Tuesday, March 27, 2007

John Grisham novel defense teams, Bush administration era FOIA, Microsoft user agreements and city meeting documents?

It is amazing what a change to the world the modern word processor and fast laser printers have brought us. Now one administrative assistant can produce more paper then a person could read in a day, in one hour.

If you haven't read the John Grisham lawyer novels, you should, because they describe how a legal battles are really waged. One of the tricks is to put information that the other side is legally required to receive, into 50 or 100 boxes full of documents. If they can't find the killing document, they can't win the case.

The Bush administration doesn't read FOIA requests and so doesn't have to print the reams of papers that most people might like to read.

Has anyone actually read the Microsoft EULA (End User License Agreement)? I guess a few geeks have, but it is too long and too complex for most of us.

Of late, I have been wondering how many hours it takes to read the stack of documents that the city staff prepares before each city council meeting. Does anyone think a majority of the city council members read them before the meeting? Does anyone think someone, beside Brad, has time to do the research to figure out what other communities are doing? Look into the details closely? Come up with a new ideas?

The productivity of the word processor is both a help and a curse. The complexity of our society is going up and they forgot to invent more hours to get all we need to do, done. File this under the laws of unintended consequences.

Got to stop writing and get back to work cleaning out my latest round of emails.

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