The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy
Silicon Valley insider and pundit Andrew Keen claims that today's new participatory Web 2.0 threatens our values, economy, and ultimately the very innovation and creativity that forms the fabric of American achievement. In today's self-broadcasting culture, where amateurism is celebrated and anyone with an opinion, however ill-informed, can publish a blog, post a video on YouTube, or change an entry on Wikipedia, the distinction between trained expert and uninformed amateur becomes blurred. When bloggers and videographers, unconstrained by professional standards or editorial filters, can manipulate public opinion, truth becomes a commodity to be bought, sold, packaged, and reinvented. The anonymity that Web 2.0 offers calls into question the reliability of the information we receive and creates an environment in which sexual predators and identity thieves can roam free. Keen urges us to consider the consequences of supporting a culture that endorses plagiarism and piracy and weakens traditional media and creative institutions.--From publisher description.