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Publisher's Summary

The Internet, created during the Cold War, has now ushered in one of the greatest shifts in society since the Industrial Revolution. There are many positive ways in which the Internet has contributed to the world, but as a society we are less aware of the Internet's deeply negative effects on our psychology, economy, and culture.

In The Internet Is Not the Answer, Andrew Keen, a 20-year veteran of the tech industry, traces the technological and economic history of the Internet from its founding in the 1960s, through the rise of the big data companies, to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity, and investigates how the Internet is reconfiguring our world, often at great cost. In this sharp, witty narrative, informed by the work of other writers, academics, and reporters, as well as his own wide-ranging research and interviews, Keen shows us the tech world, warts and all, and investigates what we can do to make sure the choices we make about the reconfiguring of our society do not lead to unpleasant unforeseen aftershocks.

©2015 Andrew Keen. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Light on facts heavy on conjecture

author has an axe to grind, by the end you wonder if he has more than a handle left

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable, informative and slightly depressing

Opened my eyes to things I've never thought about. I'd like to listen again. Side note: Andrew Keen has a marvelous speaking voice; I wish he would have narrated!

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Internet 4 Dummies

This book pulls the covers back on the Internet and how it affects society as a whole. not exactly what I expected but much better than I expected. it's better to have knowledge than to be blind. great book

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Eye-opening

I will never look at the Internet the same way again. I used to look at it in an optimistic way, like it was a place of opportunity for anyone. Now I see it as an elitist and scary universe which threatens all of humanity.

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  • Cal H
  • Houston, TX
  • 03-13-15

Well-written and well spoken

The author spells out obvious truths that are not so obvious until you're shown what to look for. I believe his ideals will be the historical narrative of the Internet when children learn about it in the future..... right now we think it is the greatest thing, but the history books will look back and think of ourselves as being very foolish for not seeing the destruction it has sewn.

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Worth reading but a little dry

A different perspective on the internet that is worth reading although it can be a bit dry and repetitive sometimes.

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Important polemic

What struck me about this book is that I now know that because I am writing this review, that I am essentially volunteering to help Audible/Amazon in their unquenchable hunt for data. It's a good book and well written but I'm sure some readers may wish that he was more dispassionate/less hysterical about certain topics. If Amazon allowed me to give stars for genre, I would say it was a 3 star polemic that could have been a 5 star expose. I don't doubt that the author is probably right about our feudal Renaissance but he has to convince a lot of people and his diatribes may prove counterproductive. For example, it would have been good to see him interview some dispassionate economists to persuade us of some of his more revolutionary claims. Still a fun and informative read that I would highly recommend.

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Good questions, no real answers.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

My time wasn't completely wasted. Keen does bring up some valid concerns for the future, the digital economy's focusing of wealth and the increased productivity it allows making millions of jobs redundant. He doesn't really understand the later or explain the former. He wants to turn the clock back but spends almost all of the book explaining real and perceived problems with the internet rather then proposing a way forward. His answer at the end is not well described or considered. While I agree that the internet is not the 'answer' for the changes that the internet created, that isn't a very insightful discovery.

Would you ever listen to anything by Andrew Keen again?

Not on this topic. I feel I had a good grasp on his views after three hours. The remaining 6 and 1/2 did flesh out the details, but there were no surprises.

What does Tom Pile bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Amazing narration skills. His emotional undertones let the listener feel Keen's rage and frustration. Clear easy to understand vocalizations that help you focus on even dull and repetitive passages.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Nope. I enjoy documentaries but I understand Keen's view already. Added visualizations wont change anything.

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Worth a listen

An interesting counterpoint to the prevailing rosy view of the internet's affect on society. There were definitely many points where I felt Keen was too one-sided or sentimental, and I wouldn't call myself a total devotee. On the other hand, there are lots of things here which need to be spoken about, and I feel like they're not spoken about enough. The central argument seems to be that the feelgood Californian "freedom" and "borderlessness" espoused by the technological elite blends all too easily into a radical laissez-faire economic system in which the winners take all, know all and control all, and everyone else get shafted. A kind of second Industrial Revolution, which needs to be politically curbed and steered in the same way the first one was. Who knows, there are probably lots more of these internet scare books out there, but this was the first one I've listened to so I found it reasonably compelling.

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it could have been an interesting read

I read that book to hear about a contrarian point of view, but the whole thing feels like a personal vendetta and it is so unbalanced that it misses the target. It is filled with personal attack on individuals and group of individuals, it is politically loaded, equates the internet to a few billionaires profiting from it, and also filled with broad generalization that doesn't even hold water (I would not even know where to start so the list is long).

My review of this book could be as long as the book itself, but I'll simply conclude that the Internet deserves better and smarter detractors than this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful