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Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Two people with Google Glasses walk into a bar – we’ve seen this before, too

I’ve written two posts about the Shotwell’s/Google Glass incident from a few days ago. In the first post, Sometimes it’s OK to be a Luddite (Shotwell’s vs. Scoble), I share my thoughts on Robert Scoble’s horror that a bar would make fun of paying customers. In the second post, Other things that tech people shouldn’t wear to bars, I wonder what would happen if people were to walk into a Baltimore bar wearing San Francisco 49ers jerseys.

But I’ve thought about this some more, wondering what prompted Tom Madonna to react the way that he did. And in a comment to a Brandon Russell post in TechnoBuffalo, I note why Madonna was freaked out:

[T]he people in the physical reality are disturbed by the presence of people who are “somewhere else.”

But Google Glasses isn’t the only thing that can cause you to be two places at once, and to look weird in the physical reality while you inhabit a virtual one. Several people noted an earlier disturbing trend. Knowles2:

I remember when mobiles phones started to become popular use outside of business, mid to late nineties, people use to look at people funny when they saw them talking to themselves and couldn’t see the phones, often on buses.

And, of course, you have Ingress players standing outside post offices “charging resonators” and stuff. It can all be very disconcerting to those who are in the real world and not in the virtual one.

The future is no better than the past (vacuuming the dog)

Some futurists assume that problems will be solved in the future world. In the world of Star Trek, humans of all races, Vulcans, and eventually Klingons live together in perfect harmony. And the starship Enterprise (at least when performing routine tasks) always performs admirably.

But other futurists realize that the future world will be as messed up as the present one.

Paleofuture reprinted a Chicago Tribune article from 1959. This article, written by Evelyn Zemke, looked at a housewife in the year 2000 (yes, Zemke assumed that there would be housewives in the year 2000). This housewife pushed a button to prepare breakfast, and another button to start vacuuming (presumably with a Roomba, although Zemke would not have been familiar with that particular brand name).

My husband, arriving at the table exclaims, “Pizza? For breakfast?”

“I pushed the button labeled BACON AND EGGS, but-”

“There’s a wire crossed somewhere. Call a service man.”

(Again, all the servicepeople in the year 2000 are male.)

And later:

“Ki-yi-yi!” Sounds like Fifi, our pet poodle.

My daughter, standing in the doorway, calls, “Mom! The cleaner is vacuuming Fifi!”

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