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We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion Hardcover – December 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439116830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439116838
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 9.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Astonishing and brilliant." -- New York magazine

"A mesmerizing visual experiment." -- Reuters --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sep Kamvar is a computer scientist who works primarily in data mining and human-computer interaction. He is a consulting professor of computational mathematics at Stanford University, and was the head of personalization at Google from 2003-2007. He founded Kaltix, a search engine that was acquired by Google in 2003. He is the atuhor of over 30 research publications and patents in the areas of search, machine learning, and peer-to-peer networks, and his work is in the permanent collection of New York's MoMA. He lives in San Francisco and New York with his wife, Angie. He has not won any awards, but his mom thinks he's handsome.

Combining elements of visual art, computer science, anthropology, and storytelling, Jonathan's projects range from building the world's largest time capsule (with Yahoo!) to documenting an Alaskan Eskimo whale hunt on the Arctic ocean (with a warm hat). The winner of a Fabrica fellowship and three Webby Awards, he has also been recognized by AIGA, Ars Electronica, Print magazine (which named him a 2008 New Visual Artist), and the World Economic Forum (which named him a 2009 Young Global Leader). His projects have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, le Centre Pompidu, and on Bhutanese TV. Originally from Vermont, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY, and does not keep a blog.

More About the Author

Sep Kamvar is the LG Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, and the Director of the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab. Prior to MIT, Sep was the head of personalization at Google and a consulting professor of Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to that, he was founder and CEO of Kaltix, a personalized search company that was acquired by Google in 2003.

Sep is the author of two books and over 40 technical publications and patents in the fields of search and social computing. His artwork has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Musem in London, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens.

Sep received his Ph.D. in Scientific Computing and Computational Mathematics from Stanford University and his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University.

Customer Reviews

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See all 18 customer reviews
Physically, it has the heft and graphic quality of a medium sized, high-end coffee table book.
J. Sturm
The book We Feel Fine is derived off of a pretty impressive website that was developed by the creators of the book Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris.
Cameron Kunz
Instead of just reading a feeling, the authors tell you how frequently that feeling is felt, who most commonly feels it and why.
Lily B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lily B on December 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I just picked up a copy of this book after seeing it at Barnes and Noble. A friend had sent me a link to the website back in 2006, I recognized the name and so was immediately curious. Visit [...] to see the original project that this book is based on - the first time I saw it I spent 2 hours browsing through the chaos and peeking into people's personal lives.

The book is a completely different experience than the website with more differences than similarities, but just as fascinating as its web incarnation. Like with the website the first time I saw it I have become addicted to this book. The largest factor that sets the book apart from the website is the incredible amount of statistical analysis that the authors provide you with. Instead of just reading a feeling, the authors tell you how frequently that feeling is felt, who most commonly feels it and why.

They also break down feelings by location, date, tell you what feelings most commonly occur with each other. How feelings most commonly change as people age and tons of other interesting observations.

The book is also comprised of people's personal "uncensored" photography. Some are better than others, all are from the internet so quality isn't great, but each photo is paired with a sentence from the same blog post where the photo came from. The combination is powerful and it's amazing to see these people and also read how they feel. It reminded me of PostSecret.

This book makes a great coffee table/pop psychology book. In its 288 pages there is tons to discover. It is also an incredibly unique and impressive project; one that your friends will be happy you turned them on to.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Sturm on January 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This reader was charmed, excited and inspired by this book. "We Feel Fine" operates on several levels. Physically, it has the heft and graphic quality of a medium sized, high-end coffee table book. Its content delights with the immediate impact of the really cool photos of people and things. The excellence of the pictures surprised me given that they are pulled from the blogs together with the text which expresses the "feeling" of the title.
This sixty-something guy was particularly impressed with the insight into the minds of those who tend to be a bit younger than I. It has certainly proved to be a point of contact for provocative discussions with my children who are of the generation that provides most of the substance of the "we" who "feel fine". In that sense it is revelatory and hopeful that "the kids are alright". You see this both through the unique individuals and the information that is extrapolated from so many of us. Finally, it may well draw you into the website of the same name which minute to minute provides data for what may well be a sequel in the making of this "Almanac of Human Emotion".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrice Fagnant-macarthur VINE VOICE on December 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"We Feel Fine" is a collection of quotes and photos from blogs from all over the English world. All of these quotes were garnered from sentences that began "I feel." As the writers state, "Drawing from a database of more than 12 million human feelings collected over 3 years from personal blogs on the Internet, 'We Feel Fine' presents a comprehensive contemporary portrait of the world's emotional landscape, exploring the ups and downs of everyday life in all its color, chaos, and candor." The book is arranged as a coffee table book. One can simply pick it up, open to a page and view the beautiful photos and quotes. The authors have created different sections based on gender, specific emotions, locations, weather and topics. For those interested in more detail, the authors have provided statistical analysis of the data they have mined as well as the computer code that they used to obtain the data.

I really enjoyed the time I spent flipping through and reading this book. I didn't know what to expect and it was a pleasant surprise. I especially liked this "life sentence" that they included toward the end of the book, summing up "major emotional themes as we age.": "We start simple (11-14), but soon fill up with angst (15-18) and feelings of confinement (19-22), until we leave those behind to go conquer the world (23-26), before gradually trading ambition for balance (27-30), developing an appreciation for our bodies (31-35) and our children (31-35), and evolving a sense of connectedness (36-40), for which we feel grateful (36-40), then happy (41-49), calm (41-49), and finally blessed (50+)."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carrie F. Hilliker on December 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great gift for any creative-type in your life. I've admired what artist Jonathan Harris has been creating for the past few years, specifically "I Want You to Want Me", "The Whale Hunt" and "We Feel Fine". Unlike so much of what is called `creative' online, his projects are thoughtful, innovative and feeling. The work seamlessly weaves the human experience with its inherent aesthetic beauty. Jonathan seems to come from a true place which is probably why so many people are drawn to his work. The online medium has not failed Harris by any means, but now it is even more accessible. Once again, a great gift for someone else (or yourself).

More info about Jonathan's project here: [...]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cameron Kunz on December 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In an age where we are surrounded by social networks and blogs and Twitter, it can be overwhelming to try to learn something from them. Well, after reading this book I think I have found a good place to jump in for many, and for many others I've found a kind of documentary of blogosphere to this point.

The book We Feel Fine is derived off of a pretty impressive website that was developed by the creators of the book Sep Kamvar and Jonathan Harris. The website goes through millions of blogs every day and picks out any sentence or phrase that starts with 'I feel' or 'I'm feeling' and then adds them to a database.

After four years of collecting data Kamvar and Harris have compiled this book. When I first got it last week I spent a fair amount of time giving it a once through, but the strange thing is how much in the last couple of days I have been using it as a reference text. I say reference because not only does the book deal with a flurry of emotions, but it categorizes them and then analyzes them. Each emotion is bordered with all kinds of data associated with it. What are the circumstances that cause this feeling? What is the most common weather that accompanies this feeling? What other feelings are related to it?

Now, every time I find myself feeling a particular emotion I pick this up from my coffee table. I want to know why I feel what I feel, which is why I think really does a good job in attracting different audiences. On one hand you have people who will enjoy it for the design aspects and the personal, saddening, or funny combination of pictures and feelings. And on the other hand you have people who will want to know more of the the how and the why more than the what, in which case there is the data.
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