Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Friday, October 09, 2009

Andrew Keen Disproves Himself

Andrew Keen is a the author of the book The Cult of the Amateur: How blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and the rest of today's user-generated media are destroying our economy, our culture, and our values, published in 1997.

One of Keen's contentions is that we need gatekeepers to prevent amateurs from supplanting the high-quality products of cultural professionals with inferior goods. Keen's book launched him as a controversialist and pundit. On September 29, 2009, Keen wrote the following on his blog at The Telegraph.

Wow. Sounds uncannily like the old Newton personal digital assistant to me. In Silicon Valley, failure is always considered the most meretricious badge of success. Next year, in what might be his final act, Steve Jobs will overwrite his own past. He’ll rehabilitate his most notorious failure, the Newton, by introducing the most important digital product since he introduced the first personal computer, the Apple Macintosh, back in January 1984.

In two short paragraphs (I've condensed the quotation above from two paragraphs), Keen gets the history of Apple and its co-founder wrong and proves himself a maladroit writer.

1. The Apple Macintosh was not remotely the first personal computer.

2. Steve Jobs had nothing to do with the development of the Newton. The Newton was championed by John Sculley during his tenure as CEO of Apple and was introduced in 1993. Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985 and didn't return to running Apple until 1997. One of Jobs' first decisions after returning to Apple was to discontinue the Newton.

3. Steve Jobs' greatest professional mistake was producing and marketing the NeXT Computer in 1998.

4. Steve Jobs has never publically expressed interest in a tablet computer.

5. Tablet computers have been around for years, but Keen acts as if Jobs just thought of the idea.

6. The word meretricious means showy but insincere. Doesn't Keen mean meritorious?

So here we have Keen, who presents himself as superior in ability and expertise to hordes of allegedly slapdash amateurs producing an error-ridden, worthless column, abetted by those fine gatekeepers of the professional press. What a fatuous spectacle.

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Guns Are Your Best Defense

Gun-toting soccer mom is shot dead
By Steve Farley
October 08, 2009, 12:00AM

Meleanie Hain, the pistol-carrying Lebanon mom who received national attention for taking a loaded gun to her daughter’s soccer game, was shot to death Wednesday night with her husband in an apparent murder-suicide, police said.

"there are simply no meaningful 'peace' accomplishment in his record"

We're currently occupying and waging wars in two separate Muslim countries and making clear we reserve the "right" to attack a third. Someone who made meaningful changes to those realities would truly be a man of peace. It's unreasonable to expect that Obama would magically transform all of this in nine months, and he certainly hasn't. Instead, he presides over it and is continuing much of it. One can reasonably debate how much blame he merits for all of that, but there are simply no meaningful "peace" accomplishment in his record -- at least not yet -- and there's plenty of the opposite. That's what makes this Prize so painfully and self-evidently ludicrous.

Who wrote this?

Glenn Greenwald in today's edition of

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"Some Guys Are Lucky and Some Just Ain't"

Chez Pazienza's reaction to the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to Obama is typical of an unimaginative reflexive partisan liberal who's idea of edgy posts is to take a preemptive swipe at the expected criticism of the award from those on the right. As if the only voices saying Obama is undeserving of his prize originate exclusively from the right and their automatic dislike of anything Obama.

Go look at's and's front pages. What do they say? That Barack Obama is undeserving of the Nobel Peace Prize. This comes from the two leading online news and opinion daily publications, both staunchly liberal to left in their editorial bias.

And they're correct. Barack Obama has done practically nothing significant, either in domestic or foreign policy, since his election. Apart from reversing Bush's ruling on federal funding of stem cell research, Obama's policies are nearly a ruler-straight extension of Bush's.

Obama's foreign policy is no different from Bush's. Obama talks peace while we continue to kill Afghan and Pakistani civilians left and right because some supposed Al-Qaida bigwig is in some village that we then level to the ground.

It makes a mockery of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Criticizing the right for criticizing Obama is just a lazy exercise in shooting fish in a barrel.

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