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Time to Resist the Attention Economy: Time to Do Nothing


In this age when all we do, all we are, who we are, what we are has been priced and monotized, we need to search for a different path, a different meaning to life.

It's not a sign of sophistication, elegance or importance, when somebody tells me that they are insanely busy! Busy doing what, contributing to what, to what end and for what reason?

If they cannot answer these questions satisfactory, then, to my mind, they are not busy, they are totally insane!

In a world of constant distraction seek solitude to attain contentment

Why a Simple Life Matters

Time to make appointments to do nothing!

How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy



‘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.’

Nota bene

A year or so ago, I wrote about how ‘doing nothing’ is the path to happiness, when doing nothing Is doing everything.

I must admit, I was not surprised, given my own feelings and thoughts at the time that, ‘Doing Nothing’ so warmly and positively resonated with readers. Many telling me that the words and sentiments I expressed had touched them, whilst encouraging them to reflect, wonder and seek life’s bigger picture; rethinking their attitude to life in general.

Finding solace, inner-peace and happiness by ‘doing nothing, or being in the presence of  nature is not a new idea, but its sense of escape is increasingly necessary for our survival in this modern life, on call 24/7. 

This is why I am writing about this book and why we should find time to read it. A good way to do a lot, by doing nothing!

How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

‘Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. We find every last minute captured, optimised, or appropriated as a financial resource for the technologies we use daily. We consume algorithmic versions of ourselves, submit our free time to numerical evaluation, and maintain personal brands in digital space. After the American presidential election of 2016, Jenny Odell felt so overstimulated and disoriented by information, misinformation, and the expressions of others, that reality itself seemed to slip away. How To Do Nothing is her action plan for resistance. Drawing on the ethos of tech culture, a background in the arts, and personal storytelling, Jenny Odell makes a powerful argument for refusal: refusal to believe that our lives are instruments to be optimised.’

‘Technology, coupled with economic insecurity, has dissolved boundaries between work, rest and leisure. “What we are left with,” Odell writes, with no small sadness, “[are] 24 potentially monetizable hours … that we can no longer justify spending on ‘nothing’. It ...is simply too expensive.”

This “crisis” forms the basis of Odell’s new book, described as both a “critique of the forces vying for our attention” and an action plan for how to resist them. As a title, How to Do Nothing sounds parodic – I felt a bit self-conscious reading it on the train. Who needs a book to know how to do nothing?... Read more

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