Google CEO Larry Page Wants a Tech Burning Man

Larry Page at the Google I/O Conference (Photo Credit: James Martin/CNET)
Larry Page at the Google I/O Conference (Photo Credit: James Martin/CNET)

In his keynote speech at this week’s Google I/O developers conference, Google CEO (and long-time Burner) Larry Page suggested the world would benefit from a temporary (if not permanent?) autonomous zone free of social rules where people can experiment with new technologies and innovations, free of the restrictions inherent in attempting to deploy them broadly in the normal world. Essentially, a technology-specific Burning Man.

As reported by TechCrunch, Mr. Page says:

“We don’t want our world to change too fast. But maybe we could set apart a piece of the world … I like going to Burning Man, for example. An environment where people can try new things. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out new things and figure out the effect on society. What’s the effect on people, without having to deploy it to the whole world.”

Suffice to say, we couldn’t agree more.

Here’s more coverage on the talk from Silicon Beat and CNN, and his full speech can be seen here.

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art headquarters) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, then transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009 to become Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He's the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s websites. He also manages the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social networking efforts.

16 thoughts on “Google CEO Larry Page Wants a Tech Burning Man

  • they already have this frequently….they are called hack.A.thons…..much more popular in europe than in the states. if you want to bring innovation to technology, developers must get out from the behind the systems that sequester them. larry page doesn’t ever touch on that.

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  • Count me as a Google skeptic. They have no respect for my privacy, and their basic business model is to serve me up as their product to their true customers, the advertisers.
    However, an autonomous zone for them to play in is just fine, a “camp” they could build and play in, so to speak.
    Just don’t expect me to camp there.
    I still think it is cool that their first google art was the burning man.

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  • Yep, gotta have a way to get around those pesky environmental laws, privacy laws, and basic human rights.

    Imagine the outrage if the Koch brothers asked for something like this. The pseudo-left (i.e. democrats) would be apoplectic.

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  • i think this is a great idea for a BM future theme. we can call it ‘green man’, and have a tech pavilion under the Man. companies like google can show off their best tech to the community.

    after the borg killed paul addis, nothing could go wrong this time.

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  • I have interviewed a few parents to attempt to understand what
    their true objection is with their child playing video games.

    All that energy is boxed in, amplified by the space.
    This classic game integrates all-out entertainment with vocabulary
    enhancement in one amazing game.

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  • Fabulous concept.

    I would love a tech-centric burn.(almost get one by choice anyways but thats besides the point)

    Roundtables/talks all day, showing off crajee visuals/systems all night.

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  • If you have to worry about fulfilling your occupational duties and making a living, it is difficult to be creative. If you are so rich, a billionaire…., then money is a triviality (Harper’s Index: number of years for the average-spending American family to spend a billion dollars: 10,000 years) and thus it’s easy to talk about “let’s all get together and share ideas and builds, judgment-free, failure-favorable.” Personally, I’ve struggled earning money in the past six years (total income, six years, $40,000) but when I’m unable to work, no thoughts for the job site, the ideas and creativity flow freely: why worry about what you cannot affect (income)?? Maker Faire: I’ve done three “save the world” entries. But dancing humans dressed as robots in silver cardboard boxes are more entertaining. That’s what people want.
    Money. Creativity is a function of how much you worry about money.

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