Laws of Cool

Just got this link via email from my associate supervisor. You have to wonder what makes the voice of the shuttle any kind of expert on such matters, but in any case: they have a whole section of the directory devoted, not to “cool” but to laws of cool, with subsections on “cool sites of the day”, “alternative web aesthetics”, “antithesis of cool”, and, of particular interest to me, ordinary cool – a list of links to everyday life blogs, random webcams, and other mundane stuff. It really is so 1G web. In pidgin French: tres amusement.

But also contains a link to a (2002) C-Theory piece by Jeff Rice on cool, intellectualism, and popular culture (esp digital culture, Wired style) – be interested to hear what readers think about Rice’s formulation of “cool intellectualism” (by which he means academic work, mostly).

The mix, consequently, is the lesson for future intellectual work.


Instead of [the] traditional vision of intellectual work as private and individual, I consider cool intellectualism as a mix. Cool mixes discourse with discourse, practice with discipline, theory with work. The cool methods I outline here in these notes require further definition, and only through discussion and practice will they eventually be established in the university setting. By drawing on samples to construct discourse, the highly participatory cool medium McLuhan described becomes actualized. Discourse commutates into an ever interlinking chain connecting the university’s ruins […] as samples mixed down in our writing.

P.S. Jeff blogs here.