How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell | Black Inc.
How to do Nothing

How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

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About the author

Jenny Odell

Jenny Odell is an artist and writer who teaches at Stanford University and has been an artist-in-residence at Facebook, the Internet Archive and the San Francisco Planning Department, among others. She exhibits her art all over the world, and lives …

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Praise for How to do Nothing

‘A manifesto for the internet age.’ —The A.V. Club


‘An invigorating meditation on ways of seeing and being more present … It’s a book that could change you for the better.’—LitHub

‘[Odell] wants to give readers permission to be a human, in a body, in a place.’—The Guardian

‘Thoughtful, compelling, and practical.’—GQ


‘The book we all need to read now. With wonderful precision, passion and artfulness, Odell finds the language to meet this cultural moment. [This is] a joyful manifesto about resistance that is also an eccentric and practical handbook on how to reclaim your colonised and monetised attention.’—Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others


‘Self-help for the collectively minded, How to Do Nothing is as thoughtful and morally serious as it is fun to read. This book will change how you see the world.’—Malcolm Harris, author of Kids These Days


‘Your chaotic, fraught internal weather isn't an accident, it's a business model, and while “thoughtful resistance” isn't “productive”, Odell proves that it is utterly necessary.’—Cory Doctorow, author of Radicalized and Walkaway


‘In a media and tech ecosystem simultaneously obsessed with “digital detox” and building personal brands, How to Do Nothing is a breath of fresh air grounding readers in the complex, interdependent actual ecosystems of the physical world. Jenny Odell writes with remarkable clarity and compassion.’—Ingrid Burrington, author of Networks of New York   


‘Braids threads of ancient philosophy together with contemporary visual and technological culture, and weaves an original route to re-wilding the mind. Wide-ranging and erudite, this book is also entertaining, and brings the reader along with enthusiasm to Odell's philosophy of “manifest dismantling”.’—Megan Prelinger, author of Inside the Machine: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age