Jenny Odell

‘One thing I have learned about attention is that certain forms of it are contagious. When you spend enough time with someone who pays close attention to something (if you were hanging out with me, it would be birds), you inevitably start to pay attention to some of the same things. I’ve also learned that patterns of attention – what we choose to notice and what we don’t – are how we render reality for ourselves, and thus have a direct bearing on what we feel is possible at any given time. These aspects, taken together, suggest to me the revolutionary potential of taking back our attention. To capitalist logic, which thrives on myopia and dissatisfaction, there may indeed be something dangerous about something as pedestrian as doing nothing: escaping laterally toward each other, we might just find that everything we wanted is already here.’ (How To Do Nothing)

This is the radical premise of this book – that we can take back the power of our way of negotiating with the world, first by being conscious of what and how it actually is at any moment. I cannot help but invoke the passage by Joanna Macy alongside this.

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