We Feel Fine

An Almanac of Human Emotion

By Sep Kamvar; Jonathan Harris
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781439116838, 288pp.)

Publication Date: December 1, 2009

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Description

In this dazzling exploration of contemporary human feelings, digital whiz kids Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris use their computer programs to peer into the inner lives of millions, constructing a vast and deep portrait of our collective emotional landscape. Armed with custom software that scours the English-speaking world's new Internet blog posts every minute, hunting down the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling," the authors have collected over 12 million feelings since 2005, amassing an ever-growing database of human emotion that adds more than 10,000 new feelings a day. Drawing from this massive real-world stockpile of found sentiment, We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion presents the best of the best -- the euphoria, the despair, the passion, the dreams, and the desires that make us human. At turns touching and thought-provoking, humorous and heartbreaking, We Feel Fine combines the words and pictures of total strangers to explore every corner of the human experience. Packed with personal photos, scientific observations, statistical infographics, and countless candid vignettes from ordinary people, We Feel Fine is a visual, fiercely intelligent, endlessly engrossing crash course in the secrets of human emotion. Are men or women happier? Does rainy weather affect how we feel? Is beauty the bridge between happiness and negativity? How do our emotions change as we age? What causes depression? What's sexy? What's normal? What's human? We Feel Fine finally provides a way to answer these questions that is both quantitative and anecdotal, putting individual stories into a larger context and showing the stories behind the statistics -- or as the authors like to say, "bringing life to statistics and statistics to life." With lush, colorful spreads devoted to 50 feelings, 13 cities, 10 topics, 6 holidays,5 age groups, 4 weather conditions, and 2 genders, We Feel Fine explores our emotions from every angle, providing insights into and examples of each. Equal parts pop culture and psychology, computer science and conceptual art, sociology and storytelling, We Feel Fine is no ordinary book -- with thousands of authors from all over the world sharing their uncensored emotions, it is a radical experiment in mass authorship, merging the online and offline worlds to create an indispensable handbook for anyone interested in what it's like to be human.




About the Author

Combining elements of visual art, computer science, anthropology, and storytelling, Jonathan's projects range from building the world's largest time capsule (with Yahoo!) to documenting an Alaskan Eskimo whale hunt on the Arctic ocean (with a warm hat). The winner of a Fabrica fellowship and three Webby Awards, he has also been recognized by AIGA, Ars Electronica, Print magazine (which named him a 2008 New Visual Artist), and the World Economic Forum (which named him a 2009 Young Global Leader). His projects have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, le Centre Pompidu, and on Bhutanese TV. Originally from Vermont, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY, and does not keep a blog.

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