You might think Burning Man is a silly, dust-caked hallucinogen playground for people who should never be naked. You'd be right. But it's more than that: Burning Man 2013 proved to be a place for reconciliation between the Winklevii and the co-founder of Facebook.
Dustin Moskovitz, who dropped out of Harvard with Mark Zuckerberg and is now worth around $4 billion, wrote a fun Hi Mom and Dad, Camp Was So Rad post on Medium today. It turns out, between turns spinning flaming orbs and smoking opium or whatever, he ran into the Winklevoss brothers, who are also (indirect) millionaires from Facebook. Unlike other Medium posts, this one is trivial and self-indulgent:
I knowingly informed n00bs that they couldn’t wear jeans because “the costume cult people will literally yell at you with a megaphone if you do”… but my own clothes were still all wrong. My bike — and generally our entire camp infrastructure — was too new. And I decided I wanted to learn how to spin fire, because the people who did were clearly the most “authentic” group on the playa
Alright, well anyway: Moskovitz, who exemplifies the "rich tech oligarchs are ruining Burning Man" (as if having a seizure in the desert can be ruined), says we're all out of line. "Burning" is about inclusion:
When I hear about anyone going for the first time, my immediate thought is “that is so great for them” and when they are a person who has pooled power or capital around them, it is usually followed by “that is so great for the world.”
Even if that means hugging guys who also could have been Facebook billionaires, but sort of got screwed:
I was reminded of this truth I already knew when I happened to run into Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss near the Temple crew camp on Esplanade. In spite of our tangled history, I had never actually met them; we only communicated through lawyers. These guys are among the only people on earth I might describe as real antagonists in my life or even enemies, but on playa my first instinct was that I quite obviously needed to introduce myself and start with hugs. They had just arrived so I wasn’t sure how they’d react, but they were very gracious at the time and I knew they’d understand more deeply by the time they left. Almost immediately when I got back, I had a Facebook friend request from Tyler and we started a thread mutually extolling the virtues of the festival. In no uncertain terms, he described a spiritual awakening. I had created all kinds of dark fantasies about how meeting them would go (Tyler assures me it would have been cordial regardless), but on playa it was laughably clear. There, we were all part of the same community. We were always part of the same community.
Yes, all along, you were part of the Harvard alumni community—and it only took a trip to the badlands to remember.
Photo of Hell via Burning Man Hate Week