Andrew Keen: Manifesto for digital change

This article is from 2012

Andrew Keen: Manifesto for digital change

The author and digital entrepreneur will appear with Ewan Morrison at the Edinburgh International Book Fest

Author and digital entrepreneur Andrew Keen has serious concerns with the internet. ‘First we lived in villages, now we live on the internet,’ he muses. ‘And there are some people out here in California who believe it’s a utopia, an idyll which will enable us to realise things that we’ve lost, build communities, make ourselves happy. I’m not convinced.’

In his latest book, Digital Vertigo, Keen argues that our reliance on social media is driving us apart rather than pulling us together. ‘It’s an attack on the way in which social media is making us more public and undermining our private lives, our secrecy, our mystery,’ he believes. Acknowledging the part played by social media in bringing about various regime changes, Keen argues the results haven’t coalesced into coherent political movements. ‘They tend to reflect the fragmentation of the internet. People form and reform into these political groups but nothing seems to gel.’

Since numerous high profile Twitter scandals have highlighted the danger of our lingering digital legacies, Keen offers a manifesto for change. ‘If it’s going to be this platform for 21st century life, the internet needs to learn how to forget. Currently it doesn’t know how to do that.’

Charlotte Square Gardens (with Ewan Morrison), Sun 12 Aug, £10 (£8).

Andrew Keen with Ewan Morrison: The Revolution Will Be Digitised

In an event chaired by Ewan Morrison, Andrew Keen presents today’s social media revolution as the most wrenching cultural transformation since the Industrial Revolution. The author of Digital Vertigo isn’t wholly upbeat about this seismic shift, arguing that the more electronically connected we have become, the lonelier…

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