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Sergey Brin Says Using a Smartphone Is 'Emasculating' 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-are-not-the-things-you-own dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While speaking at the TED Conference in California earlier today, Sergey Brin seemingly tried to set the stage for a world where using Google Glass is as normal as using a smartphone. What's more, Brin went so far as to say that using smartphones is 'emasculating.' Brin said that smartphone users often seclude themselves in their own private virtual worlds. 'Is this the way you're meant to interact with other people,' Brin asked. Are people in the future destined to communicate via just walking around, looking down, and 'rubbing a featureless piece of glass,' Brin asked rhetorically. 'It's kind of emasculating. Is this what you're meant to do with your body?' Is wearing futuristic glasses any better?" Another reader sends in an article that also muses on our psychological connection to our devices. Or, as he puts it, the "increasingly weird and perhaps overly intimate relationship we have with our gadgets; the fist we touch when awake, the last at night. Our minds have become bookended by glass."
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Sergey Brin Says Using a Smartphone Is 'Emasculating'

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  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:00AM (#43031439)

    This is vs staring into some one's face while you ignore them while reading something off your glasses?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:14AM (#43031491)

    these glasses are going nowhere. They look stupid so they are dead on arrival. Furthermore, they only appeal to the part of the population that already wears glasses.

    The hype over these nerd glasses couldn't more clearly illustrate how out of touch dorks are with regular people.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:15AM (#43031497)

    There are a number of things you can say about a smartphone, but - emasculating? Seriously? Out of what orifice did he pull THAT?

    Is Brin worried that Glasses are going to be another Q?

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:18AM (#43031513)
    Emasculation [wikipedia.org]

    Emasculation is the removal of the genitalia of a male, both the penis and the testicles. Removal of the testicles alone is castration.
    By extension, the word has also come to mean to render a male less of a man, or to make a male feel less of a man by humiliation.

    Women should be safe from the effect of smart phones

    (yes, I understand that the most metaphorical sense would imply weakening in a generalized sexless sense. However... think how well the following expression sounds to you: she felt emasculated by...)

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:22AM (#43031527)
    The two founders of RIM suffered from Founder's Syndrome and now it seems that it has spread to Google. Don't insult your potential customers deliberately. Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie drove their company to ruin by ignoring the competition and insulting/ignoring potential customers.

    Sergey, you should leave the marketing to professionals in your organization. You can be the "vision" guy but don't trying to create the narrative for your company. You are not Steve Jobs.

    Steve Jobs was the founder of Apple and the CEO until recently but he had some qualities that are unfortunately uncommon among tech industry CEOs. He knew how to "think" like the common man and figure out what the common man wanted before he knew that he wanted it. He also had a sense of taste and an extreme attention to detail to help his company "polish" their products.

  • He knew how to "think" like the common man and figure out what the common man wanted before he knew that he wanted it.

    Jobs knew how to manipulate people into wanting what he had to sell them. He was an excellent salesman.

    He also had a sense of taste...

    I guess a bad sense is still a sense, so, ok.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <<slashdot> <at> <worf.net>> on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:50AM (#43031651)

    these glasses are going nowhere. They look stupid so they are dead on arrival. Furthermore, they only appeal to the part of the population that already wears glasses.

    The hype over these nerd glasses couldn't more clearly illustrate how out of touch dorks are with regular people.

    There are several problems. If you want to talk about Glass as enabling face to face human interaction, you'll find most people won't want a camera shoved into their face. Secondly, most people will probably notice your eyes darting about so they know you're not paying attention to them, and once that happens, they'll never believe you're paying attention unless you take the damn things off.

    But I'm sure you'll find a lot of people "encouraged" to wear the glasses because they ARE a portable camera that basically records 24/7. While useful to catching crooks because basically the entire public space is under surveillance all the time, and anyone who stands out will probably have multiple cameras trained on them, they also have the downside of well, everything you do would be recorded. So if you visit any sort of morally questionable establishment, it'll be recorded.

    And of course, with Google Goggles, it'll all be tagged for easy searching.

  • by gnoshi (314933) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @01:54AM (#43031671)

    People were skilled in being fucking idiots long before smart phones.
    However, offloading some memory tasks isn't necessarily a bad thing if the alternative is spending active time trying to memorise these things (I'm mainly thinking of rote-memorising facts). That time may be better spent actually actively thinking.

    Then again, actually having memorised a range of information may be instrumental for novel ideas which draw on the variety.

  • by Moridineas (213502) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @02:05AM (#43031711) Journal

    Jobs knew how to manipulate people into wanting what he had to sell them. He was an excellent salesman.

    He was an excellent salesman, certainly fallible, and with a well-earned reputation for his RDF. However, he did a damn good job of knowing what people did want!

    I guess a bad sense is still a sense, so, ok.

    So if you're saying Jobs had a bad sense of taste, yours--by comparison--is better? Why should we believe you? The corpus of Jobs' legacy is in front of us.

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @02:25AM (#43031783)
    Look, i'm with you on the douchebag thing, but what the GP was pointing out was that Jobs did an amazing job (er, so to speak) of selling product. Love him or hate him, Jobs was good at marketing and trying to deny that won't fool anyone but yourself. Whether he did that by figuring out what the consumer wanted or by convincing the consumer they wanted what he had is outside the scope of this discussion.

    The thing is there are two ways of selling a product, convincing the market that what you have is better, or convincing the market that what your competitors have is worse. It's often easier to take the second path, because it's usually easier to knock something down than to build something up. However it's also a riskier path. Sometimes when you try to knock down the competitor instead of deciding to buy your product the market ends up thinking you're a bully or an asshole.

    And it can get really problematic if you're also selling a product that shares traits with the competitor's product that you're knocking. If your company sells cars and motorcycles, then _maybe_ you can get away with telling people "you should buy our motorcycles, because cars suck" if you can restrict your message to people you know are inclined to like motorcycles. But if the message starts leaking into channels populated by the people who usually buy cars it may not go over so well. Telling people they should buy your motorcycles because motorcycles are awesome, and your motorcycles are especially awesome is safer, but it requires more talent (and a better product) to make that message stick.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @02:40AM (#43031823)

    Considering there is no accounting for taste, the "corpus of his legacy" is not evidence of his good taste. Why should we believe anybody who says Jobs had good taste? Such a statement would inherently depend on the taste of the person making that statement.

  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @04:50AM (#43032273)

    For much of his life, he was out of touch with reality, producing expensive, overdesigned, underperforming computers. He nearly killed Apple before he was fired, and failed spectacularly with NeXT. Eventually he found a talent for creating markets in new breeds of consumer electronics.

    Jobs was mostly a dreamer and goof for all but the last 10 years of his life. We mostly only think about his most successful ideas... because they were successful.

  • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by itsthebin (725864) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @06:27AM (#43032555) Homepage
    or 2 people wearing "glass" ignoring each other while having a skype conversation with each other .........

    would that be similar to "crossing the beams" ?

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