The future’s so bright I gotta wear Glass

shiva

“It’s coming,” said Google Xer Mary Lou Jepsen last week. “I don’t think it’s stoppable.” She’s referring, of course, to Glass, Google’s much anticipated head-mountable. “I’ve thought for many years that a laptop is an extension of my mind,” she continued. “Why not have it closer to my mind?” Hmm. Next time I see Spock, I’m going to have to ask him if that’s logical. In the meantime, I will sleep with my Air under my pillow, just in case.

“You become addicted to the speed of it,” Jepsen confessed. Like all junkies, she craves more. Glass is just the “Model T” of wearables. In the churning bowels of the company’s secret lab, she let on, new and even zippier generations of mind-melding computers are already taking shape. “I’m now running a super-secret, stealth part of Google X that I can’t tell you anything about today. I’m really sorry. Maybe next year. Probably next year.” Jepsen said that she and her team are only sleeping three hours a night. That’s how important their work is.

Michael Sacasas sees Jepsen’s words as yet another manifestation of what he terms the Borg Complex — the quasi-religious belief that computer technology is an inexorable force carrying us to a better world. Only losers would be so foolish as to resist. Earlier this year, Eric Schmidt gave the starkest expression of this view. Also speaking of Glass, he said: “Our goal is to make the world better. We’ll take the criticism along the way, but criticisms are inevitably from people who are afraid of change or who have not figured out that there will be an adaptation of society to it.” Inevitably. Schmidt, in his benighted fashion, wants to imbue adaptation, a fundamentally amoral process, with a moral glow. To adapt is to improve, history and biology be damned.

There is no greater arrogance than the arrogance of those who assume their intentions justify their actions.

8 Comments

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8 Responses to The future’s so bright I gotta wear Glass

  1. Bridgette

    This is helping me get through this Google Professional Day at my school district. This is awful and soul-crushing.

  2. Roxie

    This has helped me to re-evaluate my math/stat major. Perhaps the humanities was a better idea.

  3. Ed Vanstranden

    Given their warped worldview, these people are not to be trusted with their “Don’t be evil” motto.

  4. BKT

    This is pretty sad stuff.

  5. And Google also has Nietzsche as a logo today.

    “These Englishmen are no race of philosophers. Bacon signifies an attack on the spirit of philosophy in general; Hobbes, Hume, and Locke have been a debasement and a devaluing of the idea of a “philosopher” for more than a century. Kant raised himself and rose up in reaction against Hume. It was Locke of whom Schelling was entitled to say, “Je méprise Locke” [I despise Locke]. In the struggle with the English mechanistic dumbing down of the world, Hegel and Schopenhauer (along with Goethe) were unanimous – both of these hostile fraternal geniuses in philosophy, who moved away from each other towards opposite poles of the German spirit and in the process wronged each other, as only brothers can.13 What’s lacking in England, and what has always been missing, that’s something that semi-actor and rhetorician Carlyle understood well enough, the tasteless muddle-headed Carlyle, who tried to conceal under his passionate grimaces what he understood about himself, that is, what was lacking in Carlyle – a real power of spirituality, a real profundity of spiritual insight, in short, philosophy.14 It is characteristic of such an unphilosophical race that it clings strongly to Christianity. They need its discipline to develop their “moralizing” and humanizing. The Englishman is more gloomy, more sensual, stronger willed, and more brutal than the German – he is also for that very reason, as the more vulgar of the two, more pious than the German. He is even more in need of Christianity. For more refined nostrils this same English Christianity has still a lingering and truly English smell of spleen and alcoholic dissipation, against which it is used for good reasons as a medicinal remedy – that is, the more delicate poison against the coarser one. Among crude people, a subtler poisoning is, in fact, already progress, a step towards spiritualization. The crudity and peasant seriousness of the English are still most tolerably disguised or, stated more precisely, interpreted and given new meaning, by the language of Christian gestures and by prayers and singing psalms. And for those drunken and dissolute cattle who in earlier times learned to make moral grunts under the influence of Methodism and more recently once again as the “Salvation Army,” a twitch of repentance may really be, relatively speaking, the highest achievement of “humanity” to which they can be raised: that much we can, in all fairness, concede. ”
    (beyond good and evil chapter VIII)

  6. Bret Carroll

    “If the ends don’t justify the means, what does?” – Robert Moses

  7. Chris

    I don’t think they consider their intentions at all; they firmly believe that their actions are the only way forward, the only means of progress.

  8. Daniel Cole

    What does it mean “take the criticism along the way” when you believe anyone who criticizes you to be a backwards coward with his/her head in the sand? I assume “take” in that sentence must be standing in for “ignore”.

    The thing that’s so creepy about the Church of Google is how easy it is to worship without realizing it, and how hard it is to avoid it once you have. I’ve only been sitting at the computer for a few minutes, but I suspect I’ve already helped a few donations make their way into the collection plate.