? of the Day: Is the Internet Killing Our Culture?


He's a dotcom failure that is still angry at the internets for not recognizing how brilliant he is.

Mushy Pees?

I wish that I had better righting skills because if I did, I would be working for the NY Times or the Washington Post.    I recall my college papers coming back with all kinds of red marks on them.  I found a nice woman that had a Masters in English and the red marks disappeared.  I called her my editor. 


I am sure that some that write on the net would love to work for a publication, but not that many get that opportunity, only the lucky ones get paid for there passions.  


I think Keen is bit like Hennie Penny, but if we think about the one-way ports in this country.  What is it we have for industry?  We are what, a service economy, I heard that we now call it an information economy. 


It is about more than bloggers replacing the press that is silly it is more about file downloads of music and video.  However, most cannot be bothered they pay the $.99 for the song or $2.00 for a movie.  It more about sharing the advertising with others and not being the big guy anymore.


He is just trying to make a buck, so he writes a book “The Cult of the Amateur”

It is as TV was in the 1950’s just interactive; people still listen to the radio and still read newspapers.  However, if the operating budgets are fat and the advertising is limited then the price of products goes up.  Free is bad for business, media is reliant on advertising.   


I like the idea of every tangible product listed in and index; a UPC and even an RFID or even an activation chip when purchased it becomes activated.  I would like to be able to scan a product and see were it is located, and the price.  I would enjoy a web link to the manufacturers disclosing all the ingredients, the location where the products manufactured. The financials of the company disclosed. Maybe what they pay in labor and the average hours the employees work per week.  Maybe even a link to buy stock.       


I know that if you tracked all tangibles then you could tax them every time they changed hands and then the shortest distance to the consumer would become the cheapest.  It could be if the price of fuel keeps rising.


However, keep in mind this type of system would knock out the major accounting firms, just AI will kill most businesses, if everything is automatically complied and tracked no need for accountants.  Operation Analyst but not book keepers, but even those would eventually get replaced with EOQ models and stochastic models that the would tell you what to do, there would be no competition just disrupted automatic processes.   

I am ready for future world, has anyone read his book?  I wonder if he offers a comprehensive solution.  I doubt it.  

Efficient systems?

There is an information economy but most people view it like the industrial economy, of capitalism and traditional corporate and shareholder models, when information can be virtual and have many stakeholders including the creator with rights not anticipated by our scarcity-based lord and vassal economy. As an economist, one considers efficiency of systems and our current capital and knowledge management systems are poor - intentionally so, as they pay lots of salaries and profits to lords (e.g. accountants and accounting firms). All medical data should and will eventually all be managed in one system, which should be based on the VA-created VISTA open source patient records system, and should be owned  by all people of the world (the patients who create the data). This will impact 1,000,000s of jobs and great wealth world-wide, just as socializing other aspects of healthcare will change the economics of that (e.g., why should we have private health insurance and the inefficiency of those 1,000,000s of salaries). A hard rain is gonna fall on the old economy, as we finally shift more toward the new. Laura, I am hopeful this will happen because it is Earth's only hope, that we as the next generation will leverage the power of free, open information and communications and technology to force such revolution in our economy, which will be very disruptive for decades but is needed to insure the planet will survive for future generations. Otherwise, we are lost... and there is nothing to hope for in that.

Disrupt IT

You should look at what

You should look at what happens in England it not a perfect system, people die waiting for surgery and the health professional still demand high wages.  


Then again in Costa Rica it is totally free and there is no lines,  less pollution and natural foods.  


let see what happens? 





Authority Control

  Whatever--I'll tell that to the next 7th grader working on his/her book report.  Information is not necessarily knowledge.  Without standards to manage information and knowledge, we are lost.  Library catalog records are also falling apart, or worse fed to us by the vendors, and no one seems to care.  I, for one, am very sad.  Who is recording and saving all this information, when it does happen to be, knowledge? 

this is why....

This is why we need both.  We need the mainstream media and we need citizen media.  Amateur reporting isn't necessarily bad and professional reporting isn't necessarily good.  As long as the medium and means of production (and their associated biases) are transparent, then it's worth reading. 

George is right, the author seems to possess some pent-up bitterness. Maybe he needs a hug.

Derek Arnold


Standards are necessary.  But, these standards should be open and adhered to by citizen journalist and mainstream journalist alike.   We need some order to coexist but that order shouldn't be oppressive. 
Derek Arnold

Mainstream media perspectives wrong

What the author misses in the analysis is that people can use technology to filter information in many ways - and that will be more powerful in 10-50 years as artificial intelligence improves. We will decide what content is valuable, which will define whp are professional journalists - in the citizen model we do not need corporate gatekeepers unless we choose them as our filters (e.g. content organized by NYTimes.com). Also, the author assumes there is something right about the current mainstream media model, which I do not. I do not believe in America and largely worldwide the mainstream media, including mainstream book, magazine, journal, newspaper, music and rich content publishing, including for education, research and government, are at all high quality or positioned to serve the public in optimal ways, so I say trash it all and get it right, using the best current and future technologies, following new global leadership and open standards, and completely different economic models. The entire system is broken. Until it is fixed, we all will work hard to make our little pieces of the system work as well as possible - from libraries and schools to homes and government, locally, nationally and globally, physically and virtually, all against the mainstream as it evolves.

Disrupt IT


  I wish I could share your enthusiasm for this promised open society, but I see polarization, censorship and a general dumbing down of everything.  Yes, the mainstream media is drivel.  Today's Plain Dealer is drivel.  Why?  Because, it trys to compete with the Internet.  What if I did happen to see something of interest on the Internet.  Is there any guarantee that I will find it tomorrow?  I will be able to find today's drivel in the PD, because it is the record of note.  Until, we make some serious effort to decide what information/knowledge becomes recordable, we are lost.

Until we have free access...

The problem is we do not live in a remotely free society and it has been especially repressive under the current Bush, not that his father or Reagan were any better. So, is it better to live in an oligarchy and learn and know only the official record of that leadership, e.g. via their libraries, schools and private publishing interests, or is it better to circumvent the oligarchy and learn and know in new and different ways the oligarchy cannot control. The sooner the "official records" of today are replaced by public records, through free access to information and socialization of communications, the sooner the environment will be healthy, poverty will end, and there will be peace on Earth.

Disrupt IT

Living under Oligarchy

See Norm's comment above---Ironically, this article by Michael Ventura of the Austin Chronicle sums it up....to be continued.

Finding information the hard way

  Just a case in point,  I got a call today for the phone number of Small Tools in Euclid, Ohio.  Seems easy enough.  I jumped on the Internet, right?  Not one of the top hits in a Google search.  Tried a subscription database Reference USA.  No luck.  Went to the phone book, and found it.  (Has anyone noticed how bad the phone book(s) have become?)  Luckily, it worked for this search.  Later, after I got off the phone with the patron, I did find the website www.smalltools.com.  I said to myself "Duh," but who would have thought it would be that easy?! But the point being made here?--the Internet has undermined the authority of the phone book.  Phone books are not as reliable for information.

Ditto--newspapers.  Newspapers theoretically operate under a code of ethics, similar to the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors.  Well, we know that the hippocratic oath has been undermined by the insurance industry.  Newspapers have been undermined by advertisers and politicians, too, but that process is accelerated by the Internet as the resource consumers turn to for "reliable" information.  Standards.  At some point, we will have to demand some Internet standard to determine the "truth."  If I say something or any one says something it on line, it is just not good enough.

Should I feel guilty?

Andrew Keen's article makes me feel guilty. By writing here will I be bringing about the end of main stream news sources that I love like the New York Times? How sad I would be then, especially on Sundays. I love being an amateur journalist but, I don't think people like me will ever replace the professionals unless being an amateur journalist somehow becomes profitable. Every time I stay up until 2 am posting pictures and writing something short and amateurish I appreciate how much effort good professional journalism takes. I wish this was my day job.


  Here, here...or is it, hear, hear? :) We need those editors :)

hear here

The Straight Dope on hear, hear here.