The Repository of Scorn

Disposable Digital


With anything digital, the talk is always of the “next great technological innovation,” rather than how good something currently is. Case in point, the amazing facial recognition apps, we had all just about forgotten about. Almost forgotten about, that was until Google Goggles announced they had the potential to identify any stranger on the street, if you provide them a cameraphone image. Which of course, is GPS tagged.

On one hand, it’s sort of interesting that the Orwellian tagging of Facebook and Flickr has given rise to an Orwellian society. Surveillance databases and the fact that no-one cares, result from the disposable nature of information today. There’s so much of it hitting you at once, that people are only expected to glance at walls, updates and amateur hate blogs with a cursory interest. One that has no depth, beyond grabbing sound-bites to repost elsewhere. What Wikipedia has allowed, is for people to gain a Cliff Note idea of concepts, without actually having any knowledge of them. No different than people laughing at ICP’s Miracles video, only to be confronted later with the fact they themselves don’t know how magnets work.  They just thought they did, by glancing over keywords like “North Pole,” “South Pole” and “metal”  – yet coming to no understanding. You can read more about our amateur post-modern philosophy, blaming the marketing perspective of Baby-Boomer culture for the benevolent view of today’s shit-pile, here.

Whereas people have always claimed to like something like The Royal Tennebaums, because it makes them feel smart to pretend to enjoy something they heard was based on Salinger, this new false appreciation era has turned Avatar into being the #1 movie of all time. The vacant appraisal of phantom technological achievements, counting as more important than “talent” or true innovation, is an exact definition of digital advertising in 2010. Pointless apps, moronic campaigns and everything being fake hi-tech (augmented reality?) has created a hyper-reality based ad world.

The truth of how things currently work is best evidenced by Boxee Box. A phantom amongst phantoms. This cube, which you plug into the TV, claims to play Netflix Instant Streaming, all your torrents, Hulu, YouTube and well… anything. All for around $100 bucks. All in HD. Sounds great. It’s been “almost debuting” for month after month, to the point that it now has a rival in PopBox. Something that’s also an intangible commodity that was “about to debut” in March and just announced that by “shipping 2nd quarter,” they meant “maybe July.” The notion of both these products have created rabid fanbases, despite there being no proof them ever making it to market. But the fact they haven’t come out, has made them perennial is this climate of something being disposable the moment it debuts.

The fact Google Goggles has claimed to have disabled facial recognition, due to “security concerns,” has ironically only made Goggles seem even more capable. Not doing something is essentially currency in today’s climate of instant has-beens.

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