On Tap! Blink and you’ll miss it! [the next great new legal tech invention, that is]
Craig Ball writes an interesting piece in Law Technology News from July 12, 2013, about how Marcel Proust had a vision of seeing hundreds of new universes through different eyes. And that vision is coming true for law librarians thanks to computing, the internet, and social networking. Today’s lawyers, judges, and law librarians need new eyes for a new century. We all need to become the all seeing, all knowing eyes of the great Doctor T.J. Eckleburg — those non-blinking Jean Willis-type laser beams that scare you into thinking you’re being followed when you exit the roadside without a quick double-check in your rearview mirror.
I’m at the AALL Annual Meeting in Seattle this week and my head is swimming with data and information. I am learning, like Ball writes, that with digital data we need new eyes that see beyond our strained search for those pat, little packages of information we envision neatly bundled into documents for printing and review. We need new eyes to see that this century’s case-making information will be data, not documents: geolocation data; databases; Big Data; metadata. Digital activities and devices now record where people go, when, and with whom. One day, Ball writes, users will routinely capture all they see and hear using nascent technologies such as Google Glasses. It will happen faster than we can debate privacy concerns, and the enormous (and enormously probative) digital record won’t look a bit like a document.