The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture
Amateur hour has arrived, and the audience is running the show
In a hard-hitting and provocative polemic, Silicon Valley insider and pundit Andrew Keen exposes the grave consequences of today’s new participatory Web 2.0 and reveals how it threatens our values, economy, and ultimately the very innovation and creativity that forms the fabric of American achievement.
And let me say, too, that the reason this is two stars and not one (and actually was almost three) is that it really made me mad, and really made me think, which is no small feat. Plus it got me into several (loud) arguments with my boyfrie ...more
"The logic of Google's search engine...reflects the "wisdom" of the crowd. The search engine is an aggregation of the ninety million questions we collectively ask Google each day; in other words, it just tells us what we already know."
Is this intentionally dense? I mean, yes, Google uses the experiences others have had in some ways to create your new experience when you enter a search query, but that's har ...more
Throughout the book, Keen lacks any sense of historical context. You feel like he believes that nothing happened in popular culture prior to 1990. He blames the internet for television's audience fragmentation, f ...more
These are the kind of arguments someone in the room will bring up when debating whether comments ought to be moderated, or the managem ...more
Keen believes that all these empowered individuals (like you and me) are 1) poisoning civic discourse by blurring the lines between facts, inferences and opinions, 2) destroying ...more
Overall, Keen’s polemic is a very relevant book and one I wish everyone would read. It’s sure to spark a lot of debate at dinner parties between ...more
Here were the key takeaways and questions that the book raised for me:
- democratization of content/media results in the loudest (and often least credible) getting most attention, and hence you can't trust anything on the web.
- this is leading to the death of culture (and the loss of taste makers and fact checkers) and commerce -- the trend is towards overall value-destruction (vs. value cre ...more
The first few chapters are one long, often repetitive, diatribe. He bemoans the “editor-free world” on the Net because the result is propaganda, deception, and advertising disguised as entertainment or news. Plus, people lose jobs, since traditional media outlets for paid reporters, editors, and music labels are losing their consumer base to the new Intern ...more
As one can expect from the title of the book, he is not fond of amateurs, stating that profes ...more
Yes, I do have the benefit of 8 years of hindsight. But it is incredible how every single distopian prediction this book makes didn't materialize. It just utterly fails at imagining alternatives, it is pompously elitist and arrogant, and it just doesn't get technology or the internet or innovation or change or people or the world.
I want to finish th ...more
Either this book is a satire meant to show that the publishing world is no better than the Web 2.0 world he decries, or it's a complete travesty.
From the Jan-Feb 2008 issue of THE FUTURIST
In his new book, The Cult of the Amateur, (Currency, 2007) blogger and Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen explores today's new participatory Internet, (often referred to as Web 2.0). He argues that too much amateur, user-generated, free content is threatening not only mainstream media—newspapers, magazines, and record and movie companies—but our very culture. We asked Keen what today's Internet tr ...more
Andrew Keen made the Cult of the Amateur seem a bit negative. He criticizes pretty much everything on the internet and now it looks like a place that has nothing good on it. This is not entirely true since NOW we have lots of talents out there that gets known with the he ...more
Last summer, Stephen Colbert invited me onto his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. “You, sir,” Colbert shouted, leaning forward and jabbing his finger under my nose. “You, sir, are an elitist!”
“Yes, I am,” I admitted, backing away from Colbert's finger. “What's wrong with that?”
Andrew Keen starts off with a strong argument. You have heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem? Infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters can create Shakespeare? According to Keen, “Today’s technology hooks all those monkeys up with all those ...more
It is primarily about the ill effects of the web.
My critique, such as it is, benefits from hindsight, as when the book was written wikipedia had only 3 million entries. Still, as polemic, this book is all noise and no substance. It decries mob rule on the web and the fall of the expert. It intentionally devalues daily human activity. It pr ...more
The second half seems to lose focus a bit. While Internet addiction, porn, and gambling are im ...more
“T. H. Huxley, the nineteenth-century evolutionary biologist and author of the “infinite monkey theorem.” Huxley’s theory says that if you provide infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters, some monkey somewhere will eventually create a masterpiece—” quote from this book.
I had great time read ...more