In the discussions about my latest blog post, I suggested that people who are concerned about the ethical issues about Google Glass, instead of simply eschewing the technology should engage with it.
If we want to shape the evolution, we need to engage now, and not after others have predominantly determined the course of the technology.
An interlocutor responded,
But this isn't the way to change it.
It's just following a misled crowd. It's mimicry at best.
I suggested there, and suggest here that such a response is misguided at best and more likely, downright prejudiced. As the discussion continued, Godwin's law took effect, to which pointed out
Hitler's opposition to smoking in no way inhibits my own opposition to smoking.
To put this into a historical context, in the "Articles of Religion, As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the twelfth day of September, in the Year of our Lord, 1801", one section talks "Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments".
The same applies to scientific endeavors. The beliefs, ethics, and methodologies of an investigator does not whether or not their conclusions are correct. For, as the old saying goes, even a broken clock is correct twice a day.
Matthew Katz recently posted a link to his article in KevinMD, Google Glass for medicine: 4 reasons why it could be disastrous saying:
Am I just turning into a technophobe? My post on KevinMD about Google Glass.
As a person who has been using Google Glass for the past three months in a health care setting, I believe you have become a technophobe.
Privacy Violations: The same issue applies to cellphones. Are you going to ban them from your practice?
Hackable: Personal computers are hackable as well. Ban them? (I worked with security for a Swiss bank two decades ago when they said they'd never connect to the Internet because of security issues. There are risks with all technology, just like everything else in life. You can't ban life, instead, you need to mediate risks)
Concern with multitasking: This is probably the strongest point, which also seems pretty weak, based on my experience with Google Glass. Yet the interruptions I get from Google Glass, wearing it all the time, is similar to the interruptions I get from phone calls, overhead pages, and other staff members knocking on my door.
Google’s And medicine’s goals aren’t aligned: Again, on the surface, this seems like a valid point. However, from my experience dealing with pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufactures, and insurance companies, I suspect that Google's goals may be more closely aligned with medicine's goals than most companies working in health care.
Over on his article, I added a couple additional thoughts, edited for the blog here:
The other point that I would make is that Google Glass is not in BETA. Ity is not even in ALPHA. It is still a prototype. I think it is premature to make determinations about what a prototype is likely to do to a business. You might want to go back and look at the history of the Xerox.
The Smithsonian Article, Making Copies is a good starting point.
At first, nobody bought Chester Carlson's strange idea. But trillions of documents later, his invention is the biggest thing in printing since Gutenburg
Companies turned down the xerox machine because so few people made copies prior to it, they didn't think it would sell.
My experience with Glass, so far, is similar to my experiences with the Apple Newton in the early 90s. A lot of people didn't think much of the Newton back then, and it never really took off, but it laid the groundwork for smartphones today.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Glass follow a similar path and in twenty years be an all but forgotten precursor to ubiquitous wearable computing.
One last thought: it is worth looking at the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, as written about back in the 50's, particularly by Everett Rogers in his book Diffusion of Innovations.
Google Glass is at the very front end of the adoption lifecycle, where only a few innovators have been using it. As has become more and more common these days, when a new innovation comes along, it often gets a backlash. It seems that the backlash against an innovation is proportional to potential disruption the innovation carries.
As a final comment, I'd encourage you to read a blog post I wrote back in 2007 about Twitter:
In a previous post about ad:tech, I mentioned how I learned about NY Times' Facebook page from a twitter by Steve Rubel. I commented about this in the press room, and one of the reporters was surprised to hear that twitter was still around and active. I reflected back on hearing speakers at OMMA predict the demise of Twitter, Facebook and Second Life and it struck me that the standard technology adoption curve that we all hear so much about, may have a lot of interesting nuances.
Back in July, I wrote a blog post, Players Who Suit Ingress building off Richard Bartle's 1996 article about types of players in virtual games.
In the article, I suggested that Ingress players may have similar characteristics as players of MUDs back in the 1990s. Key player types include people who build things, people who destroy things, and people who explore.
Ingress just came out with a new update that provides information about a players activity. This information maps nicely to some of these player types.
As an example, the first category Ingress lists is Discovery with the number of Unique Portals Visited. I've currently visited 476 different portals. It is enough to get me a first level badge, which only requires 100 different portals, but not enough for the second level badge of 1000 portals. I suspect some of this depends on where you live. Visiting 1000 different portals may be easier if you live in New York City than if you live in the middle of Kansas.
The second category is building. There are for different statistics provide, Hacks, Resonators Deployed Links Created and Control Fields Created. I am currently at 7,869 hacks, adding over 500 new hacks a week. That is still a first level badge having hit 2,000 hacks, but not yet at the second level badge of 10,000 hacks. However, at my current rate, I should hit the second level in about a month.
I have deployed 10,539 resonators. That gets me the second level badge. The third level is 30,000 resonators, so that will probably be quite a while yet.
I've created 2,721 links, which gets me a second level badge for 1000 links and a little over half way to the third level badge of 5,000 links. I have created 267 control fields, which gets me the first level badge at 100, and half way to the second level badge of 500.
On the Combat side, I've destroyed 4,521 enemy resonators. Again, past level 1, of 2000, but not yet half way to level 2 of 10,000. I've destroyed 500 enemy links and 108 enemy control fields. I don't see badges for those. Perhaps I haven't destroyed enough. On the other hand, it is interesting to see that I've deployed over twice as many resonators as I've destroyed and created over five times as many links as I've destroyed.
I guess I'm more of a builder than destroyer. How about you?
Summer's almost over, and I'm crying, but I don't know why…
For years, the most common lyric that I would start my writing with was the beginning of The Circle Game; thinking back on my own childhood as I dreamed about the future for my own children. But of late, Cheryl Wheeler's song, "Summer's Almost Over" seems to be my starting place.
It is noon in Woodbridge. Kim and Fiona are at the barn. I was going to get up and go to church. Then, I'd do some minor chores around the house and maybe go for a swim. Summer's almost over, but there are still opportunities for a good swim.
Last night, my mouth was a little sore. I'm not sure what it was, but it was something like having a blister from eating burning pizza, exempt it was in the back left part of my mouth next to the molars instead of up front where the incisors would first meet the hot pizza.
There have been times when I get cankers and half my mouth would be in pain, and it had a little bit of a feeling like that as well.
I read a little bit more of The Blithedale Romance. It is providing me a broader perspective on Nathaniel Hawthorne, Zenobia and perhaps Margaret Fuller, as well as the whole transcendentalist milieu.
Last night The Saylor Foundation tweeted a link to my previous blog post about Blithedale, to which I asked, what role they could play in convening techno-transcendentalists and helping them find a Virtual Eldorado.
Then, I gargled and went to bed.
This morning, I felt worse. The pain in my mouth has spread and all my muscles, especially those in my back were sore and stiff. Some of that might have been from the time I spent yesterday cleaning the large jugs I will be using to make hard cider. The pets did not want me to sleep, at least not at the expense of them missing their normal breakfast time. I did manage to sleep a little later than usual, and after I fed them, I headed back to bed. I set the alarm for nine, figuring I could get up, take a quick shower, and head off to church. When the nine o'clock alarm sounded, I managed to make my way to the shower, but as I stood there, waiting for the water to warm, I was overcome by fatigue. Yes, I could power myself to church, perhaps fall asleep during the sermon and have difficulty muster more than a surly smile to friends at coffee hour. Or, I could make it a real day of rest and head back to bed.
Three hours later, when I finally got back up, I started reading through social media. I've been thinking a lot about how we use social media these days. Are the statuses we read brief headlines we forget? Do they reflect something bigger going on in our lives? How doe they all fit together? Is there some sort of collective unconsciousness tying them together?
I've been seeking to sew together social media interactions.
Yesterday, Kim posted pictures from the barn; dogs, sheep and horses. Big Fluffy Dogs posted pictures of dogs needing rescuing. Gentle Carousel posted pictures of their miniature therapy horses helping others.
Meanwhile, my sister had a big roast yesterday out in Pennsylvania. My wife and daughter, who were caring for several pigs at the barn couldn't make it, and it was too far for me to drive solo.
Umm Junaid Moebius has been posting, this Childhood Cancer Awareness month about the loss of her son to Neuroblastoma. She is a devout Muslim, grieving, praying, and going back to school. Meanwhile, Kate Audette is walking 26.2 miles today in the 25th Annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk in memory of her son Kaiden who died of Medulloblastoma.
All of this in a week when we remembered Kim's mother's death after a battle with cancer fourteen years ago.
For several years, I've been reading a blog called Momspective. Today, Julie put up an incredibly powerful blog post, Let Me Tell You A Story About A Girl I Once Knew, And The Woman She’s Become. It is the story of a mom dealing with being bipolar, struggling to become sober, being raped, yet celebrating successes like two years of sobriety. It is a must read.
Also, Deirdre, a friend from high school was written about her grief at the loss of a close friend. She talks about Burroughs, Kerouac and the 'For Rent' sign at her late friends Victorian apartment.
My friend is gone, and in her honor I want every fool I know to get over it, and do better at the things she was good at: kindness, sensitivity, and empathy.
I think of Kim, Nur, Kate, Julie, and Deirdre, and perhaps, before I head back to bed to try and sleep off whatever is ailing me, it is best to use one final quote from William Golding's, Lord of the Flies to tie it all together:
Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.
After quitting his warm hearth in the city and riding through an April Nor'easter, Coverdale has arrived at Blithedale…
It was a long day, yesterday. Kim is up at Locket's Meadow, tending the animals while Kathleen and David get a little respite. I gnawed on part of a rotisserie chicken Kim had left behind as I put the next batch of canning jars in the dishwasher; one more batch of beach plum jam for the season.
As the dishwasher churned, I sat down and read a little more of The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Blilthedale is utopian farm based on the transcendentalists utopian community, Brook Farm.
It seems that utopian agrarian communities come and go, often with a goal of changing the social norms of the day. At various times in my life, I've been approached about communal living, but it has never come about, and I suspect it is unlikely for me in the future.
I have focused on challenging social constructs, especially around race and gender, but I recognize that this is a massive undertaking that requires major changes to the systems we are all part of.
The dishwasher took a long time to finish, and by the time the canning jars were drying, it was too late to start the jam, so I read a little bit more and went to bed early.
This morning, I got up a little earlier than I would on a normal weekday, and made the last batch of beach plum jam. There was less juice left, so it was a smaller batch. Only six jars worth of jam. All in all, I have made 39 jars of beach plum jam this year. We'll see if I try some other jams or jellies.
On tap for today includes resuming my weekly dump runs. I haven't been recently because of vacation, and it will be a large run today. Hopefully, I can make time to start a couple batches of hard cider. It is that time of year again.
Then, in the afternoon, I will be gathering with a couple people to talk about big data in health care and finance. It will be a busy, if not restful day. And, at some point, I will check in on Kim and Fiona to see how they are doing and if I can work out a time to go give them a hand as well.
I wonder what we can learn from Coverdale and his trip to Blithedale as the new jam cools in the canning jars and I type on my laptop and prepare to publish my post online.