There are still strong hints and feelings from the old days, but as JK said, it's evolution. The event has become iconic and because of that, many more people want to attend. Some for the art, some for that great BM feeling, some for the camping and some because they heard there is possibly some nudity going on there and they might get to see some bare skin.
Imagine if you will, someone coming back to our default world from the late 1880's and seeing the state of the world today. Would they marvel at the incredible technology---cars, cell phones, computers, Blackberries etc? Would they be amazed at the tall buildings and highway system?
I think what would be most striking to the person from the past, is the coldness of our society. Bare basic courtesies such as holding a door for someone, or offering at helping hand, a friendly smile and pleasant greeting to a stranger.
We have collectively gotten lost in our own little worlds. If I'm on a bus, I don't need to talk to people around me, I can call or text people I already know, and simply ignore people sitting next to me. I can take the time to reply to e-mails and surf for the daily news, or just playa a mind numbing game to kill the time.
As we evolve from one generation to the next, these lack of common courtesies are further eroded. If you are not taught to say please and thank you, or not to hold a door for the person behind you, then you feel you are doing nothing wrong.
Burning Man has attempted (quite successfully) to bring back the warmness, interaction and sharing that our society sadly lacks. With no commerce, if someone/anyone needs a hand, you feel honored to be able to help them out. I imagine this is how life was back before we evolved into the sophisticated world we are now.
Yes, Burning Man is changing too and many say we are getting hints of the default world. It's true---but we have to fight hard to keep the spirit and to bring as much back to defaultia as we can and share that feeling with others. I know we have the ability to do it!
Burning Man will continue to evolve, and we will get more dilution from the humble beginings so many years ago, but it's still much better than the real world.
I think I need to go unroll my sleeping bag and shake some playa dust on myself---I'm getting homesick!
Just because I like to wash myself in public and gnaw on the bars of my cage all night doesn't mean I want to be stuffed up someone's bum. ~~Savannah
• 2013 Survival Guide