0 0 Colin McGinn Colin McGinn2016-05-25 15:25:232016-05-25 15:25:23Net Heads
We need a meme to express what seems to be happening to people’s brains. The internet has created, along with other cultural forces, a certain type of mind, which affects even people who should be immune to it. I propose to call them “Net Heads”. We can also speak of having “net head” or being “net-headed”. Also: “Blog Fog”. I know they’re not wonderful, so maybe someone can come up with something better. Suggestions?
I view the mental typology from a certain remove, as akin to that of the tricoteuses who sat in the front row knitting liberty caps while once-mighty heads rolled. Dreadfully rude yet historically explicable. The Reign of Terror as metaphor for the Internet Age. How about Web Plebs?
Good rhyme but insulting to real plebs. My other question is: Why have philosophers become so horrible?
“Net” is already a bit dated, and I’d welcome something a bit more concrete about the characteristics you want to capture — the attention deficit, the propensity to provoke, the propensity to take offence, the snark, the insincerity? Anyhow, they (we) do it mostly on the phone nowadays, so I’d go for something in the general areas of Phoneys.
I quite like Phoneys. Where I was born the “netty” referred to the toilet, so maybe we could call them the “Netties”.
It is a morbidly passive condition. There is no treatment as yet because it is not at present diagnosed as an illness. People self medicate with yet more net use making them feel much better however. We are all in denial to some extent about our own use, but it is in all cases terminal I fear until the cure is looked for, let alone found. If we could net socially it may help but the internet temps us to be secret netters so ultimately we net alone. We are all caught in the net. Maybe simply “Netted” could catch on?
I like the use of “net” as a verb. “I’ve been netting too much lately and now I feel totally netted.”
“I’m netted-out, nettered. Things have gone nets-up. I’ve got netlag.”
Troubled students would become High School Net-outs.
“My head is completely netted up. I am so effing netted. I need netaholics anonymous. My life is one big net-zap. Netting hell!”
People go the doctor with net-aches and net-fatigue and net-disease.
Netotomized. Neteleptic. Netistic.
For sure, “netistics” do exist now (maybe I’m a netistic myself).
But what to say about mainstream television since the 60’s ? What to say about propaganda service radio since the 20’s or 30’s ? What about newspapers since the nineteenth century…. I’m not sure that new mass media are much more toxic than the primitive ones. They might be just a continuation.
The main difference is that the internet lets anyone publish what is on his or her “mind”.
I basically agree, that’s why I often practice self-censorship (not always unfortunately). It’s hard to escape the “reign of vulgarity”.