Cult of the Amateur

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-07-10 15:16

bookcover.jpg Just been listening to Sunday Safran where John and Father Bob talk to author Andrew Keen.

< -- Keen is the author of this book.

And, a dickhead.

Podcast here .

Keen is down on amateurs in all spheres of life. He thinks that unless one is trained and spends all one's time as one's main business on the art or science in question then the work is sub-standard and brings everybody down.

He finds Wikipedia scary- Orwellian scary.

He thinks the internet, as we know it, is killing our culture. It needs saving, saving from vile pornography for example.

There is concern that kids don't have to worry about math or spelling or knowledge anymore because they're learning that there's always going to be a computer within reach to furnish the answers.

owned.JPGUtter bladerdash, all of it. In life, as always before, knowing your gear is always important. Ability is always an advantage to those that have it. Take this Youtube clip I was just watching as an example. Note how Ann Coulter discovered the hard way that there is no substitute for knowing. [click picture link]

As far as I'm concered the Renassance Man is the highest form of man. He's the MacGyver, the Leonardo de Vinci. He is the very model of a modern major general. With due respect to those with day jobs, the kind of person I admire is an amateur in many spheres, able to turn his hand to many disciplines and practical capabilities.

I like to wheel this quote out at times like this...

"Every man should be able to paint a portrait, catch a rabbit, cook a gourmet meal, grow corn, plan a battle, string a bow, build a shelter, repair an engine, write a poem, ferment grapes, make gunpowder, build a suspension bridge, balance a ledger and negotiate a treaty, change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."-Robert Heinlein

By way of final example, consider not lowly patient office worker and amateur physicist Albert Einstien nor architects Christopher Wren, Thomas Jefferson, or other great amateurs of their age. We need go no further from home than Olympic champion swimmer, Ian Thorpe,-

Read the lives and times of retired sports persons, including Ian Thorpe.
"I'm stuck in a time warp. I haven't grown up, except the legs and shoulders. I'm breathless with excitement on the edge of the next stage of my evolution
" - that's Ian's Wisdom period.- From the biography of the swimmer- Father Bob's blog

I am reminded of Neitzsche, a warning to us for taking the economic importance of a division of labour society out of its proper context...

It is, however, the smallest thing unto me since I have been amongst
men, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.
I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that
I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent
about some of them: namely, men who lack everything, except that
they have too much of one thing- men who are nothing more than a big
eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,-
reversed cripples, I call such men.- Zarathustra among the cripples and beggars

The books comes Downunder in August


( categories: )

Called it

Rick Giles's picture

Taking 2007 when this biography came out, after his physical used by date, Thorpe has been falling to bits, publicly. Being gay now is actually, cynically of me to say, good PR to excuse this fall from grace and save him as a product.

What about the man? Now he's 31 years old and only just got the self-knowledge of his own gender. Really playing catch-up here.

Swimming specialisation has taken more from him than it ever gave in my opinion.

Called it.

Thanks Captain

Rick Giles's picture

Thanks Captain Scott!

Everyone but me knows how to embed Youtube- I always fail. What I can do are picture links.

Give me another project. Rick needs money.

Never said I wasnt a dummy!

atlascott's picture

But I hope you draw other conclusions, Ash, my dear!

Long time no talk to!  Damn it, we SHOULD have gone to Coyote Ugly!

Ah, missed opportunties!

Scott DeSalvo

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!

A...what, dude?

Ashley's picture

A...what, dude?

Are you offering up a bird or a processing language? Let's get this deal straight. Or are you using the "alternative, rarely used" (read: wrong) spelling of the monetary denomination?

Nickle may refer to:

* Nickle programming language, a numeric oriented programming language
* Nickle, another name for the European woodpecker

Nickle is an alternative, rarely-used spelling for:

* nickel, the chemical element
* Nickel (Canadian coin), a five-cent coin
* Nickel (United States coin), a five-cent coin

Or have I missed a funny since I have not participated in this forum recently? (hi scott xo)

"The single journey through consciousness should be participated in as fully as possible by the individual no matter how dangerous or cruel or terror-filled that experience may be."

GREAT article, Rick!

atlascott's picture

Everyone has to start somewhere, and amateurs can be relevant, and even briliant!

I will give you a nickle if you post an article about how to embed youtube clips in articles/blog posts.

A shiny, new nickle!

Scott DeSalvo

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.