At the core of this book are an assessment of this new cool and a measured consideration of its potential and limitations as a popular new humanism. According to Liu, cool at once mimics and resists the postindustrial credo of innovation and creative destruction, which holds that the old must perpetually give way to the new. Information, he maintains, is no longer used by the cool just to revolutionize human knowledge - it is also used to resist it. What counts as cool today, however, is too frequently narrow, shallow, and self-centered. The challenge for the humanities, then, is to help redefine cool and to use technology in a way that mediates between knowledge work and a fuller lifework glimpsed in historical lives and works. A study of enormous scope, ambition, and intellect, The Laws of Cool provides an indispensable account of knowledge work today and in the future.