Freedom from the tyranny of appearance

Eventually, as technology permits, video pass-through wearables will become more powerful than optical see-through wearables. So instead of simply seeing ghostly computer images superimposed on reality, everything we see through our smart glasses will be first captured by cameras, then run through a computer, then displayed again in high resolution.

Which means that whatever we look at may be transformed in arbitrary ways — magnified, edge-sharpened, or otherwise altered. In particular, in the future our view of other peoples’ faces can be modifiable under software control.

Your face, as seen by other people, will therefore become like a sort of homepage, which you can customize to your heart’s content. When you go out in public, you will be able to choose the facial appearance you present to the world.

Of course some people might choose to simply take off their glasses when in public, but eventually this may become illegal. Such an antisocial act might come to be considered an invasion of privacy — akin to barging into a stall in a public restroom while somebody is using it.

In such a world, you will have freedom from the tyranny of appearance. No longer will you be judged by the shape of your nose or eyes, or by an awkwardly shaped chin.

When your appearance can be whatever you want, then you will be judged more by your character, by your social grace, and by the ethical choices that others see you make.

This will be a good thing.

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