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The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet
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The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
But as science commentator Margaret Wertheim argues in this "marvelously provocative" (Kirkus Reviews) book, cyberspace has in recent years become a repository for immense spiritual yearning. Wertheim explores the 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 fin ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published February 15th 1999)
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Ben Babcock
Space is a difficult word to pin down. Colloquially, it probably conjures images of stars and supernovae, Jupiter and Saturn and Mars, and the shuttle hanging against the backdrop of clouds and the horn of Africa. It is—or was—the Space Age, when we were supposed to go forth and colonize the stars. It didn’t work out that way, but our association of the word with “not of Earth” continues. Space can also refer to a place in which certain interactions happen—or to the places between objects. Space ...more
Jan 11, 2008 Trevor rated it liked it
Shelves: science
This book dies in the arse a bit - the end really isn't nearly as interesting as the start, but the start is really, really interesting.

Story time - a long time ago I became increasingly interested in time and how it related to space. If you understand what I'm about to say it ought to make your head feel a bit funny - so if your head doesn't feel funny in a second you might not have quite understood what I've said. Space expands into time.

I always wanted to stand on the edge of the universe - w
Mark Harris
May 08, 2016 Mark Harris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tracks historical conceptions of space from the medieval times to what--when the book was written--was the present (1999). I found the history traced from Dante through Stephen Hawking to be fascinating and full of insights. I found the rumination on cyberspace to be quaint, since the Internet was at such a nascent stage at that time and today we think about it quite differently. Cool insights: Renaissance painting was the first virtual reality; the discovery of physical laws operating ...more
Nick Mather
Aug 05, 2011 Nick Mather rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book that details how humans project their religious ideals onto changing notions of space. It takes an historical approach and Wertheim concludes that people are now speculating about a religious dimension to cyber space, which is happening. Great read.
Mar 03, 2016 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
despite 'potboiler' format, one of the more interesting volumes of 'popular science'
Recommended as introduction
Palmer Hinchliffe
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Aug 30, 2016
Wayne rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2014
Mar 03, 2016 Leah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
often factually incorrect.
Susanne Parsons
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Feb 25, 2008 Leonardo rated it really liked it
Interesting ideas about cyberspace as yet another mutation of the "heaven" concept.
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