Sunday, December 16, 2007

"e" in e-mail means: electronic

This week I followed the elections of the Swiss Federal Council with interest. The fact I could do that is already quite an amazing fact, as I am working in Japan as always at that time of the year. Electronic media make it possible to even watch some TV coverage live. But that's not my point. Neither is the political aspect of the elections. But I saw a documentary about the newly elected woman (all six other members were confirmed for another 4 years) and they were filming at her former workplace, the financial department in Chur. "How were the last 24 hours for you" they asked a secretary. She said " oh, quite busy, a lot of phonecalls etc. congratulations from a lot of people". Then she points to a pile of A4 paper: "Over a thousand e-mails, but that's not all yet here." Excuse me??? You PRINT over a thousand emails with congratulation messages?? Actually, you PRINT emails at all?? Why on earth would somebody ever do that? Human beings seem to resist eveolution wherever possible. It's a little bit like some years ago, when I started travelling with electronic tickets. At some airport I was asked for the ticket to enter the check-in zone. I said "I have no ticket, it's electronic". The lady: "Don't you have a printout of it?" No, I bloody don't, because the purpose of electronic documents is that they are what the name implies: E-LEC-TRO-NIC. And the reason you would have such a ticket is because you don't want to travel with all this paperwork...

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