Letters to the Editor

How can you be sure your Government documents are real or fake? An issue that has been discussed at both the state and local levels is the use of paper (physical) versus electronic display for publication, distribution, and storage of governmental records. There has been a migration from the use of paper to electronic display and storage. There have even been discussions about eliminating the law that requires certain official governmental notices to be published in a local newspaper. Although electronic display and storage of information are more convenient; cheaper and easier to use; store and retrieve than paper; the equipment needed to access electronically stored data is susceptible to obsolescence and the documents themselves can be secretly altered. Electronic documents, pictures and videos can be fabricated and altered without detection such that the record of past events could be altered so that one couldn’t tell with certainty whether it is real, modified or fake; whereas, it is only with extreme difficulty and with physical limitations that one could alter the printed word, which makes the printed word more reliable and secure for long-term storage.

The more durable the medium on which the words (information) is written and the greater the care that is taken to preserve it, the more durable, permanent and valuable the record will be. One very large EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) manmade or from a distant star can destroy electrical and electronic devices and erase any magnetically and electronically stored information. Which is why the one permanent record of our existence on planet earth was sent outside of our solar system on Voyager and was physically recorded on a gold disc with instructional pictures etched into it that showed how to use it. That disc could survive an EMP and outlast all other records of our existence, even the planet on which we live. Today as archaeologists find, and scholars slowly translate: the sand script texts, Babylonian clay tablets, and Egyptian hieroglyphics continue to add to our understanding of our past. An important aspect of past physical records may have been most evident during the Renaissance when they enabled or at least helped mankind to pull itself out of the dark ages (a collapsed society) that led to the modern civilization that we have today. History is full of collapsed societies whose accrued knowledge was lost.

So what kind of record will we leave for those who follow us? A solid physical record that might help them rebuild or a record that evaporates in a cloud so they have to start from scratch to rebuild.

Terry O’Neill, Lake Geneva resident & former alderperson

We just found out that the City Council is discussing/voting on requiring slip renters to have a lift in 2019. We are slip renters and have had no notification about this. The meeting is tomorrow night. Can you let people know about this? This will be a huge expense to a lot of people. Thanks!

Cindy Yager-Franke, Lake Geneva resident

The measure failed 8-0.


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