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Google's Brin says smartphones are antisocial, 'emasculating'

post #1 of 87
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Sergey Brin may pull in a good deal of money from the sale of smartphones running his company's Android operating system, but the Google co-founder recently aired some unflattering opinions on the devices, calling them "emasculating" and offering Google Glass as a solution to the societal problems they pose.

Glass


On Wednesday, Brin took the stage at TED2013, sporting his now ever-present Google Glass unit, and said the rise of the smartphone has led to people essentially getting addicted to antisocial behavior, according to the TED Blog.

"The cell phone is a nervous habit," Brin explained. "If I smoked, I'd probably smoke instead, it'd look cooler. But I whip this out and look as if I have something important to do."

While the increasingly ubiquitous smartphone has given users access to more data in more places than ever before, Brin says the way people access that data requires them to disconnect from the world around them. In fact, he says, the reliance on smartphones is somewhat degrading.

"Is this the way you're meant to interact with other people?" Brin continued. "It's kind of emasculating. You're just rubbing this featureless piece of glass. Is this what you're meant to do with your body?"

Google Glass, the wearable computing device developed by Brin's Google X Lab group, is his way of moving past the hunched, glass screen interactions that have come to characterize the mobile data experience.

"When we started Google 15 years ago," he explained, "my vision was that information would come to you as you need it. You wouldn't have to query at all."

Brin hopes that the head-mounted computing unit will allow people to leave their smartphones in their pockets, instead calling up information when they need it and going about their lives when they don't.

Google Glass will be compatible with both iPhones and Android handsets when it becomes available to consumers some time later this year. Wearable computing has become an increasingly popular concept in the tech media, and rumors abound that Apple is working on an iWatch as well as experimenting with head-mounted displays.
post #2 of 87
he might be onto something in relation to the idea that folks are always looking down at their phones and not at the world

but on the 'emasculating' part. has he looked in the mirror lately

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post #3 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Is this the way you're meant to interact with other people?" Brin continued. "It's kind of emasculating. You're just rubbing this featureless piece of glass. Is this what you're meant to do with your body?"

 

So Brin has experience with emasculation?

 

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post #4 of 87
At least when you stare at smartphone, everyone can see that you are not paying attention. With glasses, no clue.
post #5 of 87
There is nothing more emasculating than wearing Google Glass(es).
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post #6 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

At least when you stare at smartphone, everyone can see that you are not paying attention. With glasses, no clue.

 

The funny thing about what he's saying (besides the fact that I don't think "emasculating" means what he thinks it means) is that someone using Glass isn't going to be any more connected to the person they're with than looking down at a smartphone.

 

Glass could be a revolution for POV porn, though.

post #7 of 87

He is not a salesman, nor showman nor visionary. He couldn't make a sale for a john in a brothell.

post #8 of 87

This will never be a solution until you can tap into an overlay of the optic nerve viewport. on the side of the temple with a minute device that using MEMS can activate and deactivate with a touch.

post #9 of 87
Everyone's focussing on how foolish this description of "emasculating" is, but I think it rather obvious that he just doesn't understand what the word means.

It makes no sense because he used the wrong word, and being a big famous "smart guy" he will never be able to admit it.
post #10 of 87
Not taking advice on how to look cool from a guy who looks like a douchebag wearing that thing..
post #11 of 87
Ridiculous. He just wants to sell his creepy stalker spectacles. These are some of the places where wearing google glass is emasculating because they won't let you in, or even let you hang around outside for fear that you are photographing/videoing/surveilling/casing the joint: Military bases, federal agencies, banks, concert halls, moviehouses and theatres, health clubs, sports arenas, airliners, museums, jewellers, national monuments, powerplants, water filtration plants, armaments factories, border crossings, airports, and most important of all, my house. I'm sure not talking to anyone who's wearing those creepy stalker glasses. And I'm certainly going to pull my daughter away if you talk to her with your creepy stalker glasses on.

Only a geek with severely impaired social skills would think that this product would be acceptable for use in your day-to-day business. If you're going to wear this all day long, you might as well put an "I'm creepy" sign on your forehead.

This is going to be a major flop because nobody wants to be around some guy who just might be taking pictures or videos of you.
post #12 of 87
He should stop trying to date smartphones, and they'll stop rejecting him.
post #13 of 87

Wow I didn't know TED talks were basically infomercials for companies.

post #14 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

At least when you stare at smartphone, everyone can see that you are not paying attention. With glasses, no clue.
 


From what I've seen in photos, videos, and articles from establishments commenting on those wearing them, the placement of the mirror is slightly below one's eyebrow and the users look like they're gazing up taking one's eyes off from whomever they may be interacting with.

So honestly, I'd rather have some person looking down being visibly rude and inconsiderate as opposed to some guy mimicking a zombie looking around aimlessly.

post #15 of 87
post #16 of 87

"You're just rubbing this featureless piece of glass. Is this what you're meant to do with your body?"

 

Am I the only person that mentally changes "glass" to "wood" and then has a really good chuckle about this article because emasculation sounds like something naughty? 

post #17 of 87
I agree with Brin, Google has exhibited plenty of antisocial behaviour in the way it's entered the smartphone market, especially with how Eric Schmidt lied to Steve Jobs and Apple's board¡ 1biggrin.gif


antisocial |ˈˌæn(t)iˈsoʊʃəl|
adjective
- contrary to the laws and customs of society; devoid of or antagonistic to sociable instincts or practices:

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post #18 of 87

Rich idiot, one-trick pony.

 

Maybe he can speak with authority on Internet search, but on any other topic, he has about as much gravitas as Rob Enderle.

post #19 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Not taking advice on how to look cool from a guy who looks like a douchebag wearing that thing..

 

The stupid thing is "emasculation" literally means "taking away one's manliness."  He's not even saying that Google glasses look cooler or less dorky, he's saying that people who use smartphones are somehow gay or effeminate and implying that "real men" would use Google glasses instead.  

 

I mean what kind of a f*cked up comment is that to make?  Is it still 1950?  Guys are all supposed to worry about how "manly" they look using this or that technology?  

 

I'm surprised more women haven't jumped all over the comment and beat the sh*t out of him for saying it.  

The main reason I believe that he probably just doesn't understand the meaning of the word is that it's such a colosally offensive thing to say if he actually does.   

post #20 of 87
I can see that the phone has for many become a nervous habit akin to smoking. Checking the phone is like a nervous tick, or a distraction. Don't know what to do? Check the phone.
But be that as it may I hardly think rolling your eyes upward to take a peak at your Glass will in any way improve things. On the contrary, once that becomes a nervous habit for people things will get very freaky.
post #21 of 87
And a fucking thing on your face isn't emasculating at all.

Brinn's wife...

http://youtu.be/xI_YGDMvlNY

No, there's nothing rude, antisocial, or awkward at all about constantly iterrupting a conversation with "OK GLASS!!" and tapping your glasses. That video shows just show creepy and stalkerish that thing is. She pretty much recorded him and shared it without his knowledge.
post #22 of 87

Some people purposely don't pull out their phone for every little thing.   I personally don't do text messaging.  I know some do, but I don't.  If I did, it would only be with a VERY limited number of people and it would be only for serious issues.

 

That's how I try to use my smartphone.  I limit with whom gets the number in the first place.

 

I also don't do Facebook and Twitter. Those are for kids with nothing better to do.

post #23 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

he might be onto something in relation to the idea that folks are always looking down at their phones and not at the world

but on the 'emasculating' part. has he looked in the mirror lately

Yeah, he's probably talking from first hand experience.  I don't know if I would use that term.  I think he shouldn't be playing down something his own company sells and supports so he can show off his Glass, which are definitely antisocial, emasculating and will most likely fail.

post #24 of 87
This guy sounds as dingy as Woz, without the excuse of having had a head injury.
post #25 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I can see that the phone has for many become a nervous habit akin to smoking. Checking the phone is like a nervous tick, or a distraction. Don't know what to do? Check the phone.

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post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Not taking advice on how to look cool from a guy who looks like a douchebag wearing that thing..

 

The stupid thing is "emasculation" literally means "taking away one's manliness."  He's not even saying that Google glasses look cooler or less dorky, he's saying that people who use smartphones are somehow gay or effeminate and implying that "real men" would use Google glasses instead.  

 

I mean what kind of a f*cked up comment is that to make?  Is it still 1950?  Guys are all supposed to worry about how "manly" they look using this or that technology?  

 

I'm surprised more women haven't jumped all over the comment and beat the sh*t out of him for saying it.  

The main reason I believe that he probably just doesn't understand the meaning of the word is that it's such a colosally offensive thing to say if he actually does.   

 

To be fair, the primary modern meaning of the verb  "to emasculate" is just "to weaken". It does derive from an archaic word meaning castrate, and, specifically in relation to males, it can have the meaning that you quoted, but he may have been using it correctly in the sense of weakening interpersonal interactions. Still a dorkish comment though.

post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Some people purposely don't pull out their phone for every little thing.   ...

 

I try to do the same, but the worst offender is email.  If it goes off in your pocket or your bag it's hard not to check because although it's more likely to be SPAM than anything else, if it's a real email, part of the point of having the smartphone in the first place is being able to immediately answer it.  

 

Personally, I could see a wrist notification system like Apple is purportedly working on, being very useful in that regard.  If an email comes in, a discrete look at your wrist will show you whether it's spam or not.  

 

With Google Glasses (BTW, yes I know they are called "Glass" but no one is going to call them anything but "Google Glasses"), you literally can't do much or anything without talking to the thing and tapping the side of your head.  

post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

If it goes off in your pocket or your bag it's hard not to check because although it's more likely to be SPAM than anything else, 

You're kidding right? You get spam? Dude, get some spam blocking or you are just going to go insane.

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post #29 of 87
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google's Brin says smartphones are antisocial, 'emasculating'

Glass

 

Perfect text/image combo. Bravo.

post #30 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

To be fair, the primary modern meaning of the verb  "to emasculate" is just "to weaken". It does derive from an archaic word meaning castrate, and, specifically in relation to males, it can have the meaning that you quoted, but he may have been using it correctly in the sense of weakening interpersonal interactions. Still a dorkish comment though.

 

Well, that's the "modern" meaning, but as recently as the 1970's it meant "unmanly."  That's just a very recent veneer of PC language really.  

The literal meaning of the word is to "remove one's masculinity."  

 

Besides, "weak" is hardly any different.  It's somehow culturally okay for women to be weak, but not men.  "Weak" is a dig against "wimpy" men. 

If you want to insult a woman you use macho adjectives like "pushy" and "angry," if you want to insult a man you call him "weak" or "sensitive."    

 

Which is why it's offensive, but also just so over-the-top stupid when you consider a skinny, nerdy geeky guy is who said it.  

It's just a horrible, horrible, thing to say IMO but more stupid than anything else.  

 

It doesn't even make sense at all because how is checking your phone all the time "weak" or unmanly?  Checking your phone all the time is actually a power position thing.  It's purpose is to let everyone in the room know that you have a cool smartphone, that you know how to use it, and that important messages might be on it for you.  It says that you are rich, important, and connected.  

 

It's about as manly as it gets really.

post #31 of 87
A bold but weird move. Surely he's not ready to trash Android phones in hopes that the world moves to google glasses. It would be fascinating to see Google go all-in on Glass.
post #32 of 87
DORK!

Really.

Closer to becoming part of the Borg collective with some internet-connected facial prosthetic, no that's not emasculating at all. We need to start making aircraft glass out of whatever bubble material this twit is using.
post #33 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

To be fair, the primary modern meaning of the verb  "to emasculate" is just "to weaken". It does derive from an archaic word meaning castrate, and, specifically in relation to males, it can have the meaning that you quoted, but he may have been using it correctly in the sense of weakening interpersonal interactions. Still a dorkish comment though.

 

Well, that's the "modern" meaning, but as recently as the 1970's it meant "unmanly."  That's just a very recent veneer of PC language really.  

The literal meaning of the word is to "remove one's masculinity."  

 

Besides, "weak" is hardly any different.  It's somehow culturally okay for women to be weak, but not men.  "Weak" is a dig against "wimpy" men. 

If you want to insult a woman you use macho adjectives like "pushy" and "angry," if you want to insult a man you call him "weak" or "sensitive."    

 

Which is why it's offensive, but also just so over-the-top stupid when you consider a skinny, nerdy geeky guy is who said it.  

It's just a horrible, horrible, thing to say IMO but more stupid than anything else.  

 

It doesn't even make sense at all because how is checking your phone all the time "weak" or unmanly?  Checking your phone all the time is actually a power position thing.  It's purpose is to let everyone in the room know that you have a cool smartphone, that you know how to use it, and that important messages might be on it for you.  It says that you are rich, important, and connected.  

 

It's about as manly as it gets really.

 

I don't disagree that his comments were very strange, with the rubbing allusion etc.. I was just trying to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one word. Maybe he is just projecting.

post #34 of 87

I wonder if they have left and right versions as some people see better with one eye or the other. Plus, as stated before, they need to explain how the focal distance and the variety of prescription vision correction lenses are going to interact with these devices.

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post #35 of 87
"I'd rather look like a Borg than look like someone using a cell phone..."

Patent denied.

Previous artwork

post #36 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder if they have left and right versions as some people see better with one eye or the other. Plus, as stated before, they need to explain how the focal distance and the variety of prescription vision correction lenses are going to interact with these devices.

I'm sure they'll tell you lasik is required for you to see the Emperor's new $1400 clothes.
post #37 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

A bold but weird move. Surely he's not ready to trash Android phones in hopes that the world moves to google glasses. It would be fascinating to see Google go all-in on Glass.

 

Good point.  And is Google planning to change its business model?  It currently makes money selling desktop advertising quite successfully, and it tries to make money selling mobile advertising but not all that successfully.  Does it plan to sell advertising with its glasses?  Are they trying to put advertising as close to our brains as possible?  Or are they abandoning their only successful business model and trying to out-innovate Apple as a device maker?  

 

None of this is clear to me, except that Google looks incoherent and immature.

post #38 of 87
I think the Borg pic above is telling. Now look at the other items from Star Trek that did become popular like the communicator and tablet. Can this make into normal culture? I think eventually, but not as Google Glass looks today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

And a fucking thing on your face isn't emasculating at all.

Brinn's wife...

http://youtu.be/xI_YGDMvlNY

No, there's nothing rude, antisocial, or awkward at all about constantly iterrupting a conversation with "OK GLASS!!" and tapping your glasses. That video shows just show creepy and stalkerish that thing is. She pretty much recorded him and shared it without his knowledge.

The interaction seems like it won't catch on but I liked Anne. She seemed nice even though she was clearly wearing it to the party to pimp it to high-profile guests. It does mean that it's ready enough to at least do some basic tasks with enough ease. I think we can take it out of the vaporware phase after seeing that video of Anne.

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post #39 of 87
what a jerk!
post #40 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Patent denied.

Previous artwork

 

Careful there.

 

Resistance can be emasculating.

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