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Podcast #400: The Tyranny of Convenience | The Art of Manliness

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Modern life has given us lots of conveniences. With a tap of your smartphone screen, and without leaving the house, you can order a car to your door or a hot dinner, or even replenish your toilet paper supply. Right now, you’re listening to this podcast how and when you want to. Yes, life is good in the 21st century.

But what if there’s such a thing as too much convenience? What if it’s actually enslaving us in some strange way?

That’s what my guest today argues. His name is Tim Wu, he’s a professor of law at Columbia Law School and the author of several books, including The Attention Merchants. Today on the show, Tim and I discuss the tyranny of convenience. We begin with a brief history of convenience, discussing how it became a driving force in the economy in the late 19th century and how Tim believes we’re at the beginning of a second convenience revolution. We then discuss how convenience can make us feel more free and unique, but actually limits our freedom and makes us like everyone else. Tim then shares ideas on how to inject some healthy inconvenience in your life for more happiness, freedom, and fulfillment.

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