Tag Archives: digital life

I’m writing a Beginner’s Guide to Technobiophilia – what should be in it?

New book

Do you want to connect better with nature without giving up your wired life? If so, what kind of help do you need?

I’m working on a new book called ‘Feel Better Without Logging Off‘. It will come out as a Kindle this April.

This is the first time I’ve written a Kindle book from scratch and it’s a very interesting and enjoyable experience, although I must admit I’m struggling to get the right cover at the moment.

It’s time  for an antidote to that nagging anxiety about whether you should go on a  digital detox, throw your mobile away, live offline in a forest et cetera.

It doesn’t need to be like that.

So I’m writing a short practical guide to integrating the wired life with the natural world. It includes experiments to try, and it’s designed to be entirely guilt-free.

Background

In 2013 Bloomsbury published ‘Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace’. It was the result of eight years of meticulous research and covered a wide range of topics, with a tone geared towards an academic reader.

It has attracted attention from designers, architects, planners and all kinds of specialists interested in the future of nature, technology and wellbeing. But not everyone wants to read an academic book, plus my research has expanded hugely since it came out.

What do you think?

The book is almost done but I’d like to check I’ve covered everything that should be in there. So please let me know – what would you like to see included?  Please let me know in the comments, or via one of the following:

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Thanks in advance :)

Can you sense where north is? These people can.

Whenever I spend time in the USA  or Canada I’m always intrigued by the way they use compass points for directions. “Go north three blocks, then east two blocks,” helpful people tell me. They assume I know which direction north is, but I don’t have a clue. In the UK we’ve never located ourselves that way. I’m always baffled at how North Americans  actually know which way east or west is. I’m aware it’s often written on street signs, but I’m sure that people are deeply familiar with it in their own neighbourhoods. To me, it seems like a magical sixth sense.

But now I, too, can know where north is. Not just know it, but feel it. Liviu Babitz and Scott Cohen, co-founders of Cyborg Nest, have developed North Sense, “a miniature Artificial Sense, vibrating each time it faces the Magnetic North. Your North Sense will not depend on an internet, it’s a standalone artificial sensory organ, coated in the highest quality body-compatible materials”.

It sounds very exciting: “Our New Sensory Organs take inspiration from animals and nature. Designed by world experts, they require minimal invasion into the body. Once attached, a whole new range of experiences and emotions are unlocked.”

Josie Thaddeus-Johns  met the pair, and saw North Sense in the flesh, as it were. She described how Liviu Babitz opened his collar to reveal a small silicone gadget, the size of a matchbox, attached to his chest with two titanium bars that sit just under the skin. Most resembling a compact bike light, the North Sense that Babitz has attached is an artificial sense organ that delivers a short vibration every time the user faces North. Her article is long, intriguing and well worth the read. Find out more at The Guardian.

 

SURVEY Playing on computers vs playing out in nature. How do your kids balance their time?

Exploring

We live in a world where many kids can use sophisticated technologies but also have access to the wonders of nature, whether it’s the family veg patch or the great outdoors.

I’m writing an article about the ways in which we can make these opportunities work together in harmonious and positive ways, and I’ve love to hear about your own experiences.

If you’re a parent, grandparent, teacher or carer of kids aged between 0-18, I’d be most grateful if you would fill out this short survey.

Many thanks.