Jenny Odell

‘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 to be productive.’ (How To Do Nothing)

It was interesting to start reading this book at Wilbur recently ( where I carry out my best regular attempts to be non-productive), alongside a New Yorker article by the ever-interesting Jia Tolentino, which had a corollary take on minimalism: suggesting that it has the potential to be not just streamlining, in order to be superior, aethetically pure, and more effective; but as a means to step aside from the constant demands of capitalism.

This reminded me of my occasional term for zazen – radical non-doing – and of the stories I have read about one of the earlies corporate meditation attempts, where Mirabai Bush went into Monsanto, and several of the employees ended up re-evaluating their desire to work for the company.

We need to do more than simply unplug.

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