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When Strangers Meet reveals the transformative possibility of talking to people you don’t know—how these beautiful interruptions in daily life can change you and the world we share. When Strangers Meet argues for the pleasures and transformative possibility of talking to people you don’t know. Our lives are increasingly insular. We are in a hurry, our heads are down, minds elsewhere, we hear only the voices we already recognize and rarely take the effort to experience something or someone new. Talking to a stranger pulls you into a shared humanity, it’s a source of creative energy, it opens your world, it cements your relationship to the places you live and work and play, it’s a beautiful interruption in the steady routines of our lives. Talking to strangers wakes you up. Threaded throughout are stories from Stark’s own lifelong practices of talking to strangers, documenting brief encounters, and teaching technologists about the dynamics of where, how, and why strangers come together. Ultimately, When Strangers Meet explores the rich meanings that are conjured up in experiences of fleeting intimacy and unexpected connection with strangers in brief conversations. Stark renders visible the hidden processes by which we decide who to trust in passing, and the unwritten rules by which these encounters operate. When Strangers Meet teaches readers how to start talking to strangers, and includes adventurous challenges for those who dare. Most of all it’s an education in a new way to love the world.
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