I can understand that the noise that a set of laptops generates can be distracting. On the other hand does a tablet not really help if you want to type down thoughts or parts of what's currently being said. So the smart thing to do would be to only allow very silent fanless laptops (my MacBookAir, for example, seems to make no noise at all, except when watching YouTube videos).
I sincerely doubt that it makes sense to try to ban the clicking of keyboards. That's like trying to ban the shuffling of paper. Bringing a typewriter which makes really loud typing noises doesn't sound like such a good idea in that context. A foldable bluetooth keyboard + would have been the better idea; that way they wouldn't show disobedience, but instead they'd display that there're other ways in which one can be silent and still use a keyboard in there.
Whenever I hold a workshop or longer meetings, I always try to give 5-10 minutes on every hour so people can "reconnect" with their email, news, social network, or whatever it is that is trying to occupy their mindshare with me.
I've noticed a marked increase in engagement whenever I allow this. I know that the people there should be paying attention, but in practice they are incapable of it.
Why not just ban the noise itself? Why deal with the inevitable complexity of attempting to capture the causes of the noise in a system of arbitrary categories, and suffer the collateral damage of suppressing activities and objects that aren't generating noise, while still subjecting yourself to non-laptop-related sources of distracting noise?
Some keyboards are very soft and basically silent. I'm sure they'd quickly identify suitable models which people could use.
Given that they allow tablets, it's clear they don't really care very much about people goofing off with social networking and games...
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An example. I can take a football (soccer ball) full in the face from 3 meters, without a complaint. It wasn't intentional. Shake it off.
I cannot concentrate with such noise in my periphery, particularly when the background is not "busy" with other activity. My nervous system wants, demands that I pay attention to it. Part of the... "heightened alertness" that serves me well, in other contexts. Perhaps also somewhat the result of a childhood in which such noises could proceed very traumatic events.
So... those of you with a "Why can't they just put up with it?" attitude: There are those of us who have tried -- often pushed too hard to view this as entirely our fault -- to do so. For years. Decades. It doesn't work for us.
Why should you then "put up with us"? Well, in my case, I tend to notice 3 or 4 times as much as many of my neighbors, and to relate it ("cross reference", whatever) to things they've long since forgotten, if they ever knew. In my case, at least, what you are "disturbing" is a very deep and full and "well-intentioned" attention. It takes all my concentration to perform this well.
This attention catches and fixes problems before they become "established policy", or "code", or whatever, depending upon context.
I don't care how you lead your life. Just don't presume that it gives you the right to infringe upon mine and my well-being. Don't assume that you understand my experience and motivations.
If one were to bring in a desktop computer with even noisier fans and keyboards into the parliament chamber, would that be OK? If a member just had a bunch of loose fans running at his desk, and banged away all day on a disconnected keyboard, would that be OK?
Why not just ban the thing causing the problem itself, and not worry about contingencies that are orthogonal to the problem (e.g. what kind of larger-scale devices the noise-making items are embedded in)?
But as laptops are now banned from parliament, every member of said parliament shall receive a tablet, because he/she has to be able to keep working with digital files in parliament.
Being a citizen, things like this make me sad.
Incredible that I'm getting downvoted for this. So if you have 100,000 $ student debt, you should stop sending holiday cards and use email instead, to save 40 cents?
In large organizations some costs are just to minuscule to warrant any mindspace. In this case the spending doesn't even seem evidently frivolous, why shouldn't every parliamentarian have a tablet? In the Netherlands they replaced paper with tablets and even managed to achieve cost savings.
If you want to reduce a 27 billion Euro deficit, it makes no sense at all to focus on the details of whether it’s a good idea for the state parliament to spend a few thousand additional Euros. Such spending or saving will neither increase nor decrease the debt in any sort of significant way. It’s a cheap talking point that clouds the issue and gives people hours of material to talk about the debt without coming even one millimeter closer to any sort of solution.
What are the biggest sources of income? Is there some way to increase them in such a way that paying off the debt in a realistic time-frame would be possible? What do we spend the most on? Is there some way to reduce what we spend on to reduce the debt in a meaningful time-frame? Those are the central questions.
How much do those tablets cost? Maybe 100,000 Euro every two years or so, so 50,000 Euro per year (and that’s a generous assumption). If the parliament wouldn’t pay for them (and assuming that the debt stays otherwise constant) the state would pay off its debt in half a million years. Even if you can find 100 similar small issues, paying off the debt would still take several thousand years. (Oh, and by the way, the debt isn’t constant, so at best you could hope to impact the growth of the debt some insignificant tiny bit.)
There is nothing wrong with arguing for or against whether the state should pay for tablets for members of parliament – but putting this discussion into the context of the debt is utterly ridiculous and pure cheap polemics. The important questions are: Do they need tablets to work, can they afford them themselves and what constitutes a fair and good payment of parliamentarians that produces the best outcomes (e.g. attracts competent people or allows even otherwise poorer people to participate in the parliamentary process). Again, talking about the debt in this context makes no sense.
They probably spend more money on chairs in a year than they do on computers.
If an iPad allows them to be more effective, then it's probably a good thing to buy. It's false savings when your thriftiness gets in the way of productivity.
An iPad would not even make a dent in the expense accounts of most politicians. Their photocopying bill would massively eclipse this, so anything that reduces the amount of paper required could save enormous amounts of money.
It's akin to a software company buying $400 Dells and a single monitor to work on to "save money."
While `run silently and no mechanical keyboard' has at least some merit, what's the point of mentioning hinged screen?
There are some dual-(hinged-)screen tablets http://blog.laptopmag.com/msis-dual-screen-tablet-video-hand...
But I think there's probably a more charitable explanation that everyone is too polite to say: large chunks of the business being conducted may in fact be bullshit, and deep down they know it.
Snap of photo of the representative checking Facebook while legislation is being debated, and make it into a campaign ad when the next election rolls around.
But honestly, I'm sure this is nothing new. Legislators have been daydreaming, doodling, passing notes, and reading books during debates since time immemorial. It's not like attendance is even mandatory in the first place.
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I thought Germany had banned laptops nation-wide for some reason.