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:

NEW REWARD: 🔬 NYC Biotech Ethics Afternoon Tea Salon 🔬
over 2 years ago – Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 03:00:37 PM

Hi all!

New reward for East Coast backers: a Biotech Ethics Salon in New York City... with scones!

Join The New Modality and Harvard ethicist Anna Lewis for an afternoon salon about the ethics of biotechnology. In the past, Anna has studied philosophy, and she's also written software for interpreting genomes. 

Now Anna is a joint fellow-in-residence at Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and the Center for Bioethics... AND she makes amazing scones!  

  • If you get this reward at the $40 level, then you can attend our salon in New York City (with scones).
  • If you get this reward at the $60 level, then you get BOTH the salon AND a copy of The New Modality, Issue 1 (and also scones).
  • Note: If you back us at $1,000 or higher, then all our Salons and Tours are included in your reward.
  • And, remember: you can add a Three-Issue Subscription to any Kickstarter pledge by adding $90 to your pledge amount, and/or you can add a Limited Edition NewMo T-shirt by adding another $50. (So if you want to get the Salon and also a Subscription, you can buy the Salon reward but pledge $130 instead of just $40. Or if you want the Salon, plus Subscription, plus Shirt, then you can buy the Salon and pledge $180.)

Anna wrote one of the articles for our launch website, "The Ideology of Transhumanism: The Ethics of Transcending Our Physical Bodies." Thank you Anna for all your work on the article, for helping with this salon, and for offering to bake scones for it! 😋

We have some free spots at this salon available for working writers, graduate students, and others who may have limited means. If you would like to attend this event for free, email Lydia:




NEW REWARD: 🕒 The Long Now Futurist Community Package 🕒
over 2 years ago – Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 01:22:00 PM

Hellllllooooo everyone!

We're now entering into the final 24 hours of our campaign, and that means... SUPER FUN LAST-MINUTE REWARDS!!! Whee! 

FIRST UP: Our friends at the Long Now Foundation are offering a unique bundle of items to assist in your futurist thinking. There is ONLY ONE Long Now Futurist Community Package, and it's $200. It contains:

1/ Two GOLDEN TICKETS to any Long Now Seminar, hosted by Stewart Brand at SFJazz in San Francisco.
You can use this pair of tickets to attend ANY future Long Now Seminar at SFJazz. EVEN IF IT'S SOLD OUT, you can still use these tickets to get in!
(Note: these tickets can only be used for the SFJazz Seminars — there are no golden tickets for the smaller talks at the Interval Café.)

2/ TWO SIGNED BOOKS from old-school futurist authors:
— a signed copy of Seveneves, the space habitat science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson, and
— a signed copy of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, by Kevin Kelly.

3/ $100 IN CREDIT for the Interval Café in San Francisco, which has delicious cocktails and coffee, plus a bunch of great books. One can often find Long Now staff at the Interval Café, and The New Modality's core team loves attending their Friday night mixer.

All these items — plus a copy of The New Modality, Issue 1 — are yours if you grab the singular $200 Long Now Futurist Community Package, listed now in our Kickstarter campaign.  

(Remember: you can ALSO add a Three-Issue Subscription to any Kickstarter pledge by adding $90 to your pledge amount, and/or you can add a Limited Edition NewMo T-shirt by adding another $50. Also, if you are interested in donating a last-minute reward, please contact Lydia by email:

And, THANK YOU SO MUCH to the Long Now Foundation for donating this bundle. The Long Now's executive director, Alexander Rose, is one of our Catalysts here at The New Modality — check out Zander's Catalyst profile to learn more about their fascinating projects and his astounding expertise in combat robots. 🤖



🌅 )'( Archival Quality Burning Man Photos — $350!
over 2 years ago – Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 04:07:36 PM

Hi everyone!

We are planning Many Important Things, including New Rewards! In the meantime, we've taken down the price on the Archival Quality Burning Man Photographs donated by Tom Stahl, to $350. (If you already got another reward and would like to add one of these prints to your existing reward, you can add $325 to your current pledge.)

These photos appear in an article by Jennifer M. Walske, "The Ultimate Act of Gifting: Burning Man's Radical Tradition to a Nonprofit, and How Other Radical Organizations Can Learn From It," which we just published on The New Modality website!

Photo of Robot Heart art car by Tom Stahl
"Temple and the Man from the trash fence," by Tom Stahl

Tom Stahl won runner-up in the Travel Photographer of the Year 2017 "Destinations" competition for a set of his Burning Man photos. He’s offered a limited number of beautifully produced archival-quality prints to NewMo supporters. They could make nice holiday gifts for Burners, and some have very Burner-esque stories...

Photo of a memorial service at Burning Man by Tom Stahl — story below

For example, this photo was taken during a memorial service at the Burning Man Temple in 2013. (The Temple is one of few recurring structures at the Burning Man event, and has hosted everything from weddings to funerals.) In 2013, a group of law enforcement officers conducted a funeral for a fallen officer at the Temple, and many nearby Burners joined the funeral as well. After the 2013 event, a Burner named Jon Mitchell wrote on the Burning Man blog: “It had been a big year for run-ins with law enforcement on the playa. We had read plenty of stories about severe and surprising busts in the run-up to Burning Man, and we heard more tales of woe from friends after we arrived. The Bureau of Land Management had insisted on tighter control at the gate. It seemed like a good year to brush up on our rights….”

Mitchell writes that because of this atmosphere, he was initially upset to see law enforcement enter the Temple… until he realized they were there for a funeral. He writes about his reaction to that moment: “My mind buzzed with contradictions. I realized that this was some kind of memorial, which made perfect, beautiful sense. But I couldn’t quiet an angry voice in my mind, raving about Romans and Christians. Why are the forces of the state entering our Temple? I was trying so hard to parse it that I couldn’t concentrate on what was actually happening… until I heard the eulogy for Michael Dwayne Bolinger read out over the radio, and I saw the emotion well up in the faces of the federal agents surrounding me. Kind words were said, tears were shed…. We Burners were full of both fear and love. The BLM, the feds, the human beings in the gray trucks and the khaki uniforms, they were, too. We all stood like holy warriors on the same ground. As I worked hard in my heart to unify these opposing forces, I felt… no, I saw the Presence that underlies them both, presiding over our Temple rituals. I swear to God I did."

If you pledge $350 for a high-quality archival print, then you can pick any one of the images that we featured in the article "The Ultimate Act of Gifting," or any one of the photos in the Burning Man section on Tom's website.



Next Wednesday 13th: Join (OR livestream) our TRIUMPHANT CONCLUSION!
over 2 years ago – Wed, Nov 06, 2019 at 02:40:57 PM

Hello again!!

Our campaign ends next Wednesday, November 13th, at 3:33pm. We will be having a Live Gathering and Livestream as it concludes. Join us!

WHAT: Come join me (plus some NewMo avocados) between 1pm to 4pm-ish on Wednesday November 13th to celebrate the 🌠 TRIUMPHANT CONCLUSION 🌠 of The New Modality Kickstarter!

WHO: Anyone can join as long as they:

  • Backed our Kickstarter at any level (even $1 is fine)
  •  OR: Are a NewMo team member, contributor, or Catalyst 
  •  OR: Shared The NewMo Avocado on social media 

WHERE: We are meeting at the San Francisco hackerspace Momentum Infinity (we might even be on the rooftop if it's a nice day). Infinity is located at 1337 Mission Street in SoMa.

Infinity has a gigantic printer, so we might even print GIANT, ROUND NewMo logos that can be seen AT A DISTANCE! LIKE THE MOON! 🌚

Also, we will have a livestream, so you can check in on the Final Countdown from wherever you are at that time! 

More details to come.



🥑 The NewMo Avocado: This is a PRIZE, you can WIN IT! 🥑
over 2 years ago – Sun, Nov 03, 2019 at 03:02:47 PM



The New Modality™®© has gone all-in on the year's most important corporate swag trend by commissioning **ULTRA EXCLUSIVE** NewMo™®© avocados from noted provocateur Danielle Baskin. Danielle's previous work, such as Womb Escape Game, have earned her widespread acclaim and stuff. Anyway here's the avocado:

The New Modality Avocado, in the flesh

After Danielle's branded avocados were praised by FastCompany as "the hottest commodity in conference swag," we JUST KNEW we had to have one to celebrate The New Modality™®©... and we also knew we must share the wealth with the dearest devotees of our brand: You.

💥 Here’s how you WIN: 💥

🥑 Retweet our avocado tweet:
🥑 Share our Facebook post:
🥑 Post the avocado picture with your own overblown language to Twitter and/or Facebook, alongside the link to our Kickstarter (and then tag us so we see it)

ALSO: Exactly ONE of these astonishing fruits* will be available as a $25 reward in our Kickstarter.

You might ask: Why, of all things, an avocado? Is it because the avocado’s textured skin and smooth interior is somehow a metaphor for The New Modality’s editorial philosophy? Is guacamole the ideal snack to eat while reading your first issue? In keeping with The New Modality’s editorial philosophy, we are very excited to state that this question exists, and we are also very excited to leave the True Answer as an exercise for the reader.

* Technically, avocados are fruits. IN FACT, they are BERRIES! #factcheckforthewin


This is a real thing. These are genuine avocados. If you get one, then it will arrive on your doorstep ripe and ready to eat (don’t worry, we will notify you when the avocado is on its way so you don’t miss it). We will provide two-day shipping anywhere in the continental US (sorry, international backers, we don't make the avocado rules!)

We are giving away 3 total NewMo avocados as part of this ridiculous social media push, AND ALSO: one lucky winner will also get A YEAR’S SUBSCRIPTION TO THE NEW MODALITY. (If you win the subscription and you already bought a subscription in our Kickstarter, then you can pick any other Kickstarter reward at the $140 level or lower.)

Demonstrating a near-total lack of shame for this absurd social media push, we will conduct the prize drawing with great fanfare on Wednesday November 13th, during the crazed hours leading up to the conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign. WE MIGHT JUST BE PLANNING OTHER STUFF DURING THAT TIME TOO!!! SO WATCH THIS SPACE 👀🥑🥑🥑

P.S. Danielle is one of our wonderful New Modality Catalysts.  Thank you for being wonderful, Danielle!  Past projects by Danielle include:

  •  Womb Escape Game (a game that is similar to an escape room, but intended for almost-newborn children),
  • Oracle OpenWorld (a gathering of oracles to learn about new divination practices that happens to take place in the exact same location as the yearly conference for Oracle the software company),
  • LineCon (a conference on line-related topics, coming soon to a queue near you).

With love,