#1ReasonWhy More story != more words My mystery flight

The times, they are a changin’.

(3) June 27th, 2010

Bear with me on one of my “Whoa…..” Neo-moments. You know when you think about space and you try your hardest to comprehend some of the stuff going on up there but you still end up with an open mouth and a little dribble coming out? No? … Yeah me either… o_O … Well I’m having one of those about technology and what we’re coming up with and how everyday life is changing. I’m probably the last generation that remembers a life before the internet, and even then, I wasn’t an adult when the internet first came into my life. It must be such a headfuck for people much older than me.

Last month, a South Australian court ruled that a father avoiding being served with legal documents can have his papers served via social networking site Facebook. The man had a brief relationship with a woman who later gave birth. His name was not on the birth certificate and the court would not order him pay child support payments due to lack of evidence of paternity. When the woman decided to proceed with forcing a paternity test, he was being evasive and unable to be contacted via traditional means. Magistrate Stewart Brown ruled that he could be served documents over Facebook, because he was apparently active and likely to read them. Magistrate Brown commented that the move was unique but “demonstrative of social movements and the currency of the times”. This is not the first of its kind, mind you. The world first serving of legal summons over Facebook was in 2008 in the Supreme Court in the ACT, and paved the way for a New Zealand court to do the same the following year.

I might be a little odd (OK I’m a complete nutty butty), but I find myself provoked with thought how ye olde professions are embracing technology and how they will move into the digital age. I spend far, far too long staring off in my own little world thinking about it. In fact, I tripped over today while deep in thought. Apparently my brain can’t handle mindfucks and walking at the same time. Digital medical records, computers at tables instead of needing wait staff, self-serve checkouts, it’s all starting now and will only snowball into a much bigger presence in our lives. Soon there will be computers that can scan us for cancer with an infra-red light, drugs to make our foreheads turn purple when we’re ovulating, or even in-built bullshit detectors that tell us when someone’s pulling our leg. So much is rooted in tradition, especially in law, that I find it truly fascinating to see what will change and what will stay the same. I worked (fleetingly, praise Jebus) in a law firm as an assistant and was amazed to see the stranglehold historical convention had on a modern day legal system. Documents had to be bound a certain way (and with particular coloured tape relevant to it’s content) to make it through probate or they’d be sent back, and all barrister’s briefs (the documents…. not the undies…) had to be tied with a certain ribbon in a specific way and put in a meticulous order. It seemed very foreign to me and slightly archaic. Will it be digital soon? Will we see less books while they still insist on wearing their cockamamie wigs? What determines what we hold onto, and what we let go? In-house mail directories and the masses of hard copy will soon be disappearing and making way for the digitalllll revoluuuuuution (I can’t help but say it like Duck Dodgers in the 24th and a half century). Australian courts are seen to be amongst the most technology-savvy in the world. I guess its easy to not be bound by tradition too much when our entire country is comparatively still a baby. I’d love to do 2 weeks work experience at a law firm when I’m 50 just to see what has changed. I remember being amazed at the microfiche at school, imagine what we’re about to witness. Mind… blown… *dribble*…

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3 Responses to “The times, they are a changin’.”

  1. Hawky says:

    I always wonder what it will be like in 20 years and if i will be saddened by the way society has changed. I love the idea of being able to buy a pizza by talking to a telstra sponsored tree in the middle of a park and have it delivered to me via remote mini helicopter a few mins later. This really appeals to me but i am bitterly afraid of the personal freedoms i am likely to miss out on or will lose to make it happen. do i want “the man” knowing where i am at any moment? Even though i have nothing to hide i hope for the sake of society we never place our advancing of technology over our privacy.

    It’s bad enough that i can find out pretty much every drunk mistake i’ve ever had through googling my name and facebook. I dont need people also knowing when i get sent a summons to court too. Lol

  2. Ceylon says:

    While I’d really love to see pizza delivered by mini-helicopter, I think I wonder most about motivation, not personal freedoms really. I’m not old enough to shout “get off my lawn!” in a properly grizzled voice, but our cities are getting taller and squished-er — when everything’s speeding up, who’s going to take the extra time to walk to the store?

    I’ve lamented the fact that no one sends proper letters anymore, even though I *have*…but I’d rather still be able to look up all the studies on JSTOR than have to spend hours poring over microfiche without even ctrl+f to help.

    I think we’ll always compensate, honestly — people will find ways to travel and live and survive outside of an increasingly insular world, even as that world speeds up. The car didn’t destroy us, and neither did the airplane…I don’t think the internet will, either, but I’ll be interested to see how we adapt.

  3. Nirvesta says:

    Always a good read Leena.

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