the intellectual disembowelment of andrew keen: dishonesty, culture and web 2.0

So, if you want to listen to an entertaining podcast this weekend, try this Berkeley School of Information debate from last year between Andrew Keen and Paul Duguidhere’s the associated blog post.  I have to say, Andrew Keen comes off not only as extremely dishonest intellectually (listen to his motivation for writing the ‘polemic,’ along with his response to various mistakes in the book), but also as rather misinformed and frankly just wrong in terms of his thesis.  Keen’s thesis is that “culture” (not defined) is being compromised and killed by blogs, wikipedia, etc — in short, culture (and objectivity) is being killed by the myriad of amateurs that supposedly now produce it.  Here Colbert meets Keen.

In the podcast Paul Duguid does a nice job of highlighting all kinds of problems with Keen’s thesis, specifically his book Cult of the Amateur:How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy.  For example, wikipedia, which Keen attacks, ends up, ironically, getting many more facts correctly than Andrew Keen does in his book “Wikipedia: 8…Andrew Keen: 0” —- and the Q&A raises many additional issues. Good fun.

Written by teppo

August 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Posted in uncategorized

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I watched Lessig take Keen apart at a conference a couple years ago right after the book came out. Afterward, Keen was complaining to somebody sitting nearby me in the audience about how mean Lessig was. (“What’s he care? He’s a professor at Stanford. I’m a lousy journalist.”) At some point you lend people too much credibility by responding to them.


    Michael F. Martin

    August 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm

  2. BTW: I don’t necessarily agree with Lessig or Duguid (on other matters) either, but Keen just comes off as shallow all-around. And, you’re right — perhaps not even worth posting about, though he certainly has managed to garner attention (well, and that after all is his explicit goal — mentioned in the talk, along with bringing in $, which he also mentions — independent of whether he’s got the ‘details’ right).



    August 14, 2009 at 9:31 pm

  3. Keen is basically trolling for paying responses. Not feeding him is the best idea.


    David Gerard

    August 15, 2009 at 12:50 am

  4. Holy crap. I’d never seen that Colbert piece before. “Even the Nazis didn’t put artists out of work.” Does Keen really believe that? What a maroon!



    August 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: