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If you can hack a computer’s software, can you hack a person’s life? During the first part of the 21st century, a wave of optimistic tech geeks thought so, proclaiming that the way to increase productivity—from sleeping efficiently to removing household stains—was to find and exploit shortcuts in the way we “code” daily life. Hettie O’Brien charts the rise and eventual mutation of an early internet philosophy.

Wake up. Make your bed before drinking a cup of “titanium tea” mixed from two varieties of leaf, a tablespoon of coconut oil, grass-fed butter and a pinch of turmeric. Meditate for 20 minutes, followed by a two-minute decompression period. Complete 20 minutes of light exercise and spend five minutes committing your thoughts to the pages of a journal. You are now ready—finally—to begin the day. This may all sound excessive, but these instructions form the morning routine of a

  • Words:
    Hettie O'Brien

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