How to Do Nothing

How to Do Nothing

Resisting the Attention Economy

eBook - 2019
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"A galvanizing critique of the forces vying for our attention--and our personal information--that redefines what we think of as productivity, reconnects us with the environment, and reveals all that we've been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. But in a world where our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity. doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance. So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it). Odell sees our attention as the most precious--and overdrawn--resource we have. Once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind's role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress. Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent"-- Provided by publisher.
"When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as . . . doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism, and to become more meaningfully connected in the process"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Brooklyn, NY : Melville House, [2019]
ISBN: 9781612197500
Branch Call Number: OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Aug 17, 2019

I liked many of the ideas in this book, but it was challenging. It's really a philosophical work on why we should disengage from the "attention economy" embodied by facebook, Twitter, and Google. But it's deeper than that. She suggests we need to become more connected to our community and our local ecology. After reading this book, my wife and I went to Oakland to try to find "The Old Survivor," the last old-growth redwood tree in the Oakland hills. We were successful. I now also want to visit the Oakland Rose Garden.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Jun 23, 2019

It was interesting to read this soon after reading Cal Newport's "Digital Minimalism"; Newport's book feels like an intro-level course, offering a strong case for why we all need to put down our phones, as well as practical tips for actually reclaiming your life from your device. Odell's book, on the other hand, feels like a 400-level course, with a much more philosophical bent than Newport's. She's not interested in telling you how to reclaim your time, just in convincing you of the necessity of doing so. Similarly, she doesn't spend much time talking about digital devices themselves -- she's more interested in the larger theme of attention, and what we choose to devote it to. It made for an interesting, thought-provoking read; I often found myself wishing for a bit more cohesion, however. By the end, I understood generally what she was saying, but thought it could have been argued more coherently. Still, there's lots of food for thought to be found within these pages.

debwalker May 25, 2019

Time to rediscover the real.


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