The Fragility of Glass

Courtesy: ScienceBlog

Courtesy: ScienceBlog

The social implications of digital glass are yet to be fully grasped but Mann attempts to theorise some of these through his experiences with wearables since the 1970s. Steve Mann along with more recent examples in Gordon Bell and Cathal Gurrin, have much to teach us about these implications through their trials. My concerns are with the 'fragility of glass', what this fragility will mean for this generation, and how it will impact relationships using power (authorised and unauthorised). There will inevitably be various points of view of first hand direct evidence- which point of view to believe will be the real question. And then you have the question of the expert manipulators, deletions, and falsification of evidence. We are possibly going to be raising a generation of 'actors' playing to a world theatre; individuals who won't really know who they are unless they are connected visually to the grid, watching or being watched. Glass has its advantages in context, but it will also shatter lives and dreams, as videos of moments best forgotten are in full view for everyone to see, and replay, again and again. Glass will give us near real time omnipresence but we can never ever have omniscience. We are also backing ourselves into a corner- if you decide to live without glass it does not mean you will not be privy to the consequences of those who choose to live their whole life through a camera. In fact, you are in their point of view, like it or not... We are in desperate need of research into the psychological effects of glass, of seeing the world through a lens.  How does this impact the individual spirit? What are the positives of learning by being? What are the externalities? Our point of eye might well become the centre of our universe, but the bigger challenges in this world still pervade. In one sense we gain perspective using the lens, but the trade off might be that we lose perspective adversely because we are preoccupied with the self and what 'we' have seen and done.

Courtesy: Gail Giles  Please note: I have not read this novel, nor does it relate to Digital Glass to my knowledge. However the cover of the novel is quite revealing in symbolism.

Courtesy: Gail Giles

Please note: I have not read this novel, nor does it relate to Digital Glass to my knowledge. However the cover of the novel is quite revealing in symbolism.