South Africa: How to Unhack Yourself and Read 20 Books in 2020


Reading dozens of books a year used to be a doddle, but now, you need every trick in the book to unhack yourself from the attention economy. Here's some advice on how to do so.

Friends, readers, internet addicts, lend me your ... attention. It's the scarcest thing going at the moment, as our Palaeolithic brains, alert to the slightest ripple of change in our social group and endlessly gluttonous for any approval that comes our way, are wrestled with and mastered every waking hour by the algorithms that have hacked us.

The start of a new decade - don't come at me with your "when decades begin" conspiracy: it's the Twenties now, people - seems a particularly good time to mount a fightback, though the odds are long, so tightly has the code of a handful of corporations wound itself into our prefrontal cortices.

Fortunately for us, the remedy is within easy reach, if only we had the means to take its full dose over the days and weeks required. If you want to unhack yourself, the answer has always been: read books.

A friend of mine sets himself a single resolution each new year and it's the same...

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