The Four-Dimensional Human
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The Four-Dimensional Human : Ways of Being in the Digital World

3.59 (168 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2015. WINNER OF THE JERWOOD PRIZE. We spend more time than ever online, and the digital revolution is rewiring our sense of what it means to be human. Smartphones let us live in one another's pockets, while websites advertise our spare rooms all across the world. Never before have we been so connected. Increasingly we are coaxed from the three-dimensional world around us and into the wonders of a fourth dimension, a world of digitised experiences in which we can project our idealised selves. But what does it feel like to live in constant connectivity? What new pleases and anxieties are emerging with our exposure to this networked world?How is the relationship to our bodies changing as we head deeper into digital life? Most importantly, how do we exist in public with these recoded inner lives, and how do we preserve our old ideas of isolation, disappearance and privacy on a Google-mapped planet?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 129 x 197 x 17mm | 198g
  • Cornerstone
  • Windmill Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099591898
  • 9780099591894
  • 183,715

Review quote

"A real flirt of a book. It's full of impish gaiety, elegant and lithe in its language, providing intellectual ambushes and startling connections. It examines our evolving notions of publicity, privacy, time-wasting, frivolity, friendship, allegiances, denial, escapism and squalor in the internet age. The teasing, wary optimism is bewitching as well as informative." -- Richard Davenport Spectator, Christmas Books "Scott's references are admirably broad, spanning high and low culture in a layered and complex (and Samuel Johnson shortlisted) account." Financial Times, Books of the Year "In this sequence of almost Montaigne-like essays, blending observation, philosophical inquiry and a highly literary sort of layering, Scott exquisitely articulates not what the digital world can do but how it feels to engage with it. He resists the usual polarisation of debate, capturing instead our "breathless" mix of excitement and unease. Scott's writing is exceptionally fine, and his cultural range extravagant. Describing YouTube's "enveloping of the past", he moves from Ian McEwan to Katie Price. Pondering the phenomenon of digital detox, he recalls EM?Forster's yearning for the greenwood. He flits from Google's Desert View to early Christian hermits, from Airbnb to late-Victorian science fiction - and it is always insightful, never pretentious. An astounding debut." Sunday Times, Thought Book of the Year "Scott is an ideal person to tackle this subject... Moreover, he is both a creative writer and a perceptive literary critic, who leavens his text with some mercurially brilliant turns of phrase and poetic coinages, while at the same time stiffening it up with huge dollops of literary explication and quotation... with his joyful phrase-making and sharp eye for the follies and absurdities of wired life, Scott would be the perfect investigator to report back on what it feels like to be... uploaded." -- Will Self Guardian "A book that delivers a nourishing counterpoint to the ephemerality of the digital age. Scott offers layered and complex thought in a style that is elegant and artful. He has worked long and hard, you imagine, at these thoughts and words - and to prove that it can still be done, despite the glow of distraction emanating from a smartphone inevitably sitting on a table nearby, is worth celebrating in itself." -- Sophie Elmhirst Financial Timesshow more

About Laurence Scott

Laurence Scott is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing. His essays and criticism have appeared in the Guardian, the Financial Times and the London Review of Books, among other publications. In 2011 he was named a 'New Generation Thinker' by the Arts and Humanities Council and the BBC. In 2014 he won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction. He lives in London.show more

Back cover copy

WINNER OF THE JERWOOD PRIZE We spend more time than ever online, and the digital revolution is rewiring our sense of what it means to be human. Smartphones let us live in one anotherâs pockets, while websites advertise our spare rooms all around the world. Never before have we been so connected. Increasingly we are coaxed from the three-dimensional world around us and into the wonders of a fourth dimension, a world of digitised experiences in which we can project our idealised selves. But what does it feel like to live in constant connectivity? What new pleasures and anxieties are emerging with our exposure to this networked world? How is our relationship to our bodies changing as we head deeper into digital life? Most importantly, how do we exist in public with these recoded inner lives, and how do we preserve our old ideas of isolation, disappearance, and privacy on a Google-mapped planet? â[Scott] defines something that many of us feel, a need to resist the relentlessness of immersive technologyâ Observer âMercurially brilliantâ Will Self âA nourishing counterpoint to the ephemerality of the digital ageâ Financial Times â[Scott's] account of what is becoming of us is often beautiful even if unnerving at times... It is certainly worth our attentionâ New Scientistshow more

Review Text

"In this sequence of almost Montaigne-like essays, blending observation, philosophical inquiry and a highly literary sort of layering, Scott exquisitely articulates not what the digital world can do but how it feels to engage with it. He resists the usual polarisation of debate, capturing instead our âbreathlessâ mix of excitement and unease. Scottâs writing is exceptionally fine, and his cultural range extravagant. Describing YouTubeâs âenveloping of the pastâ, he moves from Ian McEwan to Katie Price. Pondering the phenomenon of digital detox, he recalls EM?Forsterâs yearning for the greenwood. He flits from Googleâs Desert View to early Christian hermits, from Airbnb to late-Victorian science fiction â and it is always insightful, never pretentious. An astounding debut."show more

Rating details

168 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 17% (28)
4 42% (70)
3 27% (46)
2 13% (22)
1 1% (2)
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