AR making us less human?

This week Google formally announced their augmented reality Glasses project. As I digested our inevitable augmented future, I was finishing up Chuck Klosterman’s 2009 book “Eating the Dinosaur”. A circuitous dissertation on American pop culture covering everything from time-travel to Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto against technology. While Ted Kaczynski is certainly a Montana backwoods nutter, he had a few poignant statements that are starting to ring a little louder now that we are exponentially immersed in technology. Regarding Kaczynski, Klosterman wrote “As a species, we have never been less human than we are right now.” While this certainly depends on what one’s definition of humanity is, I have personally found myself relegating the most simple mental tasks to the internet. Whenever a situation arises my first cognitive decision is “oh, i’ll just Google it”, rather than trying to use my own intuitive reasoning. Whenever I’m waiting in a line or waiting for a friend I divert from any sort of awkward interpersonal conversation and dive into some worthless media stream on my phone. While the future burns bright, I also have this scary image of everyone walking around mindlessly talking to their AR glasses.

As Augmented Technology advances I look forward to reading studies on its sociological impacts/ and benefits. In the meantime I will continue to read educated hypothesis like Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows.

Comments