Sunday, April 15, 2012

In Memoriam

At this very moment, one hundred years ago, hundreds of people were dying as Titanic sank to its grave. In memoriam, I type this out:

Sometimes I have passed the time,
And sometimes I have thought,
If they truly break away again,
Nothing have I wrought.

But life is a passing iudgement,
A nonchalant turn of the eye,
And when souls are breaking in withered shards,
the king will simply sigh.

And life goes on with a song of silence,
And thought a stream of desire,
for even when Earth is but a humble celibate,
sole is my quagmire.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Imperfect Project Glass

I'm sure a great deal of you have read George Orwell's masterwork, 1984. The novel does an amazing job of scaring the shit out of each one of its readers, whether with a totalitarian government, rampant censorship, or the idea of no privacy. One can specifically remember that said state of privacy is predominantly achieved  through use of the ever-present telescreen, a device that tracks your every action. Our main character, Winston Smith, lives with the constant fear that the police will abduct him after his telescreen senses a rebellious action. Tracks your every action...makes a lack of privacy...well, why doesn't everyone take a look at this.

And I wonder who finds this to be utterly frightening. I see the world as a place of individual existences fragmented by some sense of greater community. When we are lonely or in need of aid is when we reach out to that larger community, but most problems are predominantly solved within the mental realm of oneself-when was the last time you needed help deciding which bathroom stall to use, or even simpler, when to move your head this way or that? At the beginning of evolution, the rudimentary primates we once were fought alone for the existence of their respective selves, and had the sole responsibility of making decisions in the interest of their survival. A wrong decision made the difference between life or death. Were those primates able to automatically ask a gps system where food was located? Did the eventual location of edible grass mean an ecstatic, facebook status?
See Goodreads page here.
See Shelfari page here.
          Previously, I've had absolutely no problem with the Facebook, GPS, Twitter, Drawsomething, Temple Run, Facetime, or whatever services that bless our computers and iPhones. This is because, although these phenomena do encourage a lapse in individual thinking, they are for the most part not as convenient as our own craniums. This new "Project Glass" is the exact opposite-more convenient than our brains. Its creators must reason that there can't be a problem when it will just make all of humanity more efficient. People will have more time to accomplish beneficial tasks such as community service just because more trivial tasks will take less time. 
          Efficiency may increase, but the possibility of technology failing us has too many consequences. If you're convinced that such failure is an impossibility, just think of how the Titanic was an unsinkable, "ship of dreams." Ask the thousands of individuals who perished, and they won't tell you it was so dreamy.
          No doubt is there that the technology insinuated by this video will deform us into beings incapable of complex reasoning. Great ideas are customarily found while searching for something else, but if one finds something else first, that great idea will never have its time in the sun. Should technology fail us, no one will be capable of devising some way to deal with the massive hole in human function. 
          Comparatively, Orwell's dystopia might be desirable.