Recent Reads Tries to Imagine a World Without Email

It was another blur of a week in Washington, with the president’s son’s emails from more than a year ago coming under scrutiny. We were struck by one article that questioned whether email is doomed in light of recent events. Of course, tales of email’s demise have been greatly exaggerated in the past.

We’re also reading about Tinder sending people to Hawaii, interviews that show the Supreme Court is made up of actual human beings, the use of virtual reality to relieve pain and an analysis on why it’s so hard to write. Believe it or not, it comes down to what’s being called “the curse of knowledge.”

With that, here’s Recent Reads.

What We Lose When the World Moves On From Email – An email chain from Donald Trump Jr. dominated the news this week, making at least one tech writer question whether the cons of email (namely, security) are about to seriously outweigh the pros. I’m not sure if I’m ready to put the nail in email’s metaphorical coffin, as a business world without email seems almost unfathomable. But I also wouldn’t be shocked if security is the thing that turns the tide and forces us to use cloud-based platforms like Slack in the not too distant future. – Paul Wilson

Tinder takes matchmaking to a new level – When it comes to online dating, Tinder has a tarnished reputation. But thanks to a promise to one of its users, that reputation has been knocked on its heels. One user tweeted a screenshot of a “belated reply” Tinder conversation that has been a longstanding joke between him and a match for over three years. The two both go to Kent State University and have yet to meet in person. Tinder saw the post and decided to step in, tweeting back, “It’s time you got together IRL [in real life]. You have 24 hrs to decide the city you want to have your first date in and we’ll send you there!” The post went viral and people everywhere are now rooting for this couple. The pair decided to take Tinder up on its offer and meet in Hawaii, and Tinder told them to pack their bags (so long as they don’t wait two years to go). This just goes to show the power of social media in shifting your public image and creating your own headlines. – Jessica McNellis

Enlisting Virtual Reality to Ease Real Pain – Opioid abuse and deaths from overdoses are at extreme levels in the U.S., according to a report released Thursday. Could virtual reality curb the use of addictive painkillers or even be a complementary treatment? Researchers at Cedars-Sinai hospital are confident it’s possible based on clinical trials that found a virtual-reality experience can reduce pain by 24 percent. I am fascinated by the lightbulb moment that led to researchers hypothesizing that virtual reality could even be considered an option for pain sufferers. I also can’t help but wonder if the days are numbered for patients who enjoy medical marijuana. – Lisa Seidenberg

The Single Reason Why People Can’t Write, According to a Harvard Psychologist – As PR professionals, we are constantly surrounded by writing. Whether it’s our own writing, a reporter’s writing or even an article written by one of our clients, we can’t escape its many different forms and styles. Admittedly, some are easier to understand than others. This Inc. piece explains why writing today can be so unclear and confusing. Believe it or not, just like writing, that reason is not as complicated as we may believe. – Jess DuBrock

Law360’s Exclusive Interviews with the Supreme CourtLaw360 recently started exclusive interviews with Supreme Court justices. Those on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonya Sotomayor are fascinating, but I was drawn to the two-part piece on retired Justice John Paul Stevens. While many of our appellate lawyers may know these kinds of details about these justices, most Americans don’t, and I find it so interesting to learn more about them as individuals – their thoughts, quirks and ‘isms.’ And if you’re looking for a nerdy laugh, justices crack jokes too. – Agatha Howland