Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Man in the Google Glasses

Google is busy inventing wearable technology. It's closer to reality than you think. In his NY Times piece, "The Man in the Google Glasses," Ross Douthat contemplates the "sense of isolation that coexists with our technological mastery."
"The Man in the Google Glasses lives alone, in a drab, impersonal apartment. He meets a friend for coffee, but the video cuts away from this live interaction, leaping ahead to the moment when he snaps a photo of some “cool” graffiti and shares it online. He has a significant other, but she’s far enough away that when sunset arrives, he climbs up on a roof and shares it with her via video, while she grins from a window at the bottom of his field of vision. He is, in other words, a characteristic 21st-century American, more electronically networked but more personally isolated than ever before. ... In this kind of world, the Man in the Google Glasses might feel like a king of infinite space. But he’d actually be inhabiting a comfortable, full-service cage."
As the future rushes over us, we would be wise to consider the words of poet Thomas Merton: "Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it."

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