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Zer Netmouse
March 5th, 2008
05:42 pm


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Thurs 3/6 7 pm EMU: The Dangers of Wikipedia talk

YPSILANTI — Andrew Keen, the leading contemporary critic of the
Internet, will present, "The Dangers of Wikipedia," Thursday, March 6,
7 p.m., Eastern Michigan University's Student Center Ballroom A, 900
Oakwood Street in Ypsilanti. The event is free and open to the public.

Keen, author of "The Cult of the Amateur: Today's Internet is Killing
Our Culture," will speak about the "anarchism of an open-source
knowledge system" in which there is an absence of central intellectual
authorities. He believes this creates a surreal relativism in which we
have no way of determining hierarchies of knowledge.

The host of the popular Internet chat show afterTV.com, Keen regularly
appears on television and radio. His writing can be found on his
cultoftheamateur weblog, on ZDNet and CBS.com as well as in
traditional publications like the "Weekly Standard," "Fast Company"
and "The San Francisco Chronicle."

The lecture is the third in the four-part Wikipedia Lecture Series,
sponsored by the EMU College of Arts and Sciences. For more
information on this event, or the last Wikipedia lecture, please call
EMU Campus Life, 734.487.4344.

I can't go. Please let me know if you do.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
AWW HOLY HELL! If I didn't have a final presentation right at that time I WOULD skip class to go! :( Maybe if I email my professor she'll cancel class so we can ALL go...but something tells me she wouldn't allow that.
Date:March 5th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
[Citation Needed]
[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
I'm the kind of relativistic hippie who thinks there's no such thing as the leading contemporary critic of the Internet.
[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Hrm. My initial reaction is the talk needs to be relabelled the "Alarmist and Sour Grapes talk", but that might be unfair ;)
[User Picture]
Date:March 5th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
I've heard this idea expressed for years, now. I think it's a simplistic viewpoint of the available data, and doesn't consider that Wikipedia is not scientific analysis or process. The reputation game happens in the sources cited, and beyond that, the only reputation that matters is whether a person posts accurately cited works. I've not played with the profiles of wikipedia, so I don't know whether they visibly keep track of a user's reputation as far as rejected edits go.

Additionally, I think there's a massive difference between a resource like wikipedia and a cultural juggernaut like youtube. Is our culture, as a nation or generation, determined by those who have the money and connections to work with classic distribution, or is it determined by the best and most compelling creative works?

Frankly, I think any suggestion that we've dropped into inanity is (as I've also heard) is ridiculous - Ren & Stimpy, Life is Hell, and other works that went through the usual system started us down the road of context-less humour.

Now, it definitely can be more difficult to work your way through all the creative work available out there to find the gems, but most internet distribution methods have a half-dozen ways you can sort based on popularity, "editor's choice", etc.

Moreso, I look at our blockbuster movies and compare them to our Oscar winners, and I think to myself, "what culture?"
[User Picture]
Date:March 6th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
Do you read Ethan Zuckerman's blog? I bet you'd like it.

Anyway, he recently spoke at the Ontario librarians' convention, right before Andrew Keen, then went to Keen's talk, and blogged about the contrast. He managed to describe some of what I think about Keen's opinions and put it in an interesting context with some new (to me) thoughts. (I've thought Keen was basically full of BS born of not getting it about the Internet, and I still mostly think that, but Ethan pointed out some useful bits of what Keen has to say that added to the other useful bits I'd seen in it before)
[User Picture]
Date:March 6th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
That *is* a really interesting blog, and that post specifically. Thanks for the link.
[User Picture]
Date:March 6th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC)
"Dangers of Wikipedia?" We don't have enough fearmongering in this country, so this guy wants to make us afraid of Wikipedia?
[User Picture]
Date:March 6th, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
"The Internet Is Killing Our Culture" Oh my god! There's change happening! Things aren't the same as they were in my childhood! The sky is falling!

Alarmist crap.

Not that there aren't some issues with Wikipedia -- I tell my students in college that it's a great place to start with research (hey, I use it frequently myself) but to check citations, etc. for verification.
[User Picture]
Date:March 10th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
The only real danger of Wikipedia is removing the jargon controls that the scholastic guild systems have used to keep outsiders from understand what the hell they are talking about.
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