Evil Shit on the Internet: The Spinner

“The Spinner* is a service that enables you to subconsciously influence a specific person, by controlling the content on the websites he or she usually visits.

The targeted person gets repetitively exposed to hundreds of items which are placed and disguised as editorial content.


What makes this creepy as all get-out is that when we think of people using this kind of tool to manipulate the people in their lives, we intuitively understand that this is a tool for sociopaths and psychopaths. When you start thinking about this hard enough, what is the difference between The Spinner and using Google and Facebook to do the same thing for a demographic? There isn’t one. We only call it advertising when it is a group since it isn’t personal. I’m kind of taking it personal.

Grey Rocking

Ellen Biros, MS, LCSW, a therapist in Suwanee, Georgia, describes grey rocking as a technique for interacting with manipulative and abusive people. This can include people with narcissistic personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder as well as toxic people without a mental health diagnosis…She goes on to explain that since people with manipulative personalities feed on drama, the duller and more boring you seem, the more you undermine their efforts to manipulate and control you.”

—Timothy J. Legg, “Dealing With a Manipulative Person? Grey Rocking May Help.Healthline. December 12, 2019.

The Shaggy, Sharp-Toothed Thing With Thin Skin

“‘As a concept,’ Wang writes, ‘the schizophrenias encompass a range of psychotic disorders, and it is a genus that I choose to identify with as a woman whose diagnosis is unfamiliar to most — the shaggy, sharp-toothed thing, and not the wolf…

…’the liminal’ as a space in which ‘thin-skinned’ individuals — those who ‘have perceptions that are wide-open; they perceive what is happening in the other realm’ — can access the numinous and the non-rational, that which lies beyond the surface of the apprehensible.”

—Emily LeBarge, “The Shaggy, Sharp-Toothed Thing.” The Los Angeles Review of Books.

I’ve been hearing that Esmé Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias is excellent. I think it will be top on my list for next year.

The first bit brought to mind people raised by psychopaths and sociopaths but who are not like their parents. They may have characteristics or behaviors they developed as children in that environment, becoming shaggy and sharp-toothed. But, a person living with a pack of wolves may learn to act like a wolf, but it does not make them a wolf.

Second part draws in the relationship between sensitivity and mental illness. If you normally feel things like the muscles in the pupils of your eyes moving, the movement of food through your intestinal tract, can hear electricity in power outlets, and so forth, it’s going to change how you develop as a person and how you relate to others, e.g., you might find hugs to be a different experience than most people. As you get further from the common experience of others, you start to develop a perspective that is unknowable to them.

How do you explain the ability to see ultraviolet light to those who can’t see it and don’t believe there is more going on than they percieve? Being thin-skinned is to be misundersood.