Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Cult of the Amateur

The new issue of The American Conservative is out with my review of Andrew Keen's The Cult of the Amateur: How today's Internet is killing our culture. Given the subject matter, I hope that they make it available on the web, but here is a taste:
Keen flails wildly when he accuses bloggers on the scene during Hurricane Katrina of inflating the body count and making erroneous reports of activities at the Superdome. He doesn't cite specific examples, and it is hard to credit his version of events, since New Orleans was without power and bloggers would have had great difficulties filing firsthand reports. . .

The rest of the issue looks great as ususual with a column from Daniel Larison and an article by Michael Brendan Dougherty called "Santorum Against the World." I was also pleased to see a review of Deep Economy by Caleb Stegall, who manages to work in a great quote from Wendell Berry. "As soon as the generals and the politicos/can predict the motions of your mind,/lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Look at Keen's bio:


Andrew Keen (born circa 1960[1]) is a British-American entrepreneur and author best known as a critic of Web 2.0.

In The Weekly Standard, Keen wrote that Web 2.0 is a "grand utopian movement" similar to "communist society" as described by Karl Marx. "It worships the creative amateur: the self-taught filmmaker, the dorm-room musician, the unpublished writer. It suggests that everyone--even the most poorly educated and inarticulate amongst us--can and should use digital media to express and realize themselves. Web 2.0 'empowers' our creativity, it 'democratizes' media, it 'levels the playing field' between experts and amateurs. The enemy of Web 2.0 is 'elitist' traditional media." He describes Free Culture proponent Lawrence Lessig as an "intellectual property communist".[2]

Contents [hide]
1 Education and career
2 Personal life
3 References
4 External links



[edit] Education and career
He was born in the Golders Green neighborhood of North London. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from London University and then studied at the University of Sarajevo. He has earned a master's degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, studying under Ken Jowitt. Keen has taught at Tufts University, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts before returning to Silicon Valley during the dot-com bubble.

He started audiocafe.com in 1997 with funding from Intel and SAP, but it closed in 18 months. After the demise of audiocafe.com, Keen worked at Pulse 3D, SLO Media, Santa Cruz Networks, Jazziz Digital and Pure Depth.

Keen currently writes about media on his site thegreatseduction.com, which redirects to his blog. Keen also produces a podcast on AfterTV. His book The Cult of the Amateur was published on 5 June 2007 by Doubleday Currency [3] and was handed out to attendees at the 2007 TED conference




He is an educated failure buoyed by family money. He writes for the Weekly Standard, which is seeing reader seepage to REAL PALEOCONSERVATIVE blogs. No wonder he is pissed that FoxNews is the only "conservative" media we have to look at and Hollywood entertainment is all we have to watch.



An aside on the internet/entertainment synergy: You can look for truly terrific musicians on YouTube. Wanna find the really great guitarists? Go look, and you can WATCH them for yourself. Cello or violin prodigies? They are there too. We dont need the entertainment INDUSTRY to pick out music for us. With better and better software, some short MOVIES might get to be made with auteurs doing much of the production on their damn PC in the future. We might really be suprised that technology can allow Joe Blow to actually have a voice.

Pauli said...

Hopefully he'll be able to purchase a lot of dark turtlenecks with the proceeds from his book which should soon be flying off the shelves like amateur hang-gliders.

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