Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Google Glassholery Will Never Die!

"Startup CEO" David Levine has the sadz for the recent fall from grace of the awkward gawky panoptic Google Glass. He declares himself "perturbed and puzzled" by the glee with which glassholery's fail was greeted across the internet and "puzzled" again by the claim in industry rag CNET that the withdrawal of the product reflects the recognition by Google that few people seem to want the thing.

I'm puzzled that anybody is puzzled, but then I was never tempted to believe, as Levine did and apparently still does, that "Google Glass was literally the beginning of a revolution not just in the wearables sector but mobile as a whole. The concept was big, bold and brash and captured the imagination of the entire industry."

Of course, no crappy mobile device is "literally... a revolution." Gosh, how I love the crackerjack madness of that "literally."

The futurological derangement of reasonable assessment refuses to consider the actual costs, risks, and benefits of an artifact to the diversity of its stakeholders and the diversity of their wants in the diversity of their situations. The futurological at once re-frames technodevelopmental change from a site of stakeholder struggle to a series of stepping stones aspiring toward The Future, as well as re-directing technodevelopmental reflection from stakeholder deliberation to a consumer fandom providing escapism and promising transcendence.

Nobody ever wore the distracting, straining, uncomfortable, alienating Google Glass because it was useful but only because it enabled a kind of futuristic cosplay in denial about what it was doing while invested in a vision of The Future as drab as it is dystopian.

As a True Believer, Levine has learned from the failure of Glass nothing but that it will eventually triumph, naturellement. Zombie eyes and zombie lies forevs! The inevitable next iteration of the Revolution will, he assures us, be fasionable and respectful of privacy -- or, wink wink nudge nudge, much more "unobtrusive" about what it is and what it is doing.

Vive la revolution! Just die already.

No comments: