Perhaps The Paperless World Isn't Such A Myth

from the mythbusting-the-myth? dept

At the beginning of the personal computer revolution, there were plenty of predictions concerning things like the "paperless office." However, during the 90's it was widely decided that the paperless office was a myth -- and, in fact, the use of computers had actually generated even more demand for paper as there was more stuff than ever before to be printed. Perhaps, though, the myth of the paperless office was a bit of a myth itself. Or, at the very least, it was merely off by a decade or so. The younger generation is less interested in using paper and more and more people are figuring out that they really don't need paper any more. This won't mean the end of paper over night, but it certainly appears that we're finally reaching a point that some had predicted decades ago, where people are recognizing that it's easier to store things digitally than on paper.

Filed Under: paperless

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  1. identicon
    lilyofthevalley, 13 Feb 2008 @ 7:02am

    I support the idea, but everyone needs to be on bo

    As was noted above by Jared in comment #10, at the very least, our legal system is too dependant on paper. On more than one occasion, I've had difficulty obtaining a paper copy of a cashed check when needed to prove to a company that, say, a last bill on a closed account was indeed closed with a zero balance. (For a while, I moved a lot due to my work, and especially with larger companies, they seem to have a habit of not sending you a closing statement showing a zero balance, then a few years later suddenly claiming you never paid that very last bill.)

    Having an image of one, if your bank even still has it available after a certain time, which many do not, is not enough for the courts, because they love to claim it's just a photoshopped fake...despite actual account statements that corroborate otherwise.

    Also with courts, often, having a digital copy of a contract as opposed to the originally signed copy is often contested.

    Without some sort of inexpensive method that is recognized and accepted by everyone to somehow tag a digitized document as real or original, this will continue to be an issue. I'm still waiting for some sort of electronic notary that the courts will actually recognize. And if such a thing does exist, why isn't it being put more broadly to use and the general public being informed as to its whereabouts?

    I'm sure there are other issues as well, in particular dealing with proving creation dates and/or authenticity, that I've not had to deal with. It seems that many people still mistrust digitized documents as there always seems to be stories of people creating fakes, whether it's a accounting books or contracts, etc. Gratis, hardcopy forgeries have a much longer history for obvious reasons, but we need to create more inexpensive (meaning, in part, available to anyone with access to a computer, not just the wealthy) methods to allow the groups that need them to believe that the digitized information is what it is before paperless can really be considered.

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