Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Many news outlets today wrote about a survey on attitudes towards technology that was released by MIT. Thirty percent of adults identify the cell phone as the invention they most hate but cannot live without. Other essential, yet despised, inventions include alarm clocks, TVs, electric razors, microwave ovens, coffee pots, computers and vacuum cleaners. This was a yearly survey conducted by the Lemelson-MIT Program, an organization that honors those who have helped improve our lives through invention. The institute's 2002 survey, available on its website, compared attitudes towards technology among teens and adults. Teens ranked wireless communications and computers very high and TVs quite low; adults ranked them in reverse order. What's this got to do with the Registry of Deeds? Technology is allowing radical changes to occur. Electronic books, Internet access and, in March, electronic recording will fundamentally alter the way registries have operated for the past 300 years. Those of us who decide how to implement this new technology have to understand it and its implications. That's why we read (and write about) stuff like this.

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