Escapist Podcast: 083: SimCity, Story-Based RPGs and Google Glass

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My meatloaf is stuffed with hard-boiled eggs, wrapped in bacon, then glazed with a spiced tomato puree with lots of cayenne pepper, paprika and some brown sugar. The stuff that goes in the ground beef is mainly salt, pepper, garlic, diced mushrooms and diced green bell-peppers.

Once it is done roasting, I take all the pan drippings and the tomato sauce that's left (I use a whole can of puree, some of it will fall on the side, I add some water to it too so it won't burn) then I reduce it in a pot and add some water with flour mixed in to thicken it, make it into a tomato-based bacon/beef/mushroom water gravy of sorts to top the meatloaf with. I usually eat it with thick-crust crunchy bread of sorts, a glass of red wine goes well with it too.

Best. Thing. Ever.

Oh and SMT:Strange Journey does not take place in space, it takes place in the demon world. You go to the Antarctic and then there's basically a demon dimension that you get sucked into.

As for what Shin megami tensei actually is (answering Tits' question) I shall provide a history lesson!

Originally in the 80s there were a trilogy of Japanese novels called Megami Tensei. It was a story about a bullied student into programming making a program for summoning demons from the demon world which backfired and threw the world into chaos. This, got turned into a game with the same title. Shin Megami Tensei (shin meaning "new") is the series of games that spawned from that book series. It used the same myth-building of the book as a basis but it went it's own way with original characters and events.

Persona, in Japan, is actually NOT a SMT game. They just did that in the US due to brand recognition reasons. In Japan it's just persona 1,2,3,4 not SMT:Persona 1,2,3,4. It's entirely a spinoff series. Think of it like Devil may cry and Bayonetta. The two things have lots of similarities and they're by the same people but they're just wholly different series.

I think your fears regarding Google's Glasses are pretty much unfounded. You won't be able to look at any person and get a ton of information about them unless that person has made all that information publicly available on the internet already (and maybe not even then).

Basically everything the Glasses will do already exists in the form of an Android app (named Google Goggles) that uses the phone's camera and internet connection, and it has NOWHERE near such capability. All the Glasses will do is streamline the functionality.

Simply put, such information about a person isn't available on the internet unless specifically made available.

caravan29:

With my history in Technical Editing, I understand Susan's anger with the new revision of "literally"; however dictionaries are supposed to record how a word is used in society, not prescribe how the word should be used. Since a large portion of English speakers use "literally" as an emphatic adverb or intensifier, then dictionaries have a responsibility to record that meaning.

This is more a benefit to English second-language speakers. Imagine a Korean man, studying English, visits New York City and while walking on the street hears, "With all these restrictions on zoning, this city is literally killing homeowners." Having the amended version of literally listed in the dictionary adds needed clarity for second-language speakers (and for all speakers), and reduces the anxiety that Korean man was about to have.

On a more theoretical level, the incorrect usage of "literally" is actually not incorrect. According to some philosophies in Linguistics there is no universal authority stating that a word and its meaning is intrinsically connected (Sign and Signifier for those who are familiar with Structuralism/Deconstructuralism). A language is constructed by society, through the interaction of individuals; thus words and their meanings are decided by society. If enough people decide that literally means "to indicate that some metaphorical or hyperbolical expression is to be take in the strongest admissible sense" (Oxford English Dictionary), then the meaning of this word has changed. And this phenomenon, called Semantic Shift, occurs an incalculable number of times within any language.

My personal favorite is the word "awful", which once meant "Worthy of profound respect" or "Sublimely majestic", but now means "terrible, dreadful, [or] appalling" (Oxford English Dictionary).

A much better explanation of what I was going to say. I could literally kiss you. I will leave it up to you to decide which meaning.

I remember the "awful" thing from history classes at school, it was quite an obvious one given the loading of the question that awful was essentially "awe-full", there were a bunch of others but my memory fails me on those.

Also (to the podcast), do people really not understand the original meaning? Using a word in a certain way does not exclude knowledge of other uses of the word.

Alright... WHERE IS THE AUDIO VERSION?

I really don't need to spend the extra bandwidth incurred by watching the four of you sitting statically in opposite corners of a sound-room, where we can barely see Susan or Paul, with your faces are hidden by pop filters.

Seriously... From what I can tell you're all very good looking, but unless you're going to turn the podcat into a 100 minutes of you doing Gundam Style and the Macarena
(In which case I'm going to stop watching due to displaced embarrassment) then there is very little point to actually watching the video versions of these podcasts.

Maybe if you were sitting on a couch or around a desk and we actually got to see the faces of those who were talking, you actually provided additional visual content... But you don't... So.... Why are you making me download 250MB instead of 40-90MB?

Zykon TheLich:
do people really not understand the original meaning? Using a word in a certain way does not exclude knowledge of other uses of the word.

It's possible that they do, but using "literally" wrong either means you're ignorant of its meaning (which I'd suspect is usually the case) or that you're choosing to use it stupidly (i.e., in a way that makes you sound foolish and hinders, rather than enhances, communication).

TAdamson:
WHERE IS THE AUDIO VERSION?

I really don't need to spend the extra bandwidth incurred by watching the four of you sitting statically in opposite corners of a sound-room, where we can barely see Susan or Paul, with your faces are hidden by pop filters.

Seriously... From what I can tell you're all very good looking, but unless you're going to turn the podcat into a 100 minutes of you doing Gundam Style and the Macarena
(In which case I'm going to stop watching due to displaced embarrassment) then there is very little point to actually watching the video versions of these podcasts.

Maybe if you were sitting on a couch or around a desk and we actually got to see the faces of those who were talking, you actually provided additional visual content... But you don't... So.... Why are you making me download 250MB instead of 40-90MB?

Seconded. Obviously you guys have no obligation to change things just to accommodate those of us who don't want to waste the extra bandwidth, but I'd imagine that the audio and video components are recorded separately in the first place and it seems (although maybe it's not) like it should be simple enough to put a direct download link for the audio-only version and it would be very much appreciated by... well, at least me and TAdamson.

Edit: As others have mentioned, the privacy concerns re: Google glasses don't really make much sense. I don't mean that it's silly for you to have them or to be upset, but that, a) at least at this stage, it'll be woefully obvious if someone's wearing google glasses, b) it's not going to be accessing information that doesn't already exist and isn't already accessible, and c) at least in your hypothetical scenario, the person would have to see you to do any of the privacy invasion in the first place. ...so if your concern is that someone will see you, then decide to look up your address to do you harm... that doesn't really make sense. If someone can see you, they can already (although they sure as fuck shouldn't) do you harm.

Also, it seems like using Google glasses to help you commit crimes would just help put you in prison faster and harder given the digital trail it would leave (not that it wouldn't happen, as people currently brag about their crimes on facebook). Kind of relevant to the topic: there're apparently sites that have massive compilations of fake personal information (like this: http://www.xdd.org/) to screw with the system and help hide real personal information that's floating around.

TAdamson:
Alright... WHERE IS THE AUDIO VERSION?

I really don't need to spend the extra bandwidth incurred by watching the four of you sitting statically in opposite corners of a sound-room, where we can barely see Susan or Paul, with your faces are hidden by pop filters.

Seriously... From what I can tell you're all very good looking, but unless you're going to turn the podcat into a 100 minutes of you doing Gundam Style and the Macarena
(In which case I'm going to stop watching due to displaced embarrassment) then there is very little point to actually watching the video versions of these podcasts.

Maybe if you were sitting on a couch or around a desk and we actually got to see the faces of those who were talking, you actually provided additional visual content... But you don't... So.... Why are you making me download 250MB instead of 40-90MB?

There really is no need to be so rude. You can download the audio-only version either from iTunes for you can download the mp3 from the RSS feed for the podcat. You don't want to deal with video, you don't have to.

Susan Arendt:

There really is no need to be so rude. You can download the audio-only version either from iTunes for you can download the mp3 from the RSS feed for the podcat. You don't want to deal with video, you don't have to.

Well, the RSS feed is somewhat broken. I can download every podcast except #083.

Uh, yeah, the RSS feed is still broken. If this video thing is too complicated for your IT guys to handle, maybe you should just skip it. It's kinda pointless anyway.

Edit: It is fixed now. Thanks guys! *entitled voice*and don't let it happen again...

bravetoaster:

Zykon TheLich:
do people really not understand the original meaning? Using a word in a certain way does not exclude knowledge of other uses of the word.

It's possible that they do, but using "literally" wrong either means you're ignorant of its meaning (which I'd suspect is usually the case) or that you're choosing to use it stupidly (i.e., in a way that makes you sound foolish and hinders, rather than enhances, communication).

Another thing that possibly hinders communication is the use of rhetorical questions, which is what that was.

I disagree that the non literal use of the word literal is wrong or stupid, it is an acceptable colloquialism. There are situations where it's use would be inappropriate, but for everyday speech I consider it perfectly acceptable, and clearly so do many others, enough to warrant it's inclusion in the dictionary no less.

So I've been trying to download this on iTunes, but I keep getting error 8006. Some quick Googling tells me that this error is due to a problem on your end--that the host server is down. I dunno if you can get this fixed until Monday when you're all back in the office or if it will just fix itself eventually, but I figured I'd let you know. Anything you can do about this would be appreciated!

EDIT: Now that I go back and read some of the other comments, I see that you're very aware of this problem already--didn't mean to beat a dead horse with my tidbit here. I'll probably just watch the video version later, but it's really nice being able to DL the podcasts onto my mp3 player and listen to them on the go.

If you guys want to get annoyed by a language issue, I suggest you start reading/listening for when people leave out the participle form of a verb. I'm a language teacher from Sweden (Swedish/English), so I usually notice quite a lot of incorrect language behavior. I can't not do it. My brain is basically damaged goods by now, but screw it...

Anyway, I've been noticing mainly Americans doing the following more and more the last few years and now I'm seeing it on a daily basis:

"He should have saw it coming."

(by the way, I'm not even getting into "should of" that's very prevalent, another time perhaps)

"She got bit by zombies."

SEEN! BITTEN! Jesus effing christ, that annoys me. A LOT of Americans and plenty of Canadians - not that many British - are doing this all the freaking time. It's like the participle form is dying. How is that so hard to get right?

Also, please don't force me to use iTunes for the audio only version. There is no way in hell that iTunes ever gets installed on any of my devices because it is the worst piece of shit bloatware ever. Just a regular mp3 download, please?

Rassmusseum:
So I've been trying to download this on iTunes, but I keep getting error 8006. Some quick Googling tells me that this error is due to a problem on your end--that the host server is down. I dunno if you can get this fixed until Monday when you're all back in the office or if it will just fix itself eventually, but I figured I'd let you know. Anything you can do about this would be appreciated!

I've already informed our IT department that their initial fix didn't quite solve our RSS/iTunes problems, so with any luck it should be resolved by Monday morning at the latest, hopefully earlier. Again, we thank you all for your patience while we figure this all out and apologize for the inconvenience!

As for everyone expressing concerns about having to spend extra bandwidth, we have had no plans whatsoever to completely cut out access to an audio-only version of the podcast. It just appears that at this time we're encountering an unexpected problem that's preventing the audio-only version from working in iTunes or the podcast's RSS feed properly. I understand your frustration, but please understand that we are looking into the issue and will do our best to ensure this does not happen again in the future.

Alright thanks for the update Paul, glad to know you folks are on top of things.

Yikes, guys, let's turn down the insta-internet rage a bit. Surely you can all be measured human beings and survive without an audio only podcat for a little longer?

Go Paul Gooseman and Co.! Your work is appreciated!

(Am I the only one enjoying the parallel between the broken audio/RSS feed and their discussion about broken Simcity?)

Holy hell guys, chill the rage-mode and be patient. They're working on fixing it. (I find it funny that they talk about the aggressive reaction to EA's technical problems with SimCity and now people here are being aggressive to technical issues of the podcat.)

Henriot:

(Am I the only one enjoying the parallel between the broken audio/RSS feed and their discussion about broken Simcity?)

Nope, I made the connection as well :P

Very loose off the top of the head translating, but i think shin megami tensei is "Rebirth of the Goddess of Death". So, yeah, it just sounds cool. XD

So, uh, related note. The Persona 4 anime is really good. ;)
Whether or not you've played the game.

Well after breaking the server, kicking @Kross, and cussing out Firefox 19.0.2, I believe the problem with iTunes/RSS feed is really fixed for sure this time.

Sorry for the troubles and @ThyNameIsMud will provide Beaber cookies for the pain, which I am sure Firefox will eat and not properly provide to you.

Susan's distaste for the now-popular second definition of literally is somewhat hilarious, when one considers that her college degree was in English. She has almost certainly read plenty of novels that use the word in such a way, many of which may be books she enjoyed, some of which were written a century or more ago. I won't pretend like my argument is new, or even my own, so I'll link you to a video from the Merriam-Webster YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai_VHZq_7eU

I have no idea who "they" are, those people who are just now adding the definition to a dictionary, by the way. This definition is not new by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps the new-found vocality of grammar nazis in the internet age is what is truly new.

dakkster:
If you guys want to get annoyed by a language issue, I suggest you start reading/listening for when people leave out the participle form of a verb. I'm a language teacher from Sweden (Swedish/English), so I usually notice quite a lot of incorrect language behavior. I can't not do it. My brain is basically damaged goods by now, but screw it...

Anyway, I've been noticing mainly Americans doing the following more and more the last few years and now I'm seeing it on a daily basis:

"He should have saw it coming."

(by the way, I'm not even getting into "should of" that's very prevalent, another time perhaps)

"She got bit by zombies."

SEEN! BITTEN! Jesus effing christ, that annoys me. A LOT of Americans and plenty of Canadians - not that many British - are doing this all the freaking time. It's like the participle form is dying. How is that so hard to get right?

I am assuming you acquired English as your second language?

If so, it doesn't surprise me that you are more aware of common grammatical mistakes. You would also know English mechanics better than me or any editor on this website, as this is usually the case with E2 speakers (English Second-Language Speakers). This is because E1 speakers, who were taught English first, would have been taught by a parent, guardian, or any close relationship they had during early development; E2 speakers acquire English in a classroom, or some social institution. Because of this, E1 speakers do not actually use syntax rules to build sentences; some modern linguistic philosophies (late Generativism, Functionalism) say E1 speakers are mostly
replicating the patterns they acquire early in childhood, and then they modify their language by adopting colloquialism within their social group.  E2 will always try to build sentences based on syntax rules, because they acquired English in a formal setting.

The examples you presented are Verb Inflections, so I am not surprised that English speakers are having difficulties with them. This is because English is not a heavily inflected language: we lack noun and adjective gender; we only inflect nouns to specify number; we inflect verbs for only 6 tenses, with absolutely no classical tenses (like Imperfect); and our verbs do not vary between speakers (1st, 2nd or 3rd person) because English always uses a subject when speaking (Edmond Weiss, The Elements of International Style). Compared to the Romance Languages, or even German or Swedish, we have moved our language away from inflections, and because of this we have difficulty comprehending when to use and how to use inflections in everyday speech.

Look at the Relative Pronoun "whom".  As of today, the ordinary American speaker has no idea how to use this form, even after having it drilled into their minds by grade school teachers. This is not a fault of the schools, the teachers, or even the speakers. "Whom" is the inflected objective tense of who, but since we dislike inflecting, because it is so outlandish to us, we often just say "I don't know who he invited" instead of "I don't know whom he invited". And this is reinforced by a society who never uses whom. It is so common, that style guides (such as the MLA) recognize "that" and "who" as the relative objective case, as well as "whom".

Delmar Wynn:
Well after breaking the server, kicking @Kross, and cussing out Firefox 19.0.2, I believe the problem with iTunes/RSS feed is really fixed for sure this time.

Confirmed. Downloading from the RSS as normal now.

Thanks! :)

It is actually one of my fantasies I've had since playing Cyberpunk in the '80s that when I get old and my eyes wear out, I'll get some classy hi-def Nikons or Canons and have super vision forever, and be connected forever to the internet.

Since I'm terrible at names, it'd also be terrific to see a nameplate hover over (under, near) everyone I talk to. And between recent advancements in cybernetic eyes and Google Glass, I'll probably have access to this technology in my 60s or 70s (provided that the cost isn't grossly inflated due to gougey medical pricing).

Anyway, Google Goggles is going to get expanded in time to include things like flora and fauna. Facial recognition will come in time, which will be connected (unless you opt-out) to your Facebook account. And yes, at that point, Mr. psycho-stalker will be able to walk into a room and scan over the faces and, with only modest haxxor skillz, find out all the neat stuff you put on Facebook.[1] For a while, you'll be able to opt-out (or limit) your Google-Goggles Facebook data, so you'll be able to stave off this encroachment of privacy for a while.

Now, myself, I've already entered the old coot stage in this, by deciding that I don't like when Facebook uses my name and posts to my friends URIEL SAYS ScamBot Virus Removal Tool is the best! You should install it immediately![2] I don't have a Facebook account. On the other hand there are a lot of conveniences connected to Facebook that I recognize I'm not getting.

I expect our privacy will dwindle as the social acceptance of privacy dwindles. I'm already regarded as paranoid and misanthropic for not having a Facebook profile.[3] I suspect the era will come when anyone who doesn't have megabytes of online presence showcasing their family and private lives will be regarded as a misfit or pre-industrialized. On the other hand, would-be stalkers would be under the same level of scrutiny, and would have to ratchet up their ninja skills to actually do any stalking.

That said, for now, my concern remains our security agencies, who have gone to great lengths to bypass our fourth amendment rights, and they, in fact, do have skilled hacking staff and resources available to find out everything about you, your kids and your lifestyle, and should any of those be determined subversive you can be disappeared without due process. To me, that's far more scary than the occasional psycho with Google Glass.

238U

PS: The peanutbutter-jar-in-a-toiletbowl bit was showcased in The Night That Panicked America about the Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds, and its aftermath.

PPS: Susan Arendt is hot. Am I allowed to say Susan is hot without sounding like a creep?

[1] And if he likes to diddle kids, he will be considering yours. But I'm not sure that's going to be a real problem, though, since his entire antisocial behavior profile (and criminal record) will be haunting him like a vengeful specter that you'll see brightly lit in your Google-Glass You'll know he's on parole and one 911 call would send him back into iso.
[2] This exact scenario happened to me. A good friend loaded malware allegedly at my recommendation via a plausible message in MySpace. We spent a day cleaning her system. I then soured my MySpace account and live contentedly without Facebook.
[3] Granted, I'm already regarded as paranoid and misanthropic for many reasons beyond my lack of a Facebook account, say, I don't like people and I don't trust the government. Then again, is it paranoia when they're really out to get you?

Now, let's combine the "Reaching for the ring" and the "literally" thing.
A well known term that not that many people know the origin of and is completely misused.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you "Utopian Society"!

Let me explain.
It concerns a book (or actually 2 books) by Sir Thomas More, who published them in Latin in the year 1516. They were highly insightful and extremely controversial in his time (and could still be in this day and age).
The book is written as a conversation between Thomas More himself, a friend of his named Peter Gilles and a traveller/explorer/philosopher named Raphael Nonsenso who narrates almost the entire book (if you see a joke there, that's because there is one).
The first book mainly consists of social and political commentary of England during that time. Many of the main points still hold true today as well as the problems addressed. It would take too long to explain them all, so I would suggest reading the book.
The second book concerns Raphael's stay in a small island nation in the New World called Utopia. There is a rather interesting civilization there that, I would describe it as a communist dream. The way that it's described would make it seem like the perfect civilization.
And this is where the rather interesting and deep joke lies.
The name Utopia comes from Greek. It literally means "no-place" in contract to Eutopia which means "good-place" or "well-place", the term Dystopia means "bad-place" . Kind of like Euphoria and Dysphoria (I would suggest now also suggest introducing the term "Uphoria").

So, seeing this little word joke by Sir Thomas More here and the frequent use of the term Utopian Society, it brings up an interesting problem.
A Utopian Society therefore could not exist, since the name itself implies there is no place for it in the world.
Try to wrap your head around that one.

Regarding Literal, I got into the habit of emphasizing with proverbial (proverbially, etc.). But yes, I cringe every time someone misuses literality.

One tactic I've used is to take people's use of literally, well, literal.

DOLORES: And then he literally turned over the room looking for his car keys.

ME: Wow! Did he drive in with a bulldozer or something?

DOLORES: No, no. But he might as well have.

I've noticed that three or four of those will usually fix the problem, or at least increase the levity of the dialog.

238U

Unfortunately I will no longer be listening to this podcast. I do not have the bandwidth to be watching long videos and as the audio is only available on iTunes I can not download it. The iTunes software is one program I no longer use due to changes in it I dislike.

SlamDunc:
Unfortunately I will no longer be listening to this podcast. I do not have the bandwidth to be watching long videos and as the audio is only available on iTunes I can not download it. The iTunes software is one program I no longer use due to changes in it I dislike.

As mentioned earlier in this thread, you can access the audio-only mp3 of our podcast directly through the podcast's RSS feed (which is also located underneath the podcast's video player - it's the small orange button underneath the play button).

caravan29:

With my history in Technical Editing, I understand Susan's anger with the new revision of "literally"; however dictionaries are supposed to record how a word is used in society, not prescribe how the word should be used. Since a large portion of English speakers use "literally" as an emphatic adverb or intensifier, then dictionaries have a responsibility to record that meaning.

This is more a benefit to English second-language speakers. Imagine a Korean man, studying English, visits New York City and while walking on the street hears, "With all these restrictions on zoning, this city is literally killing homeowners." Having the amended version of literally listed in the dictionary adds needed clarity for second-language speakers (and for all speakers), and reduces the anxiety that Korean man was about to have.

On a more theoretical level, the incorrect usage of "literally" is actually not incorrect. According to some philosophies in Linguistics there is no universal authority stating that a word and its meaning is intrinsically connected (Sign and Signifier for those who are familiar with Structuralism/Deconstructuralism). A language is constructed by society, through the interaction of individuals; thus words and their meanings are decided by society. If enough people decide that literally means "to indicate that some metaphorical or hyperbolical expression is to be take in the strongest admissible sense" (Oxford English Dictionary), then the meaning of this word has changed. And this phenomenon, called Semantic Shift, occurs an incalculable number of times within any language.

My personal favorite is the word "awful", which once meant "Worthy of profound respect" or "Sublimely majestic", but now means "terrible, dreadful, [or] appalling" (Oxford English Dictionary).

Whelp... good thing I decided to check the posts before posting... because this gentleman covered what I was going to say, and in a better way.

That being said, as it was explained to me in English 101:

You want to know how the meaning of a word changes? Idiots use it wrong enough that, that is simply what the word begins to mean

I foresee 'ironic' undergoing a change soon as well.

On an entirely different language front: It's "save scum", not "scrum". It comes from roguelikes, where scumming is the process of rerolling a randomly generated outcome until you get a favorable or even exceptional result. If you've ever abandoned a Binding of Isaac run because the first item room was underwhelming, you've scummed.

It got its name because you're skimming positive outcomes off the top of the random number generator, with that added benefit of just plain sounding unpleasant.

Excellent Podcat as always, a little Foley Trivia, the iconic Reaper scream from the Mass Effect series, is actually the sound of a rusty dumpster being opened, and run through a few distortions, The lightsaber sound from the original Star Wars, was actually the sound of the boom mic moving too close to the open back of either a television or a speaker or something like that (Been a while, will have to look that one up again.) Also cabbages make excellent stand-ins if you need the sound of someone's head getting chopped off.

I don't get why anyone should be upset about the definition of a word changing. If words didn't change we'd all be speaking Latin or something.

Language is iterative, malleable and ever changing, people just got to face that reality I'm afraid.

Anyway interesting podcast! I like how escapist doesn't like to do reviews in controlled enviroments.

Regarding the debate about "literally", that is how linguistics works. Dictionaries are not meant to tell people what words mean, they are to reflect what words are used as. It is call descriptive lingustics, and it's counterpart is perscriptive lingustics.
In regards to this particular word, it's still bloddy stupid, but it happens all the time in every language. We have a word in Swedish that ment "Very" or "Extremely" a couple of hundred years ago, but because of exessive use, in now means "quite" or "pretty".

Could we have a literally quiz? To see who on the escapist can use literally correctly. (I want to throw a literally in there, but I'm not sure the grammar works)

Anyway this might help Susan:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/literally

I think mild variations in language is how a language is defined. For instance we don't have a word for virgin (I have a point) which I think shows a lot about our culture i.e. having such a huge emphasis on one thing in our culture, going so far as to name one of our founding cities in America, after virginity.

The emotions and ideals shared by humans in that lack of word may affect us culturally in ways we can't really see, though this is speculation. With literally we are changing as a culture to use it as a word of emphasis not just in it's literal meaning and I think we should note down how we are using it as it is how our language culture is using it and it defining our language with this variation. Not necessarily in a good way, but it is who we are.

To people commenting on the Google Glass discussion - you're right, of course, that it won't be able to do half the stuff we mentioned. But as Justin rightly brought up, these are discussions and considerations that have to happen now, before the problem is actually a problem. It would've been great if someone had, for example, started discussing the difficulty of virtual ownership before people were getting bilked out of in-game currency and objects. Now things have happened, people are screwed, and there's absolutely no legal recourse. There will be eventually, but that doesn't help people currently facing unfair situations. It's not unreasonable to suggest that technology like Google Glass could evolve to the point that it presents the kinds of issues we discussed, so why not start thinking about it?

Beyond all of that, though, it's just an interesting conversation to have, like would you put a chip in your arm to turn on your house lights. I can't actually *do* it now, but it's still an enjoyable discussion to have. :)

On the google glasses thing. The invasion of privacy is one thing to be considered, though I don't know when the capabilities of doing what all you guys suggest will be here. My concern is that people are not ready for the... I don't know...responsability of their own interfacing with the real world to put this veil in between them. Let me explain. We've far suprassed our biological evolution rate by our technological evolution rate, and this discrepancy may have repercussions we've yet to assess. It seems to me this need for instant info for everything and hyper-connectivity (much more than you brain currently can even get a grasp of) distorts people's mental capabilities and relationships. If you've taught a class to kids in recent years it's almost disturbing how very little information they can actually recall. Since they trust they can just google eveything, their brains get used to not storing much at all. This, in turn, alters their pattern finding skills. When they don't store concurrent knowledge it gets harder for them to find relantionships among the knowledge they acquired, internalize the subtle links between things and have a better grasp of the bigger picture and the world around them. Reality is atomized and spoon-fed. In my opinion, I don't see the benefits of this strategy beyond instant gratification. Diminishing the exercise of such important skills like intuition and lateral thinking to find creative solutions does not seem to be outweighted by the convenience of basically menial things the google glasses will supposedly do.

Of course, this is all based on the feeling that these skills are indeed atrophied by not using them and I don't really have evidence to back it up at the moment. However, it has been my very empirical observation of how kids treat the world around nowadays.Also, if it already bothers me when people gather around to socialize when everyone is just playing away on their smartphones instead of, you know, talking to the person in front of you (which is trully very sad), then I have no idea how it will be when you don't even have to look away from the person to zone out of interacting with them.

EDIT: Typos and stuff. Also, I'm very curious at how the google glasses are supposed to work, not in the internet part but the actual image. Try to focus on your glasses in you have them, or put your finger way up close to your eyeball. There comes a point were no matter what you do, your eye simply cannot make the plane where the images resides converge on your retina. According to the videos of google glasses this pristine, clear interface is being broadcast to your eye at a very, very close distance. What are the glasses doing to make that focal plane exist at all?

I hope I'm not being an ass by saying this, but somebody breathing into the mic really bothered and distracted me this episode. Is it something that can be avoided in future, please?

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