Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World (2016) Book Review

The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World (2016)
by Laurence Scott

"You are a four-dimensional human. Each of us exists in three-dimensional, physical space. But, as a constellation of everyday digital phenomena rewires our lives, we are increasingly coaxed from the containment of our pre-digital selves into a wonderful and eerie fourth dimension, a world of ceaseless communication, instant information, and global connection." This is what it means by the four-dimensional human today.

This is predominantly a philosophical and existential book of musings of our entry into an existence in the digital world. Lawrence discusses how things have changed due to digitization and the dynamics of social media and how we have evolved to use it for better or worse. Lawrence takes us on a journey through modern-day digital workings, evaluating where the line now blurs between where our physical presence ends and online/digital begins. He also attempts to answers questions like, how have phone calls changed? Do we catch up with friends any more, or do we just confirm what we already have learned from social media profiles? Will the internet be able to unite race, gender, and sexual orientation? Is this shared consciousness or hive mind we have created help or hinder us? Is originality going out the window? and many more.

This book also talks us through how death and mourning have changed due to the family being able to carry on the memory of their loved one through social media, and also people's pain and suffering is so available to everyone they know. Lawrence explains that how we treat people has changed due to social media, how we may forget people quicker if they don't share, like our content or interact. Digitisation can affect your home life, work life and social life in so many different ways and the author takes us through those eventualities and shows us what can happen.

There are some sad truths here, but with negativity comes positivity and there is plenty of positive thoughts and opinions that weave themselves through this thought inducing and life-changing material. Are we more united due to the internet? Is having a clearer picture of the companies we buy from good for the soul? We can see more of the world than ever before and with exploring comes perspective, and there is plenty of perspectives here! [P.s: Although I think that the author could write better if he organized his material properly and orderly, and by making this book shorter and concise I bet he will attract more (simple) readers. Btw, I borrowed this book from UCSI Sarawak library. Thanks!].

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