I’ve done anger.
I’ve done envy.
I’ve done gluttony.
Continuing with that theme, it’s time to move on to the only deadly sin that contains a double vowel: greed.
To me, the transgression of greed is more egregious than that of envy. With the “green-ey’d monster”, you may only want something, but with greed you actually execute the steps to take it for yourself.
The epitome of greed for my example can be best summed up by Daffy Duck in this clip from the Looney Tunes cartoon, “Ali Baba Bunny” with Bugs Bunny.
Daffy not only covets the treasure, but he actively works to deny Bugs the gold by jumping on him shouting, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”
Greed doesn’t necessarily have to be about physical material objects. It can also be about abstract immaterial concepts such as credit.
Case in point is the recent news that came out this month that reminded me of Daffy Duck’s tantrum of greed.
Google announced Project Glass, their initiative to incorporate various technologies to create glasses with augmented reality. Through pop-up displays, the eyewear can…
…give you a weather forecast when you look at the sky;
…show you walking directions to your destination;
…find the music section when you enter a bookstore; and…
…chat with friends and send messages.
Fascinating cutting-edge technology. Almost as if it came from science-fiction. In fact, this posting about Project Glass calls Google’s prototype “Gibson-esque”.
The author speaks of William Gibson, author of the 1984 book Neuromancer and coiner of the word “cyberspace”.
There is a reason the author of the above post used the term “Gibson-esque” because eighteen years ago, William Gibson published Virtual Light, a story that has as its McGuffin a pair of glasses that contains important data. Called VL, or Virtual Light, glasses, the technology of the eyewear, in the words of one of the novel’s characters…
Put ‘em on, you go out walking, everything looks normal, but every plant you see, every tree, there’s this little label hanging there, what its name is, Latin under that. . .’
Sounds like augmented reality to me. Put glasses on and little labels pop up to add more information to what you are looking at. Granted Gibson’s VL glasses feed directly into the optic nerve while I believe Project Glass does not go that far.
However, I did find it interesting that nowhere in Google’s public relations blitz about Project Glass did they even throw a mention to William Gibson or Virtual Light.
When the ion drive is mentioned by NASA, they talk about it being from the pages of science fiction.
You can’t bring up a website about geostationary orbit without finding a reference to author Arthur C. Clarke who popularized the idea in his paper “Extra-Terrestrial Relays — Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?”.
Interesting to note that (as of this writing), if you type in the phrases “project glass”, “virtual light”, and “william gibson” into the Google search bar you receive no hits from their News section (To be fair, the same non-result happens with Bing also). The only hits are from other bloggers and commenters on blog posts who make the connection between Gibson’s creation and Google’s prototype.
That’s too bad because I think credit should be given where it is due. I can just see the folks in Mountain View, California, jumping up and down screaming, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”
It’s not as if Google doesn’t now how to tip its hat to innovators. When they announced Google Tap, their revolutionary new take on the keyboard, they knew to thank Samuel Morse, inventor of Morse Code.
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