What a scholar learned from studying the world of life-hackers

Joseph Reagle’s new book about life-hacking has the word “discontents” right in the subtitle, but he wants to be clear that it’s not a screed against the practice or the culture. In fact, Reagle, a professor of communication studies at Northeastern University, says that he recognized something of himself while writing the book.

“I’m a fairly geeky person and fairly hacker-y myself,” he says. For example, he wrote the book Hacking Life: Systemized Living and Its Discontents using the classic time-management tip of doing 50-minute chunks of work with 5- to 10-minute breaks in between. Hacking Life is a history and exploration of life-hacking, from hacking motivation to hacking spiritual meaning. It’s not meant to damn anyone who has ever…

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