Editors Note


What a Pain in the Glass

A Google Glass first encounter? Let’s listen in…

“You actually want me to wear these things on my head? In front of my eyes?

They’ll help me do WHAT? There will be times at work when I really need this sort of thing?

Hey! You MUST be kidding me. These damned things feel awful on me. They give me a severe headache. I’m totally distracted while wearing them. Get them away from me. I don’t CARE if everyone else is starting to use them. I don’t need them. AND… I’ll never need them. I can’t stand stuff like this.


I’m not sure I have the quote EXACTLY accurate but sounds a bit testy, right? Hostile even. Shocking that a relatively educated monk would speak that way to a brilliant older Dominican friar named Alessandro della Spina suggesting the use of crafted lenses suspended via bits of wire in front of the monk’s eyes as an aid to seeing the biblical manuscripts being reproduced via quillmanship. Likely, the cranky presbyopic priest was finished as a transcriber and rigidly on his way to less optically-intensive olive gardening chores at St. Catherine of Alexandria Monastery in the hills surrounding Florence circa 1287 A.D.

Don’t get me wrong. I can totally relate to the cantankerous, old cleric. It’s now circa 2014, and I’m equally unimpressed (so far) with the Google Glasses recently slapped on MY face. The “look-up-to-your left” eye-movement involved is yucky unnatural. The interactive functions are unrefined. The frames look like badly cobbled Sci-Fi props from Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”

But there is absolutely no way around the fact that some form of SmartEye glasses (and maybe not even from Google) will make a powerful stance in the optical arena, and resounding support of this future phenom will succeed with the young(ish) GenEYE turks populating this issue’s Seeker feature. Figuratively speaking, most baby boomers are going to be out in the pasture collecting olives with that nasty, old monk.

I still live in the fantasy that my writing was better when scripted in inky blots from a fountain pen or solidly pecked out on my Mom’s old, portable Royal (manual!) typewriter. I ridiculously grope for a stick shift in any car I drive, grumbling that these newfangled automatic transmissions rob me of ultimate driving control. I miss my Filofax. And yet I swear on my (already dated) iPhone 5C, there will come a time where you will be a Googling in some form or another, and it will be on your head and not as a search for some misinformation on Wikipedia.

—James J. Spina

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