More signs that the dot-com people who we are supposed to respect as “geniuses” are in fact drudges who got lucky: Google’s new big news is a minivan and virtual reality continues to bore everyone except the nerds.
Silicon Valley has forgotten how to add utility to its products. Self-driving cars are great for avoiding both tiresome commutes and the types of people we find on public transportation. Otherwise, no one really cares. VR is great if you use it as a way to create a virtual office so we can all stay at home and avoid society. Both of these are not “fun” technologies, but mitigations of social problems caused by decline.
Even more, they are pathetic. Minivans are a symbol of how boring America was in the 1990s, and the apparent nostalgia that Google has for them is creepy at best. Virtual Reality is like the satire of every geek in history: living in a world of tedious details, fascinated by the obvious, and yet missing the bigger picture.
The lack of immediate utility to either of them suggests that Silicon Valley remains out of ideas, vision and realistic thinking and so will soon make a large flushing sound and leave a lingering smell of digestion.