Blog Pile


2009/365/60: Downed by Paperwork
2009/365/60: Downed by Paperwork by cogdogblog
posted 1 Mar ’09, 9.48pm MST PST on flickr

In valiant attempts to get campus wireless access for me at Baylor, Gardner went to the extremes to work the channels.

I had to provide my home address, phone number, forms were faxed, we went to the IT office, phone calls were made to various corners of the IT org chart, I showed by driver’s license and signed more forms…. and the system would still not authenticate the credentials they provided. I offered a pint of blood and my grandmother’s maiden name, to no avail.

It may sound like it, but am not b***ing. A woman in the IT office was very gracious, apologetic and tried everything she could (as a relayer of paperwork).

But come on, network access should never be such a hurdle, should it? Almost every commercial access point can figure out who I am (and take my money) online. Academic networks that require faxes and paperwork are in the wrong century.

I could not resist sharing with Gardner the irony of what Alexander Hayes dug up from his own archives– the official Australian paperwork for an application to innovate. That’s right- fill in the boxes, sign, date, and submit the papers and you may be able to innovate.

So what’s your most ridiculous paperwork (beside tax forms)?

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I remember a form related to the U.S. certificate of citizenship (paperwork needed if, like me, you were a minor when your immigrant parents became naturalized U.S. citizens).

    This is the great kind of form on extra-long paper that unfolds to about 24 inches. And, it’s printed on both sides. The reverse is upside-down relative to the front.

    One item on the form: are you now or have you ever been a married woman? Do not answer this question if you entered the U.S. before September, 1922.

    Dave Ferguson’s latest blog post…Two-day wonder

  2. Oh, yeah, The N400 Application for Naturalization (for immigrants applying to become U.S. citizens) has got to be the absolute worst, especially considering that nearly everyone who completes it doesn’t have English as a first language. It’s murderous and something like 10 pages long: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” “Have you ever helped or tried to help another person enter the U.S. illegally?” “Have you ever failed to file your federal, state, or local taxes?” bleh. And to think, when my immigrant great-grandparents arrived here, they more or less just showed up. The ship they arrived on reported the names of all the passengers to the immigration officers, the immigrants got checked for contagious diseases, and if they looked healthy some form was completed and they were sent on their merry way.

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