Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Kicks Condor

Kicks Condor

Internet adventurer

in artist, developer

Who are you, and what do you do?

We're Cody and Jody, the brother and sister creative team behind Kicks Condor. We work out of Facebook Labs, prototyping future personalities that can capture the public's imagination, much in the same way that Disney characters and comic book characters provided archetypes in the past.

Jody: I know people might have a tendency to view Kicks Condor as a hoax or a simple persona or something, but we see that as a pretty thin way of viewing a character going forward. He's the two of us - and so are the lawyers and agents who pursue him - along with other peripheral characters like cityseth, Annie Dark and Daniel Radiker.

Cody: I think most people code me as Kicks, because I'll voice his character now and then. But he's much more Jody, because she more has the Web nostalgia and the JavaScript skills and his ragweed allergies and all that.

Jody: One of the things that animates the two of us is this thought of people interacting with each other through alts that represent facets of their personality. So you could have two people understanding each other through a whole society of virtual avatars. (You already see this with gender pluralities - or multiplicities - where an individual relates to others through a "system" of robust identities. But I think many people unknowingly express this in subtle ways too - with different accounts on different networks. Gym accounts, the hair feather trend.)

Cody: There's just no question that we'll hit the point where everyone has hundreds or thousands of identities working for them. Games like The Sims foretell this future - or even Starcraft. This is just RTS for conversation and romance. So basically imagine one day being able to buy Kicks Condor from Facebook and be him in your world.

What hardware do you use?

Jody: We both use a lot of VR to interact with the different people we come out with.

Cody: We've found the Nreal Light to be unforgivably uncomfortable, so we've retrofitted Magic Leap frames onto it. We couldn't get shit out of Magic Leap's VR system, but the frames are really nice. And it's hard to overstate how important the sensation on the ear is.

Jody: Cody also uses Chums! If you see him dancing in his special VR chums one day - what an achievement.

Cody: I have a reMarkable tablet that I'm using right now to write this out. I'm hooked, feels great. And I'm all about my Segway Electric Shoes. The Onewheel trend hasn't knocked me off my shoes at all yet. I just like the smaller footprint. I think if I could just grease a pair of Vans and slide curb-to-curb, I'd be good.

Jody: 12.9" iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2 for me. They stick together.

And what software?

Obviously we're both HUGE fans of TiddlyWiki. Our characters talk about this much more eloquently than we do. We're naturally drawn to the public self-modeling crowd (philosopher.life, wiki.waifu.haus, sphygm.us) because there's an ethic there of encoding one's mental state into a highly liquid hypertext format. A lot of the first really fully-formed digital personalities will come out of this community.

We're on YouTube a lot. But of course. The modern container for personalities. A lot of our characters are blended from vlogs and streams. For whatever reason, we pull a lot from the amateur cigar-smoking community.

Cody: Oh, we love Casey Neistat and are hoping to hit a point where we could dump him to a file. He has that adventurous spirit that probably wouldn't hesitate to hit the bits like that. And we can't help but wonder what new Casey Neistats would emerge. A slowed-down version, an orange version, a bird version, etc.

Jody: We have a fantasy of our Casey and Casey's Casey meeting in a vid.

Cody: We spend a lot of time in Minecraft Dungeons.

Jody: That's pretty joyless, though. I mean let's talk the works of Nathalie Lawhead. The Monument Valley games. Burger Shop 2. For composing, beepbox.co. For listening, K-Jöfol. Like a lot of people, we miss the old Byte app!

Cody: We've been spamming Dom for years to send us a snapshot of the old database. Come on, Dom.

What would be your dream setup?

Cody: Envision a room full of millions of people holding one giant, hugely sprawling conversation. Such a thing has never been possible. I think if I could one day find myself in that room, even as a simulation, and it felt real - and I knew that it was just my sister and I having a conversation through these myriad expressions of us - it would be a dream come true.

Jody: Well and you think of the support someone would feel, knowing that millions of people are advocating for them. Imagine those voices all rising together to shout or to sing! We love you, Cody!

Cody: I don't even think VR needs to be higher fidelity. Thinking of specs here is just so cold. We need more attachments to reality.

Jody: Interfacing with psychedelics could do it.

Cody: I definitely don't want it to be like Ready Player One, where you just come back to a mess of wires. I want it to be a mist that falls away and you can just exhale and you're back.

Jody: I have issues with my Apple Pencil point sliding around too much on the glass. I cannot get a proper straight line. Like I don't want perfectly straight, I just want mortally straight. So I just need more of a matte or fibrous surface on the glass.

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