João Pedro da Costa's Reviews > The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information

The Laws of Cool by Alan Liu
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Feb 08, 12

bookshelves: web
Read from January 31 to February 02, 2012

This is a very interesting take, from a Literary Studies scholar, on the rising aesthetic cool/uncool dichotomy that dominates today’s emerging media landscape: «Cool is the techno-informatic vanishing point of contemporary aesthetics, psychology, morality, politics, spirituality and everything. No more beauty, sublimity, tragedy, grace or evil: only cool and not cool» (p. 3). For me, the most interesting parts of the book are his definitions of “cool” as an ethos, a style, a feeling and a politic attitude (pp. 176-285) and a quite eye-opening history of the “cool” concept (pp. 301-316).

As somebody noted before, the book does drifts a lot and some parts are definitely out-dated (Part II, mostly). But there are some really interesting insights about the “coolness” dictatorship that seems to rule today’s interaction on the Web.
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