Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
The future looks scary.
No, I'm not specifically referring to Donald Trump. He looks scary in the present.
I'm wondering more about artificial intelligence, virtual reality and machines that will control us by actually being implanted in (what's left of) our heads.
I'm here to tell you not to worry. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has just announced that the future will be very boring indeed.
Banish, then, your sci-fi nightmares and let me reassure you as to why Luckey's virtual reality will be virtually duller than a being a zookeeper's water bucket.
1. Ever Worn A Diving Mask?
Seriously, how many hours a day will you want to wear those silly VR masks? I know it will seem like the best way to get away from people. But those things will be hacked just like any other gadget. You'll be constantly disturbed. And then you'll be walking around for hours with silly lines on your face. Does anyone want that? Not anyone sane, no.
2. It's Virtual, See.
Of course the makers want you to believe that everything inside your goggles will be real. But it's called virtual reality for a reason. It's lovely to create new worlds inside people's heads. I'm not sure I can ever forgive J.K. Rowling for how she's permanently disturbed several of my friends. But as long as there is architecture, physical touch and sauvignon blanc, you'll be craving the real world soon enough.
3. No One Enjoys Vomiting Too Often.
There are people who accept, and even enjoy, vomiting as the aftermath of human entertainment. These people live in frat houses and eat off the floor. Virtual reality makes you feel good for a few minutes. Then it makes quite a few people feel bad. They're overwhelmed by nausea. The real problem, of course, is that this isn't virtual nausea. It's real bile-bubbling, head-spinning, please-take-that-pepperoni-pizza-out-of-the-room nausea.
4. It's Not A Good Look.
Did you see all those automatons at the Samsung Conference wearing their VR goggles as Virtual Emperor Mark Zuckerberg walked by? It seemed as if they'd already had chips implanted in their heads and those chips were set to an IQ of 78. Worse, just look at them. It was as if they were all extras rejected by Daft Punk. This is less a fashion statement, more a flaccid shape-shift. Humans are vain. They go to a masked ball once a year, but only once a year. And at least those masks look good.
5. You Need Yet Another Gadget For Carry-On?
Just how many hands do you need, just how many more pounds must your shoulders carry before you declare: "Enough"? Gadget-makers would love us to carry around a phone, a laptop, wear a watch and a mask? Do they think we're halfwits? Yes, and they're right. But imagine how much more amplified the traveler's dilemma will become when there's a creepy mask to worry about. And imagine all the crying children who have been scared witless by the mask-wearers. Airline travel would be (even more) unbearable.
6. Gadgets Never Deliver On Excitement For Very Long.
They're devious, those companies. They've sucked us into getting a new phone and a new laptop every year. They've pandered to our every impulse, so that we behave as if some part of our body -- often several -- is constantly itching. We tire of technological developments very quickly. This one will be no different. It will soon become as much of a burden as a pleasure. It will soon require more maintenance than the Tamagotchi you bought and buried in the 90s. And you will have got so bored of having to take at least two changes of clothing everywhere you go because you keep throwing up on yourself.