A bad case of nostalgia

Critique of Andrew Keen’s The cult of the amateur

Deciding upon the manner of my response to Mr Keen’s book required much, much more time than composing the response itself. It’s truly seductive to be scathing about the The Cult of the Amateur. Making an inventory of the book’s sloppy argumentation, its fallacious reasoning, its myopic stance, its uncritical praise of copyright, its unwitting foot soldiery of the entertainment industry, its selective choice of facts and its misquotations would be quite to the point – especially since Mr Keen accuses ‘today’s internet’ of being unwitting foot soldiers, sloppy, myopic, uncritical, selective, misrepresentative and fallacious.


Aantal reacties: 7

  1. Thomas J. Boschloo ≡ 12 Apr 2008 ≡ 22:01


    Three things:
    1. Keen can hire a programmer to develop a ‘artistic’ filter for his browser. Every moderator would be screened by him, with the possibility to revoke them as moderators, and he would be free of the waste of time the Internet confronts him with.

    2. When did you last buy a DVD Karin? They are full of ads and you can’t skip through the ‘Brein’ informercial that shows every time you reinsert your legal DVD.

    3. I learned ten new English words from your blogg, including the context where to use them. Reading it has not been a complete waste of my time :-)

    Added to that, you saved me having to read Keen’s opinion on how to be more than an mere amateur. I aspire to be more in life as his personal slave groupie that reshapes the internet around him according to his masterplan.

  2. nee@niet.grom ≡ 13 Apr 2008 ≡ 22:02

    “To which Keen counters: ‘In the same way that not everyone should be doctors or teachers or astronauts, not everyone should be an author. Most people do not have anything interesting to say.’ ”

    This is so lame ass elitist. In fact, people are being their own doctors every day; recall the scene in Michael Moore’s SICKO with the guy stitching the wound on his knee by himself. Oh, but Mr. Keen is too busy bitching about some teenagers’ blogs to bother with writing a book about truly important things like Universal Healthcare, once upon a time the specialty of the “real left” Keen claims to represent. What happened to the “real left” that they are nowadays bitching about some blogs and some pirated mp3s instead of discussing real issues?

    And btw, consider the possibility that the guy in the above example was using a file he downloaded from the net to perform surgery on himself. What would that tell you?

    Keen is as left as Camille Paglia is a feminist (a ridiculous claim she made in her hey-day in order to spew all kinds of unsinn). It seems that every few years some stupid elitist will stand up and claim to be speaking in the name of the “true left” in order to get away with all sorts of nonsense, giving the true left a bad name.

    Mogen we trouwens ook in onze moerstaal reageren? Ik heb nog veel meer te zeggen, maar het bekt wat gemakkelijker in het Nederlands.

  3. nee@niet.grom ≡ 14 Apr 2008 ≡ 22:02

    “But while Bloom saw social change as a war he was losing and chose sides, Keen regally disregards that there are, indeed, sides.”

    Karin, dat is dus niet zo. Keen plaatst zichzelf wel degelijk in de linkse hoek. Bekijk die docu over Wiki (waar iemand in de andere thread naar had gelinked). Keen wordt daarin geinterviewed, en hij zegt keihard: “Ik ben links, ik ben van de ouwe linkse vangardistische school die vindt dat het gepeupel z’n bek moet houden en luisteren naar ons die het echt weten.” (“and follow all our orders!” maar dat laatste vergeet Keen te melden).

  4. nee@niet.grom ≡ 14 Apr 2008 ≡ 22:02

    Ik ben het overigens niet mee met hem eens. Wat Keen zegt, dat is geen links. Bek houden en luisteren is niet links. Mijn versie van links is van de vrije pers en de ondergrondse blaadjes, de piratenradio, er was zelfs een movement in de jaren 1960 dat de verguisde televisie dacht te kunnen emanciperen tot een progressief sociaal medium, etc.

    Gramsci zei ooit: “all men are intellectuals but not all men have in society the function of intellectuals”. Dit was niet een roep van dus allemaal je bek houden: “what he was really trying to convey is that people have the capability and the capacity to think. The problem was how to harness those capabilities and capacities” http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-gram.htm

    Gramsci zei ook: “everyone at some time fries a couple of eggs or sews up a tear in a jacket, we do not necessarily say that everyone is a cook or a tailor”. Keen heeft zijn citaat over astronauten en doctors van Gramsci overgenomen en aangepast, maar hij heeft de opmerking van Gramsci enger gemaakt.

  5. Thomas J. Boschloo ≡ 14 Apr 2008 ≡ 22:02

    Dat links rechts gedoe slaat ook eigenlijk nergens op. Alsof alle mensen maar in twee categorieƫn kunnen vallen! Zelf vind ik het leger belangrijk, dat is dus rechts (VVD), maar ik ben ook voor nivellering van rijkdom, dus links (SP). Maar ik stem al een tijdje GL terwijl ik niets met het milieu of dieren heb (maar ik ben er ook niet tegen).

  6. Dirrksv ≡ 18 Apr 2008 ≡ 22:02

    “both Keen and Shirkey disregard, is that we are witnessing the private going public. ”
    They don’t disregard it – but they fear or loathe it – or at any rate view it with bad marks.

  7. Ron C. de Weijze ≡ 22 Apr 2008 ≡ 22:02

    Heel goed stuk Karin, ik bezin mij nog op commentaar en zal dat dan zetten op http://www.denieuwereporter.nl/?p=1622#more-1622

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