email Archives — LIRNEasia

We have worse postal services in our region. They do not have hard budget constraints, so they keep going. But the future looks bleak for those that do have hard budget constraints: Mail volume has plummeted with the rise of e-mail, electronic bill-paying and a Web that makes everything from fashion catalogs to news instantly available. The system will handle an estimated 167 billion pieces of mail this fiscal year, down 22 percent from five years ago. It’s difficult to imagine that trend reversing, and pessimistic projections suggest that volume could plunge to 118 billion pieces by 2020.
The train displaced the canal barge. The airplane displaced the train as a means of long-distance travel. Such is the way of the world. Now the telegram has gone the way of the canal. Who would have thought that government could function without telegrams?
Workaround, a term that describes an improvisation when the optimal solution is not available, is a key element in LIRNEasia’s work. Not that we particularly like them, but it seems that workarounds are all there are in our region, because governments fail to provide the optimal solutions. I was planning to write a short piece on the workaround that connected Sri Lanka first to email and then to the Internet back in the early 1990s based on a talk I gave at the .lk conference early July. But since the paper doesn’t look like it will get written right now and because I want to crowdsource the fact checking, I am posting the slides here: Dot LK .