How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell shows us how we can still win back our lives 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.
Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, this book 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.
Scroll down to read 15 Quotes from How To Do Nothing By Jenny Odell.
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15 Quotes from How To Do Nothing By Jenny Odell
Our very idea of productivity is premised on the idea of producing something new, whereas we do not tend to see maintenance and care as productive in the same way.
I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out.
My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind. Without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos.
Given that all of the issues that face us demand and understanding of complexity, interrelationship, and nuance, the ability to seek and understand context is nothing less than a collective survival skill.
In such times as these, having recourse to periods of and spaces for “doing nothing” is of utmost importance, because without them we have no way to think, reflect, heal, and sustain ourselves—individually or collectively.
To do nothing is to hold yourself still so that you can perceive what is actually there.
It is with acts of attention that we decide who to hear, who to see, and who in our world has agency. In this way, attention forms the ground not just for love, but for ethics.
Our idea of progress is so bound up with the idea of putting something new in the world that it can feel counterintuitive to equate progress with destruction, removal, and remediation.
Stupidity’s never blind or mute. So it’s not a problem of getting people to express themselves but of providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say.
I consider “doing nothing” both as a kind of deprogramming device and as sustenance for those feeling too disassembled to act meaningfully.
The point of doing nothing, as I define it, isn’t to return to work refreshed and ready to be more productive, but rather to question what we currently perceive as productive.
In a world where our value is determined by our productivity, many of us find our every last minute captured, optimized, or appropriated as a financial resource by the technologies we use daily
To hear is the physical means that enables perception. To listen is to give attention to what is perceived both acoustically and psychologically.
The first half of “doing nothing” is about disengaging from the attention economy; the other half is about reengaging with something else.
When overstimulation has become a fact of life, I suggest that we reimagine #FOMO as #NOMO, the necessity of missing out, or if that bothers you, #NOSMO, the necessity of sometimes missing out.
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