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The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen
3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator
The Internet Is Not the Answer Also by Andrew Keen The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us The Internet Is Not the Answer Andrew Keen Atlantic Monthly Press New York Copyright © 2015 by Andrew Keen Jacket design by Christopher Moisan Author photograph by Michael Amsler All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. Scanning, uploading, and electronic distribution of this book or the facilitation of such without the permission of the publisher is prohibited.
ref= eastmankodakcompany&_r=0&pagewanted=print; online.wsj.com/article/AP6b640447eb8a41418c01e4110720d4e4.html. 47 Larson, “Kodak Reorganization Approval Affirms Move from Cameras.” 48 For an introduction to the Eastman House collection see Photography from 1839 to Today: George Eastman House, Rochester, NY (London: Taschen, 1999). 49 Greg Narain, “The New Kodak Moment: Why Storytelling Is Harder Than Ever,” Briansolis.com, November 21, 2013. 50 Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture, p. 115. 51 Ibid. 52 Neate, “Kodak Falls in the Creative Destruction of the Digital Age.” 53 Ibid. The comment was made by Robert Burley, a professor of photography at Ryerson University in Toronto, whose work on the collapse of film photography, The Disappearance of Darkness, was shown at the National Gallery of Canada in late 2013: gallery.ca/en/see/exhibitions/upcoming/details/robert-burley-disappearance-of-darkness-5324. 54 John Naughton, “Could Kodak’s Demise Have Been Averted?
., epilogue, pp. 240–51. 38 Williams, “The Agony of Instagram.” 39 Rhiannon Lucy Coslett and Holly Baxter, “Smug Shots and Selfies: The Rise of Internet Self-Obsession,” Guardian, December 6, 2013. 40 Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” Atlantic, July/August 2008. Also see Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (New York; Norton, 2011). 41 Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You (Penguin, 2011). See also my June 2011 TechCrunchTV interview with Eli Pariser: Andrew Keen, “Keen On . . . Eli Pariser: Have Progressives Lost Faith in the Internet?,” TechCrunch, June 15, 2011, techcrunch.com/2011/06/15/keen-on-eli-pariser-have-progressives-lost-faith-in-the-internet-tctv. 42 Claire Carter, “Global Village of Technology a Myth as Study Shows Most Online Communication Limited to 100-Mile Radius,” BBC, December 18, 2013; Claire Cain Miller, “How Social Media Silences Debate,” New York Times, August 26, 2014. 43 Josh Constine, “The Data Factory—How Your Free Labor Lets Tech Giants Grow the Wealth Gap.” 44 Derek Thompson, “Google’s CEO: ‘The Laws Are Written by Lobbyists,’” Atlantic, October 1, 2010. 45 James Surowiecki, “Gross Domestic Freebie,” New Yorker, November 25, 2013. 46 Monica Anderson, “At Newspapers, Photographers Feel the Brunt of Job Cuts,” Pew Research Center, November 11, 2013. 47 Robert Reich, “Robert Reich: WhatsApp Is Everything Wrong with the U.S.
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, centre right, citizen journalism, collaborative editing, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disintermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Results Only Work Environment, Saturday Night Live, search engine result page, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technology bubble, Ted Nelson, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, web application
If we are going to solve the world’s most pressing problems, we must put the power of the Web to work—its technologies, its business models, and perhaps most important, its philosophies of openness, collective intelligence, and transparency. And to do that, we must take the Web to another level. We can’t afford incremental evolution anymore. It’s time for the Web to engage the real world. Web meets World—that’s Web Squared. <Andrew Keen> web 2.0: the second generation of the internet has arrived and it’s worse than you think Originally published in The Weekly Standard (February 14, 2006). Writer and entrepreneur ANDREW KEEN is the author of The Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet Is Killing Our Culture (2007). Keen founded Audiocafe.com in 1995 and is currently the host of the “Keen On” show on Techcrunch.tv. His new book about the social media revolution, Digital Vertigo: An Anti-Social Manifesto, will be published by St.
Copyright © 2006 by New York University. All rights reserved. Abridged and reproduced by permission of New York University Press. Steven Johnson, “The Internet,” in Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter (2005), pp. 116–24. Copyright © 2005 by Steven Johnson. Used by permission of Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Andrew Keen, “Web 2.0,” in The Weekly Standard (February 14, 2006). Copyright © 2006 by Andrew Keen. Reproduced by permission of the author. Katherine Mangu-Ward, “Wikipedia and Beyond,” in Reason magazine (June 2007). Copyright © 2007 by Reason Foundation. Reproduced by permission of Reason Foundation. Jakob Nielsen, “Usability of Websites for Teenagers” (January 31, 2005) and “User Skills Improving, But Only Slightly” (February 4, 2008), published in Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox (http://www.useit.com).
Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven
Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, future of journalism, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra
The team at AOL is thinking hard about content and folks like Michael Silberman at New York Magazine and Renee Jordon at Readers Digest’s Taste of Home are exploring new and exciting ways to mix created, contributed, and curated content. Of course curation isn’t without its critics. Mark Cuban is perhaps the most colorful, calling all curators “vampires,” and enjoying all the media attention that Count Dracula commands. And Andrew Keen, whose rant against amateurs has given him a permanent spot on the dais, sides with Cuban, and suggests that curation is just another attempt of the liberal elite to control the conversation under cover of democracy. But there’s no shortage of those who argue to point passionately: Seth Godin is happy to poke holes in Cuban’s thesis. And Bob Garfield, who’s dark-but-prescient book Chaos Theory, published first in 2006, says that the road ahead for brands and advertising is paved with complexity and danger.
There are plenty of skirmishes about where the lines should be drawn, with folks like Nick Denton claiming that Huffington is stealing from Gawker, or the Newser versus The Wrap kerfuffle that I wrote about in chapter 3. But overall, the Web’s sharing ecosystem seems to be in place for entrepreneurs looking to build niche-content businesses. But what about the moral question? Is aggregation immoral? On that, the results seem less clear-cut. THE MORALITY OF AGGREGATION One of the most vocal critics of the emergence of Web content is Andrew Keen, author, pundit, and publishing curmudgeon. Keen’s book, The Cult of the Amateur, set the Internet world on edge. A self-described polemic, it took aim at the sheer volume of “amateur” content on the Web. Keen argued, as I have in these pages, that the sheer volume of unfiltered content left readers unable to find contextual editorial. (Of course, I have found what I think is a better answer than banishing amateurs from the Web.)
“Every webpage is a latent community. Each page collects the attention of people interested in its contents, and those people might well be interested in conversing with one another too.” And while Keen sees the amateurization of content creation as a sign of society’s drift from quality to mediocrity, Shirky sees no problem between mass participation and high-quality professional quality content. As he told Andrew Keen in a recent interview, “When I say, ‘Publishing is the new literacy,’ I don’t mean there’s no role for curation, for improving material, for editing material, for fact-checking material. I mean literally, the act of putting something out in public used to be reserved in the same way. You used to have to own a radio tower or television tower or printing press. Now all you have to have is access to an Internet café or a public library, and you can put your thoughts out in public.”
We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater
1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar
WE-THINK ‘We-Think is a riveting guide to a new world in which a whole series of core assumptions are being overturned by innovations on the web. Leadbeater draws a series of remarkable conclusions’ Matthew D’Ancona, Spectator ‘An important book, even for sceptics like me. We-Think is inspiring in its analysis, I urge you to read it’ Andrew Keen, Independent ‘I was gripped. The book’s theme is as big and as bold as it gets … should be compulsory reading for all who seek to understand the driving force of this century’ Management Today ‘Helps readers to frame some of the important questions for the coming decade’ Director CHARLES LEADBEATER is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation and creativity in organisations. He worked for the Financial Times for ten years and was ranked by Accenture as one of the top management thinkers in the world.
Yet if the Edgerton view is correct it would also mean that the changes we have seen in just the first decade of the mass adoption of the web – the complete upheaval in the music recording industry, the savage decline in US newspapers, the disappearance of many youth magazines, the quick creation of new media giants like Google – these might just be the tip of an iceberg. We have another fifty years of change of this kind to come and the scale of the upheavals may be even greater as the technology becomes widely adopted and gains momentum. A third small but vociferous group are people who say the web is already having a big impact on society and it is mainly bad for us. The chief proponents of this view are the polemicist Andrew Keen in his book The Cult of the Amateur, Nicholas Carr in his thoughtful The Big Switch, Larry Sanger, one of the co-creators of Wikipedia and the brain scientist Susan Greenfield. These critics worry the web is uprooting the authority of experts, professionals and institutions which help us to sort truth from falsehood, knowledge from supposition, fact from gossip. Instead the web is licensing a cacophonous mass in which it is increasingly difficult to discern the truth as experts themselves are drowned out by low grade amateurs.
The slow-moving, top-heavy industrial models of organisation that developed in Europe and the US in the 20th century will not work in these fast-growing but low-income economies. They instead go for low-cost solutions such as Grameen and M-PESA that mobilise participants in their millions. Will We-Think be good for equality? Yes. Freedom In Thomas More’s Utopia, which is more a warning of the risks of living in an ideal society than a blueprint for one, there are no police because the citizens keep an eye on one another. Critics of the web such as Andrew Keen, author of the polemic Cult of the Amateur, allege that this is exactly what the web is creating: a user-generated police state, in which everyone keeps track of everyone else. In the US a social-networking site now allows people to knit together information from published sources – addresses, the electoral role, business listings – to create maps that show who lives in which house in an area and what they do.
Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig
Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, commoditize, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Larry Wall, late fees, Mark Shuttleworth, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, peer-to-peer, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux, yellow journalism
We should provide protection from competition only where there is a very good reason to protect. My point of course is not that we can or should simply sacrifice RO culture to enable RW. Instead, the opposite: in protecting RO culture, we shouldn’t kill off the potential for RW. Differences in Value (As in “Is It Any Good?”) In June 2007, the backlash against RW culture was born. In a short and cleverly written book titled The Cult of the Amateur, Andrew Keen, a writer and failed Internet entrepreneur, launched a fullscale attack on precisely the culture that I am praising. The core of his attack was that “amateur culture” is killing “our culture.” The growth of this kind of creativity will eventually destroy much that we think of as “good” in society. “Not a day goes by without some new revelation that calls into question the reliability, accuracy, and truth of the information we get from the Internet,” Keen writes.4 And in response to all the free stuff the Internet offers, Keen is quite worried: “What is free,” he warns, “is actually costing us a fortune.”5 Wikipedia, for example, “is almost single-handedly killing the traditional information business.”6 And the “democratization” that I praise “is,” he argues, “undermining truth, souring civic discourse, and belittling expertise, experience and talent.”7 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 90 8/12/08 1:55:01 AM C ULT URE S C O MPA RE D 91 There is more than a bit of self-parody in Keen’s book.
As I’ve described, the original algorithm built its recommendations upon the links it found already existing on the Web; later, the algorithm also adjusted its recommendations based upon how people responded to the results Google returned. In all of these cases, the value Google creates comes from the value others have already created. Some draw a downright foolish conclusion from the fact that Google’s value gets built upon other people’s content. Andrew Keen, for example, a favorite from chapter 5, writes, “Google is a parasite; it creates no content of its own.”13 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 127 8/12/08 1:55:16 AM 128 REMI X But in the same sense you could say that all of the value in the Mona Lisa comes from the paint, that Leonardo da Vinci was just a “parasite” upon the hard work of the paint makers. That statement is true in the sense that but for the paint, there would be no Mona Lisa.
An argument “in favor” is certainly not an argument anyone should consider conclusive. Free speech values should still weigh in the balance, driving regulation away from restrictive measures when alternative, nonrestrictive alternatives exist. 2. Andrew Odlyzko, “Content Is Not King,” First Monday 6 (2001), available at link #38. 3. Stewart Baker, “Exclusionary Rules,” Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2004. 4. Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 64. 5. Ibid., 27. 6. Ibid., 131. 7. Ibid., 15. 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 305 8/12/08 1:56:22 AM 306 NO T E S 8. I’ve enumerated some errors on my blog. See Lawrence Lessig, “Keen’s ‘The Cult of the Amateur’: BRILLIANT!” Lessig Blog, available at link #39. 9. Keen, The Cult of the Amateur, 27. 10. New York Institute for the Humanities and NYU Humanities Council, “The Comedies of Fair U$e,” Internet Archive, available at link #40 (last visited July 30, 2007); Joy Garnett, “Full Program Audio on Archive.org,” Comedies of Fair U$e, available at link #41 (last visited July 30, 2007). 11.
Andrew Keen, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, experimental economics, experimental subject, fundamental attribution error, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Kevin Kelly, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, social software, Steve Ballmer, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, ultimatum game
At every turn, skeptical observers have attacked the idea that pooling our cognitive surplus could work to create anything worthwhile, or suggested that if it does work, it is a kind of cheating, because sharing at a scale that competes with older institutions is somehow wrong. Steve Ballmer of Microsoft denounced the shared production of software as communism. Robert McHenry, a former editor in chief of Encyclopedia Britannica, likened Wikipedia to a public rest room. Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, compared bloggers to monkeys. These complaints, self-interested though they were, echoed more broadly held beliefs. Shared, unmanaged effort might be fine for picnics and bowling leagues, but serious work is done for money, by people who work in proper organizations, with managers directing their work. Upgrading one’s imagination about what is possible is always a leap of faith.
CHAPTER 6: Personal, Communal, Public, Civic 161 Steve Ballmer of Microsoft denounced the shared production of software: Lea Graham, “MS Ballmer: Linux Is Communism,” The Register, July 31, 2000, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/07/31/ms_ballmer_linux_is_communism/ (accessed January 10, 2010). 162 Robert McHenry, “The Faith-Based Encyclopedia,” Technology Commerce Society Daily, November 15, 2004, http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=111504A (accessed January 10, 2010). 162 compared bloggors to monkeys: Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amatuer: How Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and the Rest of Today’s User-Generated Media Are Destroying Our Economy, Our Culture, and Our Values (New York: Broadway Business, 2007): 2. 163 a slim volume called Experiences in Groups: W. R. Bion, Experience in Groups and Other Papers (New York: Routlege, 1991). 165 The video starts simply enough: “Couch Surfing,” Current TV, July 21, 2007, http://current.com/items/76406002_couch-surfing.htm (accessed January 10, 2010). 167 Hitchhiking is choosing to have faith in other human beings: Pippa Bacca and Siliva Moro, “Progretto,” Brides on Tour, http://bridesontour.fotoup.net/progetto.html (accessed January 10, 2010). 167 Shortly after leaving Istanbul, Pippa Bacca was abducted: Laura Kind, “A Plea for Peace in White Goes Dark,” Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2008, http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/31/world/fg-pippa31?
4chan, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Burning Man, Carrington event, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Glasses, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, moral panic, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test
Perhaps the surest sign of a Yelp review’s significance is the vehemence it can inspire: A restaurateur in Ottawa’s famous ByWard Market, for example, was found guilty of libel and sent to jail after she launched an aggressive Internet smear campaign targeted at the author of a critical review. It’s this devotion to, and obsession with, a flattened critical world—one where amateurism and self-promotion take the place of the “elite” critical voices we once relied upon—that leads writers like Andrew Keen (author of The Cult of the Amateur) to baldly state: “Today’s internet is killing our culture.” We get mob opinion instead of singular voices; crowdsourced culture. Consider the Unbound Publishing project, which democratizes the selection of which books get written. Authors pitch ideas to users, who then choose whether or not to fund the writing of said books. “Books are now in your hands,” enthuses the Web site.
In 2013, Yelp enticed 117 million unique users per month: “10 Things You Should Know About Yelp,” Yelp: About Us, accessed January 17, 2014, http://www.yelp.ca/about. “Yelpers” have written 47 million reviews: Ibid. A restaurateur in Ottawa’s famous ByWard Market: “Marisol Simoes Jailed: Co-owner of Kinki and Mambo in Ottawa Gets 90 Days for Defamation,” Huffington Post, accessed January 16, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/11/16/marisol-simoes-jailed_n_2146205.html. “Today’s internet is killing our culture”: Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur (New York: Doubleday/Currency, 2007). “the filter bubble”: Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think (New York: Penguin Press, 2011). Google announced that Google Maps: Evegny Morozov, “My Map or Yours?,” Slate, accessed September 4, 2013, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/05/google_maps_personalization_will_hurt_public_space_and_engagement.html.
Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff
algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game
If anything, such heroism under fire, combined with the general public’s access to blogging technology and professional-looking website templates, gives us all the false sense that we are capable of researching and writing professional-quality journalism about anything. In fact, most of us are simply making comments about the columns written by other bloggers, who are commenting on still others. Just because we all have access to blogging software doesn’t mean we should all be blogging, or that everyone’s output is as relevant as everyone else’s. Today’s most vocal critic of this trend, The Cult of the Amateur author Andrew Keen, explains, “According to a June 2006 study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 34 percent of the 12 million bloggers in America consider their online ‘work’ to be a form of journalism. That adds up to millions of unskilled, untrained, unpaid, unknown ‘journalists’—a thousandfold growth between 1996 and 2006—spewing their (mis)information out in the cyberworld.” More sanguine voices, such as City University of New York journalism professor and BuzzFeed blogger Jeff Jarvis, argue that the market—amplified by search results and recommendation engines—will eventually allow the better journalism to rise to the top of the pile.
., Confidence in Newspapers, TV News Remains a Rarity,” Gallup Politics, August 13, 2010, www.gallup.com/poll/142133/confidence-newspapers-news-remains-rarity.aspx. 24. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, September 22, 2011, www.people-press.org. 25. Kasun Ubayasiri, “Internet and the Public Sphere: A Glimpse of YouTube,” Central Queensland University, 2006, and updated, on EJournalist.com, http://ejournalist.com.au. 26. Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur (New York: Crown, 2007), 48. 27. Mark Lilla, “The Tea Party Jacobins,” New York Review of Books, May 27, 2010. 28. David Frum, “When Did the GOP Lose Touch with Reality?” New York, November 20, 2011. 29. Tommy Christopher, “Van Susteren Explains Why Anti-Fox Clip with Occupy Wall St. Protester Got Cut,” MediaIte.com, October 3, 2011, www.mediaite.com/tv/van-susteren-explains-why-anti-fox-interview-with-occupy-wall-st-protester-got-cut.
Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents by Lisa Gitelman
Andrew Keen, computer age, corporate governance, deskilling, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, national security letter, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, optical character recognition, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Turing test, Works Progress Administration
—Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody Try writing a book that is partly about photocopies and mimeographs, and everywhere you go someone is bound to ask, “Are you going to write about zines?” It started to bother me. Although the pressing relevance of amateur cultural production online seems clear—whether elaborated enthusiasti- cally by Henry Jenkins in Convergence Culture, for instance, or excoriated by Andrew Keen in The Cult of the Amateur—the question about zines that kept coming up wasn’t about the Internet at all, at least not explicitly.1 Asking about self-published, homemade, small-run amateur publications sounded like pure nostalgia to me, or worse. I detected pie-eyed cultural studies, trapped in celebrations of subcultural resistance as cultural critique. And I detected some sloppy media history, too, rushing to connect while forgetting to distinguish.
David Lyon and Elia Zureik (Cambridge, MA: mit Press, 1994), 175– 92; Rita Raley, “Dataveillance and Counterveillance,” in “Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron, ed. Lisa Gitelman (Cambridge, MA: mit Press, 2013), 121–46. 89. Allegory is the meat of computational “layers” and of interface, according to Alexander R. Galloway, The Interface Effect (Cambridge: Polity, 2012), 54. A F T E R W O R D : A M AT E U R S R U S H I N 1. Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York: New York University Press, 2006); Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture (New York: Doubleday, 2007). Keen decries “the pajama army” (47). 2. Oscar Harpel, Harpel’s Typograph, Or Book of Specimens, Containing Useful Information and a Collection of Examples of Letterpress Job Printing, Arranged for the Assistance of Master Printers, Amateurs, Apprentices, and Others (Cincinnati, OH: 1870); Robert C.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional
Champions of the old order also talk in terms that reinforce a seemingly unbridgeable divide. Unpaid amateurs have been likened to monkeys with typewriters, gate-crashing the cultural conversation without having been vetted by an official credentialing authority or given the approval of an established institution. “The professional is being replaced by the amateur, the lexicographer by the layperson, the Harvard professor by the unschooled populace,” according to Andrew Keen, obstinately oblivious to the failings of professionally produced mass culture he defends. The Internet is decried as a province of know-nothing narcissists motivated by a juvenile desire for fame and fortune, a virtual backwater of vulgarity and phoniness. Jaron Lanier, the technologist turned skeptic, has taken aim at what he calls “digital Maoism” and the ascendance of the “hive mind.” Social media, as Lanier sees it, demean rather than elevate us, emphasizing the machine over the human, the crowd over the individual, the partial over the integral.
Does WikiLeaks represent a new kind of transnational investigative journalism? Has the Web made us all reporters? Is transparency an unambiguous good? Should all information be free, to everyone, everywhere? The United States government had been caught off its guard and the audience was electrified by the possibilities of networked people power. Onstage a series of panelists including Arianna Huffington, Douglas Rushkoff, Esther Dyson, and Andrew Keen gave short presentations, their remarks occasionally punctuated by questions from the floor. “Information flow is corrosive to institutions, whether it’s record labels or a state ministry,” Mark Pesce, a regular commenter on technology, rapturously proclaimed from a large screen on the stage, his head beamed in over a choppy video connection. Our being “hyper-connected” has made us “hyper-empowered,” he continued, a state of affairs that will lead, inevitably, to “hyper-democracy.”
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov
3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lifelogging, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks
Of course, if one’s knowledge of history is reduced to tweet-length CliffsNotes, it’s natural to feel triumphant and unique, to believe one is living in truly exceptional times—an intellectual fallacy I call “epochalism.” It’s not a preserve of Internet optimists only; the pessimists love epochalism as well. After all, their criticisms matter only if the phenomena they are criticizing are seen as unprecedented. Thus, a self-proclaimed Internet pessimist like Andrew Keen can proclaim starkly that the growth of social media is “the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution” without bothering to produce much evidence. Keen simply presumes that the unprecedented scale of today’s transformations is self-evident—a hallmark assumption of epochalism. By presuming that we are living through revolutionary times, epochalism sanctions radical social interventions that might otherwise attract a lot of suspicion and criticism.
., 176. 30 “the Republic of Macedonia and the Province of Macedonia, Greece”: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MOSMAC. 30 Its bureaucracy is anything but small: I discuss the issue of Wikipedia bureaucracy in more detail in “The Battle for Wikipedia’s Soul,” The Economist, March 6, 2008. 31 Zittrain’s is a very elegant and pithy theory: Zittrain’s theory is laid out in Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet—and How to Stop It (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009). 34 “Theo . . . Mrs. Sol Schwimmer is suing me”: Woody Allen, The Complete Prose of Woody Allen (New York: Wings Books, 1991), 105. 35 “when we think of information technology”: David Edgerton, Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 (London: Profile Books, 2011), xvi. 36 “the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution”: “‘Antichrist of Silicon Valley,’ Andrew Keen Wary of Online Content Sharing,” Economic Times, May 29, 2012. 37 they don’t always capture the historical complexity: on the longitude problem, see Dava Sobel’s accessible history Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, reprint ed. (New York: Walker & Company, 2007). On early crowdsourcing efforts by the Smithsonian, see “Smithsonian Crowd-sourcing since 1849!
The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind
23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional
(2008), p. 59. 86 International Telecommunications Union, ‘The World in 2014: ICT Fact and Figures’ at <http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/ICTFactsFigures2014-e.pdf> (accessed 29 March 2015). 87 Sara Radicati, ‘Email Statistics Report, 2014–2018’, at <http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Email-Statistics-Report-2014-2018-Executive-Summary.pdf> (accessed 19 March 2015). 88 On sites such as <https://www.flickr.com>, <http://www.slideshare.net>, <https://www.youtube.com> (accessed 23 March 2015). 89 <http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html> (accessed 23 March 2015). 90 <http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2012/buzz-in-the-blogosphere-millions-more-bloggers-and-blog-readers.html> (accessed 23 March 2015). 91 <https://about.twitter.com/company> (accessed 19 March 2015). 92 <http://www.statista.com/statistics/274050/quarterly-numbers-of-linkedin-members/> (accessed 19 March 2015). 93 <http://wikipedia.org> (accessed 23 March 2015). 94 A important literature on mass collaboration emerged in the mid-2000s. See e.g. Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks (2006), Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams, Wikinomics (2006), Charles Leadbetter, We-Think (2008), and Cass Sunstein, Infotopia (2006). For a more critical view of the subject at that time, see Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur (2007). 95 Greg Kroath-Hartman, Jonathan Corbet, and Amanda McPherson, ‘Linux Kernel Development: How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring it’, Sept. 2013 <http://www.linuxfoundation.org/publication/linux-foundation/who-writes-linux-2013> (accessed 24 March 2015). 96 Daren Brabham, Crowdsourcing (2013). 97 Yochai Benkler, The Penguin and the Leviathan (2011), 23. 98 Benkler, The Penguin and the Leviathan, 182. 99 See <http://www.retailresearch.org/onlineretailing.php> (accessed 24 March 2015). 100 <http://www.ebay.com>. 101 Trefis Team, ‘eBay: The Year 2013 In Review’, 26 December 2013, at <http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/12/26/ebay-the-year-2013-in-review/> (accessed 24 March 2015). 102 See Dov Seidman, How (2007), 39; original emphasis. 103 Some popular texts of that era were Patrick Winston, Artificial Intelligence (1984), Edward Feigenbaum and Pamela McCorduck, The Fifth Generation (1983), Donald Michie and Rory Johnston, The Creative Computer (1984), and Edward Feigenbaum, Pamela McCorduck, and Penney Nii, The Rise of Expert Company (1988). 104 Richard Susskind, Expert Systems in Law (1987). 105 Phillip Capper and Richard Susskind, Latent Damage Law—The Expert System (1988). 106 Richard Susskind and Chris Tindall, ‘VATIA: Ernst & Whinney’s VAT Expert System’, in Proceedings of the Fourth International Expert Systems Conference (1988). 107 We have answered this question at length in Richard Susskind, ‘Artificial Intelligence and the Law Revisited’, in Jon Bing: A Tribute, ed.
In the words, again, of Anthony Kenny, technology ‘puts sins of omission as immediately and inevitably within our power as it puts sins of commission’.5 The potential sins of omission here are too profound to ignore. We now have the means to share expertise much more widely across our world. We should also have the will. 1 This is the strongest version of liberation discussed in section 5.5. 2 The ‘new gatekeeper’ theme echoes concerns about the future of the Internet in other works, such as Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It (2009), Andrew Keen, The Internet Is Not the Answer (2015), and Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion (2012), and To Save Everything, Click Here (2013). 3 The term ‘enclosure’ is borrowed from James Boyle. He defines it as ‘the process of fencing off common land turning it into private property’. See James Boyle, ‘The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Private Domain’, Law and Contemporary Problems, 66 (2003), 33–4.
Common Knowledge?: An Ethnography of Wikipedia by Dariusz Jemielniak
Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), citation needed, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, Debian, deskilling, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hive mind, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Julian Assange, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, moral hazard, online collectivism, pirate software, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game
Large meritocratic contributions to Wikipedia develop it most, but many Wikipedians evaluate other users by their number of edits, which favors minor and automatic corrections. I believe that these contradictions are related to the increasing bureaucratization of Wikipedia. I also think that they stem from the fact that, in the absence of formal hierarchies, the Wikipedia community substitutes local power-knowledge differentials. Wikipedia’s system of parahierarchy and its sources of social status are behind this. Andrew Keen, when criticizing the nonexpert character of Wikipedia, insists that the Wikipedia cult of the amateur leads to “less culture, less reliable news and a chaos of useless information” (2007, p. 16). While this statement is unverifiable, one thing is certain: the nonexpert or at least nonprofessional (in the sense of formally certified knowledge) character of Wikipedia is indeed its distinctive feature.
Additionally, I discuss the future of the Wikimedia community. Hive Minds, Schmucks, Losers, and Other Misconceptions About Wikipedia Some say that the contemporary Internet in general, and Wikipedia in particular, promotes amateurs and everyday Joes—that Wikipedia’s “hive mind mentality” and “digital Maoism” suppress human intelligence and dilute individual judgments and tastes (Lanier, 2006). Andrew Keen, the author of the ominously titled The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture (2007), even states in an interview that no normal person would give away labor for free and anonymously and that “only schmucks would do that. Or losers” (quoted in Parvaz, 2011). As one of those schmucks or losers, and possibly both, I am certainly biased, but I must point out that this argument is rooted in the traditional point of view of attributing professionalism to formal position rather than to skill and evaluation of the actual outcome (which, as already mentioned, in the case of Wikipedia matches the commercial competi- T h e K n o w l e d g e R e v o l u t i o n a t t h e G a t e s 1 8 3 tion standards).
Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
Williams’s point was that contrary to what viewers thought, they were not spectators watching shows but were instead eyeballs being sold to advertisers. Raymond Williams, Television: Technology and Cultural Form (New York: Schocken Books, 1975). 13 . Fredric Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent (1953; repr., Laurel, NY: Main Road Books, 2001); Jerry Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York: Harper Perennial, 1978); Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture (New York: Doubleday, 2007); Lee Siegel, Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob (New York: Spiegel and Grau, 2008); Maggie Jackson, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2008). 14 . Lord Kitchner, “Kitch’s Bebop Calypso,” track 5 on the Honest Jon’s compilation CD titled London Is the Place for Me: Trinidadian Calypso in London, 1950– 1956 (2001). 15 .
MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams
accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar
For those of us who care about the role an independent media plays in a free society, these are among the most vexing questions we face. What Happens to Quality Journalism? For some, “citizen journalism” is an oxymoron, right up there with military music and jumbo shrimp. They pine for the old days when the major papers determined what news was “fit to print” and millions of readers trusted their judgment. Now via the Internet you get “all the news” whether it’s fit to print or not. And for skeptics like Andrew Keen this democratization creates a problem, namely a vast heap of mediocrity that crowds out the good stuff and confuses consumers. In his book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture, Keen argues that user-generated content is destroying journalism and, for that matter, society. To Keen, “The more layers you have between the originator of content and the recipient of content, the better.
Among all those amateur journalists are growing ranks of serious and competent people. In fact the dichotomy between amateurs and professionals is blurring. Many bloggers (28 percent) are now professionals in that they make a living from blogging. They are professional in another sense too: 40 percent of these commercial bloggers have worked within traditional media.34 They have formal journalism experience, training, and credentials. This fact undermines the critique of Andrew Keen. Rather than professionals being displaced by rank amateurs, it turns out the professionals are simply shifting employers—from the mainstream media to new media, self-employment, and new entrepreneurial journalistic ventures. Moreover, when it comes to the so-called balance of the mainstream media it is all too easy to get misty-eyed and think that the news that was “fit to print” was only determined by some lofty standard.
The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown
Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, old-boy network, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, software as a service, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs
Chapter 5 1 Ellen Levy, interview with authors, September 20, 2009. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 For more about how monetizing intangible assets drives corporate wealth creation, see Lowell Bryan and Claudia Joyce, Mobilizing Minds (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007). 5 See John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison, The 2009 Shift Index: Measuring the Forces of Long-Term Change (San Jose, Calif.: Deloitte Development, June 2009). 6 Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture (New York: Broadway Business, 2007). 7 Ian Millhiser, “Clarence Thomas’s America,” Huffington Post, April 14, 2009, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-millhiser/clarence-thomas-america_b_186425.html. 8 Clay Shirky, “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable,” blog posting, March 13, 2009, http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/03/newspapers-and-thinking-the-unthinkable/. 9 Matthew B.
Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra
The first and most obvious loss is to people whose jobs relied on solving a formerly hard problem. This is the effect felt by media outlets challenged by mass amateurization. The basic problem of copying and distributing information, previously an essential service of the music and newspaper industries among others, is now largely solved thanks to digital networks, undermining the commercial logic of many industries that relied on previous inefficiencies. Andrew Keen, in Cult of the Amateur, describes a firm that ran a $50,000 campaign to solicit user-generated ads. Keen notes that some professional advertising agency therefore missed out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees. This loss is obviously a hardship for the ad agency employees, but were they really worth the money in the first place if amateurs working in their spare time can create something the client is satisfied with?
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff
3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar
Jason Clampet, “Airbnb in NYC: The Real Numbers Behind the Sharing Story,” skift.com, February 13, 2014. 38. Ron Miller, “An Uber Valuation Comes with Uber Problems,” techcrunch.com, December 16, 2014. 39. “Organization: Uber,” www.crunchbase.com/organization/uber. 40. Moshe Z. Marvit, “How Crowdworkers Became the Ghosts in the Digital Machine,” thenation.com, February 4, 2014. 41. Trebor Scholz, “Crowdmilking,” collectivate.net, March 9, 2014. 42. Andrew Keen, The Internet Is Not the Answer (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2015). 43. Vivek Wadhwa, “The End of Chinese Manufacturing and Rebirth of U.S. Industry,” forbes.com, July 23, 2012. 44. Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting (New York: Basic Books, 1976). 45. David Rotman, “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs,” technologyreview.com, June, 12, 2013. 46.
Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett
Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism
Peter Holley, ‘Bill Gates on dangers of artificial intelligence: “I don’t understand why some people are not concerned”‘, Washington Post, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/01/28/bill-gates-on-dangers-of-artificial-intelligence-dont-understand-why-some-people-are-not-concerned/; Peter Holley, ‘Stephen Hawking just got an artificial intelligence upgrade, but still thinks AI could bring an end to mankind’, Washington Post, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2014/12/02/stephen-hawking-just-got-an-artificial-intelligence-upgrade-but-still-thinks-it-could-bring-an-end-to-mankind/; Derek Thompson, ‘A world without work’, Atlantic, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/07/world-without-work/395294/; Andrew Keen, The Internet Is Not the Answer (Atlantic, 2015); Brian Resnick, ‘Why Stephen Hawking is more afraid of capitalism than robots’, Vox.com, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/2/27/11119804/stephen-hawking-robots; Matthew Yglesias, ‘The automation myth’, Vox.com, 2015, http://www.vox.com/2015/7/27/9038829/automation-myth. 30. Cha, ‘Tech titans’ latest project’. 31. George Annas, Lori Andrews and Rosario Isasi, ‘Protecting the endangered human: toward an international treaty prohibiting cloning and inheritable alterations’, American Journal of Law and Medicine, 28:151, 2002. 32.
Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, George Santayana, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War
He went on to write a book called Computer Power and Human Reason which argued that the limits to what we expect of computers should be ethical rather than technological or mathematical: ‘since we do not now have any ways of making computers wise, we ought not now to give computers tasks that demand wisdom’.90 In the meantime, there has emerged a small school of cybersceptics, reacting against the cyberutopianism of Silicon Valley and the technological determinism that often underpins it. There is, they point out, a vast ocean of rubbish, nonsense and lies online. (A similar complaint was made after the spread of printing in sixteenth-century Europe.) Nicholas Carr and Andrew Keen deplore the online ‘cult of the amateur’, which inordinately privileges mass participation over authority, openness over expertise, Wikipedia over Britannica.91 And the former, they argue, is eroding the latter. Jaron Lanier writes caustically of colleagues who believe that ‘a million, or perhaps a billion, fragmentary insults will eventually yield wisdom’.92 As we are tempted into what Nicholas Carr calls ‘the shallows’ of the online world, so we might all succumb to attention deficit disorder.