#63 – Reagle on the Ethics of Life Hacking

Joseph Reagle

In this episode I talk to Joseph Reagle. Joseph is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University and a former fellow (in 1998 and 2010) and faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. He is the author of several books and papers about digital media and the social implications of digital technology. Our conversation focuses on his most recent book: Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents (MIT Press 2019).

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and a variety of other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).


Show Notes

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:52 – What is life-hacking? The four features of life-hacking
  • 4:20 – Life Hacking as Self Help for the 21st Century
  • 7:00 – How does technology facilitate life hacking?
  • 12:12 – How can we hack time?
  • 20:00 – How can we hack motivation?
  • 27:00 – How can we hack our relationships?
  • 31:00 – The Problem with Pick-Up Artists
  • 34:10 – Hacking Health and Meaning
  • 39:12 – The epistemic problems of self-experimentation
  • 49:05 – The dangers of metric fixation
  • 54:20 – The social impact of life-hacking
  • 57:35 – Is life hacking too individualistic? Should we focus more on systemic problems?
  • 1:03:15 – Does life hacking encourage a less intuitive and less authentic mode of living?
  • 1:08:40 – Conclusion (with some further thoughts on inequality)


Relevant Links

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