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To do nothing: On rediscovering life outside the algorithms.


I believe in an ecological model of the self, where it's actually hard to draw a hard line around the boundary of the self - and to accept that makes you open to surprise, to learning new things, to becoming a different person. And that's the opposite of the personal brand, and the optimized, streamlined self which comes out of the idea that you should have an identifiable and unchanging pattern of preferences - which ultimately makes it easier to advertise to.

Artist Jenny Odell makes the case for reclaiming time, and attention, from the demands of capitalism - as the attention economy of social media colonizes and commodifies more of our daily life, we must learn how to redirect our focus toward exploring our world and each other, unmediated by algorithms and brands.

Jenny is author of How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy from Melville House.

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Jenny Odell

Jenny Odell is a writer and artist.


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