Life before computers

| Comments (1) | Misc
Thanks to the DVD TV-show time machine, I'm watching The Rockford Files Season 1 (1974). Rockford's at the Office of Vital Statistics:

Rockford: Could you tell me, are the dates of death and the birth certificates cross-referenced.
Clerk: Are you kidding, that would be a monumental task.
Rockford: So, the date of death doesn't appear anywhere on the birth certificate index.
Clerk: You got it.
Rockford: Doesn't that leave a rather large hole in the system?
Clerk: They're a lot of holes in the system. So what?
Rockford: So what? Do you realize that you could adopt a new identity by ordering a birth certificate of somebody that's already dead. And you'd mail it out without question because the date of death doesn't appear anywhere in the birth records.
Clerk: You're a genius.

Of course, with digital records this is a simple database query—though that isn't to say that modern birth certificates are handled much better.

Of course, 1974 was right when records were starting to go digital. Later in the episode Rockford has someone look up a bunch of insurance records, which goes pretty fast since "they're all on the computer."


Damn. Reading this post made me recall the ultra-cool theme to this show (weeeee-ooooo-waaaaah woopa-woopa-a-woo weeeeee-ooooo-waaaaaaaaaah), which got stuck in my brain, so I had to go buy it on iTunes. You owe me $.99!

Ahhhh, that cool descending bit....waaaa waaaa waaaaahhhh

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