The Usefulness of Useless Information

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)  |  Date Updated: February 26, 2020

useless-information-searchI was searching for information today and discovered that people prefer useless information to useful information.


Yes, that’s right.  There are more searches on the Internet everyday for the term “useless information” than for the term “useful information“.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this chart.


Rather than rush to a summary judgment, I’ll follow one of Stephen’s Covey’s Seven Habits and “seek to understand before being understood”.  Perhaps these Internet surfers are right and I am wrong.

Have I wasted half of my life looking for useful information when all along I should have been looking for useless information?

Let’s do a search for useless information and see if we’re rewarded.

Ok, the first site returned is one dedicated to useless information.  In fact, the site is called  The name speaks for itself.

The first entry today is entitled Antarctica’s Red-light District:  The Coldest Profession.  This article is about female penguins and their predisposition to exchange their bodies for stones (a rarity in Antartica) to build their Penguin nests.  Though these female penguins have a life-long companion elsewhere, they are willing to give themselves to a male penguin who will give them the merchandise they need.  Hmmm…sound familiar?

Perhaps useless information is more valuable than useful information.

Next up on our search for useless information is a site called Amusing Facts.  On their home page, they have a “daily amusing fact” and today’s fact was what you see in the graphic below:


More penguins.  This is a very strange coincidence.  The first visit to two useless sites yields two lead stories about penguins.  Do people in pursuit of useless information have a peculiar affinity for penguins?  Have we discovered some strange new freakonomic relationship evolving?

After looking at the girl in the picture (who is by all measures happy and way HOT), we may have come up with a “Penguin Theory of Better Living” or “Why Useless Information is More Useful that Useful Information.”   Here goes:

  1. People who pursue useless information like penguins.
  2. Penguins are cute and cuddly and they make us all happy (Who is happier…someone looking at a text book-useful-or someone looking at a penguin?)
  3. Happy people are less stressed and better looking than unhappy people.
  4. Better looking people lead longer, happier easier lives.
  5. People who pursue useless information, like Penguins, lead much better lives than people who pursue useful information.

Think I am wrong?

Check out todays’ piece of useful information:


PS: Want more fun, useless information? Check out what to do when you are bored on the Internet.

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is a writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
Richard Cummings
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Richard CummingsThe Usefulness of Useless Information

Comments 1

  1. Justin

    You know the funniest thing about this? Icame across this in my seach for useless information. Just goes to show you what you’ll find.

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