Tag Archives: Glass

On the working class, manual labour, and how it is still perceived

There is a famous story about Philip Glass installing a dishwasher for Robert Hughes who was then Time magazine’s art critic, among other things. Upon realizing who was his installer, Hughes exclaimed: “But you’re Philip Glass! What are you doing here?” Glass replied that he was installing his dishwasher and he would soon be finished.

I have been thinking of that story and more after recently reading these two pieces:

In all three cases there is an implicit bias against being working class.  All three men are doing jobs of physical labour. In each case, the implication is that they could be doing something else, something better. The conclusion is that they have a talent and that their time could be better spent elsewhere applying it.

I agree that if you have a talent, it is good to use it. But you may be tired of using your talent. Or your talent doesn’t pay the bills. Or you don’t value your talent. In any case, it’s up to you what you do with it. Like money, talent is yours to use as you will.

Perhaps though you get more satisfaction out of performing manual labour than performing your other ability. If so, then that can be the best use of your time. You help people and you help yourself with your physical efforts. There is nothing wrong with that, whatever society thinks.

Glass and Richardson make a defense for what they do. To me, no defense is needed. Glass did installations and applied his artistic talent. Richardson is done with his talent and now gets satisfaction out of working in Whole Foods. They were living their lives in the best way they knew how. We all should be so fortunate.

 

On Facebook’s new glasses

So Facebook has teamed up with RayBans to make the glasses seen above. One of the features of these glasses is you can tap them and record pictures and videos. Mike Isaac has a good write up on them, here. I’d like to highlight one quote from that piece:

“Facebook is not naïve to the fact that other smart glasses have failed in the past,” said Jeremy Greenberg, policy counsel for the Future of Privacy Forum, a privacy nonprofit that is partly financed by Facebook. But, he added, “the public’s expectations of privacy have changed since the days of previous smart glasses releases.”

Yep. Pure Facebook. An org funded by Facebook indicated that people are cool with potential invasions of privacy.

From a design point of view, this partnership has made a better looking pair of glasses than Google did with their Glass product. From a privacy point of view, however, these things things are at least as bad if not worse than Google’s product.

I can’t predict how well these will do. I can predict, however, that we will see abuses of privacy as a result of them. For more on them, see: Smart Glasses Made Google Look Dumb. Now Facebook Is Giving Them a Try. by Mike Isaac in The New York Times.

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North, or advances in smart glasses since Google Glass.

Companies keep trying to make smart eyewear happen. First Google. Then Snapchat. Now there’s another company making a go at it. IT Business magazine has details on North, the company trying to make it happen here.

I think these are a big improvement on Google Glass. Is it enough? I don’t believe so. I think greater miniaturization needs to occur, such that there is very little difference between the shape of “dumb” eyewear and the shape of “smart” eyewear.

Meanwhile, we are getting closer to that time when there is very little difference. Stay tuned.

Google Glass is dead

And the BBC has a good story on it here: BBC News – Google Glass sales halted but firm says kit is not dead, including this comment that sums things up in a nutshell:

Google has tried to present this announcement as just another step in the evolution of an amazing innovation. But make no mistake – Google Glass is dead, at least in its present form.

I would say it’s been dead for sometime, and while wearable technology is alive and well, this piece of it is long overdue to be written off.

Read the BBC story: it has a good review of the history of Glass, what will happen next, and why Glass never had traction.