“The Internet is NOT the answer” by Andrew Keen, QUOTES PART 1
Check out these really interesting points from Andrew Keen’s new book. I think it should be required reading for everyone who is actively contributing to the creative content available on the internet. We should be aware of what we are doing when we post to Facebook, Tweet, update our LinkedIn profile or post to Google +, Tumblr, or any comments section anywhere. Let’s not fall asleep at the wheel, assuming everything about the internet is bright and shiny and oh-so-cool.
“The world has gone from connected to hyper-connected.” Thomas Friedman (New York Times).
“The internet is not a technology; it is a belief system.” Joi Ho, MIT Media Labs.
“The idea of consent is foreign, even immoral, to many of the architects of what Columbia University historian Mark Lilla calls our ‘Libertarian Age.'” Andrew Keen, pg. 5.
Andrew Keen highlights an attitude within the board rooms of Silicon Valley that they don’t have to tell us (the internet user) what the long term effects of their corporations are. He is principally referring to the effect that the internet business world is having on the American middle class economy. Will we be so in love with the internet if after 15 more years of it there are no middle class jobs? Will we all be so keen of it when we are tweeting from behind the counter at Seven-Eleven?
Silicon Valley is now a place “where doing good and becoming rich are seen as indistinguishable and where disruptive companies like GOOGLE, Facebook and Uber are celebrated for their supposedly public-spirited destruction of archaic rules and institutions.” Andrew Keen, pg.6.
Few would argue that American culture worships fantastically successful business people more than ever and that is clearly characterized by the founders of some of the big Internet companies who became billionaires overnight. According to Andrew Keen, within Silicon Valley this success, also called having “fuck-you money,” is unquestionably equated with doing good, being good. What happened to the idea that selfless people were considered good? I guess it’s totally passe to consider that specific teaching from the Gospel about the difficulty that a rich man has entering the kingdom of heaven . . . . And the other one about not being able to serve two masters, both God and a bank account. . . .
According to a UN report in 2013 “more people had cell phones (6 billion) than had access to a flushing toilet (4.5 billion).”
“Every minute in 2014 3 billion internet users sent 204 million emails, uploaded 72 hours of new YouTube videos, made 4 million Google searches, shared 2.5 million pieces of Facebook content, downloaded 48 thousand Apple apps, spent $83 thousand on Amazon, tweeted 277 thousand messages and posted 216 thousand Instagram photos.” Keen pg. 13-14.
The point that Keen makes with all this is that this massive creation of information about all of our cyberdoings is what turns into the billions of dollars in Mark Zuckerberg’s (Facebook) or Kevin Systrom’s (Instagram) bank account. Do we know who we’re working for when we sent those Tweets, post those blogs, fill in the comment forms?
Of course, our cyber contributions are going into a huge pool of knowledge that can be accessed and used by anyone and that’s great, of course, to help others in this way but are we aware that a tiny number of gatekeepers that turn all of this into pure cash? And additionally, are we aware that there are only a handful of these super rich gatekeepers, a smaller crowd of hangers-on around them and a huge crowd of people put out of work by this new system? What’s the long and short of this: the internet isn’t all smiles and we need to think about the long-range impact it is having on the average person’s ability to have a minimally decent life.