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"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Spex (Spexware)  
  Video glasses with computer assistance.  

Deep Eddy killed his translation program, switched spexware, and scanned the man. The gentleman was broadcasting a business bio. His name was Peter Liebling, he was from Bremen, he was ninety years old, he was an official with a European lumber firm. His hobbies were backgammon and collecting antique phone-cards. He looked pretty young for ninety. He probably had some unusual and interesting medical syndromes.

Herr Leibling glanced up, annoyed at Eddy’s computer-assisted gaze. Eddy dropped his spex back onto their neck-chain. A practiced gesture, one Deep Eddy used a lot — hey, didn’t mean to stare, pal. A lot of people were suspicious of spex. Most people had no idea of the profound capacities of spexware. Most people still didn’t use spex. Most people were, in a word, losers...

Eddy’s most recent business trip had been five drunken days at a blowout All-NAFTA spexware conference in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Eddy had not yet figured out why Ciudad Juarez, a once-dreary maquilladora factory town on the Rio Grande, had gone completely hog-wild for spexing. But even little kids there had spex, brightly speckly throwaway kid-stuff with just a couple dozen meg. There were tottering grannies with spex. Security cops with spex mounted right into their riot helmets. Billboards everywhere that couldn’t be read without spex. And thousands of hustling industry zudes with airconditioned jackets and forty or fifty terabytes mounted right at the bridge of the nose. Ciudad Juarez was in the grip of rampant spexmania. Maybe it was all the lithium in their water.

From Deep Eddy, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Asimov's Science Fiction in 1993
Additional resources -

I should note that "spex" seems to be a commercial name for an otherwise unremarkable product line sometime in the Seventies. Also, Paul di Filippo wrote what we once called a trippy story using this word in 1992, Lennon Spex, which you can read here.

Compare to magic spectacles from Pygmalion's Spectacles (1935) by Stanley G. Weinbaum, Tru-Vu Lenses from Earth (1990) by David Brin, data goggles from Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson,eyecaps from Starfish (1999) by Peter Watts, overlay specs from Halting State (2007) by Charles Stross and HUD glasses from Daemon (2009) by Daniel Suarez.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Deep Eddy
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Deep Eddy
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

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