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The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet
Synopses & Reviews
In our day and age cyberspace may seem an unlikely gateway for the soul. But as science commentator Margaret Wertheim argues in this bold new book, cyberspace has more and more become a repository for immense spiritual yearning. Wertheim explores the underpinnings of this mapping of spiritual desire onto digitized space and suggests that the modem today has become a metaphysical escape-hatch from a materialism that many people find increasingly unsatisfying. Proof that we are more than just the atoms of our bodies, cyberspace opens up a collective space beyond the laws of physics — a space where mind rather than matter reigns. And this strange refuge returns us to an almost medieval dualism, with a physical space of body and an immaterial space of mind and psyche.
In a remarkable journey through the history of space, Wertheim traces the combined story of physical space and spiritual space from the Middle Ages to the present, and she shows how reality has come to be defined as the exclusive domain of the physical world. It is against this profoundly materialist world picture that Wertheim, with impeccable scholarship, persuades us of the appeal and the ultimate failure of cyberspace to satisfy spiritual needs.
Book News Annotation:
The author argues that cyberspace has in recent years become a repository for immense spiritual yearning. Seeking to understand this phenomenon, she traces the evolution of our conception of space from the medieval to the modern viewpoint and explores how our conception of our spatial scheme has radically altered over the years. She then brings science and theology together, showing that the spiritualizing of cyberspace fits into a long history of imagined spaces and may be seen as an attempt to realize a technological version of the Christian space of heaven.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Tracing the combined story of physical and spiritual space from the Middle Ages to the present, Wertheim reveals the appeal of cyberspace and its ultimate failure to satisfy one's spiritual needs.
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Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General