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The Laws of Cool

Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information

The Laws of Cool

Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information

Knowledge work is now the reigning business paradigm and affects even the world of higher education. But what perspective can the knowledge of the humanities and arts contribute to a world of knowledge work whose primary mission is business? And what is the role of information technology as both the servant of the knowledge economy and the medium of a new technological cool? In The Laws of Cool, Alan Liu reflects on these questions as he considers the emergence of new information technologies and their profound influence on the forms and practices of knowledge.

552 pages | 19 halftones, 6 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2004

Culture Studies

History of Science

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Media Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Literature and Creative Destruction
Part I - The New Enlightenment
Preface "Unnice Work": Knowledge Work and the Academy
1. The Idea of Knowledge Work
Part II - Ice Ages
Preface "We Work Here, but We’re Cool"
2. Automating
3. Informating
4. Networking
Part III - The Laws of Cool
Preface "What’s Cool?"
5. The Ethos of Information
6. Information Is Style
7. The Feeling of Information
8. Cyber-Politics and Bad Attitude
Part IV - Humanities and Arts in the Age of Knowledge Work
Preface "More"
9. The Tribe of Cool
10. Historicizing Cool: Humanities in the Information Age
11. Destructive Creativity: The Arts in the Information Age
12. Speaking of History: Toward an Alliance of New Humanities and New Arts (With a Prolegomenon on the Future Literary)
A. Taxonomy of Knowledge Work
B. Chronology of Downsizing (Through the 1990s)
C. "Ethical Hacking" and Art
Works Cited


Modern Language Association of America: James Russell Lowell Prize
Honorable Mention

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