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The Laws of CoolKnowledge Work and the Culture of Information$
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Alan Liu

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226486987

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226487007.001.0001

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The Feeling of Information

The Feeling of Information

(p.231) Chapter 7 The Feeling of Information
The Laws of Cool

Alan Liu

University of Chicago Press

Cool style at the beginning of the twenty-first century completes the severe revision the twentieth century had already initiated in old traditions of affiliation between artistic styles and modalities of feeling. Cool may not be exactly a “Fordized face” of no emotion, then, but as the alter-face of the interface of information, it is just as constrained. The heart of the problem lies in determining whether the cool “feeling of paradox” is in fact a structure of feeling at all rather than, equally intuitive, a lack of feeling. On the one hand, information cool is robust with feeling. Cool on the World Wide Web is a heady brio, gusto, rush, thrill, feeling of information. The best single body of documentation for studying cool feeling on the web is the Project Cool site. We should not be surprised that the epithets used to excess in the wake of the Enlightenment to describe detached, visually framed scenes of enjoyment should reconvene in the age of knowledge work to describe an equivalent visual frame—the computer screen.

Keywords:   cool, feeling, World Wide Web, information, Project Cool, knowledge work

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