I collect data points constantly, and I index them by topic, and I always hope that they will come together in an interesting, useful way. Lots of times, that doesn't happen, and I just have to throw ideas away, because I have a rule for myself that I have to be useful in every post.
But today I'm trying something new. I'm doing a post that is useless to you. Here are four ideas I was just about to toss out as incurably useless, but instead, I bring them to you:
1. Law firms are making concessions for women.
One of the top law firms in the world, Allen Overy, just announced they are letting people become part-time partners. This would be news if no one had tried it before. But many firms that have already done this in response to the extreme brain drain in the legal profession due to women leaving law firms because they are so inflexible.
So now there is the idea that there can be a part-time partner. Fortunately, like most things in workplace reform, Gen X-ers have already been the guinea pigs. My friends, in fact, have tried this. And it turns out that if you give a lawyer a part-time job, she ends up working 50 hours a week instead of 80, and gets part-time credit, which isn't exactly encouraging.
2. People live together instead of getting married.
This is not news you can use because you already know it. This is what I said to Hannah Seligson, who asked me to write about her new book, A Little Bit Married: How to Know When it’s Time to Walk Down the Aisle or Out the Door.
I like Hannah. She wrote a great piece for the Daily Beast, about the orgasm gap between men and women. I also like Hannah because when I told her that I thought her book was not news, she exhibited a charming relentlessness about publicizing her book, and she told me:
- Co-habitation is a bigger step in the marriage direction for women than men.
- Women are ready to get married before men, even when they’re already living together.
This mostly seems like things have not changed. In fact, the most surprising thing about this news is that women are earning more than men, and men have seen a generation of women with fertility nightmares from putting off having children in favor of building their career, yet still, nothing changes in the marriage equation.
So I don't know about this book. I'm not sure how useful it is. And I think a book on the orgasm gap would have been more useful, but maybe Hanna’s got a few orgasm pages tucked into this book…
3. Texting while driving is bad.
Already 19 states prohibit texting while driving, so that's gotta make you think twice about doing it in the other 31. Also, it's clear that even if you're great with just one-finger on the keyboard, texting while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk.
I would never drive drunk. But I text in car all the time. I tell myself not to, and then I do just one more quick one.
Which is why this falls into the category of news you cannot use: Texting while driving requires the same rules for oneself that driving drunk require. We each self-police, and it's an issue of self-respect, but also, a social contract with the other people on the road that we will not endanger each other's lives.
You decide where you are and then no amount of scaring you changes you. So, I read the data, and then I texted that very day. I know I'm a terrible person. But I'm not ready to make the change.
4. Pig sex is on the demise.
The farmer went to grad school for pig genetics, and he has a lot of pigs on his farm. The farmer buys boy pigs to impregnate the girl pigs. But the last batch of boys he bought did not know how to have sex. They would mount the girl pigs, but their penis didn't go in where it was supposed to. The farmer tells me that so much of pig reproduction is by artificial insemination now that farmers aren't breeding for pigs who know how to have sex. This is amazing to me. Though I cannot think of how to use the knowledge in any work except farm work.
Okay. So we're at the end of my post. I thought it would be fun to write about stuff I wish was useful but it is not. I thought it would be fun to break the rule that I have to be useful. But you know what? It wasn't fun.
My blog is about me doing something nice for you, and then, in turn, you doing something nice for me, by talking about what I want to talk about. But if I am not trying to be useful to you in some way, then I'm not really in a relationship with you. I’m just writing like it’s my diary.
There is something really fulfilling about being useful. So here’s my tip: You should be useful to readers each time you post. It feels better. For everyone.
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