1215: Insight

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jpk
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby jpk » Thu May 23, 2013 2:58 am UTC

lgw wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:In any case the point, as already explained, isn't that the technology shouldn't be developed, but simply that we should be thinking about the possible unintended consequences that might come along with it.

And that is most certainly an attitude I can get behind, since there will always be pollyannas on the other side who naively assume that everything will be fine, or that we can technology ourselves out of any problems that do crop up.


I'm quite conservative about new technologies, but really "thinking about the possible unintended consequences that might come along with it" except to answer the question "should I buy this" is pointless. It's always going to steam engine when it's steam engine time. Throughout history, societies adopt that which makes them more efficient, or get conquered by neighbors who have (or, perhaps more gently, have "black ships" sail into harbor and explain that it's steam engine time now, like it or not). If you see a problem, you can feel good about not being part of the problem, but that's really it.



I'm finding the course of this conversation to be quite interesting. "People who think about the potential effects of new technology are just nervous-nelly whiners" is not really a position I associate with intelligent people, and yet I see intelligent people adopting it. What gives? Why do we simply accept the imbecilic premise of the comic, to begin with, and when did we decide that there's simply no point in thinking about things that we can't change, and how did we decide that thinking about things can't change the way we use them anyway?

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the eye of the beholder 3: ambiguity

Postby 22tcp » Thu May 23, 2013 3:38 am UTC

Strange. I took the second phrase as an instruction not to consider the consequences but to stop considering it. In a normal talk the average listener would not even catch that hook.
But maybe that's just me putting myself at the receiving end like this because I like to consider technology quite critically.
Spoiler:
You don't give phasers to spear wielding folks but cars and guns to morons? Not in my world. So that evil bald girl with the hat seems to be pretty eager to destroy the world. With fusion toasters.

If "stop to" is removed the ambiguity is gone.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Fire Brns » Thu May 23, 2013 4:16 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:All technology is designed to make things more efficient. What it is used for beyond that is irrelevant. Efficiency is all that matters and efficiency is what people are afraid of.
Only if you're redefining "efficiency" so broadly that it becomes essentially meaningless. Or, I suppose, if you decide to ignore literally 95% of the stuff new technology does, especially for the fear side of your claim.
The definition is sufficiently narrow. All technology are just a collection of inventions and those inventions are just physical processes that behave in different ways.

People aren't worried about Glass because it will make browsing the Internet more efficient. They worry that it will further isolate us from the people around us as well as perhaps leading people to drive even more dangerously than they already do with phones. People don't fear nuclear power because of how efficient it is, and that's also unlikely to be why they fear fusion power, if or when that becomes practical.
Both the Google glasses examples are streamlining and efficiency of smartphone technology. People fear how efficiently nuclear power releases energy, i.e. make explosions and cause cancer.

In any case the point, as already explained, isn't that the technology shouldn't be developed, but simply that we should be thinking about the possible unintended consequences that might come along with it.
That's a bit different than let's not adopt X until we're sure it's safe. Someone somewhere will get a technology once it becomes feasible to produce and when that happens it is in any party's best interest to be ahead of the curve. It's fine and all to discuss repercussions but saying "wait until we get undeniable proof that our hypothetical repercussions will never happen" is fear.
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby gmalivuk » Thu May 23, 2013 5:02 am UTC

Fire Brns wrote:People fear how efficiently nuclear power releases energy, i.e. make explosions and cause cancer.
Okay, so in addition to redefining "efficient" too broadly, you're also apparently playing fast and loose with physical reality. Nuclear power doesn't cause cancer because it releases energy so well.

That's a bit different than let's not adopt X until we're sure it's safe.
Yes. Another difference between them is I was referring to something that was actually said or implied by anyone else in this discussion, whereas you just made up a fake extremist position so you could knock it down.

Does it make you feel like a big man? Kicking over straw dummies?
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu May 23, 2013 5:47 am UTC

May I suggest, rather than "efficiency", we continue this discussion substituting the word "power".

With a big enough lever anybody could move the world. Technology is a lever, a force-multiplier: it gives people power to do things they couldn't do before.

Increased efficiency is just a special case of that, namely being able to do more exaggerated versions of things you could already do, but with the same effort from you, or doing the same thing with less effort from you: in either case, doing more with less. With a sufficiently broad categorization of things to do, everything could be classified as some version of something someone was already doing, and all power increases thus characterized as efficiency increases, but arguing about the breadth or narrowness of such categorization gets away from the real point.

What people fear about technology is what other people will do with that kind of power, whether maliciously or just accidentally. They're afraid of where others will move the world once they've got a big enough lever.

And at the same time excited about where they will be moving the world once they've got such a lever themselves.

I'd wager the core difference between a pollyanna and a nervous nelly on this issue is their view of the rest of humanity: both whether the general consensus on where the world should be moved with our new levers coincides with that person's own thoughts on the matter, and whether the general populace is competent enough not to simply fling the whole world against a wall by accident with their fancy new levers.
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby jpk » Thu May 23, 2013 5:50 am UTC

Fire Brns wrote: People fear how efficiently nuclear power releases energy, i.e. make explosions and cause cancer.


Geez, take it easy, mate. Lay off the straw men and the implications of idiocy. What, are you mad about something?

No, people who object to nuclear power don't object to its efficiency. That would be idiotic. Not everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot, and to suggest that this is the case is to make an ass of yourself. Many people would love to have the efficiency and lack of mountain-top-removal and the reduced air pollution of nuclear power, but find the idea of the waste byproducts to be untenable, and others find the possibility of calamitous breakdown to be a bit of a bother. Those things are not efficiency, they're serious objections to the deployment of the technology.
It's fine and all to discuss repercussions but saying "wait until we get undeniable proof that our hypothetical repercussions will never happen" is fear.


Extrapolating from observed behavior (with mobile phones) to a hands-free version of same, plus constant video display, is hardly "fear". It's more like "thinking about what we're doing and what it's likely to look like". if you read any science fiction, it's sort of like that, only without the dialogue.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby addams » Thu May 23, 2013 5:57 am UTC

The Weird stuff I learn from this Forum.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-33620_3-57585 ... m-urinals/

It seems Google Glass whatever it is, is a Problem for Urinal privacy.

That is funny and not so funny.
The fix for the problem seem to be something that has needed fixing a long time.

Have you played the Urinal Game, yet?
More fun with Technology!
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby StClair » Thu May 23, 2013 10:06 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:All technology is designed to make things more efficient. What it is used for beyond that is irrelevant. Efficiency is all that matters and efficiency is what people are afraid of.
Only if you're redefining "efficiency" so broadly that it becomes essentially meaningless. Or, I suppose, if you decide to ignore literally 95% of the stuff new technology does, especially for the fear side of your claim.


I'm not sure if "efficiency" is the best word for it, but I agree with what I take to be the earlier poster's intent.

Consider this: we are essentially, over time, removing the barriers between impulse and action. Humans tend to be pretty bad at impulse control, assessing risk, etc etc, which is why it's good that our ability to affect the world is limited by our physical capabilities. (Likewise, a common tongue-in-cheek defense of bad government is that it is so inefficient, it can't actually do much harm.) It's also good that the world is a very big place, with a correspondingly large capacity to "soak up" individual actions. But the world is becoming smaller, and the amount of power that an individual, or a group of individuals, can wield is increasing every day. What happens when bad government and poor decision-makers can have a significant impact?

A knife or club can kill just as dead as a gun, but a gun is faster, easier. A shorter path between idea and result. Continue to shorten that path and things can happen before anyone, including ourselves, can react wisely.

The system becomes less stable, more chaotic overall because people have more ability to push it in this direction or that - a big heavy spinning top has tremendous inertia, and people poking it with fingers has little effect, but if we give them hammers? Or explosives? Do we just have to hope that the aggregate of all of those impacts average out and negate each other?

What if it becomes possible for anyone, on a whim - the merest whim or idle thought - to kill someone, blow up a building, burn down a forest, commit suicide? What if we remove all the barriers between wishing something and having it happen? That's one form of maximum "efficiency." Are we capable of surviving that? Are we capable of controlling our impulses, base and otherwise? I submit that we are not.
We may well find ourselves with the powers of the gods but not the wisdom to apply them. Can you police your every thought? Even if the result of you not doing so is that someone dies?
Can you keep up with hundreds, thousands, billions of other people also all having their thoughts instantly translated into action?
Maybe technology will also make these things possible. Maybe it will give us artificial consciences, advisors and censors, to keep us under control and make up for our own underdeveloped faculties. But if so, then we will by necessity be something other than human.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Whizbang » Thu May 23, 2013 12:46 pm UTC

Maybe before we rush to reject <Google Glass> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely refusing to give this technology such a central position in our lives.


FTFY

I for one welcome our new technological overlords.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby ucim » Thu May 23, 2013 1:18 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:May I suggest, rather than "efficiency", we continue this discussion substituting the word "power". [... ]
What people fear about technology is what other people will do with that kind of power, whether maliciously or just accidentally. They're afraid of where others will move the world once they've got a big enough lever.

StClair wrote:Consider this: we are essentially, over time, removing the barriers between impulse and action...

Precisely, to both. And others doesn't refer just to other individuals. It refers also to other entities that already have more power over you than you may be comfortable with, such as credit card issuers, unions, governments, insurance companies, and the RIAA.

And in the case of google glass, the key word is permanence, a quality that not only preserves imbecilic moves forever (which facebook already does1), but it preserves furtive glances long enough to examine them and extract much more content from them that a normal furtive glance would. It's one thing to notice that somebody left their brokerage statement or housing contract on the desk; it's quite another thing to go home with a picture of it for later study.

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1You cannot opt out by not joining - facebook does this to you whether you are a member or not, simply because it can (and almost certainly does) keep track and correlate what other people say and post about you. Every address book that you are on, that careless users have handed over to facebook lock stock and barrel, can be correlated and your place in the social network analyzed. This includes doctor's offices' invitations to "connect", from which much can be inferred. This probably violates governmental health and privacy laws (to the extent that they even exist), but I doubt anybody recognizes the harm that such invitations can do to job seekers at companies that manage to get a hold of this kind of analysis.
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby sonar1313 » Thu May 23, 2013 3:03 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote: Both the Google glasses examples are streamlining and efficiency of smartphone technology. People fear how efficiently nuclear power releases energy, i.e. make explosions and cause cancer.

People don't fear efficiency, they fear weapons, for crying out loud. If there were some element unobtainium that had all the efficient properties of uranium but without uranium's nuclear waste byproducts or tendency to occasionally create nuclear meltdowns, it would be embraced. It's not efficiency people fear, it's the side effects.

And while I would almost agree that technology is nothing but doing things more efficiently, there are obvious examples of when that's not the case. Some technology lets us do things that were previously impossible (telescopes, submersibles, lunar landers.) There's nothing more efficient about the first telescope because it let humans do things that had never been done. Wind turbines are not more efficient than conventional electricity generators, they're less. But they're more acceptable to some people; and those people don't fear the efficiency of a coal plant, they fear the side effects. So with such examples, "efficiency" is too broad of a definition for all technology.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby addams » Thu May 23, 2013 3:16 pm UTC

jeeze. You people are not a bunch of Sweetness and Light.

The down sides. Each one can choose a Down side.
The same down sides that have always existed.

Google Glass means nothing to people that do not have the ability to Play the Game.
The Rock meant nothing to The Weak and Powerless at the beginning of Time.
Of course, the Weak and the Powerless noticed the Rock, as it smashed the skulls of Others and then Themselves.

The Automobile meant nothing to most of The People when Rockefeller was out Playing with Cars.
He and his team got the cars stuck. They broke them in new and creative ways.

Today not all people own and operate cars. Very few people are surprised by them.
A man can stand by the road starving and some fat cat drives by eating a hamburger and Googling with his little eye.

Is it a Good Thing that the advantaged are out ahead trying every new thing?
How far behind are You leaving The World?

I propose the Human animal is born with a Moral Compass.
Well; Like computer programs, some Moral Compasses are better than others.

Back to The Loo! It's funny. The only Real problem is Men's room privacy.
Women do not have That problem. Women have other stranger problems.

Spoiler:
It is so funny and strange.
I take photos. I use a little cheep digital camera.

I have had people physically attack me for pulling out my camera and taking a photo.
Not just Police people. Not Tribesmen from a long forgotten land.

Some people are Camera Shy. If you know you are Ugly accept it or do something about it!

Some of the people that attacked me are very advantaged people.
Those people had spent a lot of effort to Groom themselves.

The Camera is kinder so some than to others.
When is someone going to Fix That?

A camera for the inner person.
That would be interesting.
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby orthogon » Thu May 23, 2013 4:45 pm UTC

ucim wrote:... My house is full of potentially sensitive documents that I don't run and hide when I have acquaintances over...

There's a horse in ... oh, sorry, false positive.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby fasces349 » Thu May 23, 2013 5:13 pm UTC

damn it xkcd, I've been doing this for years, now I wont be able to do it anymore because I am too scared that someone I say this too will think I got it off XKCD

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby platypusmarket » Thu May 23, 2013 5:56 pm UTC

Randall is pretty persistant with the psychological manipulation. Makes me wonder...

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Griffon » Thu May 23, 2013 11:08 pm UTC

Maybe before we rush to adopt <XML> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives."

All those <> signs and people randomly replacing the stuff between them Ick!

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby bmonk » Fri May 24, 2013 2:17 am UTC

Yupa wrote:Maybe before we rush to adopt pithy sentences from XKCD, we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this comic such a central position in our lives.

:like:
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby bmonk » Fri May 24, 2013 2:19 am UTC

huangho wrote:So, it has come to this.

In accordance with the prophecy
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby thesingingaccountant » Fri May 24, 2013 2:03 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I'd wager the core difference between a pollyanna and a nervous nelly on this issue is their view of the rest of humanity: both whether the general consensus on where the world should be moved with our new levers coincides with that person's own thoughts on the matter, and whether the general populace is competent enough not to simply fling the whole world against a wall by accident with their fancy new levers.


Well said. And by this definition, I am a nervous nelly.

StClair wrote:What if it becomes possible for anyone, on a whim - the merest whim or idle thought - to kill someone, blow up a building, burn down a forest, commit suicide? What if we remove all the barriers between wishing something and having it happen? That's one form of maximum "efficiency." Are we capable of surviving that? Are we capable of controlling our impulses, base and otherwise? I submit that we are not.
We may well find ourselves with the powers of the gods but not the wisdom to apply them. Can you police your every thought? Even if the result of you not doing so is that someone dies?
Can you keep up with hundreds, thousands, billions of other people also all having their thoughts instantly translated into action?
Maybe technology will also make these things possible. Maybe it will give us artificial consciences, advisors and censors, to keep us under control and make up for our own underdeveloped faculties. But if so, then we will by necessity be something other than human.


Excellent observation. Humans, as a group, are little more than self-centered children. I'm not really looking forward to the day when individuals have the above-described level of power.

fasces349 wrote:damn it xkcd, I've been doing this for years, now I wont be able to do it anymore because I am too scared that someone I say this too will think I got it off XKCD


Meh, don't worry about it. I've also been doing this for years, and I have no intention of stopping just because Randall used the concept. Who gives a flying fuck if someone thinks I borrowed it? Does that make it any less valid?
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Whizbang » Fri May 24, 2013 3:14 pm UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:
StClair wrote:What if it becomes possible for anyone, on a whim - the merest whim or idle thought - to kill someone, blow up a building, burn down a forest, commit suicide? What if we remove all the barriers between wishing something and having it happen? That's one form of maximum "efficiency." Are we capable of surviving that? Are we capable of controlling our impulses, base and otherwise? I submit that we are not.
We may well find ourselves with the powers of the gods but not the wisdom to apply them. Can you police your every thought? Even if the result of you not doing so is that someone dies?
Can you keep up with hundreds, thousands, billions of other people also all having their thoughts instantly translated into action?
Maybe technology will also make these things possible. Maybe it will give us artificial consciences, advisors and censors, to keep us under control and make up for our own underdeveloped faculties. But if so, then we will by necessity be something other than human.


Excellent observation. Humans, as a group, are little more than self-centered children. I'm not really looking forward to the day when individuals have the above-described level of power.


This is just taking it a few dozen steps too far. I understand the method of exaggeration to make a point, but letting people surf the web with their eyes (or whatever technology is coming out in the near future) is a far cry from creating a technology that tranlates a person's idle thoughts into reality. We, as human animals, may not have the ability to control our idle thoughts and whims, but certainly we have the wisdom as a species to realize such a technology is foolish at best and not something the common person should have. Even if (and that is a huge if) such a thing were ever possible, we wouldn't sell them at Wal-mart. Nuclear weapons are a reality, and you don't see those at the corner store. Maybe they are more common than we could hope and a few bad guys have access to them, but a few bad guys is a lot better than everybody. If this fantastical technology were ever invented, you'd be sure that it'd be carefully controlled and guarded (though whether the guards are worthy of the role is another debate), with limited access. And certainly whoever does have access to this technology wouldn't be connected to it 24/7. They'd hook themselves up when needed, do what needs doing, then disconnect.

Saying "Oh me yarm, this technology, if taken 72 steps too far, is stupidly dangerous, so we shouldn't even consider using it in a primivative form" is just silly to me. Saying "Oh me yarm, people might be driving around while playing games and surfing the web" is a much more valid argument.

Technology should be assessed for risk/benefit on a case by case basis. Look at lasers. Before they were even a reality, we had sci-fi stories telling of weapons and accidents and dangers all around. Although they can be used/misused that way, that doesn't mean that the technology is not beneficial or worth inventing.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Seamus » Fri May 24, 2013 6:39 pm UTC

Does anyone else think EyePhone when they see Google Glass?

Send.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 24, 2013 6:56 pm UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:
fasces349 wrote:damn it xkcd, I've been doing this for years, now I wont be able to do it anymore because I am too scared that someone I say this too will think I got it off XKCD
Meh, don't worry about it. I've also been doing this for years, and I have no intention of stopping just because Randall used the concept. Who gives a flying fuck if someone thinks I borrowed it? Does that make it any less valid?
What makes it less valid is that xkcd points out how you can use it when you don't actually know what you're talking about. So the issue isn't that people will think you borrowed the idea from Randall. They'll think that you're saying it because you don't understand enough to say something more contentful.
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby rmsgrey » Fri May 24, 2013 8:00 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
thesingingaccountant wrote:
fasces349 wrote:damn it xkcd, I've been doing this for years, now I wont be able to do it anymore because I am too scared that someone I say this too will think I got it off XKCD
Meh, don't worry about it. I've also been doing this for years, and I have no intention of stopping just because Randall used the concept. Who gives a flying fuck if someone thinks I borrowed it? Does that make it any less valid?
What makes it less valid is that xkcd points out how you can use it when you don't actually know what you're talking about. So the issue isn't that people will think you borrowed the idea from Randall. They'll think that you're saying it because you don't understand enough to say something more contentful.


Not clear whether they'd be right or wrong in thinking that - if you actually do know what you're talking about, then you should be able to say more; if you don't, then maybe people shouldn't be giving much weight to your caution. Of course, it's wise to be cautious about innovations, but you shouldn't need someone to tell you that...

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby ijuin » Sat May 25, 2013 5:43 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:This is just taking it a few dozen steps too far. I understand the method of exaggeration to make a point, but letting people surf the web with their eyes (or whatever technology is coming out in the near future) is a far cry from creating a technology that tranlates a person's idle thoughts into reality.


The web-surfing (or game-playing) part is not the alarming part. The alarming part is that the camera on it can be recording without the people around the user being aware of it, as opposed to a cell phone camera that you have to hold up in the recording position. Thus, allowing a GLASS user to view something at all is possibly tantamount to letting them have a recording of it.

My personal narrow solution for the "can't tell if they're recording/photographing" part of the issue would be to require that all such devices have a bright red glowing LED visible from the front that would light up while the camera is active. This is similar in concept to the regulations in some jurisdictions that cell phone cameras make a "click" sound when taking a photograph. While obviously a sufficiently determined user (e.g. anybody who would be planning serious corporate or government espionage) could hack around such a setup, it would relieve the general public of the unease of not knowing if the person they were seeing was recording them.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby ucim » Sat May 25, 2013 4:12 pm UTC

ijuin wrote: While obviously a sufficiently determined user (e.g. anybody who would be planning serious corporate or government espionage) could hack around such a setup, it would relieve the general public of the unease of not knowing if the person they were seeing was recording them.
This also has the side effect of actually making casual serious espionage easier, since people will become accustomed to the "security" of "knowing" that if the light is off, all is safe.

If you were frisked and the contents of all your pockets carefully examined every time you walked into a store at the mall, you would quickly stop shopping there, or start coming in empty-pocketed. But every store you visit on the web frisks you, and some (online) stores have been known to change what you are permitted to view, and the prices associated with their goods, based on the results of this frisk. It's just that you've gotten used to it and it happens silently, in the background.

This alteration of society is a good part of the erosion of privacy which things like google glass promotes, and whose consequences need to be carefully considered.

Jose
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby addams » Sat May 25, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

What?
Now we are All Thirteen year old Girls?

Don't Look at Me!
Ahh. Don't Look at My things!
Moooommm! Don't post on my Facebook! ahhh!

Why is everybody watching me?!

Honey; Everybody is busy with interesting people.
Be more interesting or be quiet.
I can't hear what The Neighbors are saying.

I Know we are Like That. Not all, some.
Some people out grow it. Some don't.

It is mildly disturbing to learn that some very private moments have been recorded.
(shrug.) Not only is Every Computer a camera.

Every pair of clunky glasses are a camera.
I thought about the very worse location for that camera.

He laughed. Well?
What did I expect from a Russian Spy in the 21st century?

Your brother, The Spy.
He has Black Mail material on you.

My questions are:
1. Did he get the information from Mom?
or;
2. Is he going to show the information to Mom?

ech. It is funny. Very, very funny.
Those clunky glasses.
He was happy as a Pig in Mud with those stupid glasses.

I did not care. He tripped with those stupid glasses on.
They can be dangerous to the wearer.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Whizbang » Sat May 25, 2013 9:39 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:
Whizbang wrote:<Snip>


The web-surfing (or game-playing) part is not the alarming part. The alarming part is that the camera on it can be recording without the people around the user being aware of it, as opposed to a cell phone camera that you have to hold up in the recording position. Thus, allowing a GLASS user to view something at all is possibly tantamount to letting them have a recording of it.

My personal narrow solution for the "can't tell if they're recording/photographing" part of the issue would be to require that all such devices have a bright red glowing LED visible from the front that would light up while the camera is active. This is similar in concept to the regulations in some jurisdictions that cell phone cameras make a "click" sound when taking a photograph. While obviously a sufficiently determined user (e.g. anybody who would be planning serious corporate or government espionage) could hack around such a setup, it would relieve the general public of the unease of not knowing if the person they were seeing was recording them.


Meh. That doesn't concern me much. Cameras are everywhere. Privacy is mostly an illusion at this point. If you want to keep something hidden, keep it in your own home (though you'd have to ask people to take off their Google Glasses when they enter, which should be the etiquette anyway). There are enough phone videos published on YouTube to prove that those are sufficiently covert enough for people to not know they are being recorded. All it takes is careful acting, pretending you are texting or playing a game or whatever. You can be pretty discrete with a phone if you want to be.

The technology to have a video camera in glasses is here today, and has been for some time. If someone wanted to record you or your stuff using glasses, they can do so without being as obvious as wearing Google Glasses. The ship has already sailed on the whole "I don't want people to video record me without my knowledge" topic.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby gmalivuk » Sat May 25, 2013 10:32 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:The technology to have a video camera in glasses is here today, and has been for some time. If someone wanted to record you or your stuff using glasses, they can do so without being as obvious as wearing Google Glasses. The ship has already sailed on the whole "I don't want people to video record me without my knowledge" topic.
Except, as you yourself say, phone videos are extremely common now, and such candid video wasn't equally common before everyone had cell phones, despite the fact that small cameras existed before smartphones, as well.

In other words, sure, the technology already exists to have inconspicuous wearable cameras, but most people aren't going to start using wearable cameras until they're included on a device they get for other reasons. Then, as with cell phone cameras, it'll be an added bonus that they can record pretty much any random thing they see for posterity.
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby hungryjoe » Sat May 25, 2013 11:20 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
Meh. That doesn't concern me much. Cameras are everywhere. Privacy is mostly an illusion at this point. If you want to keep something hidden, keep it in your own home (though you'd have to ask people to take off their Google Glasses when they enter, which should be the etiquette anyway). There are enough phone videos published on YouTube to prove that those are sufficiently covert enough for people to not know they are being recorded. All it takes is careful acting, pretending you are texting or playing a game or whatever. You can be pretty discrete with a phone if you want to be.

The technology to have a video camera in glasses is here today, and has been for some time. If someone wanted to record you or your stuff using glasses, they can do so without being as obvious as wearing Google Glasses. The ship has already sailed on the whole "I don't want people to video record me without my knowledge" topic.


Here Here,

It bugs me that people become concerned about being filmed in public places.

The way I see it public and private are antonyms, and you have a right to expect privacy in a private place. It's already legal (US and UK) to video someone in public without their consent.

I'd like to note that harassment is a separate issue.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby gmalivuk » Sat May 25, 2013 11:21 pm UTC

Being legal and being something I shouldn't worry about are two very different things.
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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby hungryjoe » Sat May 25, 2013 11:32 pm UTC

Fair point, I really meant that my ability to videotape you in the street (with or without you knowing is the same with or without google glass.

Plus something about changing legislation (on privacy) because of some event (such as a new technology, or a disaster) always strokes me the wrong way, although I realise that wasn't the conversation that was going on.

(Am I using too many parentheses?)

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun May 26, 2013 7:45 am UTC

....

Laws that adapt to reality are a bad thing?
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby arthurd006_5 » Sun May 26, 2013 7:57 am UTC

sonar1313 wrote:People don't fear efficiency, they fear weapons, for crying out loud. If there were some element unobtainium that had all the efficient properties of uranium but without uranium's nuclear waste byproducts or tendency to occasionally create nuclear meltdowns, it would be embraced. It's not efficiency people fear, it's the side effects.

Thorium, possibly, but the relevant engineering hates you.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby arthurd006_5 » Sun May 26, 2013 8:03 am UTC

jpk wrote:Why do we simply accept the imbecilic premise of the comic, to begin with, and when did we decide that there's simply no point in thinking about things that we can't change, and how did we decide that thinking about things can't change the way we use them anyway?

I think two things are going on, that help people to decide to be passive:
- some of the problems are actually quite large, and nobody has a really good idea of what to do, and being frightened is uncomfortable
- power is being separated from politics, as part of globalisation, and awareness of weakness is uncomfortable

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby rmsgrey » Sun May 26, 2013 1:22 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:....

Laws that adapt to reality are a bad thing?

Laws that change rapidly are a bad thing - apart from anything else, every time a law changes, all the relevant compliance studies have to be redone.

The concern with any Google Glass Privacy Law coming out in the next year or two is that it will either be too narrow, and easily circumvented, or too broad, and ban socially acceptable behaviour (like recordings made in public places which happen to include glimpses through people's front windows), or redundant with existing law that just needs more consistent application and enforcement, meaning future changes to the law will have to hit both copies...

There are already laws that say that things you do in public are public, and things you do in private are private, and, while there are areas where improvement is possible (for example, clarifying whether "clearly visible from a public place" includes "when using a telephoto lens" or not), Google Glass doesn't change the principles at work - yes, it makes some things easier to do, but to what degree something is an invasion of privacy doesn't change based on whether you use a spy camera built into a button, or a camera built into your glasses.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby ijuin » Mon May 27, 2013 5:44 am UTC

Meh, the real issue at the root of it all is that people can't look at a picture of some stranger doing something dumb and not be scandalized. A few embarrassing photos, and a person's public image is ruined forever. Does this mean that we must all take great pains to NEVER do ANYTHING embarrassing except in rooms that have been swept for bugs and that are populated only by people that we trust completely? Do we need to assume that every word we ever speak will be heard by our enemies and quote-mined?

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby speising » Mon May 27, 2013 8:09 am UTC

ijuin wrote:Meh, the real issue at the root of it all is that people can't look at a picture of some stranger doing something dumb and not be scandalized. A few embarrassing photos, and a person's public image is ruined forever. Does this mean that we must all take great pains to NEVER do ANYTHING embarrassing except in rooms that have been swept for bugs and that are populated only by people that we trust completely? Do we need to assume that every word we ever speak will be heard by our enemies and quote-mined?


at least, that could make general conduct more polite. like gun proponents argue that everyone wearing a gun makes people more polite.

anyway, i, too, think that laws should codify acceptable behaviour, which is independend of technology. if snooping is illegal now, it will remain so when new tech makes it easier. if it is acceptable to take photos in public, google glasses shouldn't be a problem either.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby Puppyclaws » Mon May 27, 2013 1:16 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Meh. That doesn't concern me much. Cameras are everywhere. Privacy is mostly an illusion at this point. If you want to keep something hidden, keep it in your own home (though you'd have to ask people to take off their Google Glasses when they enter, which should be the etiquette anyway). There are enough phone videos published on YouTube to prove that those are sufficiently covert enough for people to not know they are being recorded. All it takes is careful acting, pretending you are texting or playing a game or whatever. You can be pretty discrete with a phone if you want to be.

The technology to have a video camera in glasses is here today, and has been for some time. If someone wanted to record you or your stuff using glasses, they can do so without being as obvious as wearing Google Glasses. The ship has already sailed on the whole "I don't want people to video record me without my knowledge" topic.


I am not exactly thrilled by the fact that cameras are everywhere, and I would prefer that we not continue to encourage a culture where that is acceptable. There are also levels of acceptability to this type of recording; I have also heard the 'everyone has a cell phone, so why should you care about [traffic cameras, police cameras, safety cameras, etc.]'. One of my own concerns is that Google Glass is going to make it even more acceptable. It's irrational but I feel like pretty soon I am going to be told "Well, anyone who comes into your home wearing Google Glass is recording you there anyway, why should you expect any privacy there?"

Also, I have found that people who use their phones to record things in public are being a lot less inconspicuous than they think they are.

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby rmsgrey » Mon May 27, 2013 6:58 pm UTC

Puppyclaws wrote: One of my own concerns is that Google Glass is going to make it even more acceptable. It's irrational but I feel like pretty soon I am going to be told "Well, anyone who comes into your home wearing Google Glass is recording you there anyway, why should you expect any privacy there?"


If Jack is in my home, I don't expect the things I do in front of him to be private from him, but I do expect him to be discreet about who he tells about what he witnesses. On the other hand, since he can already tell people about what happened, him having a subtle camera would just make the potential indiscretion more severe.

In general, I fall back on the principle of indifference - with 7 billion other people out there, all with their own indiscretions freely viewable, no-ones going to be that bothered about mine - even more so if we manage to develop the technology to know who's watching us - being a voyeur on the girl next-door is suddenly a lot less appealing when you realise she's able to watch what you get up to while you're watching her...

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Re: 1215: Insight

Postby ucim » Mon May 27, 2013 9:23 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:...all with their own indiscretions freely viewable...
Indiscretions are not the problem. Rather, it is the vast but casual amplification of permanent intrusiveness that google glass and its ilk provides. Without google glass, I don't mind if the plumber sees my dining room table while I'm working on financial issues. With google glass, I might as well give him a copy of my tax return. And what is the next step? Facebook glass? (Always connected - nothing to click!)

And does anybody think for a moment that these pictures will be free from supboena? (If I were a lawyer, I would make that a routine part of any investigation).

Jose
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