Friday, June 29

The Cult of the Amateur, by Andrew Keen

I have to get a copy of this book (unfortunately it's not in the local library, at least not yet):

“What you may not realize is that what is free is actually costing us a fortune,” Mr. Keen writes. “The new winners — Google, YouTube, MySpace, Craigslist, and the hundreds of start-ups hungry for a piece of the Web 2.0 pie — are unlikely to fill the shoes of the industries they are helping to undermine, in terms of products produced, jobs created, revenue generated or benefits conferred. By stealing away our eyeballs, the blogs and wikis are decimating the publishing, music and news-gathering industries that created the original content those Web sites ‘aggregate.’ Our culture is essentially cannibalizing its young, destroying the very sources of the content they crave.”

The Cult of the Amateur - Andrew Keen - Books - Review - New York Times


Anonymous said...

I believe this is the same book Ryan mentioned to me. Guess he saw an interview with the author and was giving me his take on it.

[obviously not having read the book] it seems to me that its just another "oh my god, our society is in a downward spiral because of the internet". Another author hopping on the bandwagon of fearing change. Seems like an interesting read, but it lacks originality and I'm sure the substance will lack once you get into it.

augmentedfourth said...

Well, the NYT article I linked contained some very cogent points about how exactly reliance on popular opinion is disintegrating the concepts of "truth" and "correctness" in society. It seemed very well-reasoned, and not at all alarmist.

I couldn't even tell if the author actually decries the state of things as entirely bad, or if he's just commenting on the state of things.

Of course, since I work in publishing, I'm definitely in the "oh no, where is correct grammar going?" camp. Even some of my colleagues in editing don't have that great of a grasp on English syntax as they should. Of course, we're primarily editors of music notation; even in that arena, however, some still don't even strive for the goal of absolute clarity of expression.

Way too many people these days talk about the fact that "language evolves, and you better go with it," when they're actually just trying to excuse the fact that they know little or nothing about sentence construction. Unfortunately, the Internet has not been contributing to lingual evolution so much as annihilation.

But such is life, I suppose. If I can't stand the inconsistency and grammatical ambiguity, I just decide not to read it. I don't even subscribe to Lifehacker anymore.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god... best sentence ever!

> "Way too many people these days talk about the fact that 'language evolves, and you better go with it,' when they're actually just trying to excuse the fact that they know little or nothing about sentence construction."

That needs to be on a poster somewhere...

I agree with you that the current state of our linguistic abilities are dwindling rapidly due to our new instantaneous communications. Internet / email / text messages (almost typed 'txt', oops) etc take the formal side of communications away and require us to respond quicker than the days of writing a letter, or publishing an article in a newspaper.

Thank god I'm in electronics. Circuits don't not require grammar good.

Harry J. Sachz said...

I almost purchased this book this week, but instead got 'The Singularity is Near'. Not much of a reader, but I can get into some nerd books...

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.