Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Internets Destroying The World, or Idiocracy Revisited

It's not just the tech -- it's the people who use it -- destroying the world with their non-sanctified, unpaid views and opinions. Well, it is more that traditional media companies -- newspapers, radio, television, recording and film companies -- are losing business and consumers of their products.

That is the core of a book, titled "The Cult of the Amateur: How the Democratization of the Digital World Is Assaulting Our Economy, Our Culture and Our Values" by one Andrew Keen.

Damn that urge for Democracy!!

A review of the book via Sports Media America says:

"... the proliferation of Web technology and its wide and easy access to any Joe or Jane has created a rudderless, authority-less media environment responsible for the following primary ills:

1. A general and alarmingly casual disregard for facts (i.e., the truth about certain things)

2. A democratized approach to learning (e.g., Wikipedia), wherein those with expert opinion (and conventional credentials) are being pushed aside by an army of amateur thinkers and journalists

3. The rapid (and continuing and probably inevitable) financial decline in traditional media such as newspapers and magazines

4. The absolute destruction of the music business as we once knew it

5. The potential destruction of the film business

6. A compromised society-wide morality (especially among the younger, cut-and-paste generations) that fails to recognize theft of intellectual property as a criminal act (Keen dubs this scene a kleptocracy)

7. An onslaught of exposure to pornography that is warping minds and further fueling an atmosphere where sexual deviance and predatory activities are fostered."

(Thanks to Sparkwood & 21 for this account of the book.)

And don't forget the Evils of learning to read, of speaking without being a hired representative, and thinking for yourself. Add in the devious unprofessional handling of music, politics and documentation .... well, here we are, in a digital handbasket in a large pipeline heading to Hell.


  1. Wow, I've never seen so many hackneyed arguments in one place. I'm really impressed at how he managed to include everything but the growing Communist Menace in one argument against the Internet. Obviously, this cable that comes to my house and brings me the eBays is full of demons.

  2. Boing Boing has been keeping an eye on this asshat for a while. Just yesterday they posted that Keen was spamming Wired magazine Editor Kevin Kelly (one of the Internet practices Keen supposedly hates). There are other links about Keen at the bottom of the post.

  3. I especially liked how "facts" had to be annotated with a parenthetical the truth about certain things.

    What certain things is that? How do they differ from the other things that the facts may not illustrate properly?

  4. Ron - yes, demons. with ill intent and maybe a little Commie to boot.

    The Ed -- thanks for the links!! Boing Boing is teh best of teh interwebs.

    Sarcastro - exactly. and people who seek to repress facts start first by re-defining the meanings of many, many words.

  5. This totally makes me want to go write a few fallacious Wikipedia entries, share some digital music with a bunch of strangers, download some movies illegally, clog up some conservative blogger's comment hole with insane ranting, then go post some hot, porny Andrew Keen fanfic over at my blog.

    I <3 teh intarwebs!

  6. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Dear Sarcastro,

    I can give you an example of one crucial fact that one blogger - Joe actually - cocked up. He falsely reported that the city of Morristown had imposed garbage user fees as a way of generating revenue. It was being considered, but it never happen. Joe didn't attend any council meetings. He relied on heresay and speculation when he wrote so authoritatively on the user fees, which were never imposed.

  7. talk about selective memory ... Anonymous refers to a post made in

    where yes indeed i said a fee was imposed in addition to taxes, which i corrected then the comments on that post, noting:
    "The proposal from the administrator called for a garbage tax or increase in property taxes to offset budget projection errors, as reported in the local press."

    the city went for other taxes than a garbage fee ... of course, Anon makes no mention of the budget errors which led to the problems ...

    but yes i do make mistakes. time to shut the internet down!!

  8. He falsely reported that the city of Morristown had imposed garbage user fees as a way of generating revenue. It was being considered, but it never happen.

    Are you kidding me? You lost me at 'garbage user fees'. I don't know whether to be appalled or amused. I must be a pretty slow news day in Morristown when the controversy is swirling around garbage user fees.

    C'mon Joe, if you are going to make shit up, make up a story about a baby found in a meth house by the Mexican clean-up crew. Tug at the heartstrings by claiming that one of the workers hopes to adopt the baby and raise it as his own to replace the one that died during he and his wife's arduous trek across the Sonora desert.

    You'll win the Pulitzer and never have to attend a Morristown council meeting ever again.

  9. ah, but i could never match the story-making and falsifying skills of the enablers and apologists for local (or any other) government, like Anonymous.

    still, Sarcastro, i shall try harder.