Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace

Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace
by Sue Thomas

“This book is for anyone who uses the internet, from beginners to the obsessed. It is also, you may be surprised to learn, for nature lovers everywhere. But rest assured: I am not going to tell you to turn off your computer and go outside, which may be what you are expecting. Instead, I plan to demonstrate the ways in which nature intertwines with the wired life to provide unexpected benefits such as an improved attention span, a rested mind, and enhanced creativity. I will show that the natural world has been woven into the internet since its earliest beginnings and that there need not be an either/or choice between technology and well-being.”

Why are there so many nature metaphors – clouds, rivers, streams, viruses, and bugs – in the language of the internet? Why do we adorn our screens with exotic images of forests, waterfalls, animals and beaches?

tbjacketbloomsburyIn Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace, Sue Thomas interrogates the prevalence online of nature-derived metaphors and imagery and come to a surprising conclusion. The root of this trend, she believes, lies in biophilia, defined by biologist E.O. Wilson as ‘the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes’.  In this wide-ranging transdisciplinary study she explores the strong thread of biophilia which runs through our online lives, a phenomenon she calls ‘technobiophilia’, or, the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology’.  The restorative qualities of biophilia can alleviate mental fatigue and enhance our capacity for directed attention, soothing our connected minds and easing our relationship with computers.

This book offers new insights on what is commonly known as ‘work-life balance’. It draws on a long history of literature on nature and technology to explore ways in which we might make our peace with technology-induced anxiety and achieve a ‘tech-nature balance’ through practical experiments designed to enhance our digital lives indoors, outdoors, and online.

Chapters
1. A place so new that some things still lack names
2. How nature soothes our connected minds
3. Cybernetic meadows: The California connection
4. An enormous, unbounded world
5. Organisms
6. Living deliberately

Press queries about Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace should go to Bloomsbury Publishing:

UK
Charlotte Rose
Marketing Executive
Religious Studies | Film & Media | Music & Sound | Linguistics
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP
Tel: 0207 631 5600
Charlotte.Rose@bloomsbury.com

USA
Tanya Leet
Marketing Manager
Film & Media Studies, Food Studies, Music & Sound Studies, Philosophy, Politics & Sociology
Bloomsbury Academic
1385 Broadway
5th Floor
New York, NY 10018
212.419.5320
Tanya.Leet@bloomsbury.com