The second chapter in this book really just went into further detail about what Keen talked about in chapter one.  The title of chapter 2 was called “The Noble Amateur”.  He begin the chapter by discussing what an amateur really is.  He talks about how it is defined as a person who has an interest or hobby that does not make money from doing things in their field of interest. Keen proceeds to talk about how “amateurism” is something that people are excited about and celebrate. People are quick to praise and look to Wikipedia for their information than they are to do the same for The Oxford Dictionary or Encyclopedia Britannica. He then goes on to talk about why Wikipedia is not as great of a sign as it seems. The biggest problem is that with Wikipedia the information is not alkways right, and there aren’t enough people who can filter through all of the apges fast enough to make sure that no one is receiving incorrect information. He mentions a case from 2007 where a wikipedia editor who had edited thousands or articles who’s profile said he was a professor with four different degress was actually a 24 year old high school graduate. Another story that Keen cites is that of Dr. William Connolley who worked for Cambridge and was considered en expert on global warming. He ran across some very incorrect information on Wikipedia’s page on global warming and started correcting the information. Wikipedia ended up limiting him to one edit per day because he was changing too much information. His real point in this section was that unfortunately, you can’t fight against what is free.
Because so much of the information we read is incorrect it’s going to force more and more of us to become amateur cirtics and editors to try and sift through all of the information and figure out what is correct and what is not. Keen says that journalism is the same as things like Wikipedia and that blogs are taking over journalists. He says the main difference between the two is that journalists report on real news and bloggers do more review-type things. Journalists can go to jail for what they write, but no one pays attention to what all the bloggers are writing. Blogs are mostly very opinionated and slanted one way or the other where only certain sections of newspaper are allowed to be opinionated. At the end of the chapter, Keen talks about how there are people who want to do away with print books entirely and put them all on the internet. He says that these people think that books can be reduced to single pages, paragraphs, or words and be put back together and mixed with other text from other books and be put into a new creation. Kind of like musical remixes. He also talked about how some companies are creating commericals with amateur people to make them seem more real. He concludes by reiterating his point about how amateurs have a very negagtive effect on the reliability of all of the information we read.

Keen, A. (2007). The cult of the amateur: How today’s internet is killing our culture. (pp. 35-65). New York: Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group.

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