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Wasting Time on the Internet
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Wasting Time on the Internet

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  239 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Using clear, readable prose, conceptual artist and poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s manifesto shows how our time on the Internet is not really wasted but is quite productive and creative as he puts the experience in its proper theoretical and philosophical context.

Kenneth Goldsmith wants you to rethink the Internet. Many people feel guilty after spending hours watching cat videos
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Harper Perennial
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Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review to come.

Unbiased rating based upon a copy won through the Goodreads First Reads program.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
A friend made an astute comparison: Goldsmith is a bit like Dawkins. They both have an essentially reasonable argument to make, but are so one-dimensional and strident in their advocacy that even as an atheist and someone who thinks the internet is mainly a good thing for human intelligence, interaction and creativity, I can't help but kinda despise them.

Anyway the good bits are where Goldsmith shows how we are actually engaging more with each other and with our own creativity via social media,
Mind the Book
Oväntat arty och idérik, med flanörfaktor. Lite postmodern och subversiv därtill. Kapitelrubriker som "Our browser history is the new memoir" och "Every new media requires new ways of thinking."

Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This started out super interesting. It is authored by a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who actually taught a class called "Wasting Time on the Internet" -- a social science look at how we spend our time when we are doodling around out there. Some of the class exercises included:

* Data duels - two people exchange laptops, stand back to back, walk 10 paces, then turn around and delete one document from the other's computer (and empty the trash so there's no getting it back), and close
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't know that this is a 5-star book, really, but it was fascinating, and it made me think about ways that life can be its own sort of art object, and how minutae can be sometimes sublime. The book introduced me to a lot of new artists and writers, and expanded my notion of what art can be (creating giant Instagram photos from other people's accounts and exhibiting them, for instance). Goldsmith also pushes back against the common complaint that our devices make us less connected to each othe ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
1. Interesting ideas and tidbits but no coherent theme that could help me tell you what this book was about exactly.
2. Excessive use of the term "meatspace" to describe IRL interactions (>0).
3. I think it is ironic that I wasted time NOT on the internet reading Wasting Time on the Internet.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A conceptual artist takes an amiably contrarian look at issues over which there is much hand wringing these days, challenging our ideas about what it means to be social, present, creative, etc. If he had shaved off 50 or even 100 pages, I could have given it a fifth star.
Rod Brown
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-real-books
I saw a cover shot and a short blurb review for this in a magazine and thought it seemed like it should be an amusing bit of fluff, so I picked it up the next time I went to the library. I should have remembered the old adage about books and their covers.

The introduction and first chapter are fun, especially when the author writes about the actual college course he presented called "Wasting Time on the Internet." It's a pretty interesting study in group dynamics and modern tech habits. There's p
Carole B
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book presents a scholarly defense of the validity and art of human interaction online, an extended academic rephrasing of the argument made time and again on Tumblr and other vibrant online communities: conversation, dialogue, and communication through the internet are genuine, innovative, and do not indicate the downfall of humanity.
The aspects of Goldsmith's argument that made it more effective were his comparison to the surrealist movement, his classroom experiments in the application o
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, non-fiction
I recommend that just about everyone read this book: If you are concerned about others around you, or those in society who "waste" too much time on the Internet, or if you, like myself, are an Internet time waster. It's a quick, easy, and very informative read. And if you're an amateur, skip to the back for some excellent suggestions on how to waste time on the Internet!

I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
An exercise in shallow arguments and false equivalencies. Dude thinks he's clever. Dude ain't clever.
Domenico Fina
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La mia idea di internet è banale; internet è la possibilità che non è stata data ad Emily Dickinson che scriveva lettere al mondo e il mondo era la sua stanza. Ora è la stanza che spazia nel mondo, insieme a gatti e tutto lo scibile. In questo brillante saggio, Kenneth Goldsmith - un poeta e artista americano nato nel 1961 - riesce a scrivere molte cose non banali sul tema Internet, il più sfuggente di tutti. Ecco tre passaggi interessanti:

Mi dicono che i bambini sono particolarmente a rischio,
C. Hollis Crossman
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Author Kenneth Goldsmith, the first-ever poet laureate of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, was asked to curate an exhibit at Mexico City's LABOR gallery in honor of the hacktivist Aaron Swartz, who achieved notoriety by freeing 4.8 million articles on the paywalled academic publication aggregator site JSTOR. Swartz hanged himself following legal action taken against him, and the curators of the LABOR gallery wanted Goldsmith to pay the young man visual homage. So he conceived of a plan to get pe ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I have finished Wasting Time on the Internet!

Goldsmith is an interesting artist who spends a lot of time thinking about art and culture and modern life in an compelling and reasoned way. I enjoy reading his thoughts. Central to so much of Goldsmith's perspective is the idea that everything we do is art if we decide it is. Taking the internet/social media/mobile devices as the jumping off point, that idea is now expanded to those idle moments when most of us don't think we're accomplishing anythi
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
More like 4.5 stars. I don't love everything in this book -- I think his "Wasting Time on the Internet" class sounds intellectually and ethically dubious. But this book is an excellent antidote to digital skeptics like Carr or Turkle. I think I want to assign part of the first chapter of this book in my writing class next semester.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The first half of this book was so interesting. The best way I can describe it is...turning that old person telling a millennial to get off their phone into a study of why being glued to your phone is the future of human connection, how and why. Insightful to a degree for sure. However, when this author strays from his own class experiment and reports on chapters of other people's work, I'll admit I started skimming. They were thinly tied back to the theme of exploring concepts the internet has ...more
Elisa Vangelisti
interessante, ma non tanto da acquistarlo
Colleen Mary
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Dude thinks he's smart, dude isn't smart.
Kevin Hodgson
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe it resonated with some of my own thinking about writing, composition, digital media, and more.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes an exercise in name-dropping, but mostly interesting and thought-provoking. One can certainly appreciate the attempt to alleviate the guilt brought on by "wasted" time.
Brandon  Zamudio
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tónico contra la visión del internet como medio inválido de comunicación o creación. Necesariamente (algo) rosácea, pero un clavado al surrealismo de las redes desde una perspectiva más informada.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Some interesting ideas but it could have been more compelling, given the subject matter.
Jesse Richards
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
A unique attempt, but too much filler in between the interesting parts.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Okay, with flashes of really interesting insight
Mar 09, 2017 marked it as to-read
pick up at page 40
Jeff Buddle
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Kenny G is a prankster who's overly steeped in critical theory. One would think he takes his latte with a layer of Lacan, his doughnut made more delicious by a dollop of Deleuze. Which is why it comes as no surprise that he takes something as banal as surfing the internet and creates a treatise by filling pages with erudite blather.

Kenny may have taught a class called "Wasting Time on the Internet" at UPenn, but an Ivy League pedigree alone doesn't give his topic heft. That's granted by his ski
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one I'll be thinking about for awhile. Goldsmith refutes the notion of the day that the internet is rotting our brain, too much screen time is ruining our children, and technology is making us detached and antisocial. This book manages to reframe and recontextualize the internet, social media, etc. as the latest version of ages-old mechanisms that aid in our journey of creating and understanding communication, literature and art. Goldsmith writes in an easy manner that belies a deep inte ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Spanning across social and art (and literary) critique, ripe with examples from art and media history and witty. As expected, the discussions on authorship are one of the best parts.

Our browser history is the new memoir.
Archiving is the new folk art.
The revolution will be mobilized.
Lael Braday
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Goldsmith shares a unique perspective of spending time on the internet, including comparing obscure artists from analog to digital. I'm not sure if he intended for readers to assuage the guilt of "non-productive" internet surfing, but I'll just say that I loved the book for that reason. This book can help you look at your teens' use of social media in a more positive light. Goldsmith points out how the latest greatest is always met with suspicions of evil. I did not know that books were once spo ...more
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