The future is still here: it just isn't evenly distributed, as futurist William Gibson said. And so, dammit, is the past. In 1677, the Brits passed a law saying that contracts had to be signed (before that, people mostly used seals). Now, 350 years later, we're passing a new law saying that e-signatures are OK.
That's a good thing, because signatures have the problem that they only operate retrospectively. The courier doesn't look at what you've scribbled on their tablet and say "Hold on, that's not Denis Moriarty's signature! Give that Amazon package back!"
No, it's only when people are actually up on charges that the coppers start looking at the bottom of their documents to see if they've been forging names, and that's a little late.
So one historical relic is going the way of the dodo (which is an unfair idiom, as I have no principled objection to dodos and would rather like to have them back). What others should follow it?
I'm not a fanatical reformer, mind you, iconoclastically ripping down ancient survivals wherever I see them. I think they should bring back urns on buildings, for instance. A touch of fun. I can't see why we gave up the hat - as a baldie, I worry a lot about melanomas of the scalp - and I feel sorry for the children of today, never to receive a snail mail letter from a pen-pal, with real stamps on it.
But Australians have got to get over this belief that everything old - our every fetter, every gag, every prejudice, every stain, every set of hobbles - is a token of national pride. Is it so hard to believe that we can do better? Let's start with dumping the signature and bringing in the Voice.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.