One thing is certain. He’ll say, “I thought I was in a movie.”
Either the judge will dismiss that excuse with a snort and huff, or he’ll create yet a new class of victims: the people who are brainwashed into believing the Real is merely a consequence-free artifact designed for them by Glass.
“Murder? It was merely virtual. Glass made me think so, Your Honor.”
A friend and I cooked up a Glass ad: “You’ll see exactly what you’re seeing now, only you’ll think you’re in a movie. And electromagnetic radiation will envelope your head and the NSA will see everything you’re seeing in real time.”
Entitled yuppie boomer spies for the national security State. Just what we need.
Then, up the road, we’ll have this. Suits filed by people whose lawyers insist their clients had a reasonable expectation of receiving information from Glass that didn’t, in fact, arrive:
- when to take the next pill;
- a quicker way to get to the airport to make their flight to a career-enhancing meeting in Macao (they missed the plane and the meeting);
- a more accurate assessment of what the beautiful stranger sitting at a table in a restaurant is looking for in a prospective husband;
- more convincing talking points transmitted before a conversation with a political adversary…
“My disappointment with Glass was so profound I spiraled down into a depression that ruined my life. After all, my Glass and I are One. When an intimate friend lets you down, it’s traumatic.”
Taking it further, the ontology of Glass and such future devices is: everything in the universe is connected. The way we say it is.
It’s the job of Glass to elucidate and demonstrate that by virtually hooking the wearer up to all of it. You’ll get the sizzle and dazzle. The life-path of giant redwoods, people shoveling snow in Mongolia, fish swimming around the Great Reef, pygmies dancing in Central Africa, new (fake) Arab Spring outbursts, moving stock prices, drug recalls, ice caps expanding and diminishing at the North Pole, sun spots, geothermal boil at the core of Earth, estimated germ-content in subsets of bodies walking around in Paris.
Now. In real time. Sequentially or all at once. In an ongoing Spiritual event of the highest order. (Sure it is.)
And this imparts to the Glass wearer a sense that he is a first-class citizen in the new Technocratic Paradise, as if he were part-human, part-machine.
“It’s amazing. When I put on Glass, I’m in satori. I’m plugged into the online bio-astro-neuro-meta-quantum orchestra called Universe. At least, that’s what they tell me.”
A human without Glass? Unthinkable.
Will the Pope wear Glass? Who will be the first president of the United States to wear it? You can be sure the police will. They’ll have access to the history of any citizen as if he were a Potential Suspect, and animated previews of any building or home as an assault target.
IRS agents in cars, on foot, sitting in restaurants will merely glance at another human, and immediately a complete tax history of that person will spring up before his eyes.
Staff psychiatrists will walk through office buildings and pick up instant psych evals on every worker.
And the military? “EVERYTHING is a battlefield. I finally figured that out when I started wearing Glass.”
Glass will inform any agriculture inspector anywhere on the globe that the GMO plant he is looking at is perfectly safe and equivalent in every way to conventionally-grown.
Doctors, relying on Glass-supplied medical images and data (all cooked and distorted, of course, by Big Pharma), will perform millions of unnecessary surgeries and dispense billions of useless and highly toxic pills to patients. Just like now, only worse.
But Glass is wonderful. How could we have lived without it?
You’ll meet somebody in a park and start a conversation. Suddenly, before your eyes, you’ll see: “His Twitter account temporarily suspended for providing questionable links; frequently employs terms like ‘freedom,’ ‘liberty.’ Belongs to no approved groups. Warning – you should consider this person dangerous.”
Or you’ll be shopping in a market and, as you pass down the aisle, a red light will go on in space in front of your face when you encounter a person whose approved vaccine status has lapsed. “Warning: herd immunity endangered.”
Two friends at a picnic:
“Hey, I just upgraded to the Glass C-16 program.”
“You don’t know?”
“It contains Homeland Security profiles on four million Americans. Invaluable.”
“Where did you get it?”
“Through our office. We have a contract with the DOJ. So we have special access.”
“How can I get it?”
“Heh-heh. You can’t, unless you go through a special clearance exam. It’s expensive.”
Any Glass wearer who eats at a restaurant in New York will immediately be plugged into a Bloomberg app that displays, before his eyes, along with a sub-vocal whisper: “The next bite of steak will elevate your cholesterol level above allowed limits. Put down the fork. Don’t order coffee. Move the dish of sugar envelopes away from you. I see you’re a registered gun owner in Utah. You have three hours to leave the City.”
The state of mind, in which Glass wearers view reality as virtual, is the big one. People aren’t already disconnected enough from life? We need more illusion?
From ancient times, and especially since Plato, the faculty of vision, beyond the other four physical senses, has been elevated to the highest position of in-sight. The metaphors have been about “seeing the higher reality.”
So now, Google goes to eyeGlass, which is all about giving wearers a sense of being in charge, by placing a grid over the real world, and enhancing Vision.
Glass is the cocaine of computing.
And superiority? Is it any different from the status owners experience when they slide down Main Street in a Ferrari? They’re automatically Somebody because of their car.
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, has famously said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place…and it’s important, for example, that we are subject in the Unite States to the Patriot Act.”
As the NSA captures everything Glass wearers are seeing in real time, Schmidt’s statement will take on added meaning, won’t it? Glass is the Brave New World snitch of snitches.
Hidden behind all of this is the position and place of the individual. His creative power will be defined as the mere ability to receive “elite” information. That’s a passive formulation; precisely the opposite of what the creative life is.
The number-one guru of utopian technocracy, Ray Kurzweil, thinks human creativity, as a concept, is largely based on a misunderstanding about what computers can do. That’s all.
Because a computer beat a world champion chess player, because a computer can analyze the work of a poet and then spit out its own poems in that author’s style, because a computer can defeat two very good Jeopardy players on television, we know that human creativity is an illusion. Computers, machines can work the same “tricks” by simply accessing and collating information.
If you want an intellectual recipe for taking away the essence of what a human being is, you’ve just found it.
And Glass will help lead the way.
“I have so much information jumping in front of my eyes now, it’s amazing. What else do I need? I’m there.”
For centuries, artists and inventors proved that reality was only one (temporary) work of art. They proved it by creating something new and powerful, again and again and again. They committed body, mind, and soul to their work. They dynamically moved the human race ahead.
Now, the “new paradigm” is Instant Information. Tap in, and reality is yours.
Yes, but what reality?
The answer is: the one designed, not by you, but for you.
And by people who deserve your trust the way a wildebeest should trust a pack of lions.