The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Too many genealogists are addicted to paper. In this day and age, that's sad. I have no statistics about the amount of paper, ink, and toner consumed by genealogists every year, but I am sure we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing printers, paper, and supplies. That's a huge waste of money, in my opinion. I wonder how many filing cabinets are sold to genealogists for in-home use. I will suggest there is a better way to store personal copies of genealogy records and related information.
The "paperless office" was an early prediction made in the June 30, 1975, issue of BusinessWeek. The article quoted George E. Pake, then head of Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto (California) Research Center:
"There is absolutely no question that there will be a revolution in the office over the next 20 years. What we are doing will change the office like the jet plane revolutionized travel and the way that TV has altered family life."
Pake says that in 1995 his office will be completely different; there will be a TV-display terminal with keyboard sitting on his desk. "I'll be able to call up documents from my files on the screen, or by pressing a button," he says. "I can get my mail or any messages. I don't know how much hard copy [printed paper] I'll want in this world."
The same article also stated:
"Some believe that the paperless office is not that far off. Vincent E. Giuliano of Arthur D. Little, Inc., figures that the use of paper in business for records and correspondence should be declining by 1980, "and by 1990, most record-handling will be electronic."
You can read the full article at http://goo.gl/VuR1B.
Of course, the predictions never came true. In fact, the phrase "paperless office" has become a joke, frequently used in offices around the world, usually in offices that are drowning in more paper than ever before.
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