The Internet is Not the Answer

Andrew Keen is the author of the book The internet is not the answer where he went into depth of his critique of the effects of the internet. After reading a few excerpts from the book, it is clear that Keen wants to persuade us to get over this childlike experience we’re having over the cyberspace so that we can take a long hard look at the “weird, dysfunctional, inegalitarian, comprehensively surveilled world that we have been building with digital tools.”

Like other critics, Keen challenges the one main fact about the internet — that it’s a technology that liberates, informs and empowers people. He argues that the internet does indeed have the potential to do all of these things, and much more but the problem is that it’s not the whole story. The more important truth about the internet, Keen believes, is that it has evolved into a machine for creating a world characterised by growing inequality. “The error that evangelists make,” he writes, “is to assume that the internet’s open, decentralised technology naturally translates into a less hierarchical or unequal society. But rather than more openness and the destruction of hierarchies, an unregulated network society is breaking the old centre, compounding economic and cultural inequality, and creating a digital generation of masters of the universe. This new power may be rooted in a borderless network, but it still translates into massive wealth and power for a tiny handful of companies and individuals.” Far from being the “answer” to society’s problems, Keen argues, the internet is at the root of many of them.

As a homework assignment, watch this video:

(https://youtu.be/8lV3YRJKLq8 ) from 8:58 to 10:59 then consider this question: Can elected governments control the destruction of our society as the digital revolution continues to grow? Write down your thoughts as well as thoughts from an adult (maybe a parent). Then also share whether or not you agree or disagree with their thoughts.

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