American Gadgets

A man wearing an Apple Vision Pro, together with a military helmet and respirator; he is holding an automatic weapon
Screenshot: YouTube

by John Herrman

A few days after the Apple Vision Pro came out an image projected itself in front of my brain and refused to go away: a man wearing a headset, hunched and shouldering an AR-15. A stupid image. An intrusive thought. And yet I could not stop imagining it, a match made in hell, a pair of weapons and toys with their own stupid stories to tell, and perhaps a new stupid story to tell, together. 

One is a novel technological platform designed in California and sold by a company whose products are enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans, despite costing hundreds of dollars apiece; the other is a mixed reality helmet. One is illegal to use while driving; the other is an assault rifle sold for civilian use, routinely implicated in mass killings. Both are purchases that people justify with theoretical scenarios: an imminent future in which the world is subordinated by cyberspace, or the metaverse, or whatever; an imminent future in which one finds himself shooting many people in rapid succession. (In self-defense!!!) 

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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