Resensie – How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

How to Do Nothing

Outeur: Jenny Odell

'n Baie interessante boek. Nie 'n maklike lees nie, maar as jy eers begin lees gaan jy ook nie die boek neersit nie. Die boek gaan iets aan jou doen, en of dit jou gaan ongemaklik stem, deurmekaar maak of net laat nuut dink, dié is 'n moet lees! Hier is 'n uittreksel uit die boekresensent Anna Wiener se skrywe:

"Nearly everyone I know who's read Jenny Odell's How to Do Nothing had told me that it inspired something akin to a personal crisis.

The book, Odell's first, is equal parts philosophical self-help and environmentalist tract, and it offers a fresh mode for thinking about life under technocapitalism – and also some suggestions for what might be done. Odell is particularly interested in questioning the assumptions and incentives of the digital economy. The perversions that spring from productivity culture (to say nothing of attention as a currency and a resource) are corrosive not only on the individual level, she argues, but on a larger, social scale. She draws comparisons between the Internet and the natural world, making a case for the long-term maintenance of self, community, and place, both online and off. ("I see little difference between habitat restoration in the traditional sense and restoring habitats for human thoughts," she writes.)

Self-care, in this model, is not commodified self-indulgence; it's a form of preservation enacted by reclaiming and reallocating one's attention. Odell is an artist, and her medium, often, is context – historicization, depth, analysis. This seems fitting. In a year in which the boundaries of cruelty and indifference stretched and expanded, there was also, among a certain set, a quieting or refocussing. In my own circles, some people disappeared periodically from Twitter and Facebook.

A few grew more knowledgeable about plants and birds, or listened, with great conscientiousness, to non-algorithmic public radio. Most importantly, they began to ground themselves locally and socially and to reconsider where they placed value. The personal crises, it seems, had been productive." – Anna Wiener



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