1215: Insight

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Insight
The great thing is, the sentence is really just a reminder to the listener to worry about whatever aspects of the technology they're already feeling alarmist about, which in their mind gives you credit for addressing their biggest anxieties.
Title text: The great thing is, the sentence is really just a reminder to the listener to worry about whatever aspects of the technology they're already feeling alarmist about, which in their mind gives you credit for addressing their biggest anxieties.

[edit] Explanation

White Hat is giving a profound insight into <Google Glass>. This insight, however, can be given, sounding just as profound, for any other new technology that comes around—hence the angled brackets around Google Glass, indicating that "Google Glass" is a placeholder. This, of course, means it is not profound at all, as it has no actual insight into Google Glass (or any other technology).

The title text highlights a common trait of human listeners. The above sentence is constructed in such a way as to trigger the listener's reservations about the new technology. The sentence sounds profound, not because it has any actual insights, but because it causes the listener to fill in the missing insights with his own pre-existing thoughts on the matter. Not only does this cause Cueball to regard White Hat as insightful, but it also causes Cueball to think that White Hat agrees with whatever it is that Cueball fears <Google Glass> for.

[edit] Transcript

White Hat: Maybe before we rush to adopt <Google Glass> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives.
Don't have any insights about a new technology? Just use this sentence! It makes you sound wise and you can say it about virtually anything.
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Discussion

Indeed, somebody speaking circa 1895 could have made the same remark but instead of Google Glass the subject could have been something then new such as the Horseless Carriage, a technology now known as the Automobile in which I will soon drive to work. 24.91.233.200 09:28, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

The same could be said for electrification (utility-provided mains, especially when extended to rural areas), steam locomotives, and industrialization as a whole. --BigMal27 // 192.136.15.177 11:24, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Let's make a list! --DanB (talk) 13:25, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

added <fire>, sorted by date--~~ ~~
  • Maybe before we rush to adopt <Google Cornea Implants> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. (2020)
  • Maybe before we rush to adopt <the internet> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. (1986)
  • Maybe before we rush to adopt <TV> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. (1954)
  • Maybe before we rush to adopt <automobiles> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. (1914)
  • Maybe before we rush to adopt <electrification> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. (1880's)
  • Maybe before we rush to adopt <growing food> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. (10,000 BCE)
  • Maybe before we rush to adopt <fire> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. (400,000 BCE)


I think that most people initially view a new idea or technology with skepticism and/or suspicion, but eventually accept it and learn to incorporate into their everyday life. This generally works out fine, and often for the better. Historical examples of this abound: the telephone, electricity, and the automobile, for example, probably all caused controversy when they were first rolled out to the general public, but today we couldn't imagine our lives without them. Another great example is civil rights. At first, the public attacks civil rights activists as radicals, then tolerates them as equals, and eventually hails them as heroes who fought for good and justice.

However, I would caution against thinking that every new idea is equally beneficial, and that those who express initial concern about the latest gizmo are merely backward Luddites. Humans are generally a lot better at figuring out how to make/do/use something before we figure out if it's good for us. Just look at drug companies like Bayer at the turn of the 20th century, who marketed aspirin (good) right alongside heroin (not so good) as great new drugs for modern medicine. Or think about eugenics, which developed out of evolutionary theory. While evolution was, is, and probably will always be the foundation of modern biology, eugenics provided justification for some truly horrible actions in the 20th century before people decided that it was all bull**** science.

Or, take Google Streetview. Sure, it's a great new technology, and I use it almost daily. But think about the unprecedented amount of information Google has been able to collect on (literally) the entire world. I don't think anyone can claim that we fully understand the repercussions that these new Google technologies will have on our lives, and I'd argue that it's premature to ignore or ridicule people who advocate caution with Google Glasses. After all, we're talking about strapping a camera to your face! Just my $0.02.

TL;DR: New technology isn't always good technology. Chris j (talk) 22:37, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi Chris j, please sign your posts by using the sign button on top of the editor. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:58, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Maybe before we rush to adopt <signing our posts by using the sign button on top of the editor> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. -- 173.245.52.135 20:31, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
unprecedented amount of information Google has been able to collect on (literally) the entire world

Nothing like the entire world. Vast areas have no streets. Even where there are streets, there are large areas either nowhere near a street or not visible from the street. I await Google JungleView, SteppeView and (ahem) BedroomView. Or maybe not. 203.206.118.14 02:28, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Maybe before we rush to adopt <language> we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in... oh, wait. Shit. --Jesse (talk) 19:36, 24 September 2013 (UTC)


I find this discussion joyously entertaining. 173.245.48.137 15:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

This is related to xkcd 1289. 173.245.52.177 23:55, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
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