Through a Google Glass Darkly

26 Feb
Protesting a Google bus

Protesting a Google bus

Well, now tensions between the tech haves and the non-tech have-nots in San Francisco have really come to a head. A young woman walked into a punk bar in the Lower Haight wearing Google Glass and was promptly mugged. Or at least that is what the enterprising young woman has told the local press, who have used the non-story to fuel their hot narrative about the two San Franciscos (presumably, those who wear Google Glass and those who don’t). Although I usually empathize with crime victims (as a slightly built single woman, I always feel that I am one wrong turn down Eddy Street away from becoming the next one), I have to admit that in this case, I stand with the bold patrons of Molotov’s. I’ve never seen Google Glass in real life, but boy would I love to smack them off a user’s face.

Why? Because it is a computer that you wear on your face. Iphones are commonly stolen items because, as police officers like to remind us, they are the equivalent of walking around with a computer worth several hundred dollars in our pockets. They are the most valuable thing most of us own. If you keep it in your purse or pocket you’ll be safe. But advanced technology that you wear on your face? That allows the user to surreptitiously identify passersby, take their picture and record them? It has douchebag written all over it.

My own Luddite tendencies aside, the incident illustrates the culture clash that is taking place here in Baghdad by the Bay. There is nothing so bourgeois as wanting to take a brief walk on the wild side only to retreat afterwards to one’s comfortable home. I’m sure the girl with the Google Glass thought it would be great fun to take a peek inside Molotov’s, a very divey bar indeed. I’ve never been inside, but have often walked past and noted the surly, sullen patrons and all of their leather and tattoos.  I’m sure the people who stole her pricey device are annoyed at the influx of young, wealthy types and their inane conversations. I am far from the average patron at Molotov’s, and I know I am. So I couldn’t help but feel a slight thrill at hearing of this “crime”. They tossed the device off of her head? Good for them!

Have fun with your gadgets, sure, but learn to let your hair down a little. Put the phone down and take the glass off when you’re out on a Saturday night. You might actually, I don’t know, meet some cool Lower Haight residents.

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