Judaism Unbound Episode 78: Burning Man

Judaism Unbound Episode 78: Burning Man

Judaism Unbound is a show I’ve been following for a while. It’s the most outside-the-box Judaism podcast I know about, and the most broadly relevant. Any kind of group or organization trying to find its way into the 21st century can benefit from the deep inquiry Dan and Lex are doing into Judaism to that end, as deeply Jewish as their inquiry is.

This year, they decided to do a topical miniseries about Burning Man in the run-up to the event to try to figure out why so many Jews are into it and what Judaism could learn from us, what we do out there, and why. I was honored to be a guest on the introductory episode to that miniseries, along with my friend, Allie.

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Accuracy Third S02E05: It Was Cold & It Was Very Blinky Out.

It was a pleasure to be a guest on the canonical podcast of Burning Man’s oral history.

Burning Man’s Publisher, Jon, calls in to Accuracy Third from Israel, because that’s where he is. D-Day, Rex, & Beth hear a bit about Israel’s regional burn, Midburn, before we delve into the inner workings of the seasonal nature of being a Burning Man employee. Believe it or not, they’ve got a nonstandard corporate culture there. We also get a great story on how Black Rock City is objectively better than the streets of San Francisco, plus you’ll hear how you can get your very own job with the Burning Man Organization.

Hello World: Computers. How Do They Work?

One of my first Macs of my very own.

One of my first Macs of my very own.

I’ve decided to learn to program. I want to be a Swift programmer building on Apple’s platforms.

I’m going to chronicle this adventure at hello.ablaze.co, so you can follow along and offer me your words of wisdom. My only hope for this blog is that it puts me in deeper contact with the Apple developer world and generates new leads for me to follow in my studies. Maybe it’ll also be an interesting document of learning to code that will help others. And hey, maybe I’ll succeed, and then the story of how I became a programmer will already be written down.

Hello, world.

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A Changing of the Guard at Burning Man

Will Chase and Communications Director Megan Miller. Best bosses ever. (Photo by Brenna Geehan)

Will Chase and Communications Director Megan Miller. Best bosses ever. (Photo by Brenna Geehan)

After 13 years working on Burning Man’s technology, art, and communications teams, Will Chase — who has always preferred the job title Minister of Propaganda — has accepted an offer to join Maker Faire as their inaugural Director of Content and Community. This is the perfect job for him; he has a chance to do for Maker culture the same thing he did for Burner culture. I‘ve always thought of Will as a guardian of language, a keeper of the magic words that give life and form to Burning Man culture and community when they are spoken. Maker Faire is lucky to have him.

I‘ve been working for Will on staff for more than two years, and before that as a volunteer for four more. Two years before that, I was getting ready to go to Burning Man for the first time, reading newsletters from Will Chase to learn what I was getting myself into. I don‘t even know what a Burning Man without Minister Will Chase is like, but I’m sure gonna find out.

Will‘s departure from the Burning Man Project is the end of an era. Over in the Burning Man Journal today, I‘m grateful to have the opportunity to say thank you to Will, and to talk about what‘s changing on the Comm Team and my own job in his wake.

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Welcome to the Burning Man Journal, Our New Paper of Record

Welcome to the Burning Man Journal, Our New Paper of Record

It is my pleasure to unveil the Burning Man Journal, the second Burning Man website redesign on which Ablaze Interactions has had the honor of working.

As much as the burningman.org redesign mattered to me, the Journal is closer to my heart. Volunteering on the Burning Blog was how I got my start with the Burning Man organization.

When we launched burningman.org last year, we re-skinned the blog to match and called it Voices of Burning Man, but that was just to buy time. As soon as burningman.org was stable, we started a design process for a full-fledged Burning Man web publication that would become the Burning Man Journal. I couldn’t be more proud to show it to you.

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Why I Burned My Twitter Account to the Ground

People who follow me on Twitter — if they’re even active on Twitter anymore and give half of a damn whom they’re following — may be slightly annoyed to learn that I’ve monkeyed with my accounts again, changing the terms of that sacred deal they made when they clicked that baby blue ‘Follow’ button. I’ve split my streams into multiple accounts (and decided for my followers which one they were following), and anyone who doesn’t like it is gonna have to click a couple buttons today.

And I would just tell them that, and I would tell them there, but I’ve started to feel like The Internet might be able to enjoy something about my Twitter paroxysms, to see something of Itself in them.

Maybe It has also been perplexed by Its ongoing relationship with Twitter, unrecognizable from the one It had six or eight years ago, so much dimmer and weirder now. Perhaps It, too, wants to pull the relationship up by the roots and start again, and perhaps I can inspire that. Or perhaps not, and I’m shouting into the void again, in which case it doesn’t matter that I’m spending my coffee time typing this, and who hasn’t wasted a little coffee time typing something to post on the Internet to be ignored?

Smartphone Addicts: the “Bowed-Head Tribe”

This is an amazing neologism from China, which I will immediately start using in English: