Another year on the playa

I'm headed out for yet another year at Burning Man. I'm rather new from some perspectives -- I've only been attending since 2000, but have been there religiously since my inaugural year. This is the first time since that first year I have the luxury of arriving on Sunday and staying the whole week. Hurrah! Seeing an essentially empty plot of land grow to a city of 35,000+ (complete with roller coasters(!), churches, mail delivery, roller rinks, bars, pools, an opera, newspapers, radio stations, an incredible array of art, and most anything else you can imagine) and then all completely disappear within 7 days is an experience that's hard to replicate elsewhere.

Plenty of people have drawn parallels between open source communities and the Burning Man community. What Burning Man has that most open source software projects don't have is that tear-it-apart moment. The transient nature of the physical community is part of the appeal. At the end, you watch lots of incredible things literally go up in flames, and the rest of it disappear overnight. Walking around the last night is incredibly surreal; the landmarks you used for navigation all week have vanished and you're left a little lost and confused as the ephemeral community precipitates back into their everyday lives. While it's a crucial part of playa life, I expect to never have that moment with OpenSolaris.

All of this is a pretty long winded way of saying that I'm taking a vacation, and will return to blogging after I dig myself out of the overwhelming email backlog that accompanies any sort of time away.

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Liane Praza

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