The operative terms of Global Digital Information Ordinance of 2075 stated:
All information, intentioned as non-art, is no longer admissible in any kind of physical form, for example paper and ink form. Creation of all documents on Earth must be created digitally to allow the benefits of state of the art searchability, archival and security. The creation of the entire world's information will no longer exist in any kind of physical form after the deadline December 31, 2075.
The irony that the ordinance deadline was distributed through physical paper mail, lingered funny for years after the December 31, 2075, deadline. Indeed these jokes and cynical comments lit and faded fast like billions of sparks across the globe. In totality they were a bland regurgitation of the same joke structure, "communication of a law through a medium the law was intending to demolish". There wasn't anything dramatically impressive about this ironic joke, but it meant something to each individual that that came up with their version. They found it profoundly hilarious, and so did their friends, though to a lesser extent and as long as they hadn't heard the same joke recently, or had come up with the same joke much less recently.
Late-night shows embellished the same joke like restaurants modified an omelette; you can add some mushrooms, peppers, garnish, a sauce perhaps but you know it's still an egg that endured 4 minutes of heat.
You hear this? The Global Digital Information Ordinance is spreading the news downtown. In Chinatown they shrank the characters to a size 1.5 font just to get it to fit in fortune cookies. [Applause]
It is now August 2088 and you can't find any information on paper outside of a museum or renowned art gallery. No person, no company, and no government stored any information in physical form. If you wanted to sign your dinner bill, you have your eye and finger scanned. If you were absorbing education you'd take notes with a keypad or stylus device. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that was even nostalgic for physical information.
However, despite the digitalization of all information, the growth of the information spread faster than the ability of modern methods to organize it. Organization was always catching up to growth. The better and faster the organization algorithms became, the faster the information was being created. Information manipulation benefitted from the dexterity of the current organization software, allowing for comparisons and analysis, thus producing even more content. It was speed boosted by speed. Analysis of analysis. Information of information.
There was a term, from the physical-information past, that described the costly task of accessing and organization information. It was the go-to explanation for why you still, even in 2088, had to wait some months before your passport were approved. That term was "paperwork". There was no paper. But "paperwork" still existed.
"What's taking so long?"
"Sorry Miss, there's a lot of paperwork."
"How long is it going to take?"
"Ok, I have an estimate of 27.24 business days for your license to get approved but that could change depending on what new information is created until then."
"[sigh] So can you estimate how much information will be created in 27 or whatever days?"
"Sure, hold on... I see here there is anywhere between 3.7 and 4.3 quintillion bytes of data per day. You would have to compound that for each day until day 27.24. By that time, the difference between these two estimates is larger than the amount of data currently existing in the entire country of Switchistan."
"Sorry, the computer just gives me some comparables to communicate my answers. The point is, based on these predictions of data creation, the estimated time that your license will be ready is between 3.33 days and 68.21 days."
"What!? What good is that?"
"Well, the good news is that there is a 95% chance that it falls between those dates: 3.33 days and 68.21 days."
"Oh jesus. I just want to drive to work. Can't you you get a better estimate of how much time it will take."
"I am sorry miss. It's a paperwork issue. I would say check back in 4 days, since that falls within the 95% interval."
"So there's a 95% chance that it will be ready in 4 days? Is that what you are saying?"
"Actually no, if the computer assumes normal distribution - yes, I see here it is normal - then I wouldn't bet on 4 days. The chance is low on that."
"But you just said that's the interval."
"Yes, you are correct Miss. The interval starts at 3.33 days. But it continues to 68.21 days. I wouldn't bet on 4 days."
"Well what would you bet on?"
"Haha, what would I bet on? I am not much of a gambling man Miss. From what the computer is telling me, if you come back in 68 or 69 days, there is a 95% chance that your license would be ready. So that's you best bet from a betting perspective. In fact it should be slightly higher than 95% chance if you come at 69 days... since the interval ends at 68.21..."
"Ok, ok, ok. This is ridiculous..."
"Sorry I can not help more."
"I am going to have to take the train and bus then."
"Would you like a schedule of the nearest busses to your location?"
"No thanks, I am good. I have it on my life-device."
"Is there anything else I can help you with at this moment?"
"No... I don't now... Oh, do you happen to know if it is going to be nice out tomorrow?"
"I see a 50.78% chance of rain."
"Ok great, I will leave my umbrella at home." [click]
"On behalf of Personal Vehicle Agency 172, I appreciate your call."