A Day in my Facebook News Feed: Google Glass vs. Knitting in the Wild

Google Glass

Within minutes of each other I had Facebook connections posting on Google Glass and linking to Luci Shaw’s poem “Knitting in the Wild.”

First I watched the trailer for a new Google-pioneered technology. It’s sort of like having a smartphone on your face, which is perhaps best experienced through this clip rather than described:

The technology is astounding. To be able to see where I’m supposed to drive without having to touch or click on anything? I’d benefit from that. But I got a little sad at 0:36 when I saw a special moment between father and daughter recorded by Glass. Not because I don’t value taking photos and videos of my kids (I do it a lot here and on Facebook), but because there was something about Google Glass–a physical and technological object standing between, recording, mediating–that seemed to interrupt the here-ness of that moment, the now-ness of it.

Having flight info show up in my glasses when I’m at the airport would be cool, but this feels a little too much like the apocalyptic Overbrain my friends David and Tim keep warning us about. (I.e., when all of our thoughts, actions, and moments are connected to and subsumed by one giant Cloud.)

Minutes earlier someone in my news feed had posted a link to Luci Shaw’s “Knitting in the Wild”:

The pale bits—twigs, fibers,
pine needles—sun-struck,
fall through the lazy air
as if yearning to be embodied in
my knitting, like gold flecks woven into
a ceremonial robe.

Then surprise—a new marvel!
Like a parachutist, a very small beetle
lands on the greeny stitch I have just
passed from left needle to right;
the creature’s burnished carapace
mirrors precisely the loop of glowing,
silky yarn that he has chosen.

When this shawl ends up
warming someone’s shoulders,
will she sense the unexpected—
this glance, this gleam,
this life spark?

I don’t know how to knit. But, amazing as Google’s new technology is, I imagine that I will pick up a pair of single-point needles long before I put on Google Glass.

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