But one of Keen’s central arguments — that the internet, by its all-inclusive nature and easy access, opens the door to amateurism-as-authority while at the same time devaluing professional currency — deserves a full airing. Basically, I think he’s right to criticize what he calls the “cut and paste” ethic that trivializes scholarship and professional ability, implying that anybody with a little pluck and the right technology can do just as well….But opportunity and desire alone do not professional historians or journalists or pundits make. There’s this process known as “learning your craft” and “paying your dues” that all professionals must endure. Sorry, but trolling the web and blogging from your darkened study doesn’t qualify as on-the-job training.
Read Tony Long (aka “the Luddite”)’s response to Andrew Keen’s book, The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture. Previously from WNM: Rise of the Amateur class. Contribute your knowledge of Keen’s book at the Whats New Media Wiki.