From the Guardian Unlimited comes a write-up by Tim Dowling about Andrew Keen, the man who says the internet is populated by second-rate amateurs – and that it is swiftly destroying our culture.
Denizens of the cyberswamp? A million monkeys at a million typewriters? Misplaced faith in the integrity of the amateur – the citizen journalist, the self-published author, the mash-up musician?
To my mind Wikipedia is not wise,” says Keen. “It’s dumb. Not necessarily because all its contributors are dumb, but because if you don’t have an editor in charge, and you don’t have singular voices, then the intellectual quality of what the crowd produces is very low.
Dowling says that Keen’s argument strikes a chord with certain professions, particularly librarians, editors and educators (oh, that’s my group!). Keen’s critics, on the other hand, see him as defending a largely abandoned redoubt: old media, with its outmoded “gatekeepers” and structural hierarchies.
Read the article and catch up with the criticism.
The Book: The Cult of the Amateur, with the no-messing-about subtitle “How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy”.