22 Jan 2010
Welcome once again to the Friday’s Food for Thought post on got geoint? We hope everyone had a productive work week. This week, we covered a story about the U.S. Air Force re-assessing the use of GPS and how they may consider going back to using old fashioned paper maps. So, for this week’s FFT theme we wanted to tackle the concept of paper versus digital. 10 years ago industry pundits predicted — with the advent of the Internet — that we would all go completely paperless. Has this actually happened? We are certainly more digitally connected than we have ever been, but will paper eventually go away? We hope to tackle this subject in today’s post. So, read on and enjoy.
The Reality of a ‘Paperless Society’
As business and industry evolves and becomes increasingly complex, entrepreneurs, attorneys, bankers, accountants — virtually all professions — require methods to improve efficiencies. The 21st century is the digital age, and the era of online collaboration has arrived. Information retrieval through a secure Web site helps to manage the onslaught of paper in a complex transaction, protracted litigation, audit, medical evaluation or other record-heavy situation by streamlining and improving the process flow. Dealing with thousands upon thousands of pages is par for the course in business circumstances. Proper management of these documents is critical. Check out this TechNewsWorld article from 2006 for more information.
Not a Paperless Society — Yet
As early as the 1970s, the introduction of computers and word-processing programs into the work environment was heralded as a “labor-saving device.” The future was here. Does anyone remember? In the late 1970s the societal-workplace computer age arrived. Some of the words associated with this new innovation to change our lives were “simpler” “faster” and that dubious slogan “We will become a paperless society.” Empty words. But full of paper. I still remember “Work and play will become simpler” and “we won’t have to work as hard.” Yes, in some areas that has occurred. Thirty-five years have passed, we still have paper and it appears we are working harder than ever. The speed with which new and innovative products arrive in the marketplace is making it even more difficult to keep up with. Check out the full American Chronicle story here.
The Hidden Life of Paper and Its Impact on the Environment
Media companies have published numerous articles on global warming and greenhouse emissions in recent years. Now, a couple of large publishers are starting to think about their own impact on the environment. Time Inc. participated in a study published this year by the Heinz Center that calculated the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced over the entire process of publishing Time and In Style. Other magazine companies, including the Hearst Corporation, now say they are studying the Heinz report to consider the implications for their magazines, and Rupert Murdoch recently announced that the News Corporation is developing a plan to become entirely carbon neutral, meaning the company will reduce its carbon emissions and try to offset the emissions left over. Read the full NY Times article here.
The Rise of e-Books: Will Printed Books Go Away?
Since founding Amazon in 1994, Jeff Bezos has revolutionized retailing. Now he’s out to transform how we read. With the tremendous success of Kindle, Bezos may actually have started a seismic shift in how we read books. And Bezos himself is surprised by its success. He told Newsweek magazine that “Two years ago, none of us expected what has happened so far. It is [our] No. 1 bestselling product. It’s the No. 1 most-wished-for product as measured by people putting it on their wish list. It’s the No. 1 most-gifted item on Amazon. And I’m not just talking in electronics—that’s true across all product categories.” But will Kindle cause the printed book to go away? Read more from Newsweek here.
Digital Society Day
Did you know that India celebrates “Digital Society Day”? Neither did we. Each year on October 17, India celebrates the passing of the that Information Technology Act 2000. This law gave for the first time in the country, legal recognition for electronic documents. It also provided a legally recognized method of authentication of electronic documents by means of digital signatures. Additionally, Information Technology Act 2000 recognized Cyber Crimes and prescribed a fast track grievance redressal mechanism for Cyber Crimes. Check out more here on Wikipedia.
The Office – Jim Vs. Dwight
How could we not do a post about paper and not feature The Office? The challenge is that there is soo much funny video content on YouTube from The Office. That said, we found this hilarious video of a fake movie called “Jim Vs. Dwight.” We hope you enjoy.