Thursday, April 12, 2007

"lost" e-mails

A former professor of mine was an acerbic intellectual Parisian who wrote books about Ben Franklin and contemporaries. He often bemoaned the advent of electronic communications: "I can write books about Ben Franklin because I can go to the archives in Paris and in Washington. The letters are there. The documents are there. The receipts and the memoranda and the laws and the budgets are there. What happens in fifty years when somebody wants to write books about important people from our time? There are no archives. There is no paper. There is no history!" This was one of his favorite rants, delivered in shouted French. He'd then start screaming at the students in the class that Americans didn't care about history anyhow.

Dr. Poirier used to also scream at booksellers at the local Borders when his L'Express did not arrive, because he needed the answers to les mots croisés.

The last time I saw him he'd been hit by a car, and then in a drunken rage had attempted to stab himself through the heart and failed. Nothing could kill that miserable bastard. He rules.

Not only does history suffer in an age of electronic communication, but so does law enforcement.

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