How to Do Nothing

Resisting the Attention Economy

paperback, 256 pages

Published Aug. 11, 2020 by Melville House.

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5 stars (1 review)

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 …

4 editions

If you want to read philosophy/anthropology that talks about federated social networks...

5 stars

Densely packed with insights and a critical reading of the philosophy of place and of work. Anti-capitalist and introspective. Often surprising in its approach and conclusions. An excellent piece about resistance.

Turned me on to Mastodon and other federated, decentralized and anti-corporate forms of social media, as well as bioregionalism