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back from the desert

I'm back from Burning Man, but now I have piles of junk (covered in Playa dust) in my room that I need to unpack, launder, etc. Since I was away for most of August and didn't get a chance to make many posts, and have had a lot of new experiences which have triggered a lot of new thoughts and ideas, I plan to make up for it with a lot of posts in the next few weeks.

Right now, I just want to make a quick list of stuff that I intend to post about soon, so I don't forget it. I probably won't get to all of these, but here are the topics I've been thinking about most lately:

- materialist spirituality, language, and useful fictions (tied in with many other ideas about happiness vs truth, imagination and innocence, deconstructing belief)
- specifications for a game development project a group of us is considering working on (friends-only)
- thoughts and comments on my experiences at Burning Man this year (friends-only)
- latest thoughts on gender identity (friends-only)
- links and interesting stuff gathered from the past 2 months
- an in depth analysis of the pros and cons of the Many Worlds Interpretation versus the Copenhagen Intepretation and why I believe more in the former (been meaning to write for about a year, but I still haven't got around to it), tied in with the mathematical realism/formalism debate
- list/explanation of ******** symptoms (friends-only)


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 5th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
The materialist spirituality and the gender identity teasers got my attention! Looking forward to it!

I so need to go back to BM one of these years...
Sep. 5th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
I also demand coverage on that anarchist loser that tried to set fire to the Man.
Sep. 6th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
Here are my thoughts on the arson:


And as for my personal experience:

I went out trying to find a party way at the edge of the Playa (the "trash fence" during the total lunar eclipse, and I got lost for at least 30 minutes because I couldn't find the Man. One of the first things I ran into was a lot of cop cars standing around arresting some guy, and everyone whispering about it. I asked someone what was going on and he said "I think they caught the guy." When I asked "what guy?" he said "the one who burned the man!" and I frowned, thinking he was joking around or speaking metaphorically, then moved on. It took me a long time to find the party, because I never did find the Man (since he wasn't lit up any more)--lots of confusion and disorientation, as I'm sure everyone was experiencing. Then at the party someone said something like "where were you when the man burned?" and I had a flash of insight about what had happened... realizing what the last guy had been talking about. The eclipse was incredibly cool. He apparently did it right as the total eclipse started, while everyone was looking up at the sky.
Sep. 6th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
Don't forget to add the bits about the bloke who hung himself in his tent, and his idiotic friends who sat watching him for hours after he had died, thinking he was doing "performance art".

I've heard a lot more unhappy reports from this year's BM than previous.

Sep. 6th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
not that it lessens the sadness, but i think the "friends watching for hours" part of the suicide story may be a bit of hype -- one of the commenters on the sfgate story at http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=3&entry_id=19890 claims to the be the owner of the tent, and his accounting of the story makes it clear that it was just a couple of minutes after finding the guy before folks figured out what happened.
About the suicide--from the owner of the tent where it happened. The large beautiful Moroccan tent was an open public event theme camp space. Sometime around 7am,he came into the empty tent and hung himself. The first two people to find the boy thought he was part of a art installation. The third person figured it out. The total time of these observations was just a few minutes. The total hanging time was probably a couple of hours. As owner of the tent, I am drug free for 22 years. The first two people to see the hanging were not high, just shocked. These people were not friends and did not see the process. Just trying to set the record straight and get the facts out.

Posted By: antler | September 04 2007 at 01:03 PM

Sep. 6th, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
Re: namaste!
Excellent correction! Thank you for the info.

These anecdotal tales can prove so very unreliable.

What most puzzled me was how in the hell someone could hang themselves in a tent. Perhaps I'm just not up-to-speed on modern tent-paraphernalia, but wouldn't the tent collapse?

I can easily imagine how the grapevine could've equated the corpse's hang-time to "time in which friends watched him hanging and didn't figure it out".

Sep. 6th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
You may be interested in this post in which a past burner describes his views at length: http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/364375.html?nc=103
Sep. 6th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I'm often sympathetic with anarchists, but not when they disrespect property rights.
Sep. 6th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
This is my favourite part of the post: "thinking it's funny when bad things happen to them [hippies] doesn't say anything nice about you."

That's generally a damn good rule for and about ANYONE. (falls in line with my way of thinking too - I hate mean humor.)

There are asshole anarchists just like there are assholes from any-other-sterotype/group. I have a friend who is a very intelligent and compassionate anarchist who hates it when people who have a shallow understanding of anarchism claim to be anarchists and give it a bad name. Again pretty much true for anyone who's seen an asshole do something not representative of the whole group.

What I've learned from him makes me curious to know more about anarchism that's for sure.
Sep. 6th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC)
Welcome back! I can't wait to hear about your experiences. :-)
Sep. 6th, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
I should give you a call. I missed you, and thought about you a lot while we were out there. (Marcia and Rebecca did too)

Maybe Skype or something?
Oct. 2nd, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
Sorry I still haven't managed to sync up with you to talk. It's been really overwhelming here getting used to being in school again, and I'm starting to have some of that "first year in grad school: I think it's going to kill me" thing. :-) How about if we plan to talk on sunday morning?
Sep. 6th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Hi, I'd like to read some of these too - could you friend me? Thanks.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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