The Internet is Not the Answer — Andrew Keen

I have read a lot of popular science books recently. I quite enjoy the genre because it straddles many of my interests. And while it usually feels very saccharine and probably not that edifying, Andrew KEEN’s The Internet is not the answer was a really refreshing experience in that respect.

KEEN believes that although the internet is potentially a very useful tool (I think), he is certainly unhappy with the current state of the web.

According to KEEN, a start up culture which produced ultra powerful, state like corporations has led to a difficult situation where the internet benefits us, but only marginally compared to an ultra elite.

Like most people who talk about the internet, KEEN sometimes comes across as a little paranoid, but at least he’s a voice of dissent.

Here are some poignant passages:

Revolutionary entrepreneurs like Sean Parker and Kevin Systrom are building this networked society on our behalf. They haven’t asked our permission, of course. But then the idea of consent is foreign, even immoral, to many of these architects of what the Columbia University historian Mark Lilla calls our “libertarian age.”

This is definitely relevant:

Internet companies like the Amazon-owned shoe store Zappos, and Medium, an online magazine founded by billionaire Twitter founder Ev Williams, are run on so-called holacratic principles—a Silicon Valley version of communism where there are no hierarchies, except, of course, when it comes to wages and stock ownership

I hope this fact is true:

We took 350 billion snaps in 2011 and an astonishing 1.5 trillion in 2013—more than all the photos ever taken before in all of history.

As I hope this one is too. What if we run out of space?:

the volume of data produced between 2012 and 2013 made up 90% of all the data produced in human history.

And this is mildly prophetic. I mean, I guess it is taken from the book of Daniel (well, not the first part):

Nostalgia, the determinists will remind us, is a Luddite indulgence. And the writing on the wall, they will remind us, eventually appears for everyone.