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Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace by [Thomas, Sue]
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Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace 1st , Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Review

"The book is about a powerful subliminal urge by our entire species to hang onto our connection to the natural world, as we are pulled deeper into the digital age...It is good to find someone like Thomas who loves nature but is not an anti-technologist. Her book is the beginning of a line of thinking that needs to be expanded by those who are deeply concerned about the effects of our addiction to technology. The book reinforces the idea that if human problems are exacerbated by technology, as they certainly are, doesn't it make sense to use technology to ameliorate human problems...Thomas book is filled with well-documented, transdisciplinary, theoretical arguments for the many researchers who should begin working in this field;, but it is a good read for general audiences...I kept reading because I want to see where the personal story leads. What happens to her suggest some things that we ought to make happen for ourselves far more often than we do." - Gregory Davis, "Psychology Today""" "[Susan Thomas] discusses the biophilic needs of a huge number of users, arguing that restorative qualities of nature affect brain functioning capacities. And after an articulate discourse involving quite different cultural fields, it's clear that integrating these two planets (as she defines them: the one "beneath our feet" and the one "inside our machines"), should be the most natural way to balance our digital life, rather than drastic 'digital detox' cures, or addictive indulgence in self-gratifying screen-based loops." - Alessandro Ludovico, "Neural"

The book is about a powerful subliminal urge by our entire species to hang onto our connection to the natural world, as we are pulled deeper into the digital age...It is good to find someone like Thomas who loves nature but is not an anti-technologist. Her book is the beginning of a line of thinking that needs to be expanded by those who are deeply concerned about the effects of our addiction to technology. The book reinforces the idea that if human problems are exacerbated by technology, as they certainly are, doesn't it make sense to use technology to ameliorate human problems...Thomas book is filled with well-documented, transdisciplinary, theoretical arguments for the many researchers who should begin working in this field;, but it is a good read for general audiences...I kept reading because I want to see where the personal story leads. What happens to her suggest some things that we ought to make happen for ourselves far more often than we do. "Gregory Davis, Psychology Today"

[Susan Thomas] discusses the biophilic needs of a huge number of users, arguing that restorative qualities of nature affect brain functioning capacities. And after an articulate discourse involving quite different cultural fields, it's clear that integrating these two planets (as she defines them: the one "beneath our feet" and the one "inside our machines"), should be the most natural way to balance our digital life, rather than drastic digital detox' cures, or addictive indulgence in self-gratifying screen-based loops "Alessandro Ludovico, Neural""

About the Author

Sue Thomas is a Research Professor of New Media in the Institute of Creative Technologies and the Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities at De Montfort University, UK. Her research interests include biophilia, social media, transliteracy, transdisciplinarity and future foresight. Her previous books include Correspondence (1992), short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and Hello World: travels in virtuality (2004), a travelogue/memoir of life online. She lives in Bournemouth, Dorset. www.suethomas.net

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1776 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EWOLDJW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,245,146 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a fascinating and wide-ranging overview of a topic that many will have been aware of, but never properly thought about - the fact that so much of our use of modern IT relies on metaphors related to nature. For example, the terms such as web, spider, crawl, mouse, safari, bug, cloud, and the concept of cyberspace as a place you can explore and interact with. The author has created a fascinating and very personal account of these phenomena and her interpretation of why we tend to use such metaphors, drawing from an incredibly wide range of sources together with her interpretation of her interviews with some of the key players. The result is an intelligent, challenging, very personal and thought-provoking book.

I would have liked to have learned if anyone had studied the use of nature-based images on screen savers; the author says there has been nothing written on the subject, but I find that hard to believe. Recommended for anyone interested in exploring the concept of the reliance of IT on metaphors based on nature. This book claims there is something fundamental in our psyche which makes this so. Read it, and see if you agree.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For my Masters project in Computer Science, I decided to go a little renegade and create a topic that seemed a little out there. I was determined to examine the use of Biophilia and see if it could influence GUI design fusing the natural with man-made design. (If you're not sure what Biophilia is, here's a crude breakdown: Man has an evolutionary advantage by looking after the environment and has an innate connection with nature.) However, there was next to nothing when going to google scholar regarding the mention of the Biophilia Hypothesis. More or less two weeks from hand-in date this book popped into the results which was lucky and extremely useful in backing up some claims I had regarding the calming influences of nature. The author was incredibly helpful in pointing out several references that were relevant to my project.

It is the first book that I have really seen that uses the Biophilia Hypothesis as a starting point to thoroughly examine nature's influence on technological design.
If you are a UX designer, this may be a point of interest and potentially full of new ideas to take onboard.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Technobiophilia brings together many disciplines to explore the convergence of exposure to nature and technological use in our modern world. Whilst the term technobiophilia is, as Thomas admits herself, rather clumsy, and ill-defined, it opens the much needed discussion, and in particular raise awareness to the innate affiliation we have to nature, which needs nurturing.

The book brings together many examples, anecdotes and case studies which is interesting and accessible, though is not the first on these topics. Peter Kahn has done extensive research on the effects of technological nature and health in his book of the same name. What Thomas does successfully here is synthesise many areas of interest through years of research and present them coherently.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fascinating book by a key figure in some of the most exciting aspects of digital and literary culture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars virtual nature and wellbeing 23 Feb. 2014
By jean marie larson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This provocative book examines how nature is our grounding force even while we race away from it towards the newest and best technology.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Are you English and annnoyed by Americanisms? Get this book 22 Sept. 2014
By Eugene N. Miya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the author's 2nd non-fiction book (I think). Her first non-fiction book titled "Hello World" was a travelogue of a life lived online from an English perspective.

Dr. Thomas, a prof. of communication, has written an early set of observations of life online. Perhaps the reader has heard of the author C.P. Snow and his essay "The Two Cultures"? This book is for the first culture, the traditional literary culture coming into this new age. I also used these opening lines for "Hello World." What's new about this book is Sue's observations of the natural and biological world.

An excellent early (1992) cover of "Surfing the Internet" is the inspiring image for Sue's book. England is not normally associated with surfing. Where did the selection of this word appear? And why for technology? We see comments on the first stages of Internet addiction and preliminary ways how to deal with it at the end of the book.

The author makes a real life pilgrimage to California where the English language is accelerating change (Culture #1 in England doesn't like this Americanisation). I should note that I live in this area (3rd generation) and am familiar with some of the players (unfortunately several have passed away or moved). I went to college here and had some involvement with the early ARPAnet. The author doesn't quite get some of the ideas behind the net right, but those are minors details.

The title is derived from E. O. Wilson's Biophilia ideas. Does these ideas extend to non-biological technology? Read for yourself. Convince your local Public Library to get this book, even if you think its dated. Buy this book, help the author write the successor to it and document the latest on where the English language is going.

My copy was given to me for evaluation by the author.
5.0 out of 5 stars Concerned about health in the digital age? Technobiophilia made me rethink the impact of my devices 27 Jan. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sue Thomas provides a unique perspective on the evolution of technology and its relationship to our health and the natural world. Having lived in San Francisco for the last few years, I found in technobiophilia a particularly insightful conversation especially as it is becoming more and more relevant with companies like Apple incorporating technobiophilia into their products in response to growing consumer demand. I would recommend technobiophilia to anyone with an interest in health, technology or the environment (and especially if you have an interest in all 3). If you mostly want tips on how to improve your health using (or not using) your digital devices, then check out the last chapter.
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