ziptie (ziptie) wrote in burning_man,

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Reality vs The Default 50

Ok, here's a little tiny pet peeve of mine for you all to ponder. Bear with me, as it takes a wee bit of set up.

Most of us have experienced going to Burning Man and taking some time to adjust to the different culture that exists there. After a few days we get used to it and are fine for the next week.

And most of us have experienced living here, in the standard western culture for a couple of decades. But when we return from BM it still takes a few days to become reacclimated.

What this tells me is that neither culture is more authentic or correct or real, they are just based on different sets of conventions. More people subscribe to the one set than the other, but clearly, some of us don't have any problem switching back and forth, and are inclined to do so on a regular basis.

So, given that, can we stop using the phrase "real world" to describe where we are physically located most of the time? Saying this is the Real one both lessens the value of the Burning Man experience (because it's not "real"), and also makes it more difficult to generate that flavor of interaction here (again, because it's "not real").

I'm fond of "default world" or "the other 50 weeks" or maybe just "the default 50" to describe the time we spend residing in places other than Black Rock City.

Language is powerful. Choose your words carefully.

Cheers, Ziptie
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