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Google Glass Prompts Attack, Woman Claims
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RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 10:22:13 AM
Who's Fault?
So it's her fault she was attacked and robbed? Bad judgment, maybe. But I've been in enough dive bars in my life to know that acting like a "hipster" isn't an excuse for assualt and robbery.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 11:44:42 AM
Re: Who's Fault?
"Canter said, 'It's 100% her, dude.'" This Canter guy evidently has a taste for hyperbole. Dude, "100%"? Really?

I agree, Rob; Maybe it's not a great idea to wear Google Glass into certain venues-- but to assign blame to the victim??? Unless there's a lot more to this story, that's ridiculous.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2014 | 12:01:06 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
Nobody should blame her for the violence, that was clearly way too far. However, some measure of blame for at the very least, rudeness, if not somewhat anti-social behaiour, could be considered in her case. 

If someone is looking in your direction with a Glass headset on and you aren't familiar with its recording clues (though the fact that Google didn't opt for a red light suggests it's somewhat ok with the idea of stealthy recording) it would be the same as someone standing there with their phone pointed in your direction. You might assume they were filming you. 

While that should never give you the right to attack someone physically, asking them to stop shouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility. 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 12:20:31 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
You're right; Google Glass bring up interesting social contracts. This incident happened inside a bar, in which case other patrons might have a reasonable expectation against being recorded without their consent by other customers. Certainly, the bar can (as some others already have) ban Google Glass and similar devices from being worn inside the premises.

But what about on the street? People are already legally allowed to take pictures of virtually anything they want in a public space. Google Glass will be a lot trickier in situations like that.

But the incident in SF seems to be about more than privacy inside a dive bar; it also seems to be about growing sentiment within the city that the tech boom is ruining local culture. Canter's comments in this article reflects that viewpoint, and the SF Chronicle's report on this incident tapped the same vein.

If the issue is not only privacy but also social inequity, this kind of aggression makes no sense-- just like the Google bus vandalism didn't. I think for a lot of angry people in the city, the focal point shouldn't be that techies are paid so well, given so many great perks, and positioned to have such a big impact on the rental market; wage and social inequality issues are systemic, much bigger than Google buses, and they should be treated as such.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 4:15:22 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
Is using Glass really any different than someone using their phone at a bar to surreptitiously video a confrontation? You don't often hear about those problems, but introduc Glass and it becomes a whole new beast.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 4:57:00 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
Great point. And it's sort of funny. If someone wants to covertly take pictures or video of someone else, Google Glass is actually one of the worst ways to do it, since, as this incident attests, the device is so obvious.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 11:55:11 AM
Re: Who's Fault?
OK, let's be real: The biggest crime here was against fashion. Who goes out to a club wearing an ugly set of Google Glasses?
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 11:59:13 AM
Re: Who's Fault?
...someone looking for attention. And she got the wrong kind.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 12:25:44 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
Well said, Rob:  "...someone looking for attention. And she got the wrong kind."

Certainly she didn't deserve to be robbed. But the incident does illustrate how the use of Google Glass pushes into uncomfortable social territory -- and people's reactions aren't always going to be "Gee whiz."
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 10:47:36 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
Rob, you  summed it up well: "...Someone looking for attention. And she got the wrong kind."

That's no excuse for getting robbed and roughed up.  But this incident does illustrate that Google Glass is pushing people's privacy buttons. And the reaction to Google Glass isn't always going to be "Gee Whiz."

 
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2014 | 2:03:18 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
Sounds like the start of a bad joke "A hipster and Glass walk in to a punk bar".

I can't help but run the movie in my head here:

Hipster/tech person, wearing Glass, walks in to a punk bar in a shady neighborhood. She is probably the only one in the bar with no tatoos, no boots, and no scars. At this point she has two options:

Option 1: Get out. Fast.

Option 2: Stay.

This is a lot like me grabbing my steering wheel, yanking it hard to one side, then blaming Honda that I hit a parked car. This is so beyond any reasonable measure of normal behavior and rection to an obviously bad situation, that I have to wonder if she didn't stage the whole thing. Its too much to believe. This may be like an aspiring celebrities 'leaked' sex tape.
cbr600f4
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cbr600f4,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/26/2014 | 4:02:09 PM
Re: Who's Fault?
BY all reports her "dude" threw the first punch at those asking her to not record them. 

None of this story is a blanket statement on life in SF or even about Google Glasses. It is a tiny story about a dumb girl and her obnoxious violent friends with terrible city skills and lack of respect towards other bar patrons, nothing more. She must be incredibly naive (and very drunk as persons who were there report) for thinking Molotov's was the right place to take unwanted pictures of bar goers while calling them "White Trash" at the same time. Did she really think her FRIEND throwing the first punch is not an issue but we should consider getting a towel thrown at her as a violent hate crime? Did she really believe leaving her purse and phone unattended in a bar at 1:30am with a bunch of rough and tumble drunks was a good idea when her friends start a fight? Had she not been so easily scammed out of her belongings there would not even be a story here. How fragile and out of touch is this woman? On her Facebook rant the people who were in the bar are telling a completely different story, or chiding her for exaggerating  With the glasses on perhaps she is living in a special virtual reality where the rules of common sense don't apply."
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 4:51:28 PM
Punk vs. technophile? Hmmmm,
Google Glass as a flash point for the social tensions in San Francisco, leading to assault and robbery and an outraged posting on Facebook by a contributing editor to a social media news site. Hmmmm. Sounds like the writers of Downton Abbey, fearing unemployment, have taken up another cliche-rich mileau. This seems more like a clash of under-the-influence, late night personalities than technophile vs. punk. For Sarah, I would recommend wearing your Google Glass in Pravda, a stylish watering hole in New York or Copper Mountain, Colo., over Molotov.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 4:57:13 PM
Context
Why are people so eager to judge this story in the first place? This story doesn't say much to me about the cultural shift going on in SF; it sounds like a night that went from bad to worse. Could have happened in NYC right?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 5:19:55 PM
Re: Context
If Slocum were male, would the events of that evening have played out differently? And would people be more or less likely to suggest she brought it on herself?
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 5:39:55 PM
Re: Context
I'm not sure it could have happened the same way in NYC. This story is partly about Google Glass-- and in that respect, the confrontation could have happened in any bar in any town. But it's also partly about the perception of tech companies and their employees in San Francisco.

According to the SF Chronicle's account, the people in the bar were upset not only because they thought they were being recorded, but also because they don't like the influx of tech industry employees into the city. The attackers evidently said as much during the confrontation in the bar.

On Tuesday night, in fact, tech workers and housing activists attempted some kind of happy hour in the Mission, a neighborhood where gentrification battles are currently raging. The event evidently turned ugly in less than an hour. Stories like this (or about Google Bus protests, or anti-surveillance protests, or whatever) are in the local news daily.

I wouldn't say that the city is in uproar or anything; it's San Francisco, so there are always protests about something. But a lot of people are upset about rising local inequality, especially since San Francisco now features the most expensive real estate in the country. It's never been an inexpensive city-- but when the median studio apartment runs more than $3,000 per month, you can imagine how many people are on the verge of being priced out of the area. A subset of upset people are directing their anger at the tech industry, whose highly-paid employees are one force driving up rental costs.

I think the city's tech companies are certainly influencing the pace and direction of gentrification, so I understand some of the discontent-- but I don't see how lashing out at techies helps the upset factions to improve their situation. It seems like they've identified the wrong target. A recent editorial in the Chronicle asked what it would be like if the anti-tech activists got their way, and companies like Twitter and Salesforce left the city. I don't think that would be an improvement.

 

 

 

 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 5:58:15 PM
Re: Context
What if it had been a google employee, male or female, wearing an expensive watch or an expensive coat? those folks going to be targeted too? how about someone driving the wrong car near the dive bar? The whole discussion doesn't work for me.


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