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The Laws of Cool

Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information

Alan Liu


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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.

University of Chicago Press, 9780226486994, 552pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2004

About the Author

Alan Liu is a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Wordsworth: the Sense of History and the developer of The Voices of the Shuttle (, one of the earliest and most active humanities portals on the Web. His major online initiatives also include Romantic Chronology and Palinurus: The Academy and the Corporation-Teaching the Humanities in a Restructured World.