The timeliness of The Four-Dimensional Human is illustrated by the fact that I was unable to make it through a single chapter without occasionally pausing (albeit momentarily) to check the internet. This is a grim admission, but I feel able to make it in the bright light of one of Laurence Scott’s own confessions: that he once felt the sting of irritation at the lack of a reply from the recipient of a postcard that was yet to be posted.
Don’t misunderstand me. It’s not that Scott’s book fails to sustain one’s interest. Quite the opposite: this is a brisk, important, funny and thoroughly absorbing work. The culpability (be it born of evolution or corruption) is all mine. But I am not – and Scott’s text backs me up here – unique in this. I, like Scott, have been ‘freshly coded with certain expectations of the world’ – namely,