If You Wear Google Glasses You Are An Asshole
Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has developed a brilliantly concise definition of an asshole: "A person who demands that all social interaction happen on their terms." He was inspired by the assholes who talk in Amtrak's quiet car, but this reasoning also perfectly explains why those who use Google's new wearable computer are assholes, by definition.
Google Glass is the gadget all techies at South By Southwest are talking about this week. Glass is a wearable computer eye piece, which allows you to snap photos, read the news and do Google searches all while looking like an extra from the dance club scene in the Matrix. Glass is not yet publicly available, but Google is graciously allowing select geeks to purchase it early for $1,500, if they write them an essay about why they deserve one.
Glass has sparked much excitement and controversy. Having a computer strapped to your face is the second-greatest geek dream after robot sex. Critics have pointed out the privacy implications of Glass, for which one of the first apps is a program that lets you identify your friends in a crowd based only on what clothes they are wearing. A Seattle bar has already banned Glass, half in jest. Is Glass The Future of Computers or a Privacy Nightmare? I am not concerned with these questions. Instead I'm concerned with a much finer point: People who wear Google Glass in public are assholes.
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By donning Google Glass, you, the Google Glass user, are volunteering to be a foot soldier in Google's asshole army. (In fact you're paying for the privilege.) You are saying that anyone who comes into your line of sight must agree to be possibly filmed, photographed, or otherwise data-mined, not just for your own convenience but to further Google's quest for total world domination. Wearing Google Glass automatically means that all social interaction you have must be not just on yours, but Google's terms.