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  1. #1
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    Exclamation "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    http://www.theinq.com/default.aspx?article=40024

    Wikipedia, Web 2.0 create oceans of mediocrity

    "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    By INQUIRER staff: Sunday 03 June 2007, 10:46

    VAST ARRAYS OF typewriter wielding monkeys are failing to produce masterpieces and instead are destroying culture, talent, experience and expertise, according to the author of a book called Cult of the Amateur.

    Andrew Keen, interviewed in The Sunday Times, said that sites like Wikipedia are promoting a "dictatorship of idiots" over a "dictatorship of experts", with the whole project displaying clear signs of totalitarianism.

    He told the newspaper that many bogs and so called news sites are fronts for PR spinners and others who conceal their real agendas.

    He said that sites like Citizendium offer more hope than Wikipedia. The so-called "democratisation" of the web undermines truth while boggers do not have the resources or the skills to launch real investigations as great newspapers have done in the past. µ

    L'INQ
    Thinking is so over
    I agree. The whole "pirating destroyed music" thing is a bunch of crap, but his criticism of "bloggers", "online news sites", and the "cult of the amateur" is right on the money. Ironic that I agree with him considering I am a dilettante who participates in the spread of such news and engages in amateur debate. I guess it's for the best that I don't "blog" or contribute to any "news site", not on the topics we cover here at least.

    Here's the full story from the TimesOnline. Spend five minutes and read it.

    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/...cle1874668.ece

    Spoiler!
    Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

  2. #2
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    On the "news" point? I dont know.
    I think most good researchers take some sources with a grain of salt.
    I see what you do here...what alot of us do here is just research. Every linked newspost is an entry to be looked at more fully later.
    We puzzle over things and want to be sure what were being spoon fed via big media isnt avoiding aspects of the story.
    Id say its more about "I want the truth now" rather than in 2 years....
    so we beat a subject to death asking all sorts of questions in an effort to
    speed up the process....given the tools we now have.
    Is that so bad?
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 06-03-2007 at 12:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    He is not against technology: he just wants to see a bit more control. We must choose between sites such as Wikipedia, where the cult of the anonymous amateur prevails, and the newer alternative Citizendium, which aims to improve on Wikipedia’s model by adding “gentle expert oversight” and requiring contributors to use their real names.
    Where necessary, governments should intervene, as the Americans did last year by clamping down on gambling sites. “This is not about being herded into a gulag but the complete flattening of culture so that everything becomes a commercial break,” says Keen. “‘Free culture’ is about giving it away so that you can advertise. I grew up wondering why there were no ads in novels. That was because I was prepared to spend money to buy the book.”
    Being spoon fed via big media is exactly what he wants. Big media controls all of what we see, hear and read with the exception of the internet. Now he wants to eliminate the only source we have to freely exchange and discuss our own opinions and ideas.

    What if I don’t happen to trust his so-called experts agenda driven expertise, ideas and opinions?

    Keep your frigging hands off of the internet…

  4. #4
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    I look at mass manipulation by the media giants the way I look at genocide by goverments. Life is just better when everyone is armed. Look at the BS that has been exposed by the bloggers. More amateurs means more accountability for the major players.

  5. #5
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    I wonder about this too. The 'dictatorship of idiots' seems to get the blame for the demise of big media, while I think the blame should be shouldered by big media itself. Blatant misuse of the responsibilities Keen's view encompasses has led to big media's demise more than competition from 'idiots'.

    But I will agree wikipedia is full of slanted garbage. Take any source with a grain of salt.
    Tyan S5397 2x X5450 16GB - SuperMicro H8DCI 2x 275 8GB - Iwill DK8X 2x Opteron 250 2GB


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  6. #6
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    No, he's spot-on, absolutely right. (And on a side note, I'm actually agreeing with Orangutan...again...)

    Think of it this way... Newegg product reviews and professional product reviews (PCPer, HardOCP, Anandtech...FastLaneHW ). Newegg reviews can be posted by any old schmuck, just requires a few sentences. There are probably a lot of experienced people on there, but others are newbies and don't really know what they're doing. A few of them may praise a bad product just because it's better than what they had before. Others may trash a product because they don't know how to use it.

    Professional review sites, on the other hand, employ experienced testers, set testing methodologies, comparisons with other competing products, and they often spend hours or even days testing, evaluating, and going into intense details on the merits of a certain product. Their opinions/conclusions are well backed by facts and research.

    Yet in today's Web 2.0 world, the former is gaining ground on the latter. I know some people who buy products solely on user reviews, and don't even bother to open a magazine or pursue a review site (simply because the user reviews are more readily accessible...since it's on the site you're buying from). There's a potential for a LOT of misinformation to be spread about a product... user generated content has its place, but experienced professionals should not be losing any ground to it. Else the Internet can become even more dangerous to the idea of truth than it already is...

    Quote Originally Posted by PaternityTest View Post
    I look at mass manipulation by the media giants the way I look at genocide by goverments. Life is just better when everyone is armed. Look at the BS that has been exposed by the bloggers. More amateurs means more accountability for the major players.
    Look at all the BS that has been propagated by the bloggers...does anyone in this thread really believe that 9/11 was a government conspiracy? It's gotten no serious attention outside of the blogger community (except for Rosie O'Donnell) and has been debunked many times by professionals who realize that, say, steel does not need to melt to lose strength...yet it's still common knowledge in the blogosphere.
    Last edited by JungleMan; 06-03-2007 at 02:21 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    Yet on the other hand? How did we discover the Dan Rather crap years ago?
    That was a blogger special via Charles Johnson. As an example.
    I take your point on reviews however. Cant/wont argue that point JM.
    But jerks like you cite? They wont last long.

    With freedoms [speech] comes a price: It will get abused from time to time but its a price we seem to accept.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 06-03-2007 at 02:24 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    And really? When we think on this?
    What were the real credentials of the Watergate investigators from the WAPO? The same premise can be argued that they werent "pro investigators" like FBI etc.
    It was no less than a criminal investigation.
    But as we look back? Arent we glad they got into the mess?
    My point is with some stuff?
    Maybe a better investigation is done by "outsiders"
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 06-03-2007 at 02:31 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    I don't think the author nor anyone is so much advocating that we abolish Web 2.0-type content, the problem is the people who are using it and trusting the authority of a bunch of monkeys over people who are experts in the field. I read user-generated content too but I would always trust one expert before I would trust 100 "average Joe" users.

    Stuff like Dan Rather...that's where the usefulness of Web 2.0 "power to the people" comes in, but there's no professional opinion that it can really challenge or override. If a panel of professional investigators delved deeper into the issue and found no wrongdoing and documented their research, I'd be more apt to trust them.
    Last edited by JungleMan; 06-03-2007 at 02:40 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    Of course. I take that point.

  11. #11
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    Wait. I see your edit.

    So what I read at Tom's Hardware I should believe? Simply by virtue of his "credentials" [site value]?

    Somehow this reminds me of the old Arnold Toynbee[great historian] discussion: But you dont have a PhD?
    To which Toynbee replied: "And who will give me a test?"
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 06-03-2007 at 02:54 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    The fact is one is supposed to able to wade through all of the BS posted on the internet in the same way they should be able to wade through all the BS that comes from the major media.

    If you take everything you read, see or hear from the media, intellectuals and so-called experts as absolute fact you are in some deep doo doo. I like to be able to base my opinions on a wide scale of data and reports.

    A lot of it has to do with commonsense and ability to reason for yourself. I don’t think many people take everything they read on wiki or in blogs as absolute truth nor should they take everything that comes from MSM and so-called experts as absolute truth.

    I most certainly don’t want the government to regulate everything we hear, see, or read.

    That sounds to me like the same kind of crap Hugo is trying to pull in Venezuela.

  13. #13
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    ^^I think of books.[Im agreeing with tucker]

    Are we supposed to stop writers? That would be a sad day indeed if every book's value
    were an act by committee.
    That some writers may get it wrong is a small price to pay
    for the ability to write.

    Somehow I smell a really "elitist" twist in all this stuff.

    Let the big brains do the big thinking thank you. Were better equipped.

    Well. Excuse me.

    Just maybe what some uncertified guy has to say may be perfectly fine.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 06-03-2007 at 03:13 PM.

  14. #14
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JungleMan View Post
    No, he's spot-on, absolutely right. (And on a side note, I'm actually agreeing with Orangutan...again...)

    Think of it this way... Newegg product reviews and professional product reviews (PCPer, HardOCP, Anandtech...FastLaneHW ). Newegg reviews can be posted by any old schmuck, just requires a few sentences. There are probably a lot of experienced people on there, but others are newbies and don't really know what they're doing. A few of them may praise a bad product just because it's better than what they had before. Others may trash a product because they don't know how to use it.

    Professional review sites, on the other hand, employ experienced testers, set testing methodologies, comparisons with other competing products, and they often spend hours or even days testing, evaluating, and going into intense details on the merits of a certain product. Their opinions/conclusions are well backed by facts and research.

    Yet in today's Web 2.0 world, the former is gaining ground on the latter. I know some people who buy products solely on user reviews, and don't even bother to open a magazine or pursue a review site (simply because the user reviews are more readily accessible...since it's on the site you're buying from). There's a potential for a LOT of misinformation to be spread about a product... user generated content has its place, but experienced professionals should not be losing any ground to it. Else the Internet can become even more dangerous to the idea of truth than it already is...


    Look at all the BS that has been propagated by the bloggers...does anyone in this thread really believe that 9/11 was a government conspiracy? It's gotten no serious attention outside of the blogger community (except for Rosie O'Donnell) and has been debunked many times by professionals who realize that, say, steel does not need to melt to lose strength...yet it's still common knowledge in the blogosphere.

    How often do I submit threads... why I dont really buy into anything anyone says. Watching the news during the beginning of the Iraq war I watched a lot of unadulterated real time film just to see it twisted and manipulated ..


    I dont believe in that ethics in journalism really exists...theres to much money it to be honest... imagine the ratings theyd lose if journalism was impartial.. impartial reporting means impartial constituents... and those exist right?

    The left pushes its authoritarian agenda while playing victim the right pushes its authoritarian agenda while playing protector. Noone pushes accountability.

    Media is used to control... like violence is used to control.

    Whatever happened to idea of "question everything".

    And by the way I dont particularly care for benchmarks.. hardware reviews bore me but i read them enough to keep up to date .... articles didnt bring me to this site my DFI lanparty b did. TLR keeps me coming back.

    personally when i read "news" or opinions I simply look for the slant.. who benefits by having me informed of the nonsense thier pushing.
    Last edited by PaternityTest; 06-03-2007 at 03:27 PM.

  15. #15
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    Re: "Dictatorship of Idiots" triumphs over experience

    ^^yeah. were a curious lot here...and I take 100% what you mean "question everything".

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