Burning Man 2019

in burningman •  15 days ago 

Last year I tried to describe the indescribable. I'm not sure I'll be able to describe it this year either. Instead, here's a 23 minute video made up of small moments and memories from my phone:

Well... I guess I need to try and explain some things beyond just the video.

Burning Man truly is an indescribable experience. This being my second year, I've come to realize it's also a unique experience every year. I didn't know if I would be attending this year, but right up to the last moment, my involvement in https://campdao.com/ (using eosDAC Decentralization Autonomous Community software to run a Burner Camp) resulted in the elected custodians there voting me in to attend and represent the DAC. We were a sub camp of camp DECENTRAL which means we had our own art car (the Doge)!

Prior to arriving on the Playa, I spent some time considering what I'd like most out of Burning Man. I thought it would be great to connect with really amazing, dynamic, world-changing people. I didn't realize that would end up being the highlight of the whole week. We got off to a rough start as my Burner Express bus sat waiting on the road along with everyone else for about 4 hours due to a crash. We ended up starting our Burning Man experience early by walking up and down the road, meeting other burners, enjoying some drinks and chilling in the shade with some chairs.

The very first morning on the Playa, walking back from the bathrooms, I noticed a talk by some Wim Hoff trainers. I've done that method off and on before, so I thought I'd check it out. It was not only an amazing two hour session, but it ended with a naked ice shower! I was now officially one of those crazy naked Burning Man people. It was awesome.

I was able to connect with many of my friends this year, especially at camp Red Lightning Blue Thunder. I helped there a bit with the build team on some minor things for a few hours, and that felt really good to participate. Later on I stopped by to see how things were going and noticed a circle of people having what looked like an important conversation. Ben Sigman called me over, said he was just thinking about me and offered me a seat. I jokingly said, "Thanks for manifesting me!" and later started to believe it. They were doing a council of elders circle around a sacred fire that has been burning for more than 5 years (!!! more on that later). Each person gave their name, where they are from, and what their super power is and/or what dream they have to help change and improve the world.

I was then asked to collect contact information for everyone there. Brock Pierce said we're going to keep the meeting going every day at 10am. Since I was keeping the contact information in my phone, I ended up being there every day at 10am. I met some of the most amazing, dynamic, world-changing people! I was also asked to tend the sacred fire for two different 6 hour shifts. Seriously, this fire has been burning for more than 5 years. It was at Standing Rock and it lit The Man on a previous burn. There were Native Americans there, teaching me the proper way to tend the fire, help others make offerings of tobacco or cedar, and basically try to understand something that didn't make a lot of sense to me. Whether it was all just theater or something more, every person that participated and sat around that fire felt something real.

The people that met in circle every day are continuing the conversations forward and working to build something truly amazing to help improve the world. I'll keep you posted on what develops there. One of the founders of the Red Lightning camp assumed I was part of the camp, and welcomed me to participate next year.

Which brings me to one of the main themes for me this year:

Validation is the fuel for human progress.

I was continually encouraged by so many people validating me and encouraging me. So many people made me feel special and that the work I'm doing with blockchains and DACs is really important. It felt good. It reminded me how important it is to validate those around me.

I also loved being with our thrown together crew at CampDAO. We had members from all over the world, saw a sunrise together, ate meals together, danced together, and though we were all part of the EOS community, we didn't really talk much about EOS at all. The crew at Camp DECENTRAL was amazing. We didn't really know what to expect and we learned a lot for next time. Some in our camp (myself included) were confused about how much DECENTRAL was handling for us and how much was all on us. In true Burning Man style, all of it was on us, but it took us a little while to figure that out.

I could go on and on about my experiences, what I learned, the people I met, and more, but I think I'll end here for now. This burn was deeply spiritual for me. I got sit around a fire, meet amazing people, and have deep philosophical conversations that also contained very practical results to form a team ready and capable to change the world.

I did want to end with a note specific to Steem. As you know, HF21 happened during Burning Man. Unfortunately, it didn't go smoothly and though I had back up help, when things started breaking, I made the call to disable my witness until I could get back and do things properly. I'm back up and running now along with a new seed node (steem-seed-sweden.lukestokes.info) to go along with steem-seed-eu.lukestokes.info so I can switch between them using steem-seed.lukestokes.info. It's unfortunate that I'm no longer a consensus witness for Steem (currently ranked 24th), but maybe that's for the best. This chain has plenty of capable witnesses to get the job done. I'm happy to be a backup witness, if that's what the token holders choose for me. I have plenty of things to keep me busy these days include my work with https://fio.foundation/ and another EOS project with Brock Pierce I'll be talking about in the future.

Until then, thank you as always for your support and for spending time in my little corner of the Internet on the Steem blockchain.

Hopefully some day I'll see you out on the Playa as well. :)


Luke Stokes is a father, husband, programmer, STEEM witness, DAC launcher, consultant, and voluntaryist who wants to help create a world we all want to live in. Learn about cryptocurrency at UnderstandingBlockchainFreedom.com

I'm a Witness! Please vote for @lukestokes.mhth

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I was there in 2011 (temple of transition). Also had to cancel at the last minute in 2008 to go down to Vegas to take care of some tax business. Many said that 2011 was one of the less dusty years. It didn't rain at all and winds were relatively calm. I heard 2008 turned to mud. I camped at 2:30 and Hajj.

Looks like it's grown quite a bit since I've been there. Did you get a playa name? Mine was sola-gansta (because of my solar power setup).

I've been known as Skywalker for sometime, and it was taken up by some on the Playa as well, so I'm going with it.

It's a dream of mine to experience Burning Man, so I'm really glad to read this and about Camp Decentral. Must have been immense to meet and connect with all those people, and around that 5 year+ strong sacred fire too.

I went to a festival recently, here in the UK that also had a sacred fire going, and for the closing ceremony, we were all given a candle to light with the sacred fire, so we can all bring it home, symbolically of course. Manifesting for myself to be able to do that at the next Burning Man ;)

A UK steam trip one year maybe haha. What did you go to this year? 💯🐒

Very cool. :)

If you are supposed to be there, I think it will work out.

Good to hear from you Luke. The Burning man is one of those things many of my international friends seem to have done once and which I am yet to do myself.

So what was (or would have been) your super power?

Hey Fredrikaa. I talked about working with technology like blockchains and cryptocurrency to make networks more efficient than hierarchies, help people control their own value, and bring about new non-violent governance models with DACs and DAOs to shape the future for businesses, non-profits, and governments.

Welcome back, Luke! Sharing stories with amazing people by a 5 year old fire sound amazing. Lots has happened since HF 21 (22) and I love the new direction of Steem.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Thanks Dan and thank you for all your Steem promotion I see on other networks. You're doing great work to spread the word!

I can’t wait to experience this. One day history will look at the attendees as the saviors of the free world.

Many don't view it that way now, but I think you may be right. We are creating a pattern for the future for voluntary human interaction.

Cool cell phone footage. Never been to burning man. That fire must have been a trip!

It was quite an experience tending something and helping others participate in a ritual ("giving an offering to the fire") that I myself didn't fully understand or even "believe" in (if that is such a thing). It stretched me outside some comfort zones and that's a big part of what Burning Man does.

Burning man sounds like the ultimate decentralized spiritual experience. I love the part about the fire... almost mystical.

There was a lot of almost mystical going on. :)

Amazing I have always wanted to go but it's a long way to go. One day I will 💯🐒

If you are meant to be there, you probably will. :)

I have wanted to go since I first head about it in the early 00's. My time will come I know 💯🐒

Looks incredible! The first part looks like a scene out of Mad Max. How many people were in attendance? It looks massive, but never crowded. Are they creating the little "twisters" that come out of the fire? How did they do that? Might have to put this event on my bucket list.

Awesome, I was sure what to expect but art was not one of them. Looks like quite an amazing experience to have at least once in a lifetime. That was just crazy the random dust devils showing up like that. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Yeah, there are many misunderstandings of what this event is about. It's a city filled with amazing aspects of humanity. In many ways, it's an art festival where humans are part of the art.