Self Referential
June 16, 2011 4:13 PM   Subscribe

"People have always had an ulterior or imaginative life," opines writer Will Self. "There's something about the act of will involved in believing in preposterous things that I believe is the very kind of muscle and key of having an imagination... here, you have an arena that is inherently psychotic." In a series of interviews about the nature of human imagination and violence as they are transformed by the Internet, Self muses on how primal human desires are being satisfied more efficiently and easily by the increasingly connected life, and wonders how this will change us as much as society.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (10 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Can't watch the videos right now, but thanks for this - I enjoy Will Self. Searingly hilarious.
posted by likeso at 5:07 PM on June 16, 2011

Is there a transcipt?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:25 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I watched about two minutes. Seems interesting, but I couldn't get past the obnoxious camera angles and gratuitous text on screen. Maybe later I'll just listen to the audio.
posted by randomname25 at 5:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

It appears you've stumped the herd. I'm inclined to believe that he does have a credible insight into the psychotic nature of an equally valued yet impersonal forum that allows the user to satisfy personal interests as well as their provisional social and, material substitutes ad nauseam. It's difficult, however, to make a sweeping judgment on the reduction of personal social faculties in an imminent generation. The Internet tends to be the implicit foundation of constructivism in our present culture and will likely allow an acknowledgment of a personal stake in an ever-widening confluence of data streams sans barrier entry. What we're encountering is essentially a twinning of egos that are supplementary to each other. His concern seems to be that one will continually stifle the other and prevent the full flowering of a personal social presence. Though it's possible a connectedness to the ever expanding info-sphere may slow personal social development and implied social responsibility, it could be argued that it tends to augment the personality to a greater degree of individuality, therefor, adding value to the collective option.
posted by mnmlst at 6:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

And... I listened to the audio. He was articulate and funny, but this seems just another iteration of "the younger generation is going to ruin everything!" Yes, there have been significant cultural and technological shifts, but that this new world is normal for us doesn't mean we're psychotic.
posted by randomname25 at 6:15 PM on June 16, 2011

randomname25, not for nothing is he a regular on a BBC show called Grumpy Old Men.
posted by likeso at 7:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think Self is incorrect to assume that the web represents a kind of contiguous arena of banality and perversion, because he consciously ignores the ways in which we map the norms of other forms of interaction onto the internet. I think most people compartmentalize their internet usage about as well as they do their interaction in the broader social world: you have a spectrum of "adjustment" to the norms of a given space. Gradations of permissiveness exist everywhere. Contrast Metafilter to the Mefi group on Fetlife, to the broader whole of Fetlife, to Self's hypothetical oven-glove frottage board, for example.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:32 PM on June 16, 2011

I think Self is incorrect to assume that the web represents a kind of contiguous arena of banality and perversion

Damn. I'm only here for the banality and perversion.
posted by rhymer at 11:55 PM on June 16, 2011

This video should be a textbook on how to make video irrelevant. When you have 2 camera angles, animated text, and a couple color looks, and the first thing people look for is a transcript or audio only button -- congratulations, you are nominated for the 1998 over-stylized interview editing award.
posted by schmattakid at 3:35 AM on June 17, 2011

Here's Will Self as Crocodile Dundee.
posted by Harry at 9:42 AM on June 17, 2011

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