Note #1: Burning Man ‘18

Encouraged/bullied by Tom, and with a lack of other constructive things to do with my life at the moment, I’m going to try and post a bit more on the internet, seeing as I’ve pretty much given up on Twitter. Let’s try longer form again.

Burning Man

I’ve just got back from my third Burning Man. Answering ‘How was it?’ is a bit tricky, seeing as overall it was a bit… meh. I think it’s quite an achievement to have a meh time at something as extreme as Burning Man.

Burning Man is a place that’s very hard to plan for. Trying to go and see someone is a 45-minute round trip journey, hoping that they’re in and awake, something that I didn’t achieve once, nor did anyone achieve with me. Instead, it’s a place with thousands of opportunities for serendipity: bumping into someone you know here, meeting some amazing new people there, or stumbling into some amazing art project or party over there.

Except that just seemed to not happen for me this time. It’s like I rolled 50 dice, and didn’t get 1 six.

I’m a bit bummed about it but hardly distraught. Nothing bad happened either! I just drew a short straw it seems. And it definitely feels petty to complain that I didn’t have anything truly AMAZING happen. But some people react to any summary that’s not AWESOME as I must have had a terrible time. Which I didn’t.

The other reaction I get is that typical “is Burning Man dead then?”. Which it isn’t, nor could you really describe a Burning Man as a whole anyway. It’s an incredibly atomised festival. Whereas somewhere like Glastonbury, the main act doing a good or bad show could massively impact a good proportion of the festival’s mood, Burning Man is much more 70,000 people’s very individual experience. For many of my friend’s, this was their best one yet. Mine was… meh. That’s all there is to it.

What’s next?

I deliberately didn’t make any commitments for when I came back, so apart from Local Welcome trustee meetings, and helping with London Decompression, I’m free for coffees and chats. Hit me up.

Links

I’m hoping to dump some of the things that caught my attention online recently, but seeing as I haven’t really been online for a month, here’s a 40-minute video from the 1960s about the construction of the Victoria Line.

Meta

You’ll notice I dropped ‘week’ off of weeknotes, because I know myself too well to make such a commitment.

I don’t think this post is very good. It definitely falls into my taste gap. But it’ll only get better if I keep doing it, right? Excellent.

Written by

Code, Digital Transformation & Politics. Previously @uklabour Digital, Corbyn leadership campaign, @justice_digital, @gdsteam, @berglondon, @rewiredstate.

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