The Hierarchy of Blog-Bashing

Adam Thierer writes about “internet optimists” versus “internet pessimists”:

The problem with the Internet pessimists, however, is that their skepticism often borders on Chicken Little-ism or outright Ludditism. I thought Andrew Keen’s Cult of the Amateur was about as over-the-top as things could get in this regard. (See my 2-part book review here and here), but then I worked my way through Lee Siegal’s tedious screed, Against the Machine. It made Keen seem downright reasonable and cheery by comparison! Keen and Siegal seem to be in heated competition for the title “High Prophet of Internet Doom,” but Siegal is currently a nose ahead in that race.

And it’s true — Keen’s book is quite annoying, but Siegel’s absolutely blows it away. Both, though, seem a bit like cleverly postmodern efforts to undercut their own theses and prove that the quality control mechanisms of traditional media don’t actually work. Lots of blogs suck, in other words, but so do lots of books.