<videovortex> [Fwd: the anti web 2.0 manifesto]
freddbomba at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 09:50:01 CEST 2007
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
I have read the assertions quoted in your post in disbelief :)
I have some counter examples and some reflections.
>> Andrew Keen, creator of www.aftertv.com wrote:
>>> 1. The cult of the amateur is digital utopianism's most seductive
>>> delusion. This cult promises that the latest media technology in the
>>> form of blogs, wikis and podcasts will enable everyone to become
>>> read writers, journalists, movie directors and music artists. It
>>> suggests, mistakenly, that everyone has something interesting to
The argument is deceptive. It imagines a frozen landscape of
"producers" and a technology that enables the "propagation" of what
they have to produce. That is an obsolete paradigm. Culture is not
about production but about processes of exchange. We should abandon
once and for all the language made in marketing and corporate PR
department when thinking about the cultural landscape and apply
categories and well defined concepts to our inquiries and not
slogans. Web 2.0 and "cult of the amateur" are slogans.
1. in a network were all nodes are equally accessible a "amateur"
that would remain isolated in the meat-space will fast build a
network of pairs. The latter is a unit that learns and as such will
grow in knowledge. The fragmentation and the doubtfullness of this
available knowledge will lead the community to grow antidotes to
"general opinion" and lead to application practices and self-check
2. talent and passion are wide spread attributes of human beings.
Look around you and note how many people you know have a talent. Take
this number and divide by the number of people you know. Is it more
close to 1/1000000 (the star system) or to 1/30?
3. XX century invented and exploited the star-system; XXI will not be
characterized by global heroes but by local (being part of a
community or recognized as such from a group of ears) and virtual
ones. In the XXIth century corporates (different ones) are already
exploiting this new idea leaving the battle for the big numbers of
receivers to get into the battle for the big networks of pairs. From
radio ads to myspace based propaganda, and is fast evolving to other
>>> 2. The digital utopian much heralded "democratization" of media will
>>> have a destructive impact upon culture, particularly upon criticism.
This is highly wrong
The major impact over "critical thought" has been made made by
factors that are largely independent from the "digital" culture and
are instead precise policies: education, mass-media and corporate
Education have set aside programmatically the traditional ways the
necessary instruments of critical thinking are passed over: dead
languages, history , euclidean geometry. These have not been
substituted by a equally powerful set of conceptual tools and
practices. Learn to make a better citizen has become learn to be a
better consumer. We don't encourage thinking, we do training. The new
education has been laid in the '50 by behaviorists paid by the US
department of defense.
Mass-media have made a show out of information, focusing in the last
40 years more and more on emotive reactions and less and less on data
and critical analysis. As such Hollywood is far from being an
acceptable reference for "quality". Again, take the amount of films
produced by hollywood last year that you can consider art and divide
by the number of films tout-court.
Corporate culture have pushed to the limit of insanity protective
schemes on intellectual property and secrecy of productive processes.
This mine the possibility of critical thought from it's bases and
invokes a philology.
The only counterbalances to this derive come from "self organizing
chaotic digitalized culture". As new Lorenzo Valla unmasking the
Costantine gift as a fake, millions of individuals are questioning
the bases of what we call culture, society, politics and art.
Some counter examples are:
* wikipedia (were criticism is somehow pushed to a totally insane
level of paranoia)
* Free software movement and free culture focus on accessibility of
the sources (note the philologically correctness of the approach
especially when applied to education)
* DIY groups and their learning practices (learn by doing, learn in
groups, learn to apply, teach to improve your knowledge) emerging in
>>> "Good taste" is, as Adorno never tired of telling us, undemocratic.
who has still the "prejudice" of democracy? Iraqis? Europeans?
Italians? Dutch? Nowadays if something is considered "non-democratic"
>> Taste must reside with an elite ("truth makers") of historically
>> progressive cultural critics able to determine, on behalf of the
>> the value of a work-of-art. The digital utopia seeks to flatten this
>> elite into an ochlocracy. The danger, therefore, is that the
>> future will
>> be tasteless.
The rest of the Aesthetic arguments are totally gratuitous to the
limit of being frivolous. I think that the realm of Aesthetics does
not endure strict and stable definitions of work-of-art neither
should. So, to keep this unacceptable "money-centric" perspective to
See the amount of money is made in the Netherlands with Van Gog now?
And that is while he died without selling a single painting? So? What
is taste? How you learn quality? Is "global" taste more important
than "local" taste? Yes? For who? for large numbers producers and
sellers on a global market, or for such a thing like "art"?
>>> 3. To imagine the dystopian future, we need to reread Adorno, as
>>> well as
>>> Kafka and Borges (the Web 2.0 dystopia can be mapped to that
>>> space between Frankfurt, Prague and Buenos Aires). Unchecked
>>> threatens to undermine reality and turn media into a rival
>>> version of
>>> life, a 21st century version of "The Castle" or "The Library of
>>> This might make a fantastic movie or short piece of fiction. But
>>> life, like art, shouldn't be fantasy; it shouldn't be fiction.
This is a nice example of natural dialectic argument ad omnia. At
this point I doubt of the existance of mr. Keen and of his book and I
start laughing. Indeed the rest of the provocations listed after
don't deserve much thought to be archived as laughable.
I just might suggest to throw mr. Keen notes on Adorno in the toilet
and reread Karl Popper.
By the way, Popper (refer to "Conjectures and Refutations" for ex.)
contains very strong antidotes to the fascist hem platonic assumption
that "Truth" exists, I mean SCIENTIFIC truth. What were you talking
about? Political truth? AHHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHA
Plato republic is by the way not the first example of "democratic
thought" but of it's opposite.
bah what an amount of nonsense!
I had troubles in posting this so now, after the messages of Adrian
and Jay is clearer to me why the arguments are so weak. Is fictional
material creeated at art to fill prime time debates on CNN-ABC-FOX
whatever. Is not serious, is seriously negative disinformation.
Thanks for pointing out.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.3 (Darwin)
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
More information about the videovortex