Book Review on ‘The Cult of the Amateurs’

It is a world without privacy, a world in which individuals are turned inside out.Andrew Keen


A few days back, I picked a book from my departmental library impressed by the title and then the brief given at the time. Well, though this book is written in donkey ears ago with a gap of 10 years from now, Mr Andrew has very well described the superficial aura we are webbed in today due to this Web 2.0 technology. We are living in an era where we are 24*7 digitally connected, thus living a life of digital perceptions, digital facts and fabricated realities.

     His book very minutely elaborates the dark side of web 2.0 technologies and the way it has affected our intellectual and cultural settings.

     In his book he exemplifies saying that when ignorance meets egoism meets bad taste meets mob rule, then people like, comments and share what is uploaded and shared by amateurs rather than professionals and hard facts. Whether it is music, literature, education, movies, live performers, Youtubers, etc. the open platforms are deteriorating the quality and authenticity of content being posted online, thus creating the cult of amateurs.

While touching the topics like privacy, copyrights, infringement, etc. he quoted ‘While referring to our entries on search engines to the content of our emails, to our blog postings, to the minute details we post about ourselves on Social networking sites, the web 2.0 revolution is blurring the lines between public and private.

Mr Andrew very strictly claimed search engines like Google, Wikipedia, etc. for being the source of this cult as the database of these search engines is majorly user-generated content which talks of most popular and not that is correct as a result of Google bombing.

Although Mr Keen wanders off his subject in the later chapters of the book — to deliver some generic, moralistic rants against Internet evils like online gambling and online pornography — he writes with acuity and passion about the consequences of a world in which the lines between fact and opinion, informed expertise and amateurish speculation are willfully blurred. The crux of the book can be resolved to gaining professional knowledge before following your passion and rechecking your source of information before circulating.

This book is a great read for people from any demography as it makes you aware of how the web and digital technologies are sourcing their money on the basis of amateurs and passionate people.

Author: Geetanjali

Creativity is my core skill, be that vision to see the world or to work towards something aesthetically, creativity exists in everything. I am an academician by profession and the creative person at heart. I am a poet and got my poems published by Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi inKavya Lehri and Kavyanjali. A writer who loves writing and has written for numerous magazines and newspapers. A Blogger who runs her own blog. An artist who works towards improving her skills every now and then. A traveller who knows learning is much more outside the classroom. As a leaner is never satisfied with his/ her work, I believe to utilize the gift of human birth to the fullest and enjoy the journey than attaining the destination.

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