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Author Archive: "Ted Gioia"

America Loses Its Cool

The Age of Cool is ending. I explain the reasons why in my new book, The Birth (and Death) of the Cool. But the implications are even more important than the causes. They are evident everywhere, and especially in the new culture of confrontation that is permeating almost every sphere of day-to-day life.

It gets ugly when a whole society loses its cool. The term "going postal" didn't exist before 1993, but now the concept of a violent anger meltdown in the workplace — or in the school, on the road, or (most recently) at the town hall meeting — is all too familiar to us. Fisticuffs and outbursts on air flights, once virtually unknown, are now increasingly common. British railway stations have recently been forced to put up signs asking passengers to refrain from assaulting the staff.

One of the fastest growing professions in America is anger management counseling. This occupation didn't exist a few years ago, but now it is a booming business. You might have seen Dr. Steven Stosny, a guru ...


How Cool Became Uncool

In my new book, The Birth (and Death) of the Cool, I look at the strange and surprising process by which cool became uncool. Yes, you heard me correctly: it may sound like a paradox, but cool isn't hip any more .

The signs of this are everywhere, and start with the word itself. I am not sure when the deliberate misspelling of cool as "kewl" started, but a quick search for the phrase “is not kewl” on Google comes back with 50,000 hits. Oddly enough, there is even a competitor to Google, a new search engine called Cuil, which is itself a deliberate misspelling of the word.

Everywhere you look, cool is being mocked. And not just on the web. On TV, nerds are in the ascendancy, as demonstrated by shows such as Beauty and the Geek, Ugly Betty, The Big Bang Theory, and Chuck. And a whole series of books are reinforcing the point. Browse through this web site, and check out


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