This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How History Would Look If Brahms Had Google Glass

Stocks in this article: GOOG

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) has yet to do more than test market Google Glass and popular apps for the device are still the stuff of speculation. But the product's very existence has already fanned debate over the technological trend toward the totally recorded life.

Many are guessing that the product will fail because it has no user monetization built in. That would have to be added through advertising or marketing through the apps.

Failure at the marketplace is always a possibility with a new product. But a focus on near-term profits here misses the point: The technology behind Google Glass isn't going to fail. Human nature won't let it. The voyeuristic tendency to record every detail of our lives and to have easy access to all of that data, our own and others, isn't going to go away and devices that make the experience of recorded lives easier are going to proliferate.

In 1889, the legendary composer Johannes Brahms sat down at a piano and recorded a snippet of himself performing his Hungarian Dance No. 1, on an Edison wax cylinder. That recording is almost unlistenable to us, crude or torturous, but it opens up a tantalizing glimpse into the actual sound of the 19th Century.

Musicologists and audio technicians have fussed over that recording for decades now, in the last few years actually succeeding in extracting enough information to recreate Brahms' actual piano playing (in a MIDI-facilitated performance available on YouTube) in a way that appears plausibly accurate. And the book is still not closed. New technological advances will no doubt extend our ability to extract more and more information from that one poorly preserved moment.

As musicians, as musicologists and historians, and most importantly, as human beings, we are drawn to that tiny crack in the black fence of unknowable history like a vine seeks out the sun.

Prior to 1889, our knowledge of musical performance was limited to musical scores and other composer instructions and descriptions of performances. The details were opaque, and consequently the whole picture of any historical moment poses a puzzle. Each generation solves the puzzle anew according to contemporary concerns and shifting philosophies. History becomes an animation of the here and now, projected onto the blank screen of the past.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,678.70 +6.10 0.03%
S&P 500 2,057.09 +5.27 0.26%
NASDAQ 4,771.7630 +13.8840 0.29%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs