Thoughts on Google Glass

It’s probably about time I write another blog post. I’ve been rather devoid of inspiration ever since Glitch closed, but my blog and its shiny new theme (thanks hounsell!) are kind of sitting here collecting dust, and I’ve decided I probably need to blog more often. I know this is my own personal space, but in the past couple of years, I’ve grown rather self-conscious about the stuff I post. I need to get over that.

Anyway, I was going to post a personal rant on my birthday, but decided against it. I also planned to write a review or two of Ubuntu Touch (the demos looked so amazing and I planned to shower it with praise), but then I actually tried it and it’s awful. “Woefully incomplete” is an understatement. Those demo videos left me feeling like Android is a last-gen OS, but the product hasn’t lived up to the demos, so there is no next-gen OS to switch to (for those who don’t follow me on Twitter, I’ve recently switched to Android and a Nexus 4, which truly feels like a next-gen device as compared to my iPhone 4S; I might still write a post soon writing my thoughts on the switch).

Regardless, my intent today was to write a post about Google Glass. For the most part, it’s a rant. Not a rant about Google Glass. Ignorant commenters on articles about the product are already doing a great job of spewing out cynical nonsense; I feel no need to assist them. I’ll instead be ranting about these ignorant commenters and the ridiculous arguments they pose over and over again (the way I see it, there are three).

1. I’ll look ridiculous wearing it!

Nope. You’ll look like a spy from the future, and that’s awesome. Why would you not want to look like a spy from the future? Not to mention, I don’t think I want to look “socially acceptable,” since in today’s society, that means gold chains and pants pulled halfway down one’s legs such that one’s underwear is visible. People are walking around looking like complete douchebags (even worse than what I just described, look at the cast of Jersey Shore), and you complain about a pair of futuristic-looking glasses? I don’t get it. I really, really don’t get it (maybe it’s just because I have no social credibility to lose anyway, so… why not?).

2. It’s too expensive!

There’s two ways of looking at this one, one of which actually has some merit (but not much). And that way is “It isn’t cheap enough for me to afford it.” It probably isn’t. Let’s assume “It’ll retail for less than $1500” means “It’ll retail for $1499.” For non-geeks, that’s no impulse buy. But non-geeks just spend their money elsewhere, on other expensive toys. It isn’t my problem, or Google’s, that you just bought a new Mercedes-Benz and can’t afford Google Glass now. Not to mention, if you don’t already budget for new tech toys, you’re probably not part of the target market anyway. This is for addicts like me who can’t last five seconds without being in front of a computer screen.

The other way of looking at it is “It’s too expensive for what it is.” Nope. This is brand new technology. It’s no easy feat to fit a computer into a device that small, and then actually display its data unobtrusively. This is probably the first truly revolutionary computing device in the last five years or so. Want to look at an example of something that is overpriced for what it is? Look at the Chromebook Pixel. $1300 for a device that’s effectively good for nothing. Seriously? It still baffles me how a company that develops things like Glass and self-driving cars comes up with stupid ideas like Chromebooks, which, are pretty much the epitome of netbooks (limited-functionality, cheap computers designed for little more than accessing Facebook and other web sites). Add on top of this the completely moronic idea of making an expensive netbook and trying to market it to professionals. Professionals who need to do what exactly? Look at Facebook in super-high resolution? I believe one example given was photographers. You know, because you can run Photoshop within Chrome… oh wait, nope. I could rant more about how the whole cloud-dependency idea is ridiculous, but I don’t think I need to in order to make my point. I realize I went severely off-topic here, but my point was that Glass is a revolutionary product. It solves a real problem (the problem of being constantly connected to information in ways smartphones will never accomplish). Chromebooks, which now approach the pricing point of Glass, are a solution without a problem (“A computer designed for the cloud!” Yes, but what do I need that for?).

3. It’s invasive of privacy!

This one’s the most ludicrous claim of all, and also seems to be the most frequently-repeated. I basically wrote this post to get to rant about the people using this argument. The first two things? They’re subjective to an extent. Some people may not find them attractive, or be able to afford them. No amount of “proving I’m right” can change those things. Nor do I need to. If you don’t want Google Glass, that isn’t really my problem. But this whole privacy thing is. People are claiming the ability to record people discretely invades their privacy, and therefore people shouldn’t be allowed to do it! Cry me a river.

First off, you’re already being recorded. Ever been inside a store? They have security cameras and stuff. Ever been outside? People are probably (inadvertently, I’ll get to this later) already recording you with their phones.

But, I can see them doing that!

Probably not. That you notice every person in your surroundings, and their phones, is highly unlikely in most circumstances. It doesn’t matter anyway.

Nobody cares about you. Seriously.

Unless you’re doing something that you probably have no business doing in public anyway, nobody cares about you. You’re narcissistic, schizophrenic, or both, to think that you’re some kind of celebrity and everyone is out to maliciously record you. Anyone out recording with these is probably just recording their surroundings in general. And even if you were, hypothetically, some celebrity and the object of someone’s recordings, it doesn’t matter.

There’s no such thing as privacy in public.

No, really. It’s paradoxical.The definition of public is “open to all persons.” The definition of private is “confined to or intended only for the persons immediately concerned; confidential.” (Source: Dictionary.com) If you’re in public, and therefore in a position to be recorded, you have no privacy (neither in practice, nor as some sort of idealized or legal right). You’re incredibly self-entitled to think otherwise. Get over yourself. If you want privacy, never leave your house. You have a legal and practical right to privacy there. You’ll take it and you’ll be happy with it.

In closing, if you don’t want Google Glass, that’s fine. I probably can’t convince you otherwise, nor do I need to. If you think I look like a dork wearing them, okay. I don’t really care. If you think I’m violating some hypothetical right to privacy that you have in public, nope. By definition, you have no privacy in public. Deal with it. I’ll be rocking a pair of these on day one of their official release (hopefully later this year), and look forward to reviewing them. =D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *