What’s the Point?

     I find myself asking myself this question (or some variation thereof) quite a lot lately.
     For example, what’s the point of using the Internet?
     I know this is an odd question since you’re reading this on the Internet in a column written by a guy who gets paid to put things on the Internet, but consider it anyway.
     Are we better off since we got the Internet, or is it a dangerous place that exposes us to the world and may be driving us mad?
     Some of you now are thinking that I’m the one who’s insane, but hear me out. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see a lawsuit over some security breach, with plaintiffs suing the company that’s been breached because that’s a lot easier than suing unidentified hackers.
     And stuff gets out over the Internet. Think of all those Ashley Madison users who thought they were being so secret and clever. Think of the dick pics we’ve all come to expect from our leaders. Think of poor Hillary Clinton and her email on the wrong server.
     Or a website apparently designed to help victims of violence: agentofchange.net. Click on the link to see what I mean.
     So why are people still using the Internet?
     I don’t know, but I have a few security suggestions if you want to prevent data or identity theft.
     Use actual money.
     We used to be satisfied with money. It know it’s quaint and may startle you, but the upside is that if a hacker gets hold of it, there’s no link to the rest of your money.
     Write letters on paper.
     I know this is inconvenient, but if you regret what you wrote, you can sneak into your friend’s house and steal it before it can be read.
     Watch porn in actual theaters.
     Spouses and relatives won’t stumble on your viewing history, and a community experience is always better than being alone. As long as it’s not too vivid an experience …
     What’s the point of weird surveys?
     This is from a press release issued last week:
     “TORONTO, Sept. 1, 2015 /CNW/ – In lieu of practicing law, many lawyers would have pursued a career in business, education or science, a recent survey by Robert Half Legal reveals. Fifteen percent of lawyers interviewed said they would have chosen business management or marketing careers if they hadn’t become lawyers. Academia/education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers ranked second, with each category receiving 13 percent of the survey response.”
     Yeah, but they didn’t choose those things, so why ask? Is someone going to liberate them from their law jobs?
     Now, if lots of lawyers had come up with interesting answers – like run away with the circus or become a giraffe-herder — this might have been cool.
     So I beg of you – if a surveyor calls, please make up good answers so we won’t be bored with results like this.
     I want to read that most lawyers prefer mud wrestling over taking depositions.
     I want to know that legal secretaries prefer Proust to their lawyers’ briefs.
     I need to see an announcement that says nine out of 10 judges prefer hanging as a sanction for contempt.
     Please consider your answers before answering any poll questions – as a public service.
     What’s the point of Tasing someone for not changing clothes?
     Your initial reaction may be that there is no point, but apparently not everyone agrees.
     Check out an Eighth Circuit ruling last week in Hollingsworth v. City of St. Ann, in which we learn that a police officer Tased a drunken woman accused of stealing $7.38 worth of wine coolers because she refused to change into an orange jumpsuit.
     The rationale, as far as I can tell from the ruling, is that there might have been some contraband or a weapon in the woman’s street clothes and it was too much trouble to search her.
     The court, in case you’re wondering, had no problem with this and dismissed the prisoner’s lawsuit.
     Fair enough, but I have advice for police departments who want to avoid litigating against dangerous wine cooler thieves. There are easier ways to deal with sartorial disputes.
     For example, offer a variety of jumpsuit colors. A nice pale green or paisley might have avoided this problem.
     Or leave the poor woman in the interrogation room until she sobers up.
     Or bribe her with a drink. She obviously likes wine coolers.

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