President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel recently tried on VR headsets just for the heck of it.
President Obama is the leader of the United States of America and he has surveillance and national security at the top of his agenda. Yet he and Angela Merkel, the head of Germany tried on a different version of reality recently than the ordinary everyday realpolitik that goes on around the world.
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Obama and Merkel underwent the VR experience at a fair in Hanover, Germany. Obama is reported to have said upon entering the wonderful simulated environment of VR that it was a “brave new world”.
This takes its reference from Aldous Huxley’s novel of the same name about a dictatorial state in the future where people will depend for their happiness on the illusory pleasures of drugs and sex.
What Obama and Merkel tried on were the world’s smallest 3D camera systems. This depth-plumbing camera allowed POTUS Obama to extend his hands and feel the VR environment like it was an actual and tangible form of reality. It was a source of pride for the mother company to see the president of the free world take the device for a test-drive.
The occasion was a chill-out time with his frenemy Angela Merkel. While from the external situation it looked like both Obama and Merkel had googly-eyed boxes fixed to their faces, what everyone was curious about was what they saw inside those boxes.
The way Obama acted with the VR headset made him look like a participant in a Hamlet reenactment. Merkel though looked radically different in her pose. While here both leaders looked to be in synch, later on they revealed their real intentions via their individual body language.
Merkel looked standoffish and Obama appeared to be morose. They often had their arms crossed in a defensive posture and both seemed to give each other glum and bitter glances.
It was as if Angela seemed to be saying to Barack that “your security and surveillance society is ruining the lives of so many innocent people around the world”. Obama seemed to be ignoring her for all purposes though.
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The two world leaders don’t see eye to eye. They have their differences and are not exactly in each other’s good books. Yet they belong to the same movement known as Western Civilization and so they tend to cooperate (although it is a superficial affair).