This lecture uncovers a hidden literacy in the way we think about nature in cyberspace. 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? In her new book ‘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 lecture, which marks the US launch of the book, 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. More information at www.suethomas.net
This lecture was part of a series of Fall guest lectures exploring the intriguing new concept of metaliteracy developed by Tom Mackey and Trudi Jacobson, and it was presented live in the new Metaliteracy MOOC. The MOOC is open to students at the University at Albany and Empire State College for credit as well as to all global participants as a free and open learning experience. http://metaliteracy.cdlprojects.com/index.html
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