of our nonprofit role. The vision was that Ephemerisle could grow in size, duration, and frequency until a man-made island was floating year-round, and as ocean folk learned the tricks of ocean living, eventually Ephemerisle would move to international waters.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buy and hold, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

In 2009 Briger had been named cochairman of Fortress, which then controlled investments worth around $30 billion, including the resort company that owned the lodge where the men were staying. Wences was not an alpha male like most of the other guests. He liked to stay in touch with his humble origins in Patagonia, and his driveway was filled with Subarus instead of Teslas or sport cars. Rather than taking luxury vacations, Wences used his time off to go with his wife to Burning Man, and he had recently done a vision quest—involving days without any creature comforts—in the wilderness of the Andes with one of his best friends from his younger years in Argentina. But Wences had a good-natured self-confidence and a willingness to listen that had always allowed him to get along easily with hard-driving power players. The morning after they arrived at the Valemont lodge, Wences, Briger, and the rest of the men climbed into a red-and-white Bell 212 helicopter sitting just outside the lodge and lifted off toward the high white peaks, for a day of heli-skiing.


pages: 390 words: 114,538

Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet by Charles Arthur

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, gravity well, Jeff Bezos, John Gruber, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, PageRank, pre–internet, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, turn-by-turn navigation, upwardly mobile

Yes, they explained to their backers: their choice was Steve Jobs. He, however, indicated non-availability. The search continued. Eventually it ended in March 2001 when they hired Eric Schmidt. Born in April 1955, he was very experienced, the former chief executive of Novell – a company whose glory days were behind it and which was struggling to compete with Microsoft. Page and Brin also liked him because he had been to the Burning Man festival, a meeting place for geeks. The venture capitalists liked him because he looked like, as Schmidt put it, ‘adult supervision’. Boom With a business model in place, Google could expand aggressively. It started to benefit too from the network effect among advertisers. If you advertised on Google and you got business from it, then you’d probably point people back towards it. By automating the process of bidding for an advertisement based on any search term you liked, Google also made it possible for the tiniest business to get seen by the world in a way that previous search engines hadn’t.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

Transformation Economy: The Experience Economy was about the sharing of experiences—so Starbucks went from being a coffee franchise to a “third place,” that is, neither home nor work, but a “third place” in which to live your life. Buying a cup of coffee became an experience, a caffeinated theme park of sorts. The next iteration of this idea is the Transformation Economy, where you’re not just paying for an experience, you’re paying to have your life transformed by this experience. Early versions of this can be seen in the rise of “transformational festivals” like Burning Man, or fitness companies like CrossFit, where the experience is generally bad (you work out in old warehouses), but the transformation is great (the person you become after three months of working out in those warehouses). What all this tells us is that business as usual is becoming business unusual. And for existing companies, as Harvard’s Clayton Christensen explains, this is no longer optional: “Most [organizations] think the key to growth is developing new technologies and products.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

But to say this is to absorb the demolition derby into the cosmos of the responsible, and thereby invert the meaning it evidently has for its participants. What it seems to offer them is the sheer, Dionysian joy of destruction. Act II: Adult Soap Box Derby A soapbox derby is a race, usually held by children, in which the cars are powered solely by gravity. Portland’s Adult Soapbox Derby has been running annually since 1997 on Mt. Tabor, a steeply hilled park within the city limits. The event’s website conveys the flavor of it—Burning Man on wheels would be an apt formula—and gives an account of its origins in an experience one of the founders had in San Francisco in 1994 when he witnessed a similar event. He describes the clothing first (“punk,” “postindustrial,” “ripped and stained pants”) and then the action, with some cars smashing into others. Throwing the daring riders into the blood-filled air and onto the merciless concrete.


pages: 390 words: 113,737

Someone comes to town, someone leaves town by Cory Doctorow

Burning Man, clean water, combinatorial explosion, dumpster diving

The having done's going to take decades, I'd guess. But the doing's going to be something." Alan's smile was so broad it ached. The idea had seized him. He was drunk on it. The buzzer sounded and Kurt got up to answer it. Alan craned his neck to see a pair of bearded neohippies in rasta hats. "Are you Kurt?" one asked. "Yeah, dude, I'm Kurt." "Marcel told us that we could make some money here? We're trying to raise bus fare to Burning Man? We could really use the work?" "Not today, but maybe tomorrow," Kurt said. "Come by around lunchtime." "You sure you can't use us today?" "Not today," Kurt said. "I'm busy today." "All right," the other said, and they slouched away. "Word of mouth," Kurt said, with a jingling shrug. "Kids just turn up, looking for work with the trash." "You think they'll come back tomorrow?" Alan was pretty good at evaluating kids and they hadn't looked very reliable.


pages: 366 words: 119,981

The Race: The Complete True Story of How America Beat Russia to the Moon by James Schefter

Berlin Wall, Burning Man, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, Kitchen Debate, low earth orbit, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan

It had come only partially free, trailing behind the spherical Vostok, and the increasing forces and heat of reentry finally took it away. Gagarin was lucky. With the retros gone, Vostok’s ball shape sucked the thickening atmosphere around it and the tumbling rates slowed. Still it wobbled back and forth, up and down. He saw fire outside and heard crackling sounds. But the all-encompassing asbestos heat shield was working. Vostok did not come apart. Nor did it flare briefly and brightly and burn man and ship into the nothingness of superheated molecules. The spinning and g-forces grayed out Gagarin’s vision for a long moment. Then it was over. Gravity felt normal. He heard air whistling outside. It was time to bring the adventure to its end, and to begin a deceit that Yuri Gagarin and all the Soviet space experts would play out in public for years to come. At 23,000 feet, the hatch automatically blew off.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Portal companies, document management companies, search companies, and knowledge management companies all merged into one another. In 2003 Intraspect was sold for a fire sale price to Vignette and that was the end. Gruber stayed at Vignette for a couple of months and then took a year off to recharge and think about what he would do next. He traveled to Thailand, where he went scuba diving and took pictures. He discovered Burning Man, the annual weeklong gathering in the Nevada desert that attracted tens of thousands of the Valley’s digerati. When Gruber’s sabbatical year ended he was ready to build a new company. He knew Reid Hoffman, who had by then started LinkedIn, the business networking company. Because of his experience at Intraspect, Gruber had good insights into “social software.” The two men had a long series of conversations about Gruber joining the start-up, which was on track to become one of Silicon Valley’s early social networking success stories.


pages: 461 words: 125,845

This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers by Andy Greenberg

Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, computerized markets, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, domain-specific language, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, hive mind, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, Mahatma Gandhi, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Mohammed Bouazizi, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, X Prize, Zimmermann PGP

The three thousand or so hackers hold research presentations in underground hangars on code-breaking, government surveillance, and insanely ambitious DIY projects. (One talk at the latest Camp set a new goal for the CCC: Put a hacker on the moon by 2034.) At night, they build elaborate light-shows and sculptures around the remains of the Soviet aircraft and tanks that litter the terrain. The result is something like a colder, wetter Burning Man for the radical geek elite. I spend my first two hours at the Chaos Communication Camp wandering in the dusk around the surreal ruins: past a statue of Lenin with headphones and turntables added to convert him into a socialist DJ, a rusting fighter jet with elaborate rainbow-knitted caps for its pointed engines and nose. Hackers have bivouacked in the shelter of defunct missiles and helicopter engines, like survivors of the apocalypse who have rebuilt a simpler digital society amid the remains of the military-industrial complex.


Ukraine by Lonely Planet

Anton Chekhov, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, centre right, Honoré de Balzac, low cost airline, megacity, Skype, stakhanovite, trade route

HOLGER LEUE Kolomyya 9 With its traveller-friendly places to stay, two fascinating museums and effortless access to the surrounding forested hills, Kolomyya (Click here) is one of the best bases from which to scale the heights of the Carpathian Mountains. The town’s central Pysanky Museum, housed in a giant Easter egg, is the obvious highlight, but aimless wandering also bears fruit in the shape of some twirling art nouveau architecture from the town’s Austro-Hungarian days. ULANA SWITUCHA/ALAMY Sheshory (ArtPole) Festival 10 Think Woodstock meets Burning Man and you have Sheshory (Click here), an annual three-day gathering in mid-July of musicians and artists from all over Eastern Europe. For the first few years the event was held in the Carpathian village of Sheshory, but has since gone walkabout, and now the action takes place in rural Podillya. If your experience of Ukraine has been mostly scowling receptionists and shop assistants with dyed hair, the hippy spirit of the Sheshory festival comes as a very pleasant surprise.


pages: 452 words: 134,502

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet by David Moon, Patrick Ruffini, David Segal, Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow, Zoe Lofgren, Jamie Laurie, Ron Paul, Mike Masnick, Kim Dotcom, Tiffiniy Cheng, Alexis Ohanian, Nicole Powers, Josh Levy

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, hive mind, immigration reform, informal economy, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, peer-to-peer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Skype, technoutopianism, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Or is it a creation of the software’s originator, since all of the player’s moves are necessarily allowed for by the work of the engineers and artists who put the game together? It’s an intriguing, if obscenely esoteric, debate of the sort that might be fodder for an undergrad’s final paper in a media studies class, or ought to be had as technologists and hippies confab over peyote in the Nevada desert at Burning Man each summer—but suffice it to say that we don’t think the world should be such that the answers to these questions might determine whether or not somebody goes to prison or has to pay exorbitant fines. The fact that these considerations are even at hand is just further evidence that we’ve drawn copyright laws along ludicrously fundamentalist lines. One ongoing criticism of our activism from certain quarters, particularly on this front but also on others, is the notion that even if the letter of the law allows for Terrible Thing X to happen, odds are that nobody’s going to go after the small fry, petty violator—the Feds will only prosecute the industrial infringers.


pages: 455 words: 133,719

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

8-hour work day, affirmative action, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, Burning Man, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deliberate practice, desegregation, DevOps, East Village, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial independence, game design, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, profit maximization, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sensible shoes, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar, éminence grise

Divorced with two grown children and living alone, Robinson will sometimes hop the Metro in D.C. with The Washington Post’s Weekend Section and no idea where he’s going. He gets off when he feels like it and sets off for adventure. He watches late-night TV because he can and runs two miles every day. He spends winters at a condo in Berkeley, is a proud member of BURP, a Belgian beer-tasting society, and makes an annual pilgrimage to Burning Man, the wild, no-holds-barred free-for-all that culminates in a fiery conflagration in the Nevada desert. A few days earlier, Robinson had given me the first of his “leisure lessons”—to just have fun—taking me to a cheap secondhand wedding apparel store near the train station. I had dutifully shuffled along behind him as he scoured racks of clothing, until my head began to hurt and I just wanted to sit down.


pages: 420 words: 130,503

Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboards by Yu-Kai Chou

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Firefox, functional fixedness, game design, IKEA effect, Internet of things, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, loss aversion, Maui Hawaii, Minecraft, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, QR code, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs

The latter would set up incorrect expectations and lead users to think that the technology was terrible if it didn’t perfectly capture the search query. Google’s playful culture was also famously demonstrated by their periodic logo changes. Major holidays, historic dates, or notable current events are periodically represented by logo doodles, which inspires a lot of Core Drive 7 among their users. The first doodle was created in 1998 to mark the first full company trip to the week-long Burning Man festival. The doodles and the I’m Feeling Lucky Button have remained intact within the company culture despite their transformation into something “more corporate-like” in the early 2010’s. More recently, Google changed the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button so that, true to Core Drive 7 principles, when users moused-over it, a slot machine mechanism is revealed, featuring different search options.


pages: 508 words: 137,199

Stamping Butterflies by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

affirmative action, Brownian motion, Burning Man, carbon-based life, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, dark matter, phenotype

Pulling a brass Zippo from her pocket, the Professor put it on the bed beside her and dug into her pockets for a packet of Lucky Strike. "Want one?" Another silence. This didn't worry Petra Mayer, who'd once ingested so much lysergic acid diethylamide that it was seventy-six hours before the Wernicke area of her brain could organize enough words to tell a very pretty German boy about the rainbow on the tip of her tongue. They were at the Burning Man in Nevada. Needless to say, no one else noticed a thing. "Okay." Putting flame to her cigarette, the small woman smiled. "Let me tell you what's going on. As I said, my name is Professor Petra Mayer and for the purposes of irritating the Pentagon I've been made a general in the US Army. I am here at the direct request of the President of the United States of America. All my expenses are being paid for by the Oval Office."


pages: 393 words: 127,312

Gotta Get Theroux This: My Life and Strange Times in Television by Louis Theroux

Burning Man, Columbine, East Village, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, Potemkin village, Silicon Valley, the market place

Several of the writers were graduates of the nearby University of California, Santa Cruz, a cradle of radical activity and progressive politics, and I don’t think it’s too grandiose to say that faintly in the background were the stirrings of new ideas and subcultures that would prove influential through the rest of the decade – whispers of the Internet, ‘modern primitives’, techno-shamanism, and Burning Man. Sadly, there was only a limited outlet for many of these ideas in a newspaper dedicated to the prosaic concerns of a very average American city, in which it was widely acknowledged the only feature anyone read was the horoscope. My news editor, Jon Vankin, was a polymath of US politics, with a righteously angry punk edge, a devotee of the British music acts The Pop Group and Gang of Four, liable to quote lyrics about the death of the campaigner Blair Peach during an anti-Nazi rally in London in the seventies and rant about oligarchic corruption in the US body politic.


pages: 515 words: 143,055

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

In that way the early web was exactly like the 1960s counterculture: it encouraged both a Great Refusal of what had always been handed down from on high, and asked people to spend more time with each other. It asserted that money need not be involved in attentional barter, and that everyone had an inherent potential to be a creator. In the early days at some companies, like Google, the link was more explicit, with much of the company retreating to the Burning Man festival every year and management espousing the value of putting in place a practical, pragmatic implementation of the counterculture’s ideas. Perhaps that’s why in the early 1990s, Timothy Leary advised people to “turn on, boot up, jack in”; he even wrote a computer game.15 As in the 1960s, this great turning away was the cause of no little consternation, if not degrees of panic, in the old attention industries.


pages: 560 words: 158,238

Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson

airport security, bioinformatics, Burning Man, clean water, Donner party, full employment, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, iterative process, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, North Sea oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method

In the immediate vicinity of this newly-identified “Pole Berg” idled many of the largest ships in the fleet, ranging from small cruise ships to huge private yachts, with a few old icebreakers on hand as well, looking overweight and unwanted. This was the fifth midsummer festival at the Pole. Every year since lanes of water had opened in the summer Arctic ice, a larger and larger group of sea craft had sailed or motored north to party at the pole. The gatherings had a Burning Man festival aspect to them, the sybaritic excess and liberal shooting off of fireworks leading many to call it Drowning Man, or Freezing-Your-Butt-Man. This year, however, the party had been somewhat taken over by the Inuit nation Nunavut, in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, who had declared this “The Year of Global Environmental Awareness,” and sent out hundreds of invitations, and provided many ships themselves, in the hope of gathering a floating community that would emphasize to all the world the undeniable changes already wrought by global warming.


pages: 496 words: 154,363

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, commoditize, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, PageRank, performance metric, pets.com, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K

We weren't advertising on TV or on billboards or in print. The logo floating in all that white space was it. And though we had millions of users, we were hardly so well known that we could assume people already had our brandmark burned into their brains. Sergey didn't see the big deal. He had changed the logo twice during Google's infancy, adding a clip-art turkey on Thanksgiving in 1998 and putting up a Burning Man* cartoon when the staff took off to explore nakedness in the Nevada desert. But now Google was a real company, I reminded him. Real companies don't do that. Even as we argued, Sergey enlisted webmaster Karen White to resurrect the turkey for Thanksgiving, create a holiday snowman in December, and festoon the logo with a hat and confetti for New Year's 2000. "What about aliens?" he asked. "Let's put aliens on the homepage.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, undersea cable, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise

That’s the smoldering ambition of every entrepreneur: to one day create an organization that society deems worthy of a price tag. These are the only real values we have left in the twilight of history, the tired dead end of liberal democratic capitalism, at least here in the California fringes of Western civilization. Clap at the clever people getting rich, and hope you’re among them. Is it a wonder that the inhabitants of such a world clamor for contrived rituals of artificial significance like Burning Man, given the utter bankruptcy of meaning in their corporatized culture? Should we be surprised that they cling to identities, clusters of consumption patterns, that seem lifted from the ads-targeting system at Facebook: “hipster millennials,” “urban mommies,” “affluent suburbanites”? Ortega y Gasset wrote: “Men play at tragedy because they do not believe in the reality of the tragedy which is actually being staged in the civilized world.”


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

But beyond being a founder and über-bureaucrat of the right-wing counter-Establishment that eventually swallowed and replaced the old GOP, Weyrich was the very personification of the new right-wing masses decades before the Tea Party and MAGA. He was a true believer who needed to keep feeling the rage, for whom politics as well as religion was a fundamentalist crusade where compromise was an abomination, an archetypal Fox News viewer before Fox News existed.*1 He wasn’t one of the cynics and operators. Nor was he a consistent libertarian like Norquist, one of the overgrown boys who hated taxes as much as they loved Burning Man and themselves. Rather, Weyrich was the ultimate late-stage Republican because he madly dreamed of returning America to the past in all ways, both the political economy and the culture. He sincerely wanted business unregulated and the rich untaxed and government minimized, and he sincerely pined for an explicitly Christian culture bordering on theocracy where women didn’t have equal rights and racial segregation was considered okay.*2 * * * — The surname Sununu is familiar today mainly because of a pair of recent New Hampshire politicians, a governor and a U.S. senator, but the most significant Sununu was their father, John H.


Bleeding Edge by Pynchon, Thomas

addicted to oil, AltaVista, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Burning Man, carried interest, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Hacker Ethic, index card, invisible hand, jitney, late capitalism, margin call, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Y2K

But if it’s making you suffer, why do you keep holding on to it?’ “‘Well, duh-uhh? ’cause I need to, don’t I—aahhrrgghh!’ “‘You’re . . . into pain? you’re a nutcase? what is it? Why not just let it go?’ “‘OK, check it out—can’t you see how beautiful it is? lookit, the way it glows? like, the different colors? and aahhrrhh, shit . . .’ “‘But carryin