I’m not going to try and sum up the discussion, I can’t, it’s too complicated. But there’s a few things that leapt out at me:
Regardless of what I think about the arguments I can’t help but like David Weinberger. There’s something about his manner and his enthusiasm that just make me warm to him. Keen just comes across as being smug and patronising.
You almost get the impression that he’s playing the cartoon baddy. Look at him. I can’t help but think he’s based his character on Simon Cowell. Black t-shirt, Hollywood-anglo-baddy accent, same haircut…
Playing the web-sceptic, as he does, is not an easy thing to do at a conference like this and there’s a couple of points towards the end where it almost feels like he wants to say “OK OK I’m wrong about some of this stuff, I’m just trying to construct a counter argument to make people think a bit (and selling lost of copies of my book while I’m at it)”.
But people are right to challenge him. A lot of what he says just sounds a bit silly at times. For example, his view that the control and ownership of mass media has historically been for the good of everyone and that it’s ultimately a meritocracy.
Even though it’s long at 50 minutes it’s really well worth a watch. You’ll get to hear plenty of interesting things about authority, media, knowledge, information, power, talent and other such big important things.