As a nerd I am extremely interested in Burning Man because it is one of the largest non commercial technical and logistical collaborations on the planet. If slashdot's collective boner Re: Makerdom, hacking, 3d-printing is an genuine, then there is no fucking way you shouldn't care about Burning Man unless you are coming from a standpoint of ignorance.
Mechanical, civil, software, and probably a dozen other fields of engineering are exercised though the creation of art installations, mutant vehicles, A/V LED displays, pyrotechnics, welding/sclupting etc. Things get made PURLEY FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING SOMETHING THAT SOMEONE MIGHT LIKE TO LOOK AT instead of the tedious bullshit someone pays you to make at the 9 to 5. Makers are out in force at Burning Man and related events, and if you think that this is just some hippy bullshit you are parroting the collective "wisdom" of a handful of internet know it alls, or (and I'm sorry if this is the case) you seriously ran with the wrong crowd. I've gained more meaningful and applied technical experience preparing for events like these than many of my formal technical classes have ever offered. Hell, I got to play with Arduinos, Kinects, and picked up some basic EE for free thanks to art grants.
Yes, there are hippie types. Yes, there are douchebags. Maybe that is true of all events with a population of >40k participants? I am really disappointed at Slashdot's attitude towards events like these because we are using our supposedly vast technical intellect to be dismissive and small towards something that is right up our goddamned alley. We are giving bad advice, plain and simple.