Wasting Time on the Internet by Kenneth Goldsmith

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A persuasive argument about how what conventional wisdom dismisses as “wasting time” is actually time well spent...Goldsmith outlines a future that perhaps offers a hope we can embrace, since a retreat seems impossible.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Using clear, readable prose, conceptual artist and poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s manifesto shows how our time on the internet is not really wasted but is quite productive and creative as he puts the experience in its proper theoretical and philosophical context.

Kenneth Goldsmith wants you to rethink the internet. Many people feel guilty after spending hours watching cat videos or clicking link after link after link. But Goldsmith sees that “wasted” time differently. Unlike old media, the internet demands active engagement—and it’s actually making us more social, more creative, even more productive.

When Goldsmith, a renowned conceptual artist and poet, introduced a class at the University of Pennsylvania called “Wasting Time on the Internet”, he nearly broke the internet. The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Slate, Vice, Time, CNN, the Telegraph, and many more, ran articles expressing their shock, dismay, and, ultimately, their curiosity. Goldsmith’s ideas struck a nerve, because they are brilliantly subversive—and endlessly shareable.

In Wasting Time on the Internet, Goldsmith expands upon his provocative insights, contending that our digital lives are remaking human experience. When we’re “wasting time,” we’re actually creating a culture of collaboration. We’re reading and writing more—and quite differently. And we’re turning concepts of authority and authenticity upside-down. The internet puts us in a state between deep focus and subconscious flow, a state that Goldsmith argues is ideal for creativity. Where that creativity takes us will be one of the stories of the twenty-first century.

Wide-ranging, counterintuitive, engrossing, unpredictable—like the internet itself—Wasting Time on the Internet is the manifesto you didn’t know you needed.

 

About Kenneth Goldsmith

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Kenneth Goldsmith's writing has been called "some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry" by Publishers Weekly. Goldsmith is the author of ten books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb (ubu.com), and the editor of I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, which was the basis for an opera, Trans-Warhol, that premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. An hour-long documentary on his work, Sucking on Words was first shown at the British Library in 2007. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania, where he is a senior editor of PennSound, an online poetry archive. He held The Anschutz Distinguished Fellow Professorship in American Studies at Princeton University for 2009-10 and received the Qwartz Electronic Music Award in Paris in 2009. In May 2011, he was invited to read at President Obama's A Celebration of American Poetry at the White House, where he also held a poetry workshop with First Lady Michelle Obama. In 2011, he co-edited, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing and published a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age. Goldsmith was invited to participate in dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, Germany, 2012. In 2012, dOCUMENTA(13) published his Letter to Bettina Funcke as part of their "100 Notes-100 Thoughts" book series.
 
Published August 23, 2016 by Harper Perennial. 259 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on May 31 2016

A persuasive argument about how what conventional wisdom dismisses as “wasting time” is actually time well spent...Goldsmith outlines a future that perhaps offers a hope we can embrace, since a retreat seems impossible.

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