The Who's Roger Daltrey says the internet is destroying our brains, society, and civilization

midian182

Posts: 8,324   +103
Staff member
A hot potato: While the internet is high on the list of inventions that completely reshaped the world, not everyone is a fan of the digital experience. One of these is Roger Daltrey, lead singer of legendary rock band The Who. He not only hopes that it "f**king collapses" but also believes it is destroying our brains has the potential to end civilization.

The singer made his internet-hating comments to the Coda Collection, which, somewhat ironically, is a video streaming service available on Amazon featuring music concerts, documentaries, and more from artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, the latter of which Daltrey referred to as a "Mediocre Pub Band" during another section of the interview.

Daltrey covered a number of areas during his one-on-one, including how he felt The Who would fare if it were a new band launching in today's digital age. The visibly unimpressed singer starts his reply by announcing himself as "the number one hater of the internet."

"I loathe it. At the time it really started to come forward as this platform it's become, I never ever thought any good would come of it and I really still don't think any good's come of it. I think if we're not careful, it's probably the end of our civilisation," he explained.

"Yes, it's very convenient. It's destroying our planet in more ways than one. It's destroying our brains in more ways than one. It's destroying our society in more ways than one, so all in all, the sooner it f**king collapses, the better."

Like most things, the internet has its problems. Back in 2019, the man who invented the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, called for a "Contract for the web" that he hoped would prevent a "digital dystopia." It included more respect for users' privacy and developing technologies to support humanity.

But Daltrey does have a point about the environmental impact of the internet, especially when it comes to resource-consuming areas such as crypto, NFTs, and data centers. He also brings up the long-contentious issue of how much songwriters and artists are paid by streaming services for using their work. It's estimated that Spotify pays artists as little as $0.0033 per stream, meaning they would need around 250 streams to earn a single dollar.

"Songwriters can't earn a living writing songs. Composers can't earn a living composing music. That can't go on. That's got to stop. It's the biggest fraud or robbery, whatever you want to call it, in history - what's happened to the music business," Daltrey said.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,249   +4,363
Maybe we don't need anymore "these" songwriters and composers.

Even if we did the reason why boomer bands are dying out in record numbers is because internet haters like him often leave their affairs to their label or contracted lawyers who do nothing but claim and block absolutely *every* piece of them that shows up on the internet, even when it's pretty blatant it's 100% fair use case with only partial reproduction for educational purposes (As in actual music teachers showing concepts from their songs)

A clever interviewer would have pressed him to find out if he's actively declining revenue checks from his record label because well, even with the above efforts there's still enough boomer music fans out there to generate *some* internet based revenue and I'm sure he cashes all those checks still, gleefully.
 

seeprime

Posts: 696   +922
Being able to critically think about random Internet comments without absorbing it is what, I hope, people are doing. What concerns me are the number of people that let memes punch them in their emotional gut, instead of realizing that the content may have be astroturfed by someone that wants anarchist views to become prevalent. I especially hate memes that end with the equivalent of "think about that". No. I don't want to let your extremist BS view take root in my mind.

Time for me to get back to real life work.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,768   +6,592
He's not wrong. look at public discourse today, the level of hatred promoted by the media, the way everyone has to walk on eggshells because someone on twitter might get mad at you for making a joke and get you fired, blacklist you out of industries, level threats at you, and it's allowed and even ENCOURAGED if you happen to be the wrong "type" of person. People are being led by what these platforms promote with 0 self awareness.

Compare the wold today to the year 2000, or the 90s. ALL the optimism, hope, and positivity is gone, replaced with permanent cynicizm. The internet is used to track what you do, determine if you are allowed to access products, restrict your freedoms, and as time goes on more of everyday life is being tied to the internet. You increasingly cannot escape the narcissistic j@ck@5ses that run the modern internet if you want to be able to pay bills, access new knowledge, or stay informed on current events.

The old men yelling at coulds may be crazy, or perhaps they have a point. We used to respect what our elders had to say, because they had decades of wisdom that we do not. From their point of view, the freedom of throught and speech and acknoledgement of opposing ideas and compromise has been decimated by echo chambers and escalating extremist us VS them mentality which, historically, has never ended well. The behaviours tolerated today would have been mocked, rediculed, and driven out of the room 20 years ago, and for good reason.

Our lizard brains were not meant to have constant streams of information pouring into them 24/7, and the effects are obvious. I dont see how anyone can look at all the restrictions of today, compare them to 2000, and conclude that things have somehow gotten better.
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 401   +580
He may be old, He may be shouting....but that doesn't mean he's wrong.

Social Media has done more damage to Western Democracy than any bomb or bullet.
Ignoring the old is a mistake. A lot of old people right now that came from the Soviet Union and China that have been warning us about what is going on in the US. It's dangerous for us to ignore them and unfortunately we are.
 

mountains

Posts: 77   +91
He's not wrong. look at public discourse today, the level of hatred promoted by the media, the way everyone has to walk on eggshells because someone on twitter might get mad at you for making a joke and get you fired, blacklist you out of industries, level threats at you, and it's allowed and even ENCOURAGED if you happen to be the wrong "type" of person. People are being led by what these platforms promote with 0 self awareness.

Compare the wold today to the year 2000, or the 90s. ALL the optimism, hope, and positivity is gone, replaced with permanent cynicizm. The internet is used to track what you do, determine if you are allowed to access products, restrict your freedoms, and as time goes on more of everyday life is being tied to the internet. You increasingly cannot escape the narcissistic j@ck@5ses that run the modern internet if you want to be able to pay bills, access new knowledge, or stay informed on current events.

The old men yelling at coulds may be crazy, or perhaps they have a point. We used to respect what our elders had to say, because they had decades of wisdom that we do not. From their point of view, the freedom of throught and speech and acknoledgement of opposing ideas and compromise has been decimated by echo chambers and escalating extremist us VS them mentality which, historically, has never ended well. The behaviours tolerated today would have been mocked, rediculed, and driven out of the room 20 years ago, and for good reason.

Our lizard brains were not meant to have constant streams of information pouring into them 24/7, and the effects are obvious. I dont see how anyone can look at all the restrictions of today, compare them to 2000, and conclude that things have somehow gotten better.

Post of the day, Insane Gamer!

Some in the free world are choosing to be divided into opinion tribes where "our" side is the victim of the other. Left vs Right; Business vs State; This vs That; Us vs Them. Do not let our freedom be used against us by those who would choose power over liberty. With rights come responsibilities. Reject the manufactured anger and stand together.

The free world is so strong that the only way to defeat it is to get it to defeat itself.
 
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arrowflash

Posts: 525   +600
In my view it's not the internet that's ruining society, it's social media and web 4.0 (focus on mobile devices, apps, etc).

Back to the way it was until the late 2000s, the internet was a great tool, useful, practical and fun. For me, the era between 2008-2012, give or take a year or two, was the peak of internet's golden era. But maybe older people like him who already hated the internet back then, could see where it was leading us. Maybe it was always supposed to end like this, only the technology, infrastructure and adoption rates hadn't caught up yet.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 525   +600
Post of the day, Insane Gamer!

Some in the free world are choosing to be divided into opinion tribes where "our" side is the victim of the other. Left vs Right; Business vs State; This vs That; Us vs Them. Do not let our freedom be used against us by those who would choose power over liberty. With rights come responsibilities. Reject the manufactured anger and stand together.

The free world is so strong that the only way to defeat it is to get it to defeat itself.

Divide and conquer, it's so sad that the vast majority of the population don't notice the oldest trick at play when it's so obvious. The true division is the super rich and elites vs. everyone else. The most vulnerable minority is the individual.
 

George Keech

Posts: 265   +458
He may be old, He may be shouting....but that doesn't mean he's wrong.

Social Media has done more damage to Western Democracy than any bomb or bullet.
100% agree, I think the internet is great obviously and maybe I'm nostalgic. but every part of it does seem to me to be worse, I genuinely think websites are all getting worse just in design the new think seems to be "slick" or in other words it looks like it was designed just for mobile
 

McKocoa

Posts: 62   +73
Something to be said about technology evolving faster than human brains are evolving. The issue at hand is people don't have to use their brain any longer, instead we(the royal we) fill our heads with stupid distractions and serotonin/dopamine seeking endeavors. Behavioral evolution is falling behind technological evolution.
 

mountains

Posts: 77   +91
Divide and conquer, it's so sad that the vast majority of the population don't notice the oldest trick at play when it's so obvious. The true division is the super rich and elites vs. everyone else. The most vulnerable minority is the individual.
I agree with much of what you say, but I am beginning to feel that the true division is us in the free world vs the... not-free world. And the not-free world would like us to divide and conquer ourselves.
 

Aceseven

Posts: 315   +399
He isn't wrong.

The internet itself isnt terrible, it's a truly amazing creation, but we've let it become a faucet from which many terrible things come through with no filter.

Social media has pretty much put a stranglehold on common sense, and although I believe that yes everyone should have a voice I also believe that our current turn towards not wanting to hurt anyones feelings allows those with darker motives to really gain traction because no one wants to stand against them, no matter what insane and obviously wrong bs they utter.

We finally reach a point where we have all of our information and knowledge at our fingertips, powerful computers in our pockets, past generations thought that would be a utopia and instead it's a literal nightmare.

In some ways ignorance is bliss apparently.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 511   +389
Although the man never wrote a single piece of music you'll remember, he managed to survive 15 years with one of the most toxic bands ever (Towshend and Moon were constantly casuig ****, and getting distracted with side-projects / drugs).

The man knows from experience how hard it is to stay sane in this Brave New World of Instant Social Media Crap™
 
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