The Cult of the Amateur

OK…I’ve broken down after reading a fiction book (John Steinbeck’s The Pearl) I have returned to non-fiction with a bang. We all should read Andrew Keen’s The Culture of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture. Here’s a quote from this most insightful book…though it could be cheerier:

"Because democratization, despite its lofty idealization, is undermining truth, souring public discourse, and belittling expertise, experience, and talent. As I noted earlier, it is threatening the very future of our cultural institutions…the real consequence of the Web 2.0 revolution is less culture, less reliable news, and a chaos of useless information. One chilling reality in this brave new digital epoch is the blurring, obfuscation, and even disappearance of truth…today’s media is shattering the world into a billion personalize truths, each seemingly equally valid and worthwhile."

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “The Cult of the Amateur

  1. Vicki…
    Thanks for the thoughts…especially the last paragraph. Obviously as one who blogs, I don’t object to blogging, Wikipedia, etc. There is a certain “Chicken Little” quality to Keen’s book. Nevertheless, I feel that he raises a number of good points…particularly as it pertains to the erosive effects of various technologies to more “trustworthy” sources of information…and the truth as a whole. Great blog by the way! From one monkey to another…though I didn’t take offense when he drew the analogy in the book. I think he’s generalizing.

  2. I have been reading about his book and read several excerpts and disagree profoundly with his insights!
    I have responded over at my blog but as a school teacher feel that this is just another medium of expression. http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2007/06/hey-blogger-andrew-keen-says-youre.html Surely, just as there are terrible books, there are some pretty terrible blogs out there, however, I believe that to unabashedly criticize bloggers and call them “intellectual cleptomaniacs” and “monkeys banging away at the keyboard” is not only poor form but not expected from an educated person in today’s society. I write a blog for teachers about how to teach and share best practices. Most educational researchers hole up in their rooms and do not share anything with anyone — the only way for me to see the best practices in technology education is to read the blogs of others. It is my professional development.
    I find his arguments inaccurate as he has probably only looked at pop culture/ political type blogs and Wikipedia and not looked at the amazing work that these tools allow in the classroom and in other areas.
    Finally, as a Christian, I have a blog and although I haven’t updated my blog a lot — I have found that it reaches into places that we cannot have missionaries. Truly the Internet if used wisely will help us reach the world.