Biological Effects of the Feed in Novel, Anderson's Feed by Matthew Tobin Anderson

Biological Effects of the Feed in Novel, Anderson's Feed by Matthew Tobin Anderson

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In Anderson’s Feed, most of the American population is joined to the internet with chips implanted into their brains. This might not be the first science fiction novel to explore the idea that the internet is in our brains, but it does so with an awareness of how that might affect our planet and our biological being in a very visceral, fleshy way. The feed is destroying the planet and interrupts common, basic biological functions. Not only are humans themselves decaying and humanity ceasing to exist, but even the planet has become so polluted that it cannot sustain or support it natural cycles or maintain many populations of wildlife.
The Feed is literally an organ, an integral part of your body: "Before that, computers were all outside the body. They carried them around outside of them, in their hands, like if you carried your lungs in a briefcase and opened it to breathe" (47). This goes to show how people have become so integrated with technology that they cannot discern it from an internal element of themselves. Electric media, in this sense, are less an extension of the body, but rather an incorporation, an organ that infiltrates and fuses with the brain. The Feed cannot actually be turned off, only disconnected, because, as Violet, one of the main characters point out, "it's tied in everywhere. They said the limbic system, the motor cortex…the hippocampus. They listed all this stuff. If the feed fails too severely, it could interfere with basic processes." (171).
Feed shows how humanity has fallen under the wake of a technological society. Even our memories are now outsourced, in the sense that we allow our memories to be systematically organized and controlled by the cloud interface and purchase them back as a service. To...


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... America.
In this world, people have become the conduits and servants of the corporations; their memories, and therefore humanity, are only guaranteed by their purchasing histories. The novel suggests that all of society and the earth is about to collapse, even at a very basic, biological level: "Everything was not always going well, because for most people, our hair fell out and we were bald, and we had less and less skin" (277). Titus even notes that "My mom had lost so much skin you could see her teeth even when her mouth was closed" (283). If the reader pays attention to these little details, they might agree with Violet that these people are monsters, monsters created by the corporations that they created. Monsters we are feeding our world and our own flesh to, so they can sell other things back to us, satisfying our desires that the Feed has already created.

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