In 2020, we were forcibly thrust into the long-promised future of virtual hyper-connectivity. Given this new landscape, Jenny Odell's perceptive analysis of the anxious routines of our online lives has taken on new meaning. Going beyond simple critique, she offers a considered framework for reimagining our relationship with the virtual and the real. Recommended By Emily B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
**A New York Times Bestseller**
A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto. Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review
One of President Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2019
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Time - The New Yorker - NPR - GQ - Elle - Vulture - Fortune - Boing Boing - The Irish Times - The New York Public Library - The Brooklyn Public Library
Porchlight's Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year
In a world where addictive technology is designed to buy and sell our attention, and our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity, it can seem impossible to escape. But in this inspiring field guide to dropping out of the attention economy, artist and critic Jenny Odell shows us how we can still win back our lives.
Odell sees our attention as the most precious — and overdrawn — resource we have. And we must actively and continuously choose how we use it. We might not spend it on things that capitalism has deemed important... but 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 will change how you see your place in our world.
"She struck a hopeful nerve of possibility that I hadn't felt in a long time." Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker
"An erudite and thoughtful narrative about the importance of interiority and taking time to pay close attention to the spaces around us." Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle
"An eloquent argument against the cult of efficiency, and I felt both consoled and invigorated by it." Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Jenny Odell is an artist and writer who teaches at Stanford and has been an artist-in-residence at places like the San Francisco dump, Facebook, the Internet Archive, and the San Francisco Planning Department. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, The Believer, The Paris Review, and McSweeney's, among others. She lives in Oakland.