From Altopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dictionary Definition -

"neophilia (ˌniːəʊˈfɪlɪə)

a tendency to like anything new; love of novelty"


Neophiles/Neophiliacs would have the following basic characteristics:

  • The ability to adapt rapidly to extreme change
  • A distaste or downright loathing of tradition, repetition, and routine
  • A tendency to become bored quickly with old things
  • A desire, bordering on obsession in some cases, to experience novelty
  • A corresponding and related desire to create novelty by creating or achieving something and/or by stirring social or other forms of unrest.

In some ways, a neophile would be from of revolutionary, most revolutionaries would become that way if pushed far enough by authorities or social surroundings, but neophiles are revolutionaries by their very nature. Their intellectual abhorrence of tradition and repetition usually bemoans a deeper emotional need for constant novelty and change.

The opposite of a neophile is a neophobe, this is a person with an aversion to novelty and change. Some have stated that neophobes have a tendency to see neophiles, (especially the extreme ones), with some kind of fear and contempt, and to brand them with titles such as witch, satanist, or heretic, it's also been thought that that the industrial revolution and related Age of Enlightenment represents one of the first periods in history where neophiles became a dominant force.

There is more than just the one type of neophile; There are;-

  • social neophiles "the extreme social butterfly",
  • intellectual neophiles "the revolutionary philosopher"
  • the technophile,
  • physical/kinetic neophiles "the extreme sports enthusiast".
  • These above tendencies are not mutually exclusive, and they might exist simultaneously in the same individual.

The word "neophilia" has particular significance in Internet and hacker/programmer subculture.
The New Hacker's Dictionary gave the following definition to neophilia -
The trait of being excited and pleased by novelty. Common among most hackers, Science fiction fans, and members of several other connected leading-edge subcultures, including the pro-technology Whole Earth wing of the ecology movement, space activists, many members of Mensa, and the Discordianism/neo-pagan underground. All these groups overlap heavily and where evidence is available seem to share characteristic hacker tropisms for science fiction music.