Look, I'm still waiting for a killer smartphone app that motivates me well enough to upgrade from my flip phone. Now if someday I walk up to the vending machine at work and it will only accept payments via mobile app, that might do it. On the other hand, the cost/value equation of paying $300 more a year on my cell phone bill just for vending machine access might end up keeping me on a diet. As for Google Glass, perhaps the ability to just look at that Snickers bar and have it fall into my hands might make it worth it. Decisions, decisions.
I'm about as religiously conservative as they come, and I think you've got the wrong villain in you sights. Cradle to grave monitoring and control is a collectivist policy, which like much of current liberal thinking, accepts the ceding of privacy to the state as a contemporary norm. I've never talked to a conservative Christian in any of my circles having the point of view that the state should be entrusted with the right to inspect our daily lives. Rather, they tend to strongly advocate personal freedom, responsibility, and privacy. If you blame the religious conservatives for this sort of thing and they all go away, all you'll have left are the government and those who think government is pretty much the equivalent of God. Of course, I'm sure you'll eventually come to terms with this since there isn't a liberal around who, once they find that they can surreptitiously follow the creationists or any other of their selected villains around, wouldn't love to exercise their omnipotence.
I don't consider adaptive optics "additive" or "artificial". Adaptive optics, as I understand them, do not add new light but correct existing light like a sophisticated focuser. To me, the non-corrected image distorted by the atmosphere is more artificial than the corrected image, in which the atmospheric distortion has been subtracted out . Just as the repair work on the Hubble (or the optics on your glasses) did not "create" new or artificial light, neither does adaptive optics. One of the ways this can be proved is that in a post-processed image, you can only extract or enhance what is there. In this case, we are seeing detail that no post processing of the light could have visually revealed. This is not additive or artificial detail, it is real detail.
If the motorcycle were suddenly invented today, we would have a similar effect. A certain group of people would find the motorcycle very appealing. Compared to the car, they are small, more fuel efficient, and less expensive. So the set of people not needing an enclosed vehicle with room for passengers and cargo would all run out and buy one. In those first few years motorcycle sales would spike relative to cars, and probably displace some car sales.
Anyone looking at the sales figures and marketplace trends in those days would proclaim that the days of the automobile were nearing the end and that the car was doomed. After all, all motor vehicles are the same, right.
Actually, in hindsight, it might have been a good time to invest in cars.
Has anyone considered how many scouts will go missing because of this?
Of course once you've gone completely flat and removed all the ornamentation, it makes one wonder where the next generation will go. Perhaps someone will suddenly realize, wow, we can make those tiles look just like a 3D image of a smartphone (and, of course, be promptly sued for rendering them with curved corners).
Interesting. I'm building an arcade cabinet right now. I have some limited skills working with wood, but by no means am I carpenter. I debated buying a kit, but could not find one that I was happy with. So I'm building from scratch.
I have been proceeding very slowly and teaching myself new skills everytime there is something I want to do, but have not done before. I am *very* happy with the results, and there is absolutely no question that I value this piece of work far more than if I had just purchased it. In fact, I've estimated that considering the time and labor I've put into it, I would need to sell it at at least $10,000 to break even. This is far more than I think anyone would be willing to spend; but it is what I think it is "worth".
On the other hand, this cabinet is highly customized. And perhaps this is the the more practical reason why I value it so highly. It's true that I wouldn't pay $10,000 for a "stock" arcade cabinet like the one I built. But if I had gone to a master woodworker and stood over his shoulder directing him to do all of the major and minor tweaks that I did, ask him--mid stream--to throw away assemblies he had done and re-do them in a different way (because I changed my mind after seeing what it looked like), and to have him overbuild and overfinish it in ways users would never see or appreciate; yeah, I guess I wouldn't be surprised if he charged me at least $10,000.
So yes, I think we tend to value things we produce ourselves more highly than those built by others. However, for me in particular, when I really think about it, the reason is less about self-love than it is about customization--and even small customization can have tremendous value if that's the thing that you *need* to make the thing "perfect" for you. The thing I like so much about Open Source is that I can go into it and make those little tweaks that make the software do exactly what I want. A good example of this is Atari800, one of the emulators that I use in the cabinet. I really like this emulator, but it had some annoying (to me) minor issues that made it less than perfect for my application of it. So I contributed fixes for these things to the project. So now my project is perfect. And I value that a lot.