The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy by Andrew Keen

Andrew Keen’s latest book has gained some notoriety. The book is BBC’s Newsnight book club’s latest addition and is discussed at length, including an extract from chapter 1. Newsnight’s Gavin Esler asks “has the internet become a medium of mediocity?” And Newsnight says Keen “expresses his concern for the profligacy of online amateurism, spawned by the digital revolution. This, he feels, has had a destructive impact on our culture, economy and values.” There’s way too much to reproduce here, but part of the extract republished says “call it the great seduction. The Web 2.0 revolution has peddled the promise of bringing more truth to more people-more depth of information, more global perspective, more unbiased opinion from dispassionate observers. But this is all a smokescreen. What the Web 2.0 revolution is really delivering is superficial observations of the world around us rather than deep analysis, shrill opinion rather than considered judgment. The information business is being transformed by the Internet into the sheer noise of a hundred million bloggers all simultaneously talking about themselves.” Join the debate, and while the Newsnight story is still available, watch it!

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