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  • Burning Man Festival: Scorched Earth and Private Jets

    This is a community that preaches “radical acceptance.”

    High-flying beneficiaries of today’s Silicon Valley froth are learning this week that there’s a downside to their affluence: Even in a community that preaches “radical acceptance,” there’s always someone who thinks that if you spend your hard-earned cash, you become a “douche bag.”

    Those were the words of one volunteer at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert this week. He told a reporter that old-school burners frown upon the tech heavies who fly private planes to the remote art-and-culture gathering and stay in air-conditioned campers (as opposed to sitting in 10 hours of traffic and sweating in a dusty tent for a week), He added that the techies are hypocrites since the Burning Man manifesto — in addition to espousing acceptance — calls on participants to engage in “radical self reliance.”

    Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert has been trying to balance its idea of “decommodification” with the fact that many of its attendees are wealthy techies who spend loads of cash on art projects, fancy camp sites and Burning Man hairdos. In addition to the hordes of lower-level employees from companies like Google who are heading up there this week, tech-industry leaders like Google CEO Larry Page and Tesla’s Elon Musk are repeat burners.

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    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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