Reading List

The Web

Disconnection is our practice of consciously turning away from some things, to create space for other things. This section includes my collection of "paranoia about the internet" books and resources - though this is not the full sum of what disconnection is, it's just a personal focus for me because of the way the internet interacts with memory and time.

Your Undivided Attention (2019-) - Tristan Harris


Podcast | Harris is a former Google employee who now campaigns for a more ethical internet; he's politically liberal, with all the flaws that can bring, but his podcast is still a goldmine of interesting interviewees and new ways to become paranoid about the internet. Meaty, ideas stuff and nicely produced. The rest of the website is also worth dipping into. Listen here

✪ Oldweb Manifesto - Sadness


Webpage | Sadgirl is part of the yesterweb scene, which tries to recapture some of the "fun" of the early internet; this manifesto is a goldmine of articles about the modern internet's worst features, and how older internets (or internets of the future!) could better serve its users. Great collection. When I talk about the web, I quite often hear instinctual replies like "oh but i like the internet because...". This list of essays helps to clarify my position: I'm not opposed to the good parts of the internet but I am deeply troubled by its flaws, and facing those is essential. Read here. There's also a collection of manifestos from Yesterweb netizens, writing about their own visions for a better internet.

The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains (2010) - Nicholas Carr

Book | An interesting take on the internet nonfic book. Starts with the neuroscience of what the invention of books and the clock did to our brains - not mere luddism, then. I'm partway through this.

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (2013) - Jonathan Crary

Book | Unread. "examines how this interminable non-time blurs any separation between an intensified, ubiquitous consumerism and emerging strategies of control and surveillance. He describes the ongoing management of individual attentiveness and the impairment of perception within the compulsory routines of contemporary technological culture. At the same time, he shows that human sleep, as a restorative withdrawal that is intrinsically incompatible with 24/7 capitalism, points to other more formidable and collective refusals of world-destroying patterns of growth and accumulation."

Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (2018) - Jason Lanier

Book | I disliked this; even as someone very amenable to Lanier's argument, I don't think he lands it. His political understanding feels unfinished and, consequently, this book lacks power

You Are Not A Gadget (2011) - Jason Lanier

Book | Unread.

No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior (1985) - Joshua Meyrowitz

Book | Unread. Vintage book on the impact of television on society; "How have changes in media affected our everyday experience, behavior, and sense of identity? Meyrowitz shows how television and other electronic media have created new social situations that are no longer shaped by where we are or who is with us. While other media experts have limited the debate to message content, Meyrowitz focuses on the ways in which changes in media rearrange who knows what about whom and who knows what compared to whom, making it impossible for us to behave with each other in traditional ways."

Deep Work (2016) - Cal Newport

Book | Unread. A friend recommends this as much better than Digital Minimalism.

✪ Wages for Facebook (2014) - Laurel Ptak


Book | Thought provoking essay, arguing that we do unpaid work for Facebook (and other similar web barons), to produce wealth for website owners that we will never see or share. Read it; and more background on the project here: