I was listening to NPR’s blathershow, To The Point, and Warren Olney had on Andrew Keen to promote his worrywort book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture. The man is the sort who lumps in some anonymous post on a BBS board somewhere with Daily Kos and then whinges that we’re not listening to the mainstream media and those bastions of journalistic ethics, Tim Russert and Judith MIller. (He doesn’t mention them, per se, but that’s who I think of.)
Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin came on and called Keen the Ann Coulter of Web 2.0 and then after that I had lunch and stopped paying attention. There is so much wrong in Keen’s arguments (too much anonymity, not enough authotarianism, I mean credentials) I don’t know where to start. Actually, I do know: Lawrence Lessig, who tears Keen a new’un in defending himself against Keen’s charges:
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.
So many books come out of mainstream publishing houses that are loose with facts and that suffer from basic bad grammar that the existence of the book itself refutes Keen’s point.