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Cult of the amateur comments

Shelves: why-werent-you-better , read , book-i-hate-you Let me start by saying that I opened this book with a totally open mind. I too think that blogs, MySpace, and YouTube are doing horrible things to our culture in this country, so I though I was going to be the choir this guy was preaching to. Not so. 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 Let me start by saying that I opened this book with a totally open mind.

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In it, the author 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. Have a read and share your thoughts — is he being alarmist about the effects of the Web 2. Are we at the mercy of the amateur? What, in any case, can be done?

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Keen's argument can essentially be boiled down to this: Web 2. Hacks are now cranking out "an endless digital forest of mediocrity;" "the professional is being replaced by the amateur You'd think that by positioning himself as the defender of high culture and cultural authority, Keen would uphold his end of the bargain. That is, you'd expect him to offer us a nuanced, carefully-crafted look at the uses and abuses of Web 2. But that is not what you get here.

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Continue reading the main story Because Web 2. For instance, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia which relies upon volunteer editors and contributors gets way more traffic than the Web site run by Encyclopedia Britannica which relies upon experts and scholars , even though the interactive format employed by Wikipedia opens it to postings that are inaccurate, unverified, even downright fraudulent. This year it was revealed that a contributor using the name Essjay, who had edited thousands of Wikipedia articles and was once one of the few people given the authority to arbitrate disputes between writers, was a year-old named Ryan Jordan, not the tenured professor he claimed to be. Postings about political candidates, for instance, can be made by opponents disguising their motives; and propaganda can be passed off as news or information.

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Contents[ edit ] Keen argues against the idea of a read-write culture in media, stating that "most of the content being shared— no matter how many times it has been linked, cross-linked, annotated, and copied— was composed or written by someone from the sweat of their creative brow and the disciplined use of their talent. He calls the latter "a parasite" since "it creates no content of its own" and "[i]n terms of value creation, there is nothing there apart from its links. Every visit to Wikipedia's free information hive means one less customer for a professionally researched and edited encyclopedia such as Britannica. He observes that as advertising dollars migrate from newspapers, magazines and television news to the Web, organizations with the expertise and resources to finance investigative and foreign reporting face more and more business challenges. And he suggests that as CD sales fall in the face of digital piracy and single-song downloads and the music business becomes increasingly embattled, new artists will discover that Internet fame does not translate into the sort of sales or worldwide recognition enjoyed by earlier generations of musicians.

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Adapting the 'infinite monkey theorem', Keen, a British media commentator based in California, updates the typewriting primates to internet users. These 'monkeys' are not producing Shakespeare, they're deluging us with 'everything from uninformed political commentary, to unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, to unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels'. It's not a fashionable statement in this super-connected Web 2. We are in thrall to Google and Wikipedia, addicted to Facebook and YouTube, but Keen, who was a bright-eyed Silicon Valley prospector before the dotcom crash, is making no apologies for his loss of faith.

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How can we build trust into the structures of knowledge the Internet is enabling Wikipedia, blogs, etc. How can make sure the contribution adds to understanding rather than confuses it? These are hard questions. And as is true of Wikipedia at each moment of every day — there is more work to be done.

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Print Loading There is a battle looming between the techno-utopians and the defenders of traditional forms of cognitive authority. The battle is being waged here and there, in print, on the web, in various forums around the world. This battle represents only the tip of a much larger iceberg: How will the world look and be organized when much of the codified available information in the world is freely available to everyone at little or no cost, and anyone can create yet more information at will?

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"What was that?" "I looked up and saw my way out of the chaos. " I gave him a smile and kissed him when he returned to me. "I have a proposition. Please, hear me out?" "Of course. " He followed me to the couch and sat down beside me.

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"What-" "Getting mad won't change anything, honey. " He dipped his head, and his tongue ran around my nipple before he gently tugged on it with his teeth. His lips closed around the tip, sucking. I hissed and arched under him.

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" Not even five minutes later, he was still holding me and offering words of encouragement when the front door opened and closed. We both looked up to see Dirk standing there. I started to pull away, but Chris tightened his arms and whispered in my ear to relax.

Then he released me.

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