Rant: an obsolete nightmare | South China Morning Post
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Rant: an obsolete nightmare

Mark Peters

 

I have a young, smart entrepreneurial friend (let's call him Jim, because that's his name) who was recently asked to fax a document to some official department or other.

"Do what to a document?" was a bewildered Jim's response to the request issuing from the magic talking device. "Fax, sir. You need to fax me a copy."

"Fax you how exactly? I'm 26. I have never used a fax, been faxed and couldn't pick out a fax machine in an identity parade of lots of outdated modes of communication."

"OK, no problem sir. You can send a pdf but don't forget to add your company chop," said the voice.

Aargh! Why does every business transaction in Hong Kong require this "official" signature? We pride ourselves on being one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world yet people insist we use a rubber stamp - which was invented aeons ago and, given that you can buy one anywhere, offers no real proof of identity anyway.

Now that we all "chat" using the latest i-Thingamajig or droid galaxybiscuit, it probably won't be long before we're all too socially inept and digitally dependent to form any real-life emotional connections (we'll be too busy entertaining robo-escorts on our 3D printed futons - bought with bitcoins - before you can say "5G"), which may not, on the whole, be the best thing for humanity, but let's move on, at least, from those aforementioned archaic means of business intercourse. Or shall we just bring the carrier pigeons out of retirement?

 

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