Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Behold the Platonic Ideal of the Glasshole

Brian Merchant of Vice, on the idealization of augmented reality by early Glass adopters:

Augmented reality will make you look cool, it will let you drive cool cars, it will let you win at cool games like pool, and it will tell you how to successfully seduce women. It’s the manifest fantasy of the frustrated, uncool male id as seen through future goggles. It’s as if you’re downloading The Game directly into your brain in real time.

It’s repulsive. And yet, simultaneously informative—as an intimate glimpse into precisely how thousands of aspiring Tech Titans imagine their lives will look through the veneer of the latest technology.

There’s a sort of bubble around the Bay Area. It’s not a bubble in the sense of a venture-capital-vs.-revenue bubble, like that of the early 2000s, but more like a hermetic bubble of a different set of ideals. Perhaps the established tech culture can’t come up with wearable technology that people want because of this bubble. To some in the area (not all, probably not even most) the demo video Merchant references looks extremely cool; to us outside of this bubble, it looks dystopic.