The New Modality

Created by BackerKit - Lydia Laurenson

Exploring how to create a meaningful life in this rapidly changing world

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Transformative Justice: An In-Depth Discussion + Issue 1 is in the mail ♡
about 4 years ago – Fri, Jun 05, 2020 at 04:56:28 PM

Hello all,

I've been with family in Minneapolis-St. Paul for the last week and a half. I have no words, save to say that I am heartbroken.

One way I hope NewMo can be of service during this time is by prioritizing our article on Transformative Justice, which will appear in print in Issue One. It is now live on our website. I stayed up to get it posted last night after the Minneapolis City Council president announced that they will vote to abolish the city’s police department in favor of a “transformative new model of public safety.”

I've long been interested in Transformative Justice for community settings, which is why NewMo commissioned this article in late 2019. The author, Mischa Byruck, invested an incredible amount of effort to get it over the finish line for our first print issue (thank you, Mischa!) and we are grateful to the diverse range of people who gave feedback on the draft. Yet, although we all knew it was worth the effort, I did not predict that Transformative Justice would be a reference point for institutional police reform in 2020.

We first constructed this article in the context of how Transformative Justice is being used among "alternative" communities, in #MeToo and sexual assault situations, but the ideas are even broader than that. While I know I am personally still sorting out my thoughts and feelings about the future of our society, I suspect it would make sense for everyone on all sides of the issue to become more familiar with these ideas today.

And if you're a subscriber and you'd prefer to wait and read the article in print: The first print issues of The New Modality Issue One are literally in the mail, right now! If you're on the West Coast, then you should receive your copy within the next few business days. If you're elsewhere then it will take a bit longer — if you haven't received your copy in a couple weeks, let me know and I'll check into it. (If you haven't bought your copy and you would like to, you can do that here.)

Sending love and light in these dark times,

Final Notice: We need your address!!
about 4 years ago – Wed, May 13, 2020 at 06:34:58 PM

Hello all! 

Quick update today: If you have not sent us your address in BackerKit, then we won't be able to ship your rewards!

This is urgent if you bought a copy of the print magazine, because the first batch is shipping in a couple weeks.

However, EVERYONE who backed us is entitled to a postcard — so if you want the postcard, make sure we have your address for that :) Some other rewards will ship by mail eventually, too.

I've been sending emails about this for months, but one of our backers just let me know that some of those emails are going into Spam or Quarantine. So out of an abundance of caution, here is a final notice :)

We are using a web survey tool called BackerKit to collect addresses. If you don't remember getting an email from BackerKit, try searching your email. If you have trouble finding your BackerKit emails, you can retrieve your BackerKit survey at this link:

If you're having trouble after that, BackerKit Customer Support is available here:

or feel free to email <[email protected]>. (If BackerKit Customer Support isn't helpful then let me know.)

I heard that some people hated the survey questions and were avoiding putting their address in BackerKit because of the survey, so I've stripped it down -- it should now be fast to add your address ;)

Okay that's all for today!  And YAY IT'S HAPPENING!!



Discounts! 🌈 Rainbow paper! 💙 Plus: Shipping and Event Updates!
about 4 years ago – Sat, May 02, 2020 at 08:53:13 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read.

Issue 1: Table of Contents! 💙 and Letter From The Editor
about 4 years ago – Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 11:29:49 PM

Letter From The Editor
(It's Official!)

The opening pages of Issue One

The following letter will appear in Issue One of The New Modality, in print:

Dear Reader,

What is a meaningful life in this rapidly changing world? At The New Modality, it’s our mission to explore that. Optimism and hope have been key parts of our perspective since before our official founding date last year, in August 2019.

Today, however, I write to you from a pandemic. Nobody knows what’s coming, but we know it will be awful. I’m writing this letter on April 21st. When I think back to life several weeks ago, it feels like years have passed. It’s hard to imagine what life will be like several weeks in the future, when our earliest backers receive Issue One.

The world is changing, all right. It’s happening faster than I’ve ever experienced in my life. COVID-19 seems conjured directly from our collective unconscious. Across the internet, I’ve seen “jokes” that this is the revenge of the natural world for the damage we’ve done, or that it’s God’s punishment for our sins — or that it’s a tough-love intervention to help humanity understand the consequences of our actions.

In an era marked by widespread isolation, the pandemic reinforces loneliness by forcing us to stay away from each other. At a time when many are losing faith in institutions, it hammers cracks in the foundations of society. In an age of spiritual uncertainty, it brings us face to face with mortality.

Still, even now, I believe we can build a better future together. I believe in the vision we’ve built in these pages, a collective vision of a better world. In Issue One of The New Modality, you’ll find the wildness of cutting-edge art — and you’ll learn how people make wild art parties safer. You’ll find paradigm shifts and adventures in epistemology — spiritual, scientific, technological, societal. Above all, you’ll discover people building strong communities within a culture of unprecedented choice, diversity, and freedom — whether at weddings, in co-living spaces, through shared projects, through radical co-parenting, or with transformative approaches to community justice.

How can we contribute and be of service in this rapidly changing world? What does it mean to co-create integrated worldviews, a lifestyle both thoughtful and fulfilling, a shining vision of the future? We plan to keep exploring these questions and we look forward to continuing this conversation with you here, there, and across the world.

Now, more than ever, is the time for hope.

Lydia Laurenson
Founder and editor in chief of The New Modality
San Francisco, April 21st, 2020

This letter is also on our website! Keep reading to see the Table of Contents for Issue One. You can also buy your own copy (if you haven't already) here.

NewMo Issue One Table of Contents

Art, Culture, and Spirit

“Untitled Conversation With God,” by PH Lee

“Game: The Unsighted Art Tour,” by Laika Young

"Weddings Outside Tradition: How To Get Married Without Selling Out," by Jessica Carew Kraft

"The Great Showdown of Hierarchical Polyamory vs. Relationship Anarchy: Why People Are Passionate About the Differences Between Two Models of Non-Monogamy," by Kat Jercich

"Psychedelics and Society, Part 1: The NewMo Psychedelic Resource List," by Lydia Laurenson

"Hosting Safer Psychedelic House Parties," by Annie Oak, with original illustrations by Pol Morton

"What It Takes To Get Your Art Banned At A Giant Psychedelic Party," edited by Lydia Laurenson, with original illustrations by Stephen Lim

"Book Review: The Philosophy and Impact of Burning Man — The Scene That Became Cities, published 2020 by Caveat Magister," by P Segal, with photographs by Tom Stahl

"What’s The Return on the House of Eternal Return?: Plucky Anarchist Art Collective Meow Wolf Turns Corporate and Goes Global," by Lydia Laurenson, with photographs by Jane Hu

"Can We Pass Our Species IQ Test?: An Interview with Deborah Parrish Snyder of Synergia Ranch,” by Sarah Henry

"The American Seekers Who Found Santería: Notes On A Grassroots Spiritual Tradition From Cuba," by Rebecca Bodenheimer

"Senongo Akpem’s African Storytelling Diaspora: Cross-Cultural Design and Art on the Internet," by Lydia Laurenson

“Immerse Yourself in New York City Online — Excerpt from A Game Lover’s Tour of New York City: A City Guide to Inspire the Love of Game Creation & Playing (2020),” edited by Michael T. Middleton

Science and Technology

"Optimism In The Age of Climate Change: Climate Collapsers Command a Cult Following Around The World — But Should They?" by Michael J. Coren

"Promised Land: Religious Ideology and Solarpunk Science Fiction," by Rob Cameron, with illustrations by Maxime Schilde

“Baboon, Brain, Brick: A Speculative Fiction Story," by Louis Evans

"Modern Magical Realism on Twitter: The Exquisite Modalities and #invisiblenetworks of @ctrlcreep," by Jonathan Stray and Lydia Laurenson

"The Mega-Diverse Coral Reef Future of Humanity: Interview with Anders Sandberg," by Lydia Laurenson

"The Ideology of Transhumanism: The Ethics of Transcending the Physical Body," by Anna Lewis, with an original illustration by Visual Scientist a.k.a. СЛАВА СЕМЕНЮТА

"The Future of Lunar Exploration and Settlement: Actual Scenarios For Planning Governance and Policy on The Moon," by Jessy Kate Schingler

"Can Humans Be Hacked?: A Semi-Technical Investigation Into Whether Artificial Intelligence Can Control Our Minds (Yet)," by Stacey Svetlichnaya, guest edited by Jonathan Stray, with an original illustration by Christina Lastovska

"A Citizen Science Dinner Party at the Social Observatory," by Grant Currin

"Innovation in an Ebola Epidemic: Interview with Ka-Ping Yee," by Lydia Laurenson

Business, Philanthropy, and Society

"Climate Change Heroism In The Insurance Industry: How Insurance Can Help Us All Build Climate Resilience," by Shanna McIntyre, with paintings by Suelyn Yu

"The Economics of Culture, Values, and Meaning: Interview with Tyler Cowen," by Lydia Laurenson

"How Do We Combat Polarization Online?" by Helena Puig Larrauri and Maude Morrison

"What Does It Even Mean To Innovatively Give Money Away?: Interview with Colleen Gregerson," by Lydia Laurenson

"Book Review: The Metamodernist Movement — The Listening Society (2017) and Nordic Ideology (2019), books by ‘Hanzi Freinacht,’" by Aurora Quinn-Elmore

"The Bard Takes Minutes: What Professional Workplace Teams Can Learn From Roleplaying Games," by Terry Johnson and Hakan Seyalioglu, with original illustrations by Raul Higuera

"The Nitty-Gritty: Sexual Violence and Transformative Justice in Alternative Communities — How The Radical Justice Systems of BIPOC and Activist Communities Are Influencing the Counterculture," by Mischa Byruck, with original illustrations by Amandine DeLauney

“Concrete Co-Living Processes: Resources For Building Better Intentional Communities," by Lydia Laurenson

"An Actual Co-Parenting Contract: How An Asexual Man Figured Out Parenthood With a Heterosexual Couple," by Lydia Laurenson


"Is The New Modality Really New?" by Caveat Magister, a.k.a. Benjamin Wachs

Catalyst Spotlights and Tiny Reviews:
Future Fossils (ongoing podcast), created by Michael Garfield
Dialect: A Game About Language and How It Dies (2019 roleplaying game), created by Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalioglu
The OA (2016 Netflix series), reviewed by Abigayel Bryce
The Untethered Soul (2007 book by Michael J. Singer), reviewed by Fang Yuan
The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor (2018 book by Michael Tanner), reviewed by Cathy Reisenwitz

Ads by Jen Johnson, Ad Naka, Chris Swimmer, Sarah Dapul-Weberman, and Zach Fish

Issue One was put together by the NewMo Core Team!

Founder and Editor in Chief: Lydia Laurenson
Art Director: Jenna Van Hout
Print and Digital Producer: Michael J. Seidlinger
Events and Marketing: Brooke Daily
Editor at Large: Michael J. Coren
Guest Editor: Jonathan Stray
Founding Advisor: Nick Pinkston
Entrepreneurship Survival Advisor: Ben Aldern

Special thanks to
Launch Advisors: Rose Broome and Nick Pinkston
Fiscal Sponsor: Independent Arts & Media
Our amazing community of Catalysts and advisors

And our incredible Kickstarter Patrons!
(In alphabetical order)

1337mission. org
Azeo Fables
The Elation Ship
Nick Pinkston
Ted Laurenson
Tyson N. Macdonald

Everyone on the above list backed us at the Patron level or higher, which is why they get this special Patron credit! With that said, we had 334 total Kickstarter backers, plus non-Kickstarter donors, plus many community members who backed us in ways unrelated to money. We are grateful to each and every one of you. 

Thank you again.

P.S. If you like Twitter, we have a thread where we tag all the contributors who are on Twitter.

P.P.S. Did we mention you can still buy Issue One? And subscriptions? And get your friends to buy it? It's here!

❤️ Join us Thursday, 6pm PST (9pm EST) for a SNEAK PEEK at Issue One + updates + more! ❤️
about 4 years ago – Tue, Apr 07, 2020 at 10:29:15 PM

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I'm sending love and care during this incredibly difficult time. Like everyone, I and the rest of the NewMo team have definitely been struggling to keep our chins up. Still, we feel lucky and grateful to be here and working hard — and we're still excited to share our work with you! 

Please join us to enjoy some beautiful art and design from the upcoming Issue One of The New Modality. We're hosting a video call this Thursday at 6pm PST (9pm EST) in order to:

  • Give you a sneak peek into Issue One: You'll see illustrations, article topics, and more,
  • Talk a bit about our upcoming community calendar and virtual event ideas,
  • AND answer all your questions!

>>> RSVP here! <<< 

The link to the video call will be sent to you after you RSVP

With love,