Coming up against Glass walls


Walking into a glass window

From Ruben's blog:

According to this article in Xconomy, Google's Eric Schmidt had this to say to people like me who dare to explore the privacy implications of Google Glass:
"Our goal is to make the world better. We’ll take the criticism along the way, but criticisms are inevitably from people who are afraid of change or who have not figured out that there will be an adaptation of society to it"

So they want to make the world better, by being patronising to people with legitimate privacy concerns.

The way I see it, the more people such as Schmidt insist criticisms are from those afraid of change and who cannot adapt, the more they are simply validating your concerns by not actually addressing them. But you knew that. They know there are problems, but because firstly they don't have a solution for these issues and secondly they don't want to lose their product, they do their best to ignore them and hope that no one else will realise, push ahead and downplay people's fears in all in the name of innovation.

I'm sure that's probably what was being implied as well. It feels very much in the nature of a marketer, which sometimes makes me feel bad to be in Marketing - but that's okay, it's not like I do it for a living.

I don't know if it's different for developers compared to consumers, but if you look on a lesser scale even just to new features released by Facebook on their web interface, criticism counts for naught, a blind eye is turned, it's like you're talking to glass walls. Or if they really are listening, that's still what it feels like. 'Deal with it, we're not going to make changes just because you have a problem with them', is the message I'm getting. But even if you decide not to use Facebook at all, you'll know someone who does, who will then get you involved in it again somehow even if they just upload a photo. Regardless though, enough people talking will eventually force a change, sooner or later... though going by Google's legal track record, the lesson doesn't seem to stick.

It's true what Ruben says, that there are exciting new technologies yet to emerge, but as we reach closer into the dream worlds depicted in movies, it looks great on the surface but you can slowly see all the problems that are underlying, tracing back to the exact issues we see right now before we even reach that frontier. It's also nice to note that these future worlds always discover chinks and faults in their own systems, sometimes detrimental ones - it's not the perfect vision of the future. Maybe the world will end up very differently to how we've envisioned it in our works of fiction, you never know...

And it's not like I'm an academic, an expert or that I'm widely read on this topic. There aren't even any links in this post that aren't from another post. So this is just opinion and nothing else. Nothing constructive has ever been said here. I don't think my opinion counts for anything, but have it anyway.

Image from All About Anime.