Bookshelf — How to Do Nothing


Jun 12, 2023

(modified Jul 10, 2023)

How to Do Nothing book cover - title in white text on dark green foliage and pink and white clustered flowers. The tagline reads 'Resisting the Attention Economy'.

This week I finished Jenny Odell’s How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. The author’s attention to the historical context of alterative socio-political organization as well as to the evolution of information infrastructure in our communities made it an entertaining read.

From my Literal review:

Well-researched, with interesting historical perspectives on the merits of publicly and conscientiously objecting to the harmful aspects of our society versus the innate urge to escape and abstain. Odell makes a contemplative and compelling argument for breaking the patterns of distraction upheld by the attention economy in order to boldly practice care for the natural world and the others in our communities.

This work encouraged me to re-evaluate my habits, to protect my space and energy to allow organization with others on a human scale, and to remain open to the disassembly of those fixtures of “progress” that don’t stand up to rigorous sustainable or ethical standards.

This marks 3 books finished this year. The prospects of reaching my goal of 12 are looking grim, but I’m feeling quite optimistic about quality over quantity in this case — so, onward as life allows.

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