The monkey cult destroying the temple of knowledge

I should point out that the title above is not my own work, but the subtitle what is likely to be the most controversial book on the Web 2.0 phenomena this year.

The book titled The Cult of the Amateur is by failed Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen (who ironically has his own blog). In it he attacks the amateur nature of Web 2.0 developments such as blogs. According to Lawrence Lessig a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School who is one of the targets of the book, Keen;

“spends 200 pages attacking the rise of the “amateur” and the harm — economic, social, cultural and political — these amateurs will cause. Without “standards,” without “taste,” without “institutions” to “filter” good from bad, true from false, the Internet, Keen argues, is destined to destroy us.

But what is puzzling about this book is that it purports to be a book attacking the sloppiness, error and ignorance of the Internet, yet it itself is shot through with sloppiness, error and ignorance. It tells us that without institutions, and standards, to signal what we can trust (like the institution (Doubleday) that decided to print his book), we won’t know what’s true and what’s false. But the book itself is riddled with falsity — from simple errors of fact, to gross misreadings of arguments, to the most basic errors of economics.”

Lessig has gone as far as to create a Wiki, TheKeenReader in order to help readers detail the books errors.

One thought on “The monkey cult destroying the temple of knowledge

  1. clairenicholaswalker

    Yes, he is a bit hard on amateurs considering he is participating in the new-ish phenomena of blogging himself! Web 2.0 is a wonderful thing and I must have a look at this book to see what Keen says, errors or not.
    Nice bike by the way!
    C

    Reply

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