Is the Internet interfereing with our minds?

Yes it is… and probably more than TV did. And now we’ve got both.


It’s probably not interference – I mean your brain is shaped by what you do – weeding the garden for 50 years would give you certain sensitivities / habits etc… and I think the Catholic Church probably ought to admit that sexual abstinence probably isn’t a good idea. It probably isn’t interference, rather a part of how brains work… adapt etc.

These are physical changes – your brain’s software is hardware. Wetware. Neurons are physical things.

That Douglas Coupland wrote a book a while back called jPod – which was about programmer geeks etc – and it went on about Autism quite a lot… I can’t remember whether he thought that programming caused autism or autistic people are attracted to programming… but he was spot on. He reckoned this was why geeks generally don’t like being hugged – it’s just too much information – it’s like someone yelling in your ear with a loud-haler.

Personally, I’m finding salad problematic – and these days have to ask that it’s all separated out into its individual components – it’s just chaos other wise. It does my head in. I don’t even like looking at it.

I haven’t been able to read a book in years… I hardly ever get through a movie without checking my emails or various info-feeds. I have supernatural powers of focus – if it’s programming… and I have the attention-span of some sort of scatty cartoon field-mouse the rest of the time.

That Rands dude wrote this thing a while back called The Nerd Handbook – which is worth reading. It’s absolutely (again) spot on – especially the bit about “Your nerd has built an annoyingly efficient relevancy engine in his head.”

100%. There’s something about programming, or maybe the web in general that causes a kind of hyper-focus… particularly if you’re juggling a load of different feeds and tasks at the same time. The word “whatever” isn’t (for us) a teenage attitude problem, it’s like a reflexive protection amulet. It takes a microsecond to flick up and deflect stray incoming information.

Is it healthy? Probably not. The web is a ferociously left-brained type of machine. It’s very Yang. That’s why geeks are addicted to coffee. It’s Yang as well.

I think I need to be stricter with my computer-free days… every time I try it, I wait up until midnight… checking the time, checking the time, checking the time… until I can log in again and catch up. I’ve tried meditating. That was good – but it’s about as likely to happen as physical excercise, which I also don’t do.

Still… Pizza for tea. That’s something to look forward to. Dominos have started doing Garlic Prawn flavour. Marvelous.