corning’s day of glass


Corning gives us a capitalist’s utopia – advertising multiple new opportunities for expensive high tech glass-based materials in the big markets of domestic life, education and health care ‘industries’.

As the day dawns, we are invited to imagine “thin, lightweight, damage resistant, 3D projection” display glass for various handheld devices, and see how much better than curtains would be some “privacy enabling, color selectable, UV/thermal insulated, durable electrochromic glass”…

then we see waking child automaton using her tablet to activate a glass wall of her wardrobe which displays the day’s schedule as well as images of all the clothes inside the wardrobe, which she then makes simulated selections from before then opening the wardrobe and taking out the clothes….

Corning 1

I guess it would cost many thousands of dollars to be able to spend that extra bit of time doing a simulated clothes scan and select before the real action…. not clear why the representation before the action would improve, enhance or speed it up, or make it more enjoyable….

anyway, moving right along, to the endlessly repetitive soundtrack of mindless blandness, we see automaton children get into daddy’s car and excitedly use their very expensive transparent glass tablets to do another pointless simulation activity – ‘cheekily’ changing the car’s dashboard display to pink, so daddy can have a happy laugh when he gets in the car at his radical offspring… and privately get off on how he can afford “custom contoured, glare & smudge resistant, touch capable automotive display glass” and a ‘so-much better than a key’ visual activation device and “lightweight, durable, photosensititve automotive design glass” for the windows…

then all the happy little automaton children rush into a sterile elementary school with its “high efficiency, durable, lightweight, hermetically sealed” environment (which in a token gesture to environmental awareness, is at least powered by the sun through photovoltaic glass panels on the roof), where they can enjoy an extraordinarily sterile high tech learning environment where word and action of teachers and learners are visualised on the “durable, seamless wall-size coverage, touch sensitive wall-format display glass” – just because we can, not because it makes any difference to anyone’s comprehension of anything… and the children remain silent, compliant and separate, as they amaze at the technology…

then we shift to their ‘art’ class, where, saved from the horror of actually ever getting their hands dirty, they stand around a glass table like so many robots as their teachers wows them again with more “durable, multi-touch enabling, pressure differentiating work surface display glass” technology, which their interactions with are limited to a few meaningless movements of colour onto pre-conceived photo selections…

then we shift to a pseudo hospital environment to witness “anti-microbial, scratch & chemical resistant, thin & lightweight specialty tablet glass” being used to do simple administrative activities very expensively… and then to witness how “durable, seamless wall-sized coverage, touch sensitive wall-format display glass” might be used to do much more expensively some more complex analytic work that we can already do…. but with “highest bandwidth, wireless integration, bend insensitive glass optical fibre” (that of course never fails – unlike the display of the google doc I was just drafting these notes onto before blogging them!) the men in white coats (you know, the kind that no medical practitioner ever actually wears, just their TV representations) can pretend to be doing something important as they create simulations of diagnostic work, while the patient lies silent on a “multipurpose, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal slab of anti-microbial glass” and the radiologist/technical assistant interacts with a “thin, lightweight, damage resistant” display glass interface of a handheld device, in Chinese, to set up a virtual MRI, and the event data are automatically stored on the wall display, in English…. and the doctor finger flicks the brain scan visual data that instantly projects out from the patient’s head via “superior transmission, distortion free, thin 3D optimized glass components” onto the wall display, and noone actually has to egads ‘speak’ to anyone….

then we shift back the pseudo educational environment, where children are separated safely from nature, on a field trip to forest, by a multi million dollar “display enabling, damage resistant, touch sensitive all-weather surface glass” barrier between the walkway and the trees… on which they experience more simulated ‘fun’ listening to a wild ‘park ranger’ man (sporting a pony tail and goatee, so you know he’s a radical environmentalist) without a speck of anything resembling egads soil anywhere… until they venture daringly into the actual forest… in order to overlay what is really there with a simulated vision of what might have been there millions of years ago in someone saccharine fantasy gamified world of dinosaurs….

and no one learns anything about the actual natural environment under their feet and all around, if only they would look at that…. they learn instead how to use their expensive handheld device to ‘do the thinking for them’ and identify an animal footprint, and how to quickly get away from what is there and connect with the “augmented reality enabling, durable, lightweight transparent display glass” that seems omnipresent in the middle of the forest to see things that aren’t there instead…

and they record their ‘experience’ for fun later with ‘mom’ watching the “vivid & immersive, frameless design, next-gen high-definition 3D TV display glass” on the wall at home…. where they don’t of course discuss anything ‘real’, but relive the ‘much more exciting’ disney version of biological history, and merge their sense of what is ‘education’ and what is entertainment…. and they bothered to go to the forest itself because…?

then with “energy efficient, flexible, warm & relaxing fiber-optic lighting”, we see they have, at the end of the day, “learned more” because Corning has made their education so much more expensive, and everyone has successfully colluded in a fantasy world where anything real is airbrushed out of the picture – yay…

this was intended to be read as ‘utopia’?


3 comments on “corning’s day of glass

  1. I didn’t see this video as a form of utopia, more a a scarily realistic view of where progress might lead. Increasing distance and communication between humans. We already have a generation of teenagers who communicate via a screen of some sort – SMS and text. Communication is minimalist with hitting the ‘like’ button being THE minimal for of communication. That like can say so many things.

    • hey Jaap, quite! sorry I’m not very uptodate with my profile thingy I guess, if that’s how you’ve come to this blog via rhizo14… this blog was made for a different mooc last year and I don’t go there any more…. currently blogging at… but thanks for your comment, it’s always welcome anywhere 🙂

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