One of the roots of the annual event now known as Burning Man began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice in 1986 when Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and a few friends met on Baker Beach in San Francisco and burned a 9-foot (2.7-meter) wooden man as well as a smaller wooden dog. Harvey has described his inspiration for burning these effigies as a spontaneous act of “radical self-expression”. …. In 1987, the effigy grew to almost 15 feet (4.6 meters) tall, and by 1988, it had grown to around 40 feet (12 meters). Burning Man attendees informally called it “The Man,” and this name was given to each successive effigy, every year since Burning Man began.
Harvey stated that he did not see the movie The Wicker Man until many years later, so it played no part in his inspiration.
Returning to Lock Ness and Cherry Island:
A castle stood on the island during the 15th century; this was constructed of stone and oak wood and was probably used as a fortified refuge. It has been suggested that Eilean Muireach may have been a hunting lodge, with Eilean Nan Con the home for the hunting dogs.
Cherry Island = (residence of) man.
Dog Island = (residence of) dog.
Dog was forgotten about or submerged in time (after 1986 apparently). Man remained, sans smaller companion. Burning Man is bourne.
Burning Man is also a primary inspiration for Linden Labs’ Second Life, also in San Francisco like Baker Beach. An inworld event called Burn2 (originally Burning Life) has virtually attempted to recreate the excitement of Real Life’s Burning Man since 2003.
More Burning Man:
Cacophony Society connection, c1989:
From the mouth of those involved, including more cacophonists (interesting, for example, that The Man may have started out as The Woman):
A pivotal year was 1996. Burning Man could become Woodstock or Altamont. The safer route was picked, which was inevitable. Else the whole event would be nuked.
Philip Linden Says Second Life Must Evolve Beyond Burning Man Era
When Philip Linden resigned as CEO last year, I asserted that “The Burning Man era of Second Life is over.” But it is one thing for me to say that, and quite another for Philip himself to compare Second Life to Burning Man, and not just in the positive sense of a place that fosters freeform creation in an egalitarian community, as he always has — but tellingly, also in its most limiting connotation:
Presently, Second Life still isn’t very accessible – most people still don’t have the time to get over the steep learning curve and get to the amazing stuff inside. Similarly, the total number of people willing to drive 3 hours from Reno into the middle of a barren desert carrying a week’s worth of drinking water and food is limited.
At the moment, as Philip notes (having just returned from another Black Rock jaunt himself), Burning Man has reached a plateau of about 50,000 attendees. (As it happens, that’s roughly the number of Second Life users in-world at any given time.) This, he says, must change:
Try not to cling too tightly to what we have now. The design, the UI, the orientation experience, the tools – all these need to change, a LOT, for Second Life to become accessible to hundreds of millions. Those changes are sometimes going to be disruptive and painful… But a bigger part of my heart wants to see it reach everyone, and so we must evolve.
(continued in: tale wag)