When I read this from something Doc Searls pointed to ( I pointed to it here), I rolled my eyes, thinking : Here’s some of that elitist reaction to the idea of a participatory Web, and charges of “amateur” and the loss of “authority” and “expertise”.
the grave consequences of todayâ€™s new participatory Web 2.0. It demonstrates definitively how the Web Train is off track and threatens our values, economy, and ultimately the very innovation and creativity that forms the fabric of American achievement. THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR is a wake-up call!!
Oh, and this bit: “threatens our values, economy, and ultimately the very innovation and creativity that forms the fabric of American achievement”…..when they lay that out as the “endangered” ideology, then I am all the more FOR a toppling of it all. I also believe that some of this needs to be applied to the idea of the church. Not to “topple” authority or tradition, but to instill more conversation. The above interview has Keen condescendingly denouncing the conversation.
The piece I quoted Doc responding to is this:
Cluetrain established a biblical orthodoxy around the four C’s: “community”, “citizenship”, “customer” and, most ludicrously of all, “conversation”. What it tries to do is displace the ethical and cultural truths that have traditionally defined our civic life — and replace them with the feel-good language of public relations. At the ideological heart of Cluetrain is the absurd cult of the amateur with its denial that real “truth” or “expertise” can ever exist.
What is “ludicrous” is considering conversation to be something to be scoffed at. It reminds me of the snooty Parliament member who responded to Wilberforce’s argument invoking “the people” with a mocking , condescending “The people”. Keen only sees chaos in the “conversation”. Perhaps for him, it IS.
I also wonder, as Doc does, what the “ethical and cultural truths that have traditionally defined our civic life” are. Keen reacts to the comments with “read the book”, but his answers in the interview provide me with reason NOT to. I simply don’t want to suffer through the diatribes of a status quo worshipper. I wouldn’t read a book by Al Mohler because he simply has nothing of relevance to say to me, and I don’t buy hardly any of his working assumptions. And for Keen to title his work “The Cult of the Amateur” is reason enough for me to be wary of any of his explorations.
In the end, of course, the comments are closed on the post. All those comments , after all, are just “ludicrous conversation”. I wonder, did he himself READ Cluetrain?