The Pros and Cons of Life Hacking

I’ve been meaning to blog about Clive Thompson’s NYT Magazine article on life hacking for a week now, but, as it happens, I’ve been operating on “continuous partial attention” myself since, oh, I don’t know, weeks, months, maybe years even.

While the science Thompson describes is fascinating–when is the perfect moment to interrupt someone at work?–I tremble thinking how this science will eventually be put to use: making us more productive workers.

Taylorism was nothing compared to what the good people at Microsoft are cooking up, with their studies of attentions spans, interruption cycles, and multitasking management.

The whole idea behind the anarchic-sounding life hacking, it seems to me, is to simplify your life, not so you can enjoy it more, but so that you can increase your productivity. Even the famous hipster PDA presumes that efficiency and work are the most important things in your life.

I don’t want to hack my life so that I can work more and work better. I want to work less.

Play is an endangered species.