- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (5 Feb. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782393404
- ISBN-13: 978-1782393405
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.5 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 296,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Internet is Not the Answer Hardcover – 5 Feb 2015
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Pacey and chilling... A powerful, frightening read --Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
Andrew Keen's pleasingly incisive study argues that, far from being a democratising force in society, the internet has only amplified global inequities. --John Naughton, Observer
Keen has a sharp eye when it comes to skewering the pretensions and self-delusions of the new digital establishment --Financial Times
A punchy manifesto about the future and integrity of the internet age... This book is a must-read for for anyone remotely concerned about their lives on the net. --Independent
Extremely well-researched and well-written --William Hartston, Daily Express
A packed compendium of all the ways digital life casts aside basic human virtues in favor of a rapacious, winner-takes-all economy. Out of Silicon Valley's libertarian ethos came the myths that information "wants to be free" and that the Internet is fueling a cooperative new utopianism. Keen is excellent at exposing the hypocrisy of that mythology. --Michael Harris, Washington Post
Andrew Keen has written a very powerful and daring manifesto questioning whether the Internet lives up to its own espoused values. He is not an opponent of Internet culture, he is its conscience, and must be heard. --Po Bronson
Andrew Keen has again shown himself one of the sharpest critics of Silicon Valley hype, greed, egotism, and inequity. His tales are revealing, his analyses biting. --Mark Bauerlain, author of The Dumbest Generation
Keen provokes us in every sense of the word-at times maddening, more often thought-provoking, he lets just enough out of the Silicon Valley hot air balloon to start a real conversation about the full impact of digital technology. --Larry Downes, co-author of Unleashing the Killer App
A provocative title and an even more provocative book. Andrew Keen rightly challenges us to think about how the internet will shape society. I remain more optimistic, but hope I'm right to be so. --Mark Read, CEO, WPP Digital
If you've ever wondered why the New Economy looks suspiciously like the Old Economy - only with even more for the winners and less for everyone else - put down your shiny new phablet and read this book. --Robert Levine, author of Free Ride
Andrew Keen is the Christopher Hitchens of the Internet. Neglect this book with peril. In an industry and world full of prosaic pabulum about the supposedly digitally divine, Keen's work is an important and sharp razor. --Michael Fertik, CEO, Reputation.com
In this controversial new book, Andrew Keen argues that the Internet has had a disastrous impact on all our lives - and outlines what we must do to change it, before it's too late.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
"…rather than democracy and diversity, all we've got from the digital revolution so far is fewer jobs, and overabundance of content, an infestation of piracy, a coterie of Internet monopolists, and a radical narrowing of our economic and cultural elite."
A number of Keen's arguments are familiar. Far from encouraging openness and freedom, the Internet is often a hotbed of hatred and inequality. New monopolies, such as Google and Amazon, are increasing inequality and taking control of our data. Jobs are being destroyed, entire swathes of the economy are being decimated, and the middle class is disappearing as there is little room for those other than the wealthy or participants in the gig economy.
And those with the money controlling the Internet are attempting to impose their libertarian views to prevent unionization of their employees, block government regulation, and avoid paying taxes.
Keen points out that the Internet, designed to be open and cooperative, is anything but. "Instead, it's a top-down system that is concentrating wealth instead of spreading it."
Keen sketches the early history of the Internet, and explains how money started pouring into new ventures. And this is when thing went wrong:
"As Wall Street moved west, the Internet lost a sense of common purpose, a general decency, perhaps even its soul.Read more ›
The Internet is Not the Answer is grouped into eight chapters; each addressing a different theme. Several of these are rather good, and make important points. Keen writes well, for instance, on the invasion of privacy inherent in moving much of our daily activities from the analogue to the digital world; although his comparison to the Stasi of Soviet East Germany is overblown. He illuminates nicely how users of social networks and other free services are essentially unpayed employees, generating content pro bono. This is how the start-up WhatsApp could be valued at $19 billion with a revenue orders of magnitude less and a payroll of fifty employees; its loyal user base is what gives it its value. However, Keen skirts around the edges of the important point that reduced transaction costs allow every aspect of life to be commoditised; paving the way for a neoliberal fantasy of a market free from 'externalities.'
Keen is less good on the economics of the digital age.Read more ›
As I write this, there is a General Election being fought in the United Kingdom. Even though the National Health Service has just been disrupted on a grand scale by criminal hackers, none of the parties are leading with any punches to the challenge of technology. You can see why. Technology has disembowelled many traditional industries and services, but invented others to replace them. It has infected contemporary childhood with pornography, violence and depression, whilst liberating children from the repressive shackles and hang-ups of their parents in previous generations. It has spawned a generation of competent young musicians, through on-line teaching, whilst destroying the recorded music industry. It is hard for a politician to find the angle when one negative charge against technology is always countered by a positive.
So Andrew Keen kicks off with that old Anglo –Saxon favourite - mock horror at the sheer extent of wealth amassed in Silicon Valley. The demonization is amusing in places, but it fails to recognise our complicity in the process of how and where wealth accumulates. It’s a cheap shot, a kind of revolutionary shorthand for how to identify your enemy. Personally, I do not envy Bill Gates his wealth or Peter Thiel his bitterness, or Jeff Bezos his lack of human empathy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is amazing!! And is dealing with issues we are still about the endure, like the rise of fake news and the monopoly of tech corporations. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Eduard Melkonyan
This documents the history of the internet from the cold war era to Berners-Lee’s addition of the World Wide Web in 89 then its development in the early 90s, charting its progress... Read morePublished 13 months ago by keen reader
I found this book a demanding but very informative read - well worth the effort.Published 16 months ago by Book Boy
The title of this book was so enticing I bought it without exercising due diligence. Alas. I should have used the Internet to check out the reviews before parting with my cash. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Gerard Casey
I am enjoying this very much. It is a terrific historical journey through the history of the World Wide Web. Read morePublished 17 months ago by ELeitch
Excellent book, authoritative and clearly explained, everyone should read it.Published 17 months ago by humphrey
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