How Reading Books Instead Of News Made Me A Better Citizen

In this new essay for Techdirt, I share an "attention experiment" I conducted during the 2016 election that was life-changing—and ultimately inspired the Analog Series. The lessons I learned from it feel uncomfortably relevant today.

Here's a taste:
Reading was no longer an exercise in rubbernecking and literature armed me to face the challenges of the present with fresh eyes, seek out other points of view, and put the political turmoil into perspective. Taking ownership of my media diet turned the stories I read into sources of strength, fuel to fire my own personal and public life.
And:
We are what we pay attention to. The stories we read don't just inform, entertain, or inspire, they shape our identities, become a part of us.
Complement with this Chicago Review of Books interview about the power of social media, using science fiction to imagine the future of the web, and imagining new institutions for the internet age.

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Eliot Peper is the author of Breach, Borderless, Bandwidth, Cumulus, True Blue, Neon Fever Dream, and the Uncommon Series. His writing has appeared in the Verge, Tor.comHarvard Business Review, VICE, OneZero, TechCrunch, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and he has given talks at Google, Comic Con, Future in Review, and SXSW.

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