Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Momma don't let your daughter grow up to be lawyers

One of the constant refrains we hear from politicians and pundits is that we just need to focus our energy on creating an educated workforce and the US economy will turn the corner. However, a couple of recent stories seem to throwing water on that concept.

Consider "Lawyers replaced by software"

"In January, for example, Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, Calif., helped analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000."

“From a legal staffing viewpoint, it means that a lot of people who used to be allocated to conduct document review are no longer able to be billed out,” said Bill Herr, who as a lawyer at a major chemical company used to muster auditoriums of lawyers to read documents for weeks on end. “People get bored, people get headaches. Computers don’t.”

"New jobs, he says, are coming at the bottom of the economic pyramid, jobs in the middle are being lost to automation and outsourcing, and now job growth at the top is slowing because of automation."

The continued evolution of increased computing power may eventually impact the professional jobs in the US.


The challenges of printing a magazine

I was struck while reading the February issue of Conde Naste Traveller how hard it must be to publish a static document like a magazine in today's rapidly shifting world.

For example, listed among their great getaways for the month were trips to Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Why not add Iraq and Afghanistan and make it a war torn world tour?

The best line is in the subtitle of the Cairo article "I inhale the vastness and the calm."

Yeah, about that calm.....

While we're stressing over $3.75 gas in the US, pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that gas in Europe is now averaging $8.63 per gallon! Wow.


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