Re: storage of important files
From: Henning Mortensen (
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:41:45 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Lynn,

Yes, there is a generational divide here. The paper copies, file cabinets,
and storage rooms do harken back to a simpler and less technological time.
I agree fully that there are risks inherent in the technology we use but
the idea of loss from disasters and evil people is not limited to
technological solutions. Many storage rooms have been lost entirely by fire
or by mischief. These losses where the reason why locks and safes were
invented. Solutions also exist for technological solutions.

What has driven the move to computerized systems is the deficiencies
inherent with the older solutions. Paper and files require systems to allow
for retrieval of information. These retrieval systems revolved around keys,
such as Names, or Account# or some other key. All retrieval was by this key
and heaven help us if we wanted to find a piece of information which was
not by the key-value (have you ever searched through an entire filing
cabinet looking for a paper), or if we wanted to count or sum something
across all keys. Many accountants and like-minded people earned their
income in keeping a ledger of the numbers contained in files. Today
computers do in minutes what you could do with filing cabinets in weeks.

Computers grew out of the problems with this very system of files and file
cabinets. Early computers simply did what file cabinets did but faster. We
still refer to files when we talk about computer documents. Modern systems
have largely changed how we store information and how we access it. Today
we can search through many files almost instantly; we can even search for
words within the files.

I applaud your group is trying to accommodate the needs of everyone. You
must have someone who spends a lot of time in not only adding new material
to your filing cabinet but also in replacing files which have been updated
or deleted. I suspect that when you need an accurate copy or to find out at
which meeting you discussed "colored cutting boards", you break out your
keyboard and ask the computer. And you likely have your filing cabinet
files scanned and stored offsite in case you have a fire and your paper
records are destroyed.

I guess what I am saying is that we should respect those who did not
participate in the information age, but they should also recognize that
when we suggest these new-fangled things, that there is a reason behind the
changes that we are suggesting. We are solving very real problems and are
doing our best to include everyone. The information age, snuck up on people
and had a rather steep learning curve for those who didn't grow up using
these things.

Henning Mortensen

On Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 3:13 PM Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah <welcome [at]>

> Maybe it's because I'm 74 years old, but I find comfort in having physical
> copies of stuff. We use Google docs for minutes, financial reports, and
> such. But we also have 3-ring binders in the common house (in the "media"
> room where we also have Steering and committee meetings) with paper copies
> of business meeting minutes, committee reports, our legal documents and so
> forth. This also provides access for the one household who refuses to use
> email for community business.
> A file cabinet in that same room includes
> a file for each lot, with copies of any PR related to sale of the lot, and
> later the house, a copy of the blueprints for many of our houses, photos of
> the insides of the common house walls before they were drywalled, copies of
> maps and documents from our Planned Unit Development process with the City,
> warranty and instruction manuals for appliances etc in the common house,
> past years' minutes: 4 file drawers of such stuff.
> If Dark Net hackers, or solar flares, or whatever, should wipe out all the
> "cloud" stuff, I'll still be able to put my hands on the Sewer System
> As-Built map when it's needed.
> Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
> RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA
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