I recently read a wonderful article by Fred Turner on LOGIC - by the way, “brogrammer” is a great new term and I will be using it going forward. Looking up the references, I was led to another article of Turner, beautifully titled “Burning Man at Google: a cultural infrastructure for new media production”.

You should read it in its entirety, because he writes really well, and because he gives his own historical review of the infamous event (to which I have not been). What captivated me though is a very astute observation:

Burning man = the Internet

Isn’t that really satisfying to ponder? An added layer:

self-reliance in burning man (that one takes pride in) = self-reliance in startup culture (also one takes pride in)

I am merely starting to dig into the world of Cybernetics, but I am becomign increasingly interested in connecting the dots between the birthing moments of the Internet, the dot.com boom and the web 2.0 surealism. One of my biggest questions going forward, at least for as long as I’m at the Media Lab, is to understand how these systems have solidified into such a particular culture (“brogrammer”) and how I can change that.

At almost every step, I am tempted to conclude that the moment money/profit/power manifest as possibilities in a system, it undergoes a violent and irreversible mutation and erases all its previous characteristics. This is what happened to the Internet (net neutrality), and one can say (?) that this is also what happened to Burning Man.