"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, April 29, 2013

Google Glasses

Here's a report on Google Glasses that is very very positive about a product that may very soon be as ubiquitous as smart phones.  From what I can tell, the picture feature seems to be the most revolutionary application, enabling the wearer to basically make a record in real time of whatever's happening, without fumbling for a camera.   All he has to say is "OK, Glass.   Take a Picture."   Wow. 

On the other hand, the technological revolutions that people lived through in the first half of the 20th century were all about individuals becoming more able to experience more of the world -- they were directed outward.   The automobile gave individuals vast new freedom and made their worlds much much bigger, while the airplane allowed individuals to see much much more of their world.   The technological revolutions of the 21st Century, by contrast, are directed inward.   The personal computer, the Internet, the cell phone, the tablet computer, and now the Google Glasses, seem to permit the individual to retreat into his own little world of information, just as texting and social media seems to permit people to retreat into the cocoons of their own circle of "friends."  

Maybe.   I could probably make the opposite argument too.   Anyway, who knows where we're going to be in another few years.   I never imagined that I could have all 162 Cardinals games on my laptop, or a worldwide bookstore on a Kindle, or this crummy little blog either.   It's all a blur.

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