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Is the internet dumbing us down?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:06 am    Post subject: Is the internet dumbing us down? Reply with quote


"Andrew Keen was one of the earliest executives in the dot-com era. In his new book, he says the Internet is dumbing down culture and undermining creativity."

The article talks mostly about the ideas of this guys book. I posted it here because there is a video on the side (that I can't watch now at work) and the picture is LG15 in her bedroom. I assume they talk about her somewhere in the video.

The author of the book they speak of in the article talks poorly about wiki's, myspace, and YouTube. I'd be pissed if they said anything bad about LG15!!!

I personally see the internet as not something that is making society dumber or less creative. It's given a means for people to express themselves and for others to comment on. Without the internet and things like YouTube + LG15 I never would have discovered my love of film making!

I realize the article is just about some guys book, but the author seems to agree with some points about it which kinda makes me mad. I feel like it's just someone who can't keep up with the times and is really bitter about it.

I'm interested in what you guys have to say about people who think like this. Maybe the Creators could chime in too if they have some free time? Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the link, libra. i had heard about this book in passing already, but not any details. he says the "internet is destroying culture". well, if we substitute "change" for destroy, that's certainly true. interesting article.

if we had a book club here, this book sounds like a great choice for discussion. but i see that that the internet has destroyed my attention span, so i guess that's out of the question Smile

my knee-jerk reaction is to discount what Keen is saying. But I do think the internet is responsible for the destruction of segments of our common culture. For example, in popular music, we are so split up into different genres, and so many ways to get music online, that there aren't nearly as many songs anymore that are broadly known. every now and then a "Hey Ya" comes along (and surely some people are still scratching their head saying - do i know that one?), but the days where most people knew the #1 songs of the day are over. The same thing happens with TV. The finale of M*A*S*H was certainly more of a common cultural event than the finale of The Sopranos.

Edit to add: they didn't mention lg15 by name, a short clip plays near the end where they discuss the future of entertainment as being created by amateurs. the lg15 clip is followed by a clip of totally pitiful guy claiming his goal in life is to be a youtube celebrity.
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Last edited by milowent on Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with milowent. My first reaction to Keen's suggestions (based on reading this article and not the book) where the destruction of culture and values are concerned is that he's off-base.

The internet's certainly led to deconstructing a common culture, but that's what many people want. That is part of our culture and values. Most people like to be able to watch or listen to whatever they want when they want. For many (and I'm one of them), the idea of having to be in their living rooms at a certain time of night on a certain day of the week so that they can sit in front of their TV for a definite period is absurd.

Everything, not just internet, is playing to this idea of choices. Niche marketing is the way products are geared today. We have tons more magazines than we ever had, even though the cornerstones like "Time" and "Newsweek" are getting shorter and less substantive. There's magazines to appeal to enthusiasts of all kinds of different topics, whether it be video games, cars or bird watching. Magazines that focus on a wide range of topics are losing their throne.

Hell, Bill Gates has said he'd like to see technology incorporated into TV that lets people watch only the parts of the news they're interested in (which is actually a very bad idea, in my opinion, but that's a completely different discussion).

Even DVDs are playing into this. Instead of everybody feeling like they absolutely must be there to see every episode of "Lost," "24" or "Heroes," they feel "Eh, I'll just wait for the DVD. It should be out in a few months, and then I can watch the whole thing at once if I feel like it, pause it when I want, go take a piss, get a sandwich, some milk, maybe some chips."

I think it's too early to say whether Keen's on the right track with regard to this having a negative effect economically, but I will say this with regard to it leading to a negative effect on the quality of media items: When all the means to act on creativity rest in the hands of only a few big business giants, creativity is inevitably stifled anyway. When these conglomerates and mega-corporations are holding all the cards, they — without fail — don't strive for the same quality as when they're competing tooth and nail. If anything, I think the advent of user-generated content and more outlets for media items will encourage competition and creativity among everyone.

The news angle is actually almost too laughable to even address. I really hope he wasn't serious about that one. The news is one media venue in which the big businesses have little-to-nothing to fear.

Libra wrote:
I realize the article is just about some guys book, but the author seems to agree with some points about it which kinda makes me mad.

I would say, on the whole, the author of the article (Michael Rogers) seems to think that Keen's POV and argument are ridiculus (he even refutes some aspects of both himself). He doesn't discount him on every last point, no, but that's probably simply because there's a few worthy considerations to be found in Keen's concerns. The issue is that Keen is an extremist while most of us, including the author of the article, are not.

Assuming that the article's writer didn't exaggerate, Keen seems to want to believe that internet-fueled culture will be a disaster, promoting and containing only trite shite, whereas what we had prior was a mine field of creativity. The writer, and probably most of us, expect the future of internet to bring what everything has before now (and what we currently can find within and outside it): Some utter crap mixed with some fascinating gems.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, people voted for Obama and the Kardasishians are still a thing so I gotta go with yes.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering McCain/Palin the better option is also a strong indicator. Razz
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