The Common Scold

The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!

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Is Email Dead?

EmailPatrick Oot forwards a fascinating post from the Federal Computer Week blog that suggests that email may soon be as dead as Pan Am (airline, and rumor has it, the TV show).

"Thierry Breton, who is the chief executive of Atos and former minister of finance in France, argued in a recent speech in the United Kingdom that 90 percent of staff time spent on emails is wasted. He wants his workers to speak to each other by phone or in person, or to use instant messaging and Facebook-type interfaces for online communication instead."

"It is not normal that some of our fellow employees spend hours in the evening dealing with their emails," Breton said, according to a Nov. 28 report in the Telegraph. "The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face. It is time to think differently."

(Somehow I'm not sure if Steve Jobs would agree with that.)

I don't know about you, but I'm not so sure I want more in-person dialogues. I agree that email can be more entrapping than the La Brea Tar Pits (see my colleague Michael Roach's recent commentary) but the last thing I want is more meetings.

What do you think?

Image: Clipart.com

December 5, 2011 in Commentary & Analysis | Permalink


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