NM56 The Para-Real w/ Cade Diehm of New Design Congress

00:00:00,720You are listening to an unlocked new models episode.[1] Less than half of our00:00:05,400 00:00:05,400interviews, discussions, audio dramas, or monologues are ever made public. To access all00:00:11,760 00:00:11,760of our content or to join the discussions in our Discord server, visit or00:00:18,570 00:00:18,570newmodels.substack.com00:00:18,600

00:00:18,600LILInternet: Welcome to New Models, and "Hello" from the United States. On this episode, Carly00:00:33,870 00:00:33,870and I are joined by a returning guest, longtime New Models friend Cade Diehm, the Berlin-based00:00:39,030 00:00:39,030founder of the research organization, the New Design Congress. Earlier this month, Cade wrote00:00:44,880 00:00:44,880and published the Para-Real: a Manifesto,[2] which maps and defines a term Cade calls the00:00:50,040 00:00:50,040para-real. Normally, we wouldn't record six hours before leaving for an international00:00:54,960 00:00:54,960flight. But the Para-Real Manifesto gives language to something important that is still00:01:00,240 00:01:00,240difficult to describe. And we decided to invite Cade to share his thinking so we can carry the00:01:05,820 00:01:05,820concept of the para-real with us into the new year. Once you understand the para-real, you00:01:11,850 00:01:11,850will increasingly recognize it, whether and the societal phenomena that emerge from the blurring00:01:16,920 00:01:16,920of the digital and the material or in the para-real moments that you experience yourself.00:01:22,620 00:01:23,370I'm LilInternet, joined by my co host, Carly Busta. Our guest is Cade Diehm here to talk00:01:28,860 00:01:28,860about his essay, The Para-Real Manifesto. Let's get into it.00:01:33,450

00:01:36,930Carly Busta: So we're being joined by, I think we can say, family of the pod, Cade Diehm, who00:01:41,730 00:01:41,760runs New Design Congress. And he's been a longtime part of the New Models community and00:01:47,220 00:01:47,220discord. And he runs his own platform as well and often publishes these really beautiful00:01:52,530 00:01:52,530pieces. But, he recently, a few days ago, published something called the Para-Real: a00:01:57,840 00:01:57,840Manifesto. This text gave language is something that I know at least Julian and I, and I'd say00:02:03,300 00:02:03,300Dan, too, we've been thinking about for months, if not years, and just haven't found the right00:02:08,040 00:02:08,040term for it. And, this feels like a key, like a linguistic key, to just describing like00:02:13,800 00:02:13,800something maybe even like a metaphysical shift that I think we've experienced.00:02:17,430

00:02:17,430LILInternet: Yeah, I mean, I also think it reminded me a bit of Keller Easterling's Medium Design[3] where...00:02:22,620

00:02:23,160Carly Busta: Yeah00:02:23,220

00:02:23,220LILInternet:'s a sort of naming and articulation of a space in between, a space of00:02:28,140 00:02:28,170exchange.00:02:29,430

00:02:29,460Carly Busta: Right. So, like Keller Easterling would talk about, say, like the intersection of00:02:33,750 00:02:33,750a city, and where some people might talk about like the streets or the buildings on the corner,00:02:38,670 00:02:38,970Keller would point to the street signs and the social signals and whether you jaywalk, or don't00:02:45,210 00:02:45,210jaywalk, and what cars are double parked, and just this like richness of information, this00:02:50,460 00:02:50,460kind of intense zone of exchange, which is hard to put your finger on, but is very, as she would00:02:56,580 00:02:56,580say, "data rich." The intersection defines the city as much as the buildings, right? And that's00:03:01,230 00:03:01,230not the exact analogy she makes, but something approximate to that. And I think by talking00:03:05,220 00:03:05,220about this space of the Para- Real, Cade's doing something similar with the physical to digital00:03:12,450 00:03:12,480existences that that we have.00:03:14,460

00:03:14,490LILInternet: Well, what happens when those two spaces are almost unconsciously aligned. But we00:03:21,420 00:03:21,420should let Cade properly define it.00:03:23,100

00:03:23,100Carly Busta: Exactly, well, I wondered if there was a line or two that you wanted to pull out to00:03:26,490 00:03:26,490anchor this.00:03:27,180

00:03:27,210Cade Diehm: So actually, Julian kind of put me on the spot about an hour ago, and it is a00:03:30,840 00:03:30,840little bit esoteric, in a sense. It's a couple of sentences if you don't mind. "The para-real00:03:36,270 00:03:36,270is tied to the self, and it defies the cyberpunk claim of cyberspace’s ascent from the material00:03:41,820 00:03:41,820bounds of embodiment and politic. The para-real revels in complexity, and its first person00:03:47,130 00:03:47,130perspective — no, first person persona — dismantles the concept of “user,” a vulgar00:03:53,460 00:03:53,520design-led carving of the individual into a platter of market incentives. Its central00:03:58,860 00:03:58,860contradiction of transformative emotional potential and ephemerality makes it impossible00:04:04,470 00:04:04,470to commodify. The para-real is beyond regimes of accountability. The para-real only exists in00:04:11,280 00:04:11,310real-time and cannot be designed with, it cannot be cultivated, it cannot be minted, it cannot be00:04:17,010 00:04:17,010open sourced, and it cannot be archived. It is not a set of design tools or an IDEO-esque00:04:23,220 00:04:23,250framework deployed to create the artificial wilderness or digital platforms, let alone a rug00:04:29,310 00:04:29,460pull pump-and-dump scheme. The para-real is not a protocol, and it cannot be fetishised in a00:04:34,770 00:04:34,770Docker container pokéball. The para-real is the purest embodiment of the medium as the message."00:04:40,830

00:04:41,250Carly Busta: I love that passage. It was the one that jumped out at me when reading this. I think00:04:46,230 00:04:46,230especially this idea that it's not something that can be commodified. It's this thing that00:04:51,000 00:04:51,000transpires so it's like a byproduct of a set of conditions. There's been some kind of titration00:04:57,450 00:04:57,450point where now we're in the para-real, and it can't be designed in Facebook Metaverse way. And00:05:04,470 00:05:04,470in fact, maybe that's a good place to start. We've for you know, a long time since the '90s,00:05:10,710 00:05:10,710or before, had this term, the metaverse, which is referred to a parallel life in digital space00:05:16,500 00:05:16,500where we also exist with each other. Of course, that's been co-opted, and we can get into that a00:05:21,150 00:05:21,150bit your text addresses it, by Zuckerberg and by this very mids Web2, corporate web space. Could00:05:28,530 00:05:28,530you maybe start with differentiating the para-real from the older concept of the00:05:34,560 00:05:34,560metaverse?00:05:35,250

00:05:35,520Cade Diehm: So it's more than the metaverse is an extension of the idea of cyberspace, which00:05:39,870 00:05:39,870really becomes popular with John Perry Barlow's "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace,"[4]00:05:45,300 00:05:45,300back in 1996, '94, can't remember exactly when it was, but famously delivered and published at00:05:51,600 00:05:51,630Davos, and the whole point of this was, it was a screed that I very much disagree with, which00:05:58,050 00:05:58,260basically proclaims cyberspace, as transcendent, from the material bounds of the world and of00:06:04,410 00:06:04,410politics, that cyberspace exists beyond the reach of governments or things like that, and00:06:10,260 00:06:10,290that it's like completely separated from the real world. So when we draw on that with,00:06:15,240 00:06:15,300especially with the sort of sci-fi infused concepts that become the metaverse, what I'm00:06:20,550 00:06:20,550sort of talking about here is less about a difference between terms and more about00:06:24,690 00:06:24,720something that is a flaw in the concept of the metaverse itself, which is the metaverse is just00:06:30,690 00:06:30,690a fancy way of saying a platform with a 3D layer over the top of it, or an immersive layer over00:06:36,690 00:06:36,690the top of it. And so really, part of the broader work the Para-Real Manifesto is trying00:06:41,610 00:06:41,610to do is to also kill off the concept of the metaverse as an intellectual concept or as00:06:47,640 00:06:47,640something that we see as anything other than a shorthand for a platform. And the reason why the00:06:53,610 00:06:53,640para-real is so resonant now is not because it's relatively new, it's been with a since digitized00:07:01,560 00:07:01,560society began as a concep, but the difference is that as digitized society becomes more00:07:07,410 00:07:07,410immersive, as we're bombarded with images, as it interweaves and entangled with us in our lives,00:07:13,170 00:07:13,470the opportunities for a para-real moment to happen increase exponentially. And so it is00:07:18,660 00:07:18,660possible. For example, in Facebook horizons, it is possible to have a para-real experience, you00:07:25,530 00:07:25,530can have a para-real experience in Instagram, and I use an example, a negative sort of violent00:07:30,810 00:07:30,810example, of a para-real experience through Instagram, in the piece where we talk about how00:07:35,190 00:07:35,430a person who gets doxxed through OSINT analysis of their Instagram posts, and then as they start00:07:42,870 00:07:42,870receiving the home address and a whole bunch of hate messages and harassment, that precarity00:07:48,750 00:07:48,750that the victim feels, a target feels in that moment, is an example of para-real terror, and00:07:54,330 00:07:54,330that's possible through something like Instagram.00:07:56,520

00:07:56,910Carly Busta: Also, I think just this idea of like parasocial, I mean this idea of there being00:08:00,810 00:08:00,810a para relationship. There's something that's in excess of just the individual, right?00:08:05,670

00:08:05,700Cade Diehm: It's interesting that you bring up the power of social so if I can quote from the00:08:09,210 00:08:09,210manifesto, again: "The para-real is inherently participatory and interactive. In this sense,00:08:14,970 00:08:15,240there is no such thing as a para-real film or mini-series. There are no passengers or00:08:19,080 00:08:19,080passivity in the para-real. A para-social relationship between a livestreamer and their00:08:23,910 00:08:23,940audience is a visceral example of the para-real, but the para-real exists in the moment with the00:08:29,580 00:08:29,580delusional audience member. It is not stored in the VODs of the streamer, nor built into the00:08:34,710 00:08:34,710interface of the streaming platform itself."00:08:37,020

00:08:37,020Carly Busta: Right.00:08:37,440

00:08:37,530Cade Diehm: So, in a sense, what you've described there is correct, but it's important00:08:41,130 00:08:41,130to note, it's not necessarily a shared experience. It's very individual. It's very00:08:44,940 00:08:44,940personal. It's specifically dealing with the moments in time where the atoms of digital world00:08:51,330 00:08:51,330and the real world run in parallel, and a third space emerges in that permit.00:08:55,260

00:08:55,830LILInternet: I was also thinking I mean, reading this, I've also kept thinking about quote,00:08:59,490 00:08:59,490unquote, "Terrorgram," which has been in the news a lot...00:09:02,400

00:09:02,400Carly Busta: What is that, Jullian?00:09:03,210

00:09:03,210LILInternet: A sort of a synthesis of Q anon conspiracy, white nationalism, and Fashwave[5]00:09:10,530 00:09:10,530aesthetics, but it's basically turbo charge, right wing extremism, mainly gathering around00:09:18,060 00:09:18,060telegram where they've sort of made a 4chan-style digital culture around white00:09:24,000 00:09:24,060supremacist, white nationalist terror. They would call you know, shooters like Anders00:09:28,740 00:09:28,740Brevik, or the Christ Church shooter "saints," and they would make these sort of well designed00:09:35,220 00:09:35,250like baseball cards of their killcount and their motive...00:09:39,150

00:09:39,270Carly Busta: Oh my God.00:09:39,630

00:09:39,630LILInternet: ...but essentially, you can imagine some disillusioned young man in the spaces and00:09:45,360 00:09:45,360sort of forgetting who he is, and...00:09:47,670

00:09:47,670Cade Diehm: Yeah.00:09:47,730

00:09:47,730LILInternet: ...suddenly embodying this world of this different ruleset that's entirely just00:09:52,710 00:09:52,710coming through text and images mostly on a tiny screen on Telegram. That mean there was a00:09:58,440 00:09:58,440shooting in Slovakia at a gay bar,[6] someone from Terrorgram murdered two people. They also are00:10:04,770 00:10:04,770really focused on Invisible Committee- style, attacking of energy infrastructure and00:10:10,680 00:10:10,680transportation infrastructure. And I don't remember what the outcome was. But there was00:10:15,090 00:10:15,090attacks on the power grid in North Carolina recently, not sure if that was tied to this, but00:10:20,010 00:10:20,310Cade, correct me if I'm wrong, but it does seem like Terrorgram, say, is something that is00:10:25,620 00:10:25,620trying to cultivate these para-real relationships with disgruntled, alienated young00:10:31,800 00:10:31,800men. And in those para-real moments, they're really effective moments of indoctrination, or00:10:37,500 00:10:37,650changing the individual changing how they think about themselves, or how they see the world once00:10:43,020 00:10:43,020they're offline.00:10:44,160

00:10:44,430Cade Diehm: Yeah, so, I'm so glad that you brought up examples that are negative, because00:10:49,470 00:10:49,740the para-real itself is not an aspirational space. It's a powerful tool that can be used or00:10:55,950 00:10:55,950harnessed for political gain, absolutely, but also for like individual exploration. This is00:11:01,140 00:11:01,140also I think, picked up by the far right, in the current kind of labeling of queer people as00:11:09,360 00:11:09,450sicknesses on society, by the far right. I mean, a great example of this would be the litterbox rhetoric[7] of..00:11:15,390

00:11:15,420LILInternet: right.00:11:15,780

00:11:15,780Cade Diehm: know, kids in schools are using litter boxes, because they're furries bla00:11:19,710 00:11:19,710bla, like the far right...00:11:20,850

00:11:20,850Carly Busta: What? Oh, my god.00:11:21,840

00:11:21,870Cade Diehm: Have you not heard it? Okay, so there's this thing...00:11:23,370

00:11:23,370Carly Busta: No, I haven't.00:11:23,610

00:11:23,610LILInternet: It's a meme.00:11:24,480

00:11:24,510Cade Diehm: But it's a meme, and then, you know, parents show up at like school board open mic00:11:29,280 00:11:29,280nights, and they talk about how they're like, gonna fight back against the litter boxes and00:11:33,090 00:11:33,090stuff like this. It's literally hate speech.00:11:34,710

00:11:34,710LILInternet: Just to be clear, the litter box meme, for lack of a better term is that some00:11:40,080 00:11:40,110trolls online started to claim that classrooms and public schools were putting litter boxes in00:11:46,170 00:11:46,170the classrooms for children who identified as cats to use, 'cause they wouldn't use the human00:11:53,250 00:11:53,250bathrooms they identified as cat, so the school was putting...00:11:55,590

00:11:55,590Carly Busta: As like some kind of transphobic type of thing?00:11:57,000

00:11:57,030LILInternet: Yeah, exactly.00:11:58,170

00:11:58,170Cade Diehm: It's an anti-queer thing directed at furries, furry subculture, yeah, and trans00:12:02,100 00:12:02,100subculture, I mean, the idea of like Keffals, for example. Keffals being a live streamer, who00:12:06,750 00:12:06,750took down Kiwi Farms,[8] and went up against Cloudflare and copped a whole intense amount of00:12:12,720 00:12:12,720abuse from the far right. She ran a Discord called Cat Boy Ranch, which is a very sort of00:12:17,400 00:12:17,400irreverent queer space that was accused of being pedophilic- wasn't- but this whole idea of like,00:12:23,940 00:12:24,060you know, linking these kinds of concepts together through memery and fabrication. Yeah.00:12:28,380

00:12:28,440Carly Busta: Right. I mean, just to be fair, because something that we've been thinking about00:12:32,190 00:12:32,190a lot, especially in the week, this whole Balenciaga,[9] like, mayhem, I feel like this same00:12:38,010 00:12:38,010phenomenon is in the right end in the left. So I think that this para-real, it has a way of fly00:12:43,290 00:12:43,290wheeling. Yeah...00:12:44,250

00:12:44,250LILInternet: I think absolutely...00:12:45,390

00:12:45,390Carly Busta: That's why it's so helpful, too.00:12:46,410

00:12:46,410LILInternet: ...the phenomenon that we're seeing with the para-real in progressive politics, I00:12:51,210 00:12:51,210mean, we're talking about things that aren't material, we're talking about things that are00:12:55,170 00:12:55,170politics, of language, of categories. I mean, a lot of it feels detached from reality, and that00:13:02,040 00:13:02,040phenomenon is not exclusive to the right. Of course, one side is killing people and one side00:13:07,590 00:13:07,620isn't, but, I don't know, ontologically something similar is happening.00:13:11,100

00:13:11,100Carly Busta: Right.00:13:11,460

00:13:11,520Cade Diehm: Julian, you used an example in the discord where you mentioned to people looking at00:13:16,770 00:13:17,040a photograph from the Balenciaga campaign, and one of them immediately seeing codified child00:13:21,810 00:13:21,810abuse.00:13:22,320

00:13:22,320LILInternet: Empty wine glasses strewn about.00:13:24,360

00:13:24,690Carly Busta: Right.00:13:25,020

00:13:25,050Cade Diehm: Right. And so like that moment, I think you could say is para-real, but the sense00:13:29,190 00:1slov3:29,190is that it's extremely temporal, like it's only exists in the moment. Once it's dissipated, that00:13:33,990 00:13:33,990energy is extremely condensed, and once it's spent, it's gone. What it leaves behind is00:13:40,680 00:13:41,130essentially up to the individual to interpret. But, it's not a replacement for something like00:13:45,240 00:13:45,240moral panic or moral outrage. It may help to cultivate it, but it's not a swap-in for that00:13:50,790 00:13:50,790term.00:13:51,210

00:13:51,300Carly Busta: I mean, I guess it's just like a driver of it. It's a kind of propellant, a moral00:13:55,410 00:13:55,410panic type of formation.00:13:56,730

00:13:56,820LILInternet: I almost would think of it though, is like some kind of MK-Ultra type imprinting00:14:01,830 00:14:01,830moment when you would think about them trying to formalize or figure out a way to brainwash00:14:07,440 00:14:07,440people, you'd get them in a state of sleeplessness where you could imprint new00:14:11,700 00:14:11,700beliefs into them, right.00:14:12,990

00:14:12,990Carly Busta: Yeah.00:14:13,050

00:14:13,350LILInternet: But the para-real to me seems like a moment where you're maybe a little bit00:14:17,640 00:14:17,640dissociated. You're in line, as Cade writes, like, the atoms of the organic world in the00:14:24,270 00:14:24,270digital world are perfectly synced, you've sort of forgotten about the material you and material00:14:30,390 00:14:30,390reality, and this can just happen through text, but you are in a sort of state of suspension,00:14:35,460 00:14:35,460where you are in line with the digital space, and that's like a moment where imprinting I00:14:40,890 00:14:40,890think actually can occur.00:14:42,690

00:14:42,720Cade Diehm: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely.00:14:45,720

00:14:45,900LILInternet: And that's what you see, I've been calling it cognitive man-in-the-middle attacks,00:14:55,050 00:14:55,860but you see that happening, like, right with the Balenciaga example where somebody sees the photo00:14:59,820 00:14:59,820in the context of child abuse, and suddenly, brand new wine glasses in neat rows along with00:15:01,890 00:15:01,890other Home where goods are become empty wine glasses...00:15:04,260

00:15:04,260Carly Busta: Right.00:15:04,350

00:15:04,380Cade Diehm: Sinister imagry.00:15:05,040

00:15:05,040LILInternet: ...strewn about in the child.00:15:07,410

00:15:07,440Carly Busta: Right, right, right.00:15:07,920

00:15:08,220Cade Diehm: But I think that the point here is what you've just described, there is precisely00:15:11,580 00:15:11,610the difference, right, which is that like the para-real can be harnessed in very specific00:15:16,380 00:15:16,380ways. But it's, I think, really important to separate it as a space. Historically, for00:15:21,300 00:15:21,300example, there's been a lot of fetishization of tech, looking at the protocol or the platform as00:15:26,430 00:15:26,430like the space where we can politically intervene. But both of those have limitations00:15:30,930 00:15:30,930because they have both electronic or digital limitations in what they can accomplish, and00:15:35,280 00:15:35,280they also have physical limitations: they're bound by the servers they run on by the economic00:15:39,120 00:15:39,120structures they exist within, etc. The para-real is a space that for very brief moments of time,00:15:44,790 00:15:45,030transcends all of those limitations, and you can call it religious, you can call it a00:15:50,040 00:15:50,040hallucination, you can call it an ascension. There's all sorts of words that you can... it's00:15:53,700 00:15:53,700like very personal, and it's important that like, the para-real has a personal component to00:15:57,810 00:15:57,810it. It's only interpretable through the individual, but what happens within that is00:16:02,070 00:16:02,070separate to the para-real itself. Right? It's a venue, it's like ASMR for the rest of your00:16:07,650 00:16:07,650senses. And whatever happens within that space, sometimes they can be really transformative and00:16:14,220 00:16:14,220empowering, and sometimes they can be extremely disruptive and negative.00:16:17,580

00:16:17,850Carly Busta: I think that's a really helpful clarification. You've written a lot about gaming00:16:21,270 00:16:21,300as well, and in your piece, you make a distinction between the experience one has when00:16:25,830 00:16:25,830you're in any kind of intense gaming experience. How is the power real different from the general00:16:32,490 00:16:32,490experience one would have in like a durational game?00:16:35,580

00:16:36,000Cade Diehm: So once again, the para-real can exist, it can come at any point, really, but00:16:40,710 00:16:40,740when there's layers of complexity, and especially when you expose the social, there is00:16:44,940 00:16:44,940more components there to be used that can cultivate a para-real experience. But I mean,00:16:49,110 00:16:49,110you could have, I mean, there's well documented examples of people playing The Sims One,[10] and00:16:53,760 00:16:53,760getting hooked on it and having a para-real experience from just getting too engage with00:16:58,050 00:16:58,050their Sims, right? ike that's a single player example from like the late '90s, early 2000s,00:17:02,070 00:17:02,280but like the kind of Call of Duty style I mean, Call of Duty is big in the news right now,00:17:07,020 00:17:07,020because of the merger between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft. Call of Duty is a great00:17:11,190 00:17:11,190example of something that is a game, or Metaverse, if you want, it's completely00:17:15,660 00:17:15,660immersive, but it also is less likely than other gaming properties to cultivate the para-real00:17:21,570 00:17:21,570because of its nature, which is essentially extremely repetitive shooting game. I mean, I00:17:26,280 00:17:26,280play a lot of counter strikes, and I love watching it in like the the gaming league stuff00:17:30,390 00:17:30,390like the eSports, Counter Strike ESL, these things can be amazing and still be less likely00:17:34,920 00:17:34,920to produce para-real experience. And it comes down to things like the tightness of mechanics,00:17:39,030 00:17:39,150the sociality of it, like how much complexity is in these spaces, but again, like the whole state00:17:44,340 00:17:44,340of eSports, exists because of the para-real. And what I mean by that is every single major00:17:50,310 00:17:50,310eSports game, Dota, Counter Strike, League, these sorts of games, all of them come from00:17:55,680 00:17:55,680people who were obsessed with the previous generations of games, and built mods, which then00:18:00,510 00:18:00,540blossomed into the biggest, most successful eSports games. And so in that moment, when these00:18:06,240 00:18:06,240mod designers had this resonance with these game engines, and then decided to obsessively build00:18:11,340 00:18:11,340something from that, that sort of transcendence where their lives turned as a result of that00:18:16,320 00:18:16,350exposure to the like, intellectual property or the game engine, that is an example of the00:18:21,060 00:18:21,090para-real in action. And so that like those driving forces that force people with zero00:18:25,710 00:18:25,980resources to play with the mechanics and to build something new, that's an example of the00:18:30,420 00:18:30,450para-real in action.00:18:31,440

00:18:31,470Carly Busta: But, generally speaking, when you say complexity, you mean, it extends beyond00:18:35,550 00:18:35,580gaming parameters into some social dynamic, there's some sense of an economy... And00:18:40,800 00:18:40,800actually, I'm curious about that how economies work in the para-real.00:18:43,950

00:18:44,130Cade Diehm: Yeah, yeah. So the point, I think is that like, it's not to say that, like Call of00:18:48,780 00:18:48,780Duty is impossible to have, like a para-real experience with. And it's interesting, you bring00:18:53,160 00:18:53,160up game economies, because this is a really important point, I think, the level of00:18:57,180 00:18:57,210participation that one has to shape that economy, that feedback loop that's created in00:19:02,700 00:19:02,700that game mechanic is what is more likely to bring about a para-real experience. You have to00:19:07,620 00:19:07,650input something and have something come back, right? Ultimately, one of the core mechanics of00:19:12,480 00:19:12,480the para-real is that you inject something of yourself into this digital space and something00:19:16,980 00:19:16,980comes back that is recognizably you but also not you at the same time, right? This is a00:19:22,410 00:19:22,410difference between Fortnight skins and Second Life and like Linden Dollars, right? Which is00:19:27,270 00:19:27,270that like, even though the both of these things have like a token, and in both of these systems00:19:31,620 00:19:31,620have like an economy, and they've both been written about, and they're both super important00:19:35,340 00:19:35,340to their platforms, you are less likely to have a para-real experience with Fortnight because00:19:40,410 00:19:40,410the economy is one way because you have no direct input into the economy system and in the00:19:45,450 00:19:45,450complexity and the mechanics that control that economy versus Second Life or WoW, or Elite00:19:51,450 00:19:51,450Dangerous or any of these other games, Final Fantasy, these MMOs that gives you that level of00:19:56,460 00:19:56,460complexity and the ability to sort of influence the economy based on your own understanding of00:20:01,350 00:20:01,350it, that then leads to an output that you, that has some semblance of view within that, which00:20:06,420 00:20:06,420then triggers the para-real.00:20:08,250

00:20:08,460Carly Busta: So, social media also has an economy like that. And social media, like Web200:20:12,240 00:20:12,240social media also can produce the this para-real effect.00:20:15,720

00:20:15,780Cade Diehm: Yep, absolutely. What I don't want to do in speaking about this is to try to00:20:19,740 00:20:19,740anticipate ways in which the para-real has led to X or Y, right?00:20:23,550

00:20:23,760Carly Busta: Sure.00:20:23,940

00:20:23,940Cade Diehm: ...because the para-real is such a personal experience, it's really hard to tell00:20:26,010 00:20:26,010when someone has had a power relay experience or not, and like where it exists in those spaces,00:20:29,070 00:20:29,070but you know, two parallel examples, one in like a more immersive space, and one in a more00:20:35,460 00:20:37,680traditional social media space would be the cracking of trans identity. So people00:20:42,720 00:20:42,870interacting with content that helps them question their identity and beginning a journey00:20:46,860 00:20:46,860there. So one of them would be like, the subreddits that are dedicated to trans memes,00:20:51,870 00:20:51,870like traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns[11] and other spaces, and those moments where one is like looking at memes, and then00:20:57,330 00:20:57,330there's one that just hits right, and then there's an entire world opens up, that would be00:21:00,750 00:21:00,750an example. And then the corresponding example in a more immersive environment, and I write00:21:04,500 00:21:04,500about this in the manifesto would be a male identified VR chat player, donning a female00:21:11,790 00:21:11,790presenting avatar, and then looking at themselves in a VR chat mirror, and then00:21:15,990 00:21:15,990suddenly questioning their identity, which I've actually seen myself, I've actually had a close00:21:21,360 00:21:21,360friend do that. I've seen that unfold in real time. And it's a well documented-- I mean, the00:21:26,700 00:21:26,700idea of the trans identity and exploration of identity through virtual reality has been00:21:30,960 00:21:30,960written about extensively, including in like psychology papers, so it's not like a new thing.00:21:36,030 00:21:36,030But I'm using these two examples, because what I'm trying to do is illustrate how much more00:21:39,960 00:21:39,960likely it is to happen. In the case of like the Reddit example, where you've got meme after00:21:44,370 00:21:44,370meme, infinite scrolling meme, eventually, something might come across your screen that00:21:49,530 00:21:49,530hits right unlocks the para-real moment, like what you do with that, after that, it's up to00:21:53,760 00:21:53,760you. But in a sense of something like VR chat, the infinite scrolling is replaced by your00:21:58,860 00:21:58,860avatar basically being mapped to you. Basically, you have a moment where you are yourself and you00:22:04,470 00:22:04,470see yourself in the digital sense. And so that's why I think, these emerging platforms, why they00:22:10,830 00:22:10,830are more likely to create the para-real moment, because they're mapped a little bit closer to00:22:15,000 00:22:15,000you. And it tracks I think, with the trajectory of digitized society as that becomes more00:22:20,940 00:22:21,030entangled with you as a person, whether it's you using your phone for five hours a day, or00:22:26,730 00:22:26,730whether it's you're in VR, like mapping yourself and seeing yourself move one to one with how you00:22:30,870 00:22:30,870think that you move in real life, that trajectory, and fidelity leads to a higher and00:22:36,780 00:22:36,780higher chance of the para-real happenings. Does that makes sense?00:22:39,000

00:22:39,000Carly Busta: I think so. Yeah, yeah.00:22:39,750

00:22:39,750Cade Diehm: Trying to like answer two questions. This took two years to write, by the way. This00:22:43,230 00:22:43,260took a long time to get this out.00:22:44,760

00:22:44,790LILInternet: I wanted to ask you about a few lines at the last paragraph of the manifesto.00:22:49,890 00:22:50,250You wrote, "we must understand the para-real as the only tried and tested means to widening the00:22:56,220 00:22:56,220horizon, to shatter the Overton window. [...] The politics of gender, sexuality, digital00:23:01,800 00:23:01,800security, possibility, economy, ecology and ownership all apply here, drawn from the00:23:07,260 00:23:07,260politics and beliefs of the para-real flashpoints, created by accident, like a series00:23:12,750 00:23:12,750of haphazard demolitions." First of all, I think this is a really astute observation, I think a00:23:18,540 00:23:18,540lot of the widening of the, or shattering of the Overton window we've seen as occurred based on00:23:24,060 00:23:24,060these para-real experiences, or has been pushed forward through these para-real experiences. And00:23:30,570 00:23:30,570then also, I think, the recent- recent meaning, the past decade- politics of gender and00:23:36,390 00:23:36,420sexuality, I think few would argue that the internet made the scale, a lot of the primacy of00:23:42,630 00:23:42,630language around these ideas came out of para-real experiences. Of course, we're seeing00:23:48,570 00:23:48,570conflict in the regular, old, offline world around what seems to be ideologies coming from00:23:57,240 00:23:57,270the online or people who have these para-real experiences when it's attempted to port them00:24:03,690 00:24:03,690over into the legacy, real, government world. And also, I mean, what we're facing00:24:10,650 00:24:10,680existentially right now are material problems. They aren't para-real problems.00:24:15,090

00:24:15,090Carly Busta: Right.00:24:15,390

00:24:15,510LILInternet: The death of the planet and mass extinction is not a para-real problem.00:24:19,830

00:24:19,830Carly Busta: The energy crisis. Right.00:24:20,310

00:24:20,310LILInternet: That's a material problem. So I wanted to ask you, if there should be maintained00:24:24,930 00:24:24,990a para-real dualism of the para-real, not quite being compatible with reality?00:24:31,740

00:24:31,830Cade Diehm: Yeah, so that's a really interesting question. And there's two answers that come to00:24:37,440 00:24:37,440mind. The first is that the para-real is one of I think many ways in which people have these00:24:44,820 00:24:45,120transcendent moment. In the 20th century in particular, I'm speaking again from material00:24:49,920 00:24:49,920that I've read and my own experiences, but like the queer club of the 20th century is an example00:24:54,960 00:24:54,960of like a transcendence. The idea of even the earlier generations of queer people had safe00:25:00,990 00:25:00,990spaces in which they could be themselves is a transformative experience that I think would00:25:05,730 00:25:05,730share some of the qualities even though it's very differen, because what they both offer is00:25:10,410 00:25:10,410like the ability to step above the material structure that one exists within. But, I also00:25:15,720 00:25:15,720think that the para-real itself again, the reason it's a political tool is because of what00:25:21,840 00:25:21,840it can offer, in those moments, you can communicate all sorts of things, you know,00:25:25,860 00:25:25,860people who, who find themselves in a para-real space with a voice talking to them, or within a00:25:32,130 00:25:32,130community that's supporting them. And so I think like, there's a mistake here, which is that we00:25:37,020 00:25:37,020talk a lot about the idea of solutions to a lot of the problems of technology, for example, as00:25:42,120 00:25:42,120being fetishized within two different spaces, we're going to save the economies, we're going00:25:46,500 00:25:46,500to bring democratization back through the deployment of blockchains, or the digital spaces00:25:51,570 00:25:51,570about privacy, or these sorts of things that really have shrunk the discussion points. In the00:25:56,820 00:25:56,820piece itself, I talked about how, you know, popular crit couldn't even think of the death of00:26:02,280 00:26:02,280Facebook, let alone the death of capitalism. The reason why I think is more important at this00:26:06,960 00:26:06,960very point in time is because of how much time we're all spending online, and how much that has00:26:12,210 00:26:12,210narrowed our ability to think about alternatives. And so my point isn't to say that00:26:17,460 00:26:17,460the para-real is the only space that matters, but rather in digitized societies that are00:26:22,290 00:26:22,290saturated with perspectives that have been like shaped and horned and narrowed by the00:26:27,540 00:26:27,540interfaces, the para-real is a tool that could be used or space that breaks out from that, in a00:26:33,960 00:26:33,960sense, right? And I think that that's important when we then zoom out and look at the broader00:26:38,760 00:26:38,760material problems we have. Because, you know, we're all living this kind of Fukuyama, like00:26:44,790 00:26:45,060"End of History" thinking, even though it's wrong, and you know, even though we might know00:26:48,750 00:26:48,750that that's wrong, we're still narrowed by like the repetition of what's possible that's been00:26:54,030 00:26:54,060delivered to us through these historical interfaces. And so because so much of our00:26:58,500 00:26:58,500thinking is done, collectively, online, and through digital systems, it's really important00:27:03,570 00:27:03,570that we know what the para-real is, and we understand it, because it's one of the only00:27:07,410 00:27:07,410tools we have to break out of that narrow thinking.00:27:10,230

00:27:10,560Carly Busta: So, what are some of the more hopeful instances of the para-real that you've00:27:15,150 00:27:15,150come across writing this piece, or that you've experienced personally?00:27:18,150

00:27:18,360Cade Diehm: Yeah. So I mean, you know, the para-real starts really, as a concept back when00:27:24,690 00:27:24,690I did the sim society piece at Trauma Bar[12] with you, the "Our Artificial Wilderness," and I00:27:29,970 00:27:29,970wrote in that piece about feeling like climate grief while playing beautiful open world games,00:27:35,340 00:27:35,340right? And that, to me, was like a perfect example of the para-real, like this impossible-00:27:40,140 00:27:40,830which still, even as I'm talking to, you now makes me tear up like it's an impossible00:27:44,310 00:27:44,310feeling. And then as the pandemic hit, there were huge cohorts of creative people of00:27:50,820 00:27:50,820different sectors of society that was sliding backwards as a result of the pandemic, in some00:27:55,560 00:27:55,560countries, also austerity in some countries, extractivism through platforms, basically, just00:28:00,630 00:28:00,630sliding backwards. And then there were comparable groups that were like succeeding or00:28:04,560 00:28:04,650holding ground as a collective in the sense of like, economic stability or economic solidarity.00:28:09,960 00:28:10,320And that got me thinking about like the kind of economics of the furry fandom, as a00:28:13,560 00:28:13,560post-capitalist way of understanding the world. And so that then got me to thinking, "okay, so00:28:18,480 00:28:18,480what are they doing differently?" And once you start to realize that there's a transformative00:28:22,650 00:28:22,650moment, similar to the clubs of the 20th century, in which queer people enter into the00:28:26,880 00:28:26,880furry fandom through moments of the para-real, that combined with the sort of rise of QAnon in00:28:32,190 00:28:32,190the era of the pandemic, and watching previously conservative maybe, but normal people, but then00:28:37,290 00:28:37,290also all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds going off the deep end, that is an00:28:41,910 00:28:41,910example, too, and I write about this in the piece as well of people being caught up in the00:28:45,900 00:28:45,900moment of investigation, frantic investigation as a form of being in the grips of the00:28:50,190 00:28:50,220para-real. But in the more optimistic sense, yeah, I think that like the queer movements that00:28:54,240 00:28:54,240exists through the para-real harnessed it subconsciously, are an amazing example, because00:28:59,250 00:28:59,250they offer examples of technology criticism, of economic solidarity, of modes of economies that00:29:05,310 00:29:05,310exist outside of these systems. I think the world in which people dive into game engines as00:29:10,290 00:29:10,290teenagers, the moment where you produce something beautiful with a game engine, I think00:29:15,090 00:29:15,090that's probably a moment where you have a transformative like, "oh, wow." Like the idea00:29:18,690 00:29:18,690that you put something into a game system and something quite beautiful has come out would be00:29:23,460 00:29:23,460an example of that, too, in certain circumstances. Yeah, I think there is a00:29:26,760 00:29:26,820interesting examples, but I think the queer and the trans movements that have emerged,00:29:31,590 00:29:31,650especially during the deeply online phase, that we've entered the 2020's into, like, they offer00:29:37,080 00:29:37,140a huge amount of opinion that I think is really useful for understanding what the future could00:29:41,520 00:29:41,520be. And I think that partially is down to moments of the para-real. Absolutely.00:29:46,320

00:29:46,800LILInternet: I, I don't, I don't want to share all of my feelings on how the, I don't know past00:29:53,160 00:29:53,160few years of identity based, I don't know how to really talk about this. One thing I will say I00:29:59,760 00:29:59,760can see the extremely hopeful potential and the power of the para-real, and what I'm perhaps00:30:06,210 00:30:06,210wondering, and maybe it's a good analogy is when people talk about having an intense psychedelic00:30:12,450 00:30:12,450experience, of course, the research around psychedelics in a medical context for healing,00:30:17,880 00:30:17,940depression, things like this, there's always a lot of talk about integration[13] after the00:30:23,190 00:30:23,190experience. Integration meaning effectively taking what you learned, the insights you00:30:30,000 00:30:30,000received from that psychedelic experience and integrating them with your real day-to-day life,00:30:36,270 00:30:36,480and I wonder if essentially, the para-real once there's integration has been refined or00:30:44,460 00:30:44,460perfected a little more when people start to understand better how to integrate the politics00:30:51,060 00:30:51,060and ideas and new potentialities you're talking about that would have been developed in the sort00:30:56,130 00:30:56,130of para-real spaces. With better integration, I could see it as being a really, really extremely00:31:02,880 00:31:02,880powerful tool, and I wonder if maybe integration is the one thing that's missing a bit right now00:31:08,880 00:31:08,880and that the future needs to work on, or pay more attention to, to leverage the real power of00:31:15,360 00:31:15,360this.00:31:15,630

00:31:15,660Cade Diehm: Right, and I think I think this is, it's so good that you said that, because like,00:31:19,260 00:31:19,260that's exactly my critique of, more broadly, the fetishization that we've had collectively on00:31:24,900 00:31:24,900things like protocols and platforms. I mean, just to bring this to what we've sort of talked00:31:28,980 00:31:28,980about here, the collective horror that the average Twitter person had in the moments of00:31:34,260 00:31:34,290Musk's purchase of Twitter, in that particular moment is an example where a normal, sort of00:31:39,240 00:31:39,240average user has to grapple with the idea of a platform being untrustworthy, for the- maybe for00:31:45,060 00:31:45,060the first time in their lives, right? And that moment is like Twitter, reaching out of the00:31:49,560 00:31:49,560phone and sort of threatening the user, threatening the Twitter user, right? And that's00:31:54,030 00:31:54,030a para-real moment might not last very long. But you know, what that led to is this weird exodus00:31:58,800 00:31:58,830to Mastodon or to other platforms. And so what you have is this like stunted discussion over00:32:04,350 00:32:04,350which platform is better is it Mastodon, is it Post, is it Hive, is it... like which one of00:32:08,970 00:32:08,970these like 20 other platforms are the ones that we're going to use, you know, once Twitter dies?00:32:13,740 00:32:13,740And what's missing from that is the deeper reflection over what we've felt collectively in00:32:18,540 00:32:18,540that moment, right? Which is like the intense horror of being betrayed by, by a digital00:32:22,950 00:32:22,950system, right? And not just the ways in which that affects you both in terms of your00:32:27,270 00:32:27,270communication, or your organizing. Black Twitter,[14] for example, has what to say about00:32:31,050 00:32:31,050like, the sort of fears and the ways in which they've been smashed by Musk's purchase of00:32:35,760 00:32:35,760Twitter, but then, you know, the discourse should be around that more broadly, rather than00:32:41,280 00:32:41,280it being 90% people asking "which platform are you backing? Which one do you think is going to00:32:47,220 00:32:47,220be the next Twitter?" Right?00:32:48,030

00:32:48,030Carly Busta: That's a great point.00:32:48,540

00:32:48,570Cade Diehm: That's a crystallized example of how far we have to go to get to this point. Whereas00:32:53,970 00:32:53,970like, that moment of collective horror, it should have been the start of a larger00:32:59,880 00:32:59,880discussion about the role of something like Twitter or a digital system like this in our00:33:04,110 00:33:04,110lives, rather than turning into either a competition about platforms or a fetishization00:33:09,060 00:33:09,060of protocols in the case of the fediverse decentralized space, where all they can talk00:33:13,470 00:33:13,470about is how inclusive they are, even when Black Twitter moved over to Mastodon and then would00:33:18,420 00:33:18,420write pieces about how threatened they feel there. There's a really great piece(^17) of floated00:33:22,680 00:33:22,680around that maybe we can put in the discord. But the number of people who read that in the00:33:26,280 00:33:26,280fediverse, and like the fediverse reply guy is like a guy who gets in your mentions and is00:33:30,270 00:33:30,270like, "oh, no, but we run a really nice instance. It's like heavily moderated, and it's00:33:34,230 00:33:34,230really small." That's the fediverse reply guy.00:33:36,660

00:33:36,660Carly Busta: Right.00:33:36,750

00:33:36,750Cade Diehm: And it's like the same, like nonsense. And all of this energy is spent on00:33:40,020 00:33:40,020like replacing something that sucked, and had like a huge economic and social cost, rather00:33:45,060 00:33:45,060than like leveraging that moment for a deeper discussion that ties into what you were saying,00:33:48,840 00:33:48,840Julian, about, like, we have to figure out a way of harnessing this.00:33:52,320

00:33:52,350Carly Busta: One thing I like is that your conception of the para-real is platform00:33:55,530 00:33:55,530agnostic, and it's going to be applicable 100 years from now, as it was, as you said, already00:34:00,540 00:34:00,540in the '90's. But one thing I hear in this great point that you made, is that if I understand00:34:06,960 00:34:06,960your thesis, the para-real has been with us for a long time, but it's only with this exponential00:34:13,590 00:34:13,620availability of digital experiences that the para-real starts to have more contiguous land.00:34:20,220 00:34:20,220It used to be an island here, an island there, and now there's land bridges. I mean, the00:34:25,620 00:34:25,800original conception of the metaverse has these various digital spaces that are somehow00:34:30,690 00:34:30,690interconnected, at least like sociogeographically or psychogeographically in00:34:36,240 00:34:36,240our mind, that's now happened, that that has allowed us to feel these pain points. We're00:34:41,580 00:34:41,580connected to the digital space in different ways, and when we feel that, you know, the space00:34:46,740 00:34:46,740of the para-real, that's only when we have the capacity to feel loss or fear or to feel extreme00:34:52,290 00:34:52,290joy, and so, we are now through that heightened emotional relationship able to look more00:35:00,420 00:35:00,420holistically at platforms out there effect on us, understanding the larger role that they00:35:07,470 00:35:07,470play, and I hope I'm not sounding like I'm being too abstract here, but there's like...00:35:11,340

00:35:11,340Cade Diehm: No00:35:11,400

00:35:11,430Carly Busta: Do you know what I'm getting at?00:35:12,450

00:35:12,480Cade Diehm: I do, I do. That's a really good point, too. And, actually I have a theory that00:35:15,870 00:35:15,900the complexity of digital systems is part of why we exist in a paralysis. I wonder how much labor00:35:21,870 00:35:21,900that has gone into open source and into big platforms, how much of that has just been burned00:35:27,270 00:35:27,300to stop any kind of political organizing? This idea of what would have happened in the last 2000:35:31,860 00:35:31,890years, if we didn't have complex digital systems that required hundreds and hundreds of people to00:35:36,750 00:35:36,750dedicate more than full time work in order to keep them running? Whether it was an individual00:35:41,310 00:35:41,310piece, like individual work maintaining a piece of open source software, or like a giant00:35:45,840 00:35:45,870company? You know, Meta laid off 11,000 people.[15] 11,000 people, that's like, absurd, right?00:35:52,770

00:35:52,770Carly Busta: And Twitter, 5000.[16]00:35:54,060

00:35:54,090Cade Diehm: Yeah, absolutely. And when you think about the soaking up of labor that's involved in00:35:58,290 00:35:58,290that. And then then there's a secondary issue, which is that when you work in a digital system,00:36:02,520 00:36:02,850the layers of abstraction make you anaesthetized to the output.00:36:07,350

00:36:07,380Carly Busta: Right.00:36:07,770

00:36:07,770Cade Diehm: Right? Like you can deploy complexity to separate the laborer from the00:36:12,240 00:36:12,240second and third order consequences of their labor, right? And so you end up in this00:36:17,310 00:36:17,310situation where like, yeah, as you said, like, we've had this mystification. There's been a00:36:21,750 00:36:21,750push since John Perry Barlow, even before that, there's been a push by proponents of digital00:36:27,390 00:36:27,390systems towards this being like liberatory force, and then backed up by like a soaking up00:36:32,670 00:36:32,670potentially political labor, which has basically only recently begun to crack, and I think the00:36:38,160 00:36:38,160layoffs in Silicon Valley and around the world in tech might actually, you know, this is00:36:42,270 00:36:42,270different to the financial crisis of 2009, right? Like, there's a lot more going on in00:36:46,740 00:36:46,740terms of existential threats. And so I think that this mystifying nature of tech, that's00:36:52,950 00:36:53,100super important in understanding how much that has helped us to not see things like the00:36:57,060 00:36:57,090para-real.00:36:57,510

00:36:57,510Carly Busta: Right.00:36:57,840

00:36:57,870Cade Diehm: And to sort of see tech with one kind of lens, I hope I answered, maybe didn't00:37:01,530 00:37:01,530answer your question.00:37:02,280

00:37:02,310Carly Busta: I think that added some really nice dimension to it. In any case, we're very much00:37:07,110 00:37:07,110looking forward to where you take this line of thinking, I feel like the concept of the00:37:11,190 00:37:11,220para-real is one that we'll continue, I know, to use and to refine in our own minds, and can00:37:18,510 00:37:18,510imagine there's some interesting discourse that can come downstream from this.00:37:22,260

00:37:22,320LILInternet: It's also amazing that it's a term once you actually hear it and understand what it00:37:27,060 00:37:27,060is you start to recognize having experienced it.00:37:30,660

00:37:30,660Carly Busta: Yeah.00:37:30,720

00:37:30,720Cade Diehm: Yeah, yeah.00:37:31,020

00:37:31,020LILInternet: And, of course, you open with a quote from Serial Experiments Lain...[17]00:37:35,400

00:37:35,400Carly Busta: Yeah.00:37:35,460

00:37:35,490LILInternet: I believe, and it's really interesting that Lain has had this big00:37:40,290 00:37:40,320resurgence over the past few years.00:37:43,260

00:37:43,500Carly Busta: And On the wired.00:37:44,730

00:37:44,760LILInternet: Yeah, and I think, of course, that was the anime series that really was all about00:37:50,010 00:37:50,010this blurring between the online and the real.00:37:52,740

00:37:52,740Cade Diehm: Yes.00:37:52,830

00:37:52,830LILInternet: And I think probably the reason why so many people have been "Lain- pilled" over the00:37:58,260 00:37:58,260past years is because we, even if they didn't have a word for it, or definition, they felt00:38:03,360 00:38:03,450themselves spending more time or experiencing many more para-real moments than before.00:38:08,970

00:38:09,000Carly Busta: Yeah, totally.00:38:09,660

00:38:09,660Cade Diehm: Absolutely. Yeah.00:38:10,560

00:38:10,590Carly Busta: Well, Cade, thank you for speaking with us tonight. It's a nice conversation to00:38:15,990 00:38:15,990have when we're in this time of total darkness, which feels something like being like in some00:38:20,970 00:38:20,970kind of para-real, even in IRL.00:38:23,130

00:38:23,790LILInternet: Well, make sure to read the Para-Real: A Manifesto.00:38:28,080

00:38:28,170Carly Busta: It's published on...00:38:28,830

00:38:28,860LILInternet: The link will be in the show notes.00:38:30,240

00:38:30,240Carly Busta: It's on,720 00:38:30,750Yes, it's on newdesigncongress,org. We'll link to it and if you're in the Discord, you know how00:38:35,580 00:38:35,610to reach Cade. Well, signing off for now. Cade, thank you, and we'll catch you at the Discord.00:38:40,740

00:38:40,740LILInternet: Have a wonderful holidays and a very happy new year.00:38:43,050

00:38:43,080Cade Diehm: To everybody. Absolutely. See you on League of Legends.00:38:45,720

00:38:45,780Carly Busta: Alright, ciao.00:38:47,010

00:38:49,650LILInternet: Thank you for listening to this episode of New Models, and thank you, Cade00:38:53,250 00:38:53,250Diehm, for joining us. You can find Cade's work at As we lower our00:39:00,330 00:39:00,360digital bandwidth and dial into the family zone over the next week or two, we just wanted to say00:39:05,910 00:39:05,940a sincere thank you to everyone who is and has been a part of New Models. Because of your00:39:11,310 00:39:11,310belief in this channel and its community New Models has been able to explore complicated00:39:16,530 00:39:16,530questions before any market has existed for the corresponding answers. And we've been able to00:39:22,710 00:39:22,710experiment with our content in ways that legacy publications can't sustain. As we see the00:39:28,770 00:39:28,770disillusion of major media outlets, from Vice's impending insolvency, to the closing of00:39:34,740 00:39:34,770Bookforum and the sale of Artforum to Penske Media, as well as the churn of independent00:39:39,930 00:39:39,930podcasts and newsletters. We recognize that we have something really special and rare in what00:39:46,020 00:39:46,020we've built. And we feel incredibly lucky that, thanks to you, we're about to enter our fifth00:39:51,480 00:39:51,480year of this ongoing experiment. New Models wouldn't exist without you. And all of the long00:39:57,930 00:39:57,930hours and care we put into it are expressions of our gratitude. So, thank you. And with that00:40:04,320 00:40:04,320speech, we hope you have a great holidays wherever on or off the grid you may be. On our00:40:10,020 00:40:10,020side we've been taking notes over our short stay in NYC and during our longer stay in the old bay00:40:16,890 00:40:16,890area around the Chesapeake, and we'll be sharing them with you in the new year. Shout out to all00:40:23,370 00:40:23,370the NM gang we saw and met in NYC: Davidi Bradley, Kevin Munger, Dean Kissick and Olivia,00:40:30,330 00:40:30,510Joshua Cinderella and Rachel Rosson, TD Iago, Matthew Donovan, Ianette Blade Stody, John00:40:37,020 00:40:37,020Kelsey, Edwina Spallings, a guy named Theo on the street in Times Square, and a thank you to00:40:42,480 00:40:42,480Montez Press Radio and Club Cringe for the ice skating party, Spicy Village for providing half00:40:47,850 00:40:47,850of everything we ate, and we're sorry we missed you, Natasha Stagg, and everyone else. We will00:40:54,210 00:40:54,210be back. That's all for now. Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Happy holidays and hope you have00:40:59,880 00:40:59,880a very real New Year. See you next episode.00:41:03,750

00:41:08,610This has been a New Models production,[18] mixing by LilInternet. For more visit00:41:14,790 00:41:14, or newmodels.substack.com00:41:19,860

  1. New Models Podcast ↩︎

  2. Para-Real: A Manifesto
    Cade Diehm, New Design Congress
    9 December 2022 ↩︎

  3. Medium Design by Keller EasterlingMedium Design by Keller Easterling January 2021

  4. Declaration of the Indepence of Cyberspace
    John Perry Barlow, in Davos, Switzerland
    8 February 1996 ↩︎

  5. Fashwave and the False Paradox of Ironic Nazism](
    Marc Tuters, Krisis 41 (1): 172-178
    DOI: 10.21827/krisis.41.1.37162
    2021 ↩︎

  6. Slovakia: Two dead after shooting outside LGBT bar
    BBC News
    13 October 2022 ↩︎

  7. How an urban myth about litter boxes in schools became a GOP talking point
    Tyler Kingkade, Ben Goggin, Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny, NBC New
    14 OCtober 2022 ↩︎

  8. The endless battle to banish the world’s most notorious stalker website
    Nitasha Tiku, Washington Post
    3 Septmeber 2022 ↩︎

  9. When High Fashion and QAnon Collide
    Elizabeth Paton, Vanessa Friedman and Jessica Testa, New York Times
    28 November 2022 ↩︎

  10. Human lab
    By Patrick Kampert and Tribune staff reporter, Chicago Tribune
    22 September 2002 ↩︎

  11. r/traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns

    Cade Diehm & Joshua Citarella, Trauma Bar (live event)
    23 January 2020 ↩︎

  13. Psychedelic integration: An analysis of the concept and its practice
    Geoff J. Bathje, Eric Majeski1, and Mesphina Kudowor, Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13
    4 August 2022
    doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.824077 ↩︎

  14. Fleeing Elon Musk’s X, the quest to re-create ‘Black Twitter’
    Elizabeth Dwoskin, Washington Post
    6 August 2023 ↩︎

  15. Meta confirms 11,000 layoffs, amounting to 13% of its workforce
    Paul Sawers, Tech Crunch
    9 November 2022 ↩︎

  16. Twitter lays off 5K contractors in surprise 2nd wave of cuts, more mods lost
    Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica
    14 November 2022 ↩︎

  17. 1998

  18. New Models ↩︎