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How I Sub-Contracted My Life (Comment j’ai sous-traité ma vie)

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Original Language: French | 200 pp. | September 2017

2 Seas Represents: World Excl. French.

ESSAY

What would life look like, relieved of all the daily chores?

For several weeks, Nicolas Santolaria tried to sub-contract his private and professional life to robots, software, coaches and applications of his smartphone, to do as little as possible.

Modern man’s daily life is a series of boring tasks: choosing a shirt, going shopping, standing on lines, maintaining one’s aura on social networks, doing paperwork and more… Imagine what would happen if, instead of wearing ourselves out with tedious and time-consuming chores, we could delegate them to other people or to software conceived specifically for that purpose? Over the past few years, more and more of us are handing some of those daily chores to our smartphone apps.

This book proposes taking that to the extreme, and seeing what would happen if we “externalized” everything. Not just domestic chores, but whole sections of our existence. Nowadays, it is possible to sub-contract your work to on-line services, subscribe to receive a new pairs of socks every month, let on-line pick-up artists search for your Mr./Ms. Right, trust in algorithms to choose your outings, have all your meals delivered to your door, and more.

Nicolas Santolaria accepts the challenge of sub-contracting his entire existence, and describes the effects on his mood, his nearest and dearest and his professional relations. Is life without doing anything still a life?

Nicolas Santolaria is a free-lance journalist specialized in new technologies and trends. Most of his work is published in GQ or Le Monde. He is also the author of Touriste regarde où tu poses tes tongs (Tourist, Watch Where You Put Your Flip-Flops Down), an ecolo-comical travel guide (Allary Editions).