I had a very similar reaction to Jay’s creative presentation as Hannah did. To me, it was very concerning to realize how believable it was — a project like Google Universe is one that I could totally see happening. I thought Jay did a great job of capturing just how invasive Google can be with projects like Google Glasses (and if you think about it, how invasive it already is). With advertising and media coverage that showcases how awesome technology like this can be, we rarely get information on how damaging and harmful technology can potentially be. Court cases like the Dharun Ravi and Tyler Clementi case exemplify how nothing that we do on our computers is truly deleted or private — it is always there and anyone can access it if they are savvy enough with computers (as we saw with all of the roommate’s text and instant message conversations being used in the investigation and being released to the public).
While working on my extended research analysis, I think that I have come to the conclusion that while technology obviously has the potential to do great things in our world, it also has the potential to be used in corrupt ways. With companies like Google, we have to carefully examine the products that they are offering. Sure, they are going to tell us all the ways their product will benefit us (and some of these benefits may be truly incredible!), but we must dig deeper and look into ways that we are potentially harming ourselves by using these products (I.E. giving away our privacy and perhaps some of our individuality). Nothing is wrong with technological optimism, but being blindly faithful is very dangerous.
In closing, I’ll share a YouTube (A Google company!) video showcasing some of the downsides of Project Glasses (warning, some language NSFW): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KmFSmkDyr8&feature=related