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Technological nature and human well-being 

Technological nature and human well-being
Chapter:
Technological nature and human well-being
Author(s):

Peter H. Kahn

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198725916.003.0003
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date: 23 October 2021

In terms of physical and psychological well-being, does it matter that on a worldwide level we are replacing interactions with actual nature with technological nature—technologies that mediate, simulate, and augment the natural word? Research from three forms of technological nature are reviewed: a technological nature window, robot pets, and a telegarden. Results suggest that while interacting with technological nature is better than nothing, it is not as good as interacting with real nature. A concern with accepting technological nature is that it can shift the baseline downward for what counts as optimal well-being, as people across generations lose experiences with healthy baselines, a process referred to as environmental generational amnesia. One result is that we ask too little of the idea of urban sustainability, confusing biological living with human flourishing.

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