Overrated Amateurs

I just discovered the work of Andrew Keen. He is coming out with a book called the Cult of the Amateur, or “How today’s Internet is killing our culture”.

Which is interesting since just the other day I was just discussing this topic with some friends while dining on fine pizza and beer at Shakey’s. I was attempting – in a somewhat roundabout way – to say that I am unhappy with the quality of information and discourse on the Internet.

I feel like many people(and I am certainly guilty here too) are not able to evaluate information and arguments they receive. So much so, that I really have no desire to participate in any sort of comment thread or discussion online and watch as it tangents out of control, or watch as someone twists some piece of minutia or thinks that forming an argument means giving an ironic one-liner.

If Keen’s basic tenet is that the amateur is overvalued, then I would have to agree. I find that experts – people who have focused on an area, and have invested thought, time and energy – will tend to have deeper and more valuable insights.

Those are the people I want to hear from, those are the people whose “content” I want to see.

And I do realize that this post is somewhat hypocritical. But I will probably read the book.

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