Paperless

Subject: Paperless
From: Liz Babcock <liz_babcock -at- C28B5 -dot- CHINALAKE -dot- NAVY -dot- MIL>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 1995 18:08:16 -0800

Mail*Link(r) SMTP Paperless

Here are some thoughts on the prospect of a paperless society from Deanna
Ripley-Lotee, who is not on the list, but who is an avid reader of it
second-hand.
- - - - - - - - - -
If Star Trek is to be believed, than we can indeed have a paperless society.
Contracts are not a valid reason for keeping paper if we progress to retina
scans or hand/finger print scans. I also believe that technology WILL evolve
to include compatibility for playback and retrieval-someone will want that old
information, which means that someone else will have to figure out how to get
it.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view the world) money
is a driving factor for all our electronic "improvements"; so, it seems that
those driving this electronic world make it harder for us to keep our older
systems (whether by desire or enthusiasm), when as private individuals (or
companies) we may not be able to afford newer equipment and upgrades. Applying
brakes will happen only when the majority stop buying because they can no
longer afford to. I'm not saying we should stop technological advances or
that companies don't have the right to market improvements, but a compromise
needs to happen if we don't want to continually be obsolete (I should be able
to buy a car today and keep it for 20 or more years, not find that the parts
are no longer manufactured after only 5 years (and the same goes for VCRs,
computers, cam-corders, etc.)).

Whether or not we go to a "paperless" society for most of our efforts (can
you imagine "Voyager" traveling back to point of origin over 75 years in a
paper society), its fascination and passionate nature (yes, I DO mean
passionate) cannot be replaced. The smell of printed books new and old, the
crispness of pages, the unmarked sheet waiting, calling, asking for the penned
or printed word is too rich, too fascinating, too wonderful to leave behind.
I for one hope we never do.


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