652 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
happily received the paper parts of the Ontario Reports every month,
which I assiduously read as they arrived. However, at some point (2009?)
the LSUC stopped providing paper reports and sent an email with an
online-only version at which time and because of which I stopped reading
the Ontario Reports entirely. In short, the online-only delivery acted
not as an aid to access but as an impediment to access. Let me emphasize
this—the online delivery acted as an impediment to access and not as an
aid to access.
Here, then, is an example of an institution forging ahead into the latest
technological realm without fully understanding the consequences of
merely adopting “better” technology. Impeding access was the exact opposite
of the intention. The proposal had not been fully explored beforehand.
The antithesis to this demise in social connectivity is to disconnect from
our screens and interact tangibly. The written, printed word affords a path
by which individuals can feel less disconnected through their screens and
more connected through the physical word they hold in their hands. Studies
have shown that reading physical books (or magazines) allows us to retain
more information. Digital platforms invite readers to skim and forget what it
is they are reading (if they do not simply delete the e-mail with the link in
it). The printed word requires not only mental but also some physical effort
on the part of readers that results in a tangible experience and, we argue, a
more worthwhile experience. That experience, in turn, translates into individuals
learning about one another and realizing they belong to the very
community that the digital revolution denies us. The proof of this community
is in the messages of support received by the Advocate from its readers.
We are immensely proud of the Advocate’s legacy and its ongoing contribution
to the legal community in British Columbia. We were both surprised
and delighted to learn of how many students and junior lawyers are reading
this journal. For a truly nominal cost each year, as members of the Law Society
you are doing so much more than supporting a trade magazine. You are
sustaining a professional community full of fascinating and wonderful
human beings. That the Advocate also contributes to the development of the
law is now a mere byproduct (albeit a fabulous one). Far from being “outdated
and irrelevant”, the Advocate is a constantly planted and maintained
renewable resource that can be harvested forever. We thank you for reading
and look forward to your contributions.
1. The Law Society disagrees with this characterization;
see page 765 of this issue.