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July 16, 2007


anna quadrio curzio

It’s a stimulating interview for an hight school teacher like me.
Andrew says “that the kids today are sort of media illiterate, they have no idea what they're reading”, but 100 years ago 50% of kids ware totally illiterate, they couldn’t even read. And then “in so-called community sites like MySpace and YouTube just a lot intellectual piracy and moral corruption” but also on TV programs like The Big Brother isn’t different. Human nature doesn’t change, and Internet 2.0 isn’t different.

And about “good” and “relevant” content.

It’s very difficult to learn how to value a web site, teaching how to use a search engine in a smart way is a challenge. In a close future the real challenge will be to find a way to clear up all the present rubbish and not related items from search engines. Now they are too much influenced by web masters’ trick. None artificial intelligence can go on better than human critical spirit.

About law in Internet: why not a meta-law, a social contract valid in all countries?


A very interesting intervew. By the way, I share many of Andrew's points of view, those regarding the misunterstood concept of "freedom" that is often confounded with anarchy, but especially regarding the pivotal concept that the web 2.0 is not very representative of reality because its underlying paradigm is that "good is not who is good but who is good in communicating, or knows how to use the communication channels".
On the other hand, I found some contradictions: first, he states he relies on mainstream media, then acknowledges that those are far from being "ideal" as he would like them to be, but he doesn't come to a synthesis or gives any suggestion for it. The second, most important one is related to the social contract: it seems to me that reaching a collective agreement is something fancyful, not very realistic if not impossible, just following Andrew's kind of analysis. We must state that Web 2.0 is moved by the crowd, I agree that the crowd is not an intelligent entity, it escapes me how it could wisely come to a collective social contract. Historically, the crowd has led to the production of conflicts, not agreements. And I think that Andrew is aware of this, between the lines, when he talks about a "more aggressive social contract"

Mario Esposito

Dear Franco and dear Andrew,

first of all I want to thank Franco for making me to know Andrew Keen and his new book (that I'd like to win...).

On my blog, - an italian blog -, I've just commented this interesting interview but I don't want to translate it because I prefer to say some other things too.

According to Andrew Keen's answers, I can resume these six points of his thought about Web 2.0:

1.Web 2.0 is anarchy;
2.Web 2.0 is often bad for education of our young people
3.Web 2.0 need a "strong" ethic code
4.Web 2.0 is "only" technology, not democracy
5.Web 2.0 is destroying mainstream media, but media are the source of its existence
6.Web 2.0 is generating a new oligarchy of skilled "self promoter" and guru of WWW

I could just agree with everyone of these six points, but I also think that Keen's conclusions are too "colored" towards mainstren media.

I think that Internet doesn't need an ethic code, because it's only an utopian ideology like Don Chisciotte fight against the pinwheel.

Even if, like Franco Folini has reminded to me, Andrew is English and not American, I find that his point of view about an ethic code of Web 2.0 is very "american" because only a great faith can do us believe that the solution to the anarchy of the Internet could be an ethic code accepted by a large number of people that come from different States and have a different cultures.

The cyberbullism e.g. is certainly a great problem, but it must not become the side by which some people could re-establish the "status quo" before the Internet "revolution".

It's also impossible in my opinion.

Barry Buzan, an English Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics,in his last book titled "The United States and the Great Powers: World Politics In The Twenty-First Century", published in 2004, has written that there are three main traits in Usa politics of XXI century:

2.Manicheism (in the meaning of a "crusader spirit" to force its politics and economic ideology all over the world)
3.Iper-safety and militarization of politics

In this scenario, the Tom O'Reilly's "crusade" for an ethic code is - imho - only a loss of time and energy and a sort of "moral manicheism".

So the problem, in my opinion, is totally different : we need more democracy to control the politicians, the capitalistic elites and the new oligarchy of Technology, and Internet is today just the more effective tool to do it.

The "digital citizens" rather need to learn how to use Internet in a better way to increase Democracy and Freedom in their States.

And people like Andrew Keen I think could contribute very much to achieve these goals rather than to engage for limiting digital liberty of Web 2.0.

Don't you agree?