Having finished the book, I now feel more qualified to comment on it. Summary: Yes, he makes some good points. At the same time he completely missed the point.
What really got my attention were the stories about the individuals who had their lives effected by their online behaviors. These were excellent points. There was the student who got hooked on online gambling and eventually robbed a bank. There was the thirteen year old girl who talked about watching porn. These stories and others clearly made the point that the Internet can be a scary place.
Change always makes people uneasy. It solves some problems while creating others. Think of the problems created by cars, freeways, school integration, and any other type of change. They are certainly real. The key is how we deal with them.
One of the points he made really struck a chord with me. Keen argues that the voice of a professional should outway the voice of an amateur. Always. He talked about how professionals are more qualified and experiences. It reminded me of the argument against translating the Bible into English. People weren’t thought intelligent enough to be able to comprehend what was written there. They needed religion to be explained to them by a professional. I also thought of the textbook depictions of Native Americans and their inaccuracies. There’s something to the idea of hearing all voices and creating a platform where the best ideas win, not the ones from the most educated or experienced.
The last chapter of the book is called “Solutions”. The solutions offered there were weak. Thank goodness for the chapter though. I was glad Keen was actually thinking of how to react to the reality that is the Internet.