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Paperless Offices

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posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:40 PM
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The advent of the information age brought with it the possibility that paper records as the medium of communication would become less and less.

But the net effect that can be observed in many cases is office workers produce more paper. They can, because they have the resources to do so with all the bells and whistles of idiot-proof word processors and spreadsheets and desktop publishers. So they do.

There is more paper produced than ever before from "modern" offices, with few exceptions.

Except... when a national election takes place in the USA... machines are designed to not have a paper-backed audit trail. And when people with a concern for voter rights and accuracy and accountability go to electoral offices to see what will happen or what has happened, they find that where there were paper trails, they are reduced to maniuplated spreadsheets and reports, and the "original documents" have disappeared or have never existed.

Just why is that?

Is it a postive development that the US election system has been one of the first systems where being "paperless" has been such a drive?




posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 08:34 PM
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The problem in developing something completley fool proof, is that one underestimates the ingenuity of complete fools.

(Shameless plageurism)



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 11:56 PM
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As the great Seinfeld might respond to MaskedAvatar's query: "Whaaat's the deal with that?"

The eyes behind the mask espy the hypocrisy so often concealed in plain sight.

Speaking as a geek myself, I personally witnessed how the consumption of paper increased exponentially as the "paperless office" came into being. It is one of the great oxymorons of the Information Age.

As for why the push is there for eliminating paper from the electoral process, I think we both know why that is the case.

It is, in fact, the diametric opposite of the rationale for keeping paper records: accountability.

Bytes is bytes, no matter how many times you recount them. Without paper, officials need not worry about Banquo's Ghost showing up at the inaugural ball.



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
There is more paper produced than ever before from "modern" offices, with few exceptions.

Except... when a national election takes place in the USA... machines are designed to not have a paper-backed audit trail. And when people with a concern for voter rights and accuracy and accountability go to electoral offices to see what will happen or what has happened, they find that where there were paper trails, they are reduced to maniuplated spreadsheets and reports, and the "original documents" have disappeared or have never existed.

Just why is that?

Is it a postive development that the US election system has been one of the first systems where being "paperless" has been such a drive?

Nice insight...awesome topic!

Corruption vs. Recycling - Which one is more effective in reducing costs?


Working for the State, I can't tell you how sick to my stomach I get every day when I go to my boss with a mile-high stack of sorted, stapled and punched front-to-back copies and he says..."Oh, ha ha...I forgot to add this page - can you just go and re-do that for me?"

FSU is now switching over to an online system that actually does reduce the use of paper....but only so much.....inner-office management still runs off of original copies, official copies, copies of this and copies of that.....double copies, triplicates...and endless amounts of paper that misses the shredding boxes and goes to the garbage....

Far from the perfect solution....and who's to say we're ready for one, or that we could function properly with one?!

One of my archaeology professor's once made the point that there comes a time when even your best attempt at making something compatible simply fails due to the antiquated formats we have used in the past.....An article found only on microfiche is available for as long as we have an adequate machine available to read it....

Sometimes confining something to paper is the be-all end-all for making your documents last....



posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
The eyes behind the mask espy the hypocrisy so often concealed in plain sight.



On second reading, I accept the compliment.

You will see the confusion you create for mortals who dod not incorporate the verb to "espy" in their vocabulary.

Thank God for those tomes using copious volumes of paper called "dictionaries" that remain untainted by their virtual imitators.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 01:08 PM
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After years of installing medical records software, I saw that subsequent paper documentation always increased. With good software, the increase is not all that much. Bad software tends to inspire total revolt among the users, and a continuing parallel paper system.

The advantage of good software for medical records means that connections can be made that weren't possible to make before. For example, in the medical specialty of Internal Medicine, automated medical records of medical office visits by the chronically ill help physicians begin a much better understanding of the natural history of chronic disease. That medical software installation work was done, however, in a pre-internet environment. Whither medical confidentiality?

Three writings on the future of books and libraries are available on the web site of the noted futurist Raymond Kurzweil. (No, paper books are not going away, but they are being supplemented with other forms.) Here is a link to the 1st article:

www.kurzweilai.net...


Regarding paperless voting systems, I agree that the main question here is, "What Were They Thinking???!!" In California, the Attorney General requested public feedback on paperless voting proposals. I sent in a recommendation that a paper trail always remain an essential part of any voting system at all. For instance, do you remember that only one organization in the history of the world ever even set a goal of developing bugless software? That would be NASA, the American space agency. Since then, of course, we had the two space shuttle disasters, and the famous ineptitute of the robot spacecraft which safely reached Mars only to immediately impact on the planet surface due to the incompatibility of its orbital instruction set, part of which used the Decimal numbering system with the other part (sadly) using the Metric numbering system. Sigh... The lesson is thus that since software has not, is not, and never will be written bug-free, any critical software such as voting software must have a paper verification system.

Hence the future of paper is so bright I gotta wear sunglasses!

[edit on 12-6-2006 by FutureLibrarian]

[edit on 12-6-2006 by FutureLibrarian]



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