Beam Me up, Google!

Perhaps $200 000 is a reasonable price to pay for that weightless feeling and a view of the Great Wall of China, but Kulturbot beat them to it with a ten dollar bottle of Shiraz and the help of Google maps.

But we’d much rather see what’s what at the local skateboard park. Judging by the now vanished wooden obstacles, this photo was taken sometime last summer.

It’s strange how the fantasy of omnipresence offered by, say, the Star Trek teleporter has now become possible via the magic of the internet. Just a few clicks offers the impression of one’s having “beamed down” to the surface for a quick peak at the terrain. I imagine a team of Dr. Spocks in Google Inc. uniforms materializing for brief moments, making their unobtrusive panoramic photos, and then quietly dematerializing in a shimmering haze. They obey the Prime Directive of not interfering with the development of the cultures with which they come into contact, until someone in the population catches drift of what’s going on, and the overwhelming sensation of being continually watched suffuses the people’s experience of their world with a sense of hyperreality.

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