Why I Go to Burning Man

I get fed by the human spirit by seeing the kind of art that is created there and the kinds of innovation.

Why I Go to Burning Man

I am actually on the board of Burning Man now, and for those of you who don't know, Burning Man is the largest art event, annually, in the world.  It’s in the Nevada desert.  And you’ll see the founders of Google there.  You’ll see all kinds of famous people there.  But you also see lots of people running around naked.  I mean, it’s a really odd and strange place.  But at the core of it is that it’s all about art and spirituality and creativity and innovation.

So I’ve been going for more than a dozen years.  And part of the reason I go is I get fed.  I get fed by the human spirit by seeing the kind of art that is created there and the kinds of innovation. But it’s a bit of a utopian society and there's something about going.  It’s almost like going to summer camp for those of us who have a utopian, idealistic perspective on what the world can be.


60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Archaeologists identify contents of ancient Mayan drug containers

Scientists use new methods to discover what's inside drug containers used by ancient Mayan people.

A Muna-type paneled flask with distinctive serrated-edge decoration from AD 750-900.

Credit: WSU
Surprising Science
  • Archaeologists used new methods to identify contents of Mayan drug containers.
  • They were able to discover a non-tobacco plant that was mixed in by the smoking Mayans.
  • The approach promises to open up new frontiers in the knowledge of substances ancient people consumed.
Keep reading Show less

The strange case of the dead-but-not-dead Tibetan monks

For some reason, the bodies of deceased monks stay "fresh" for a long time.

Credit: MICHEL/Adobe Stock
Surprising Science
  • The bodies of some Tibetan monks remain "fresh" after what appears to be their death.
  • Their fellow monks say they're not dead yet but in a deep, final meditative state called "thukdam."
  • Science has not found any evidence of lingering EEG activity after death in thukdam monks.
Keep reading Show less

What do Olympic gymnasts and star-forming clouds have in common?

When Olympic athletes perform dazzling feats of athletic prowess, they are using the same principles of physics that gave birth to stars and planets.

Credit: sportpoint via Adobe Stock
13-8
  • Much of the beauty of gymnastics comes from the physics principle called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Conservation of angular momentum tells us that when a spinning object changes how its matter is distributed, it changes its rate of spin.
  • Conservation of angular momentum links the formation of planets in star-forming clouds to the beauty of a gymnast's spinning dismount from the uneven bars.
Keep reading Show less
Culture & Religion

Of spies and wars: the secret history of tea

How the British obsession with tea triggered wars, led to bizarre espionage, and changed the world — many times.

Quantcast