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Elon Musk: Correcting the Record About My Divorce (huffingtonpost.com)
165 points by aresant on July 8, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 124 comments

> What caught me by surprise, and forced me to seek emergency loans from friends, were the enormous legal fees I had to pay my ex-wife's divorce lawyers. In a California divorce, the wealthier spouse must pay both sides of the battle even if they are not the aggressor.

> The legal and accounting bills for the divorce total four million dollars so far, which is an average of roughly $170,000 per month for the past 24 months. Journalists were quick to mock the poor "broke" guy that had $200k a month expenses, failing to note that legal fees constituted the majority.

That's utterly despicable - Grellas, can you help us put together a plan to disbar and exile everyone involved in the divorce racket or something? Talk about a destruction of wealth, energy, time, and life - it's embarrassing that we let this happen to people in the United States.

Our family/divorce courts and the associated personnel are destructive, vindictive, and capricious. This needs to change. Why do people stand for it? What can we do?

There are even worse stories.

My parents divorced two years ago. I was paying my mother's attorney bills because she had no money and hadn't had a job in 35 years.

After the first bill from my mother's attorney, for $15,000, I asked the firm to cap expenses at $5,000. I explained that I was just a kid and didn't have $15k per month to spend. They agreed, in writing.

Then they didn't invoice for 4 months, and at the end of that 4 month period (when nothing really happened in the divorce), they invoiced for $175,000.

Yes, $175,000.

It's currently in arbitration with the Virginia State Bar, two years later. Hopefully we'll prevail, but it's not looking good.

Divorce attorneys are the lowest, most predatory "profession" on the planet. Exorbitant divorce fees are not just a plight of the wealthy.

I have no solutions, and hope Grellas can weigh in on this thread.

My ex-girlfriend's story of her divorce was similar. It was an extremely hostile, nasty divorce with custody at stake and accusations of mental health issues on both sides, but she and her husband managed to agree on one thing: after many months of legal fighting, they agreed that they were being systematically bled by the lawyers. The lawyers were concocting reason after reason to drag everyone into court and file ungodly amounts of paperwork. They were nowhere close to being divorced, and it looked like it would take years.

Her lawyer (an older, grandfatherly gentleman) treated her in an apparently very caring manner, repeatedly calling her at night to see if she was okay and discuss minor issues of the case, always managing to get her upset and then spend a couple of hours comforting her and giving her advice. Then she found out he was billing for that time, so she stopped answering his calls after five o'clock.

Her husband had a similar realization that the case had turned into them against the lawyers, so they agreed to simultaneously fire their lawyers and hire new ones. Then they went back to hurling neglect, abuse, and mental illness accusations at each other and fighting over custody. Years later, having lived in separate states for many years, they can barely stand to talk on the phone three or four times a year to coordinate on the daughter going to see his side of the family. But in the middle of a nasty divorce, they managed to agree about the lawyers.

I know it's considered gauche on HN to say "thank you" for upvotes.

But thank you.

(I'm assuming the upvotes are a way of saying "I'm sorry dude, I feel your pain". If so, they are much appreciated.)

What can we do?

Abandon the institution of marriage entirely. Nuke it from orbit, as it were. It's the only way to be sure.

The legal end of it is a mere wealth-redistribution mechanism. The social end of it is made of community who loves to witness people getting into marriages, but they scatter during the demise. So what function does it perform? From my perspective, it only serves to weaken commitment by trying to offload the responsibility of staying together to a legal framework.

Can anybody make a good case for continuing the charade?

Actually, yes.

Many marriages are entered into by two parties with the agreement that one party will be the primary caretaker of the children (home-maker), which is a profession that is unpaid. The other party will work outside the home and provide money for the family. In that case, the years of work that the home-maker has put in should be recognized as valid work, and in the event of a break-up of the marriage, the home-maker should continue to receive monetary support from the other party, as they (often) have no viable other professional skills. This needs to be enforceable in court in the interest of people whose profession is home-maker.

This is also why gay marriage (and gay divorce) should be legally codified like straight marriage is. People need legal recourse to persist their own standards of living.

If someone entering into a marriage does not want to take on the lifetime of responsibility of providing for the person who is promising to take on the role of home-maker in their household, perhaps they shouldn't enter into a marriage.

This is an argument for marriages as contracts, but no more. I don't read an argument in what you say in favour of a government involvement in defining what a marriage is. Contract law should be sufficient.

I agree. Good point. There is a strong argument to be made for defining a prenup for all marriages, just as a contract would have a dissolution agreement. That way, the negotiation takes place when the people are on good terms and not trying to screw each other over out of spite.

commanda, you're correct but you answered the wrong question, the poster wanted to know why have marriages at all and not why alimony exists :)

Agree completely.

The question (probably similar to patents,) is: How can we protect the spirit of why this law is in place (to recognize the contribution of those who may not be directly compensated and give them their appropriate share), without letting people completely exploit and abuse it.

Looked at it that way, its an extremely hard problem with a myriad of economic and social issues along with a bunch of vested interests. Sigh...

> In that case, the years of work that the home-maker has put in should be recognized as valid work, and in the event of a break-up of the marriage, the home-maker should continue to receive monetary support from the other party, as they (often) have no viable other professional skills.

That's a valid point, but do we need a one-size-fits-all approach, i.e. all marriages are the same contract? Arguably, we do not, so why not just let the parties directly involved decide what terms to have for their own marriage contracts (which might include inter alia some provision for cheap arbitration rather than expensive predatory lawyers if things break down).

I'm not convinced that abolishing marriage would end the wealth-redistribution system.

I'm not worried about the external social part of it, but the personal part of it is that many people (including myself) enjoyed both getting and being married. Obviously, YMMV.

I guess that marriage has some "legal framework" but I've never even thought of it in that way. To me it is a personal declaration of two-way commitment, made in front of friends and family, and it's worth as much, and as little, as how you live by it. Same as any commitment, I guess.

I like being married. It's not a charade to me. If you don't like me being married, because you don't like divorce lawyers, so be it.

If you live with someone in a committed relationship for more than two years, your automatically entered into a common law marriage, even if you don't realize it. It's hard to avoid it if you want a relationship! How do common-law divorces work?

I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that entering into a common law marriage typically only happens if you "intend" to be married. For example, cohabitation alone is, generally, not enough to create a common law marriage.

I don't know about other countries, but most states in the US do not recognize common law marriage.

It's a British law thing so most commonwealth countries have this.

Direct from the UK government's website:

Most people think that, after they've been living with their partner for a couple of years, they become 'common law husband and wife' with the same rights as married couples. This is not the case. In fact, couples who live together have hardly any of the same rights as married couples or civil partners.

There is no such thing as ‘common law marriage’.


British law != UK current law but those laws that in the distant past were direct descendents of UK law at the time.

British law vs say Roman law.

Because of the widespread nature of the British empire remnants of these laws (and remnants of the Empire, such as the Queen being formally the supreme being in Canada) are still found all over the world, even if a lot of those laws have been abolished in the UK itself.

> British law vs say Roman law

I think you mean English common law. There's not such thing as "British law" as such, because Scotland has its own legal system (which incidently is partly based on Roman law).

Ah ok, I read that as "Those crazy Brits still have this" and waded in to correct ;)

Those crazy Brits abolished it in 1753 according to WP:


So maybe they're not that crazy :)

The law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but here in Ontario, common law status has very real consequences. Not all of them are bad and in fact if you read this FAQ on property division, it sounds like what people would expect when two people break up (e.g., joint assets are divided in half, each person keeps what belonged to them solely, etc.). Common law partners are also eligible for spousal support upon separation. People think I'm weird for not wanting to live with a girlfriend, but common law status creeps up fast and often before people have had the time to realize if the person is right for them in the long run.



According to wikipedia, 13 states do. I wonder whether these marriages qualify for federal benefits?

Marriage is a way to call a guys' bluffs. Plenty of guys will say they are in love and committed forever to keep a relationship going. But the reality is they would move on to a younger girlfriend every 5-10 years if they could. Marriage makes men put their money where their mouth is.

This is what you get for voluntarily involving the government in your personal matters.

What bugs me most about the entire gay marriage debate is that it implies that the government should have control over the institution of marriage. The solution to the gay marriage debate is not to make it legal for gay people to get married, but to make it so that the government doesn't decide who can get married.

There are far-reaching effects to be considered.

For example, immigration sponsorship. As a gay man with a non-American partner, this comes to mind first.

Currently, spouses do not have to testify against each other in court. This isn't codified in any law but British Common law (afaik). There are a few of these pleasantries that would have to be figured out.

Then, there are over 1,000 legal rights codified into contract law. Some of these can be emulated (power of attorney), some cannot.

It's a hard problem.

What politician wants to be "anti-marriage?" So, it's politically infeasible to discontinue marriage (or more specifically the government's involvement in marriage).

Reforming marriage laws to apply equally regardless of sexual orientation or to simplify divorce, on the other hand, do seem more like near-term achievable goals.

When Canada was still arguing about how to handle gay marriage, several Canadian politicians (both gay and straight) did, in fact, argue in favour of abolishing marriage as a legal institution. It was seen by many people at the time as a compromise position.

I'm not implying anything about the achievability of the abolition of marriage, I'm just speaking about it from a theoretical point of view. I completely understand that the social conservative movement is too strong in America for anything like this to happen in the forseeable future.

You're not a marketer are you? It's not an anti-marriage platform, it's anti-government platform.

Are you willing to campaign to remove government-sanctioned marriage? Do you think it is a feasible position?

> In a California divorce, the wealthier spouse must pay both sides of the battle even if they are not the aggressor.

Don't tell me, let me guess: it was lobbying by lawyers that created that law, right?

If the wealthier spouse ceases to be wealthier throughout the process (hypothetically, because of astronomical lawyer's fees), are the tables turned?

>What can we do?

The equivalent of the flat tax for divorce: some very simple, predictable rules that require little or no arbitration. Suppose the rule was that Elon gives x% of his assets to Justine within y months of the divorce, plus $z/month, end of story. No lawyers or court fees need to be involved.

Change countries. However, I've noticed that boycotts don't have the desired effect, when the market is too big. This probably applies to countries as well, so look out for number one, and get out anyway.

Of course it is - it is marriage in California - properly the most loopsided situation outside family court.

How is it a racket if he entered into the marriage contract of his own volition?

It may be a rigged game but he played it voluntarily.

This whole thing is a bit surprisingly to me since it seems like Elon covered his bases with the separate property agreement. Yet it still has been a major hassle for him money wise.

Gene Simmons (from the band kiss) has an interesting approach to this which he wrote about in his book. He never married his long time partner and playboy playmate Shannon Tweed. But he took it even a step further having her and other live in girlfriends sign documents stating that despite living together they would not become common law married.

Trump is ok with marriage, but puts strong pre-numps in place.

Anyway, it's reading articles like this that can really turn you off to marriage as an entrepreneur. It's hard to say whether you're going to be in love with someone in 20 years, much less 1 year, so why put a legal contract on it? It might make more sense to vest your marriage over time or just take your partnership one day at a time without a contract.

vest your marriage over time

AFAIK some state laws have this feature; the wife only gets half after ten years or something.

the wife only gets half after ten years or something

You mean 'spouse' right?

Edit: Granted, there may not be very many instances (or any for that matter) where the man is going after the woman's wealth, but the point is that the provision applies to both parties.

Yes, in theory. But anecdotes of the opposite case happening do not readily come to mind (though this is a cognitive bias). It’s my understanding courts favor women in divorce proceedings.

I am a woman who pays my ex-husband a small amount of alimony, and a significant amount of child support even though we have 50-50 physical custody.

The courts do not favor the woman, they favor the spouse in the weaker position financially, especially if that spouse was the primary caregiver. In most cases, this is the woman.

>This whole thing is a bit surprisingly to me since it seems like Elon covered his bases with the separate property agreement.

This agreement was put in place after they were already married, right? That's what this case is basically about: determining if an agreement made in such a manner is valid.

The article suggests that the document was negotiated over a 3.5-month period, with the wedding occurring part-way through it. It's not unreasonable to claim that both parties went to the altar with a basic idea of what was going to be in the final draft.

Perhaps, but it's a different legal situation (at least at present) and plus we're getting Elon's side of the story now. We may be tempted to pick his side because he makes cool things but that doesn't make what he says true.

Which is why, honestly, outsiders should know as little as possible about these situations. We can't know what actually happens so why do we want to be in a situation to demonize one person and feel sorry for another based on this lack of information?

Common-law marriage is recognized in about three states, as I recall.

It fairly common throughout all of canada. Probably in various countries in europe too.

All countries in Europe except the UK have civil law systems.

According to wikipedia, 13.

For shame. I don’t understand how someone can be so greedy as to try to take wealth their ex-parter created after explicitly agreeing not to do so!

Edit: And due to lawyers’ fees, the couple’s net worth is decreased by millions in the process.

For this reason I don't see myself ever getting married. I can't even fully understand my childhood friend, how will I know if the women I married will not drastically change 10-15 years from now and use it against me knowing very well that the system is in her favor? There is nothing you can do, even a pre-nup is not safe.

Thanks to the divorce culture of USA, why would any sane person would want to get married?

For me the worst part of this case is that she was offered 80 million, 4 times more than what she was entitled for.... and she wants more?

Utterly despicable.

>after explicitly agreeing not to do so!

This wasn't done in a prenup, it was done at a later stage in a legally (at this point anyway) ambiguous manner.

It's amazing that someone could have enough genius to revolutionize the internet (paypal enabling easy ecommerce), revolutionize space flight and are attempting to revolutionize personal transpost, but can not successfully navigate the california legal system.

All jokes aside, Elon Musk is a freaking inspiration and it sucks to see their creative potential squandered by a lame court battle.

The lesson here is: marriage is a very risky proposition, particularly if you are male or much richer (even just potentially) than your partner.

(PS: Much respect for Musk.)

The lesson here is: marriage is a very risky proposition

That depends who you are, who you're marrying, and where you live. Divorces are only this expensive and drawn out in a handful of countries, and milking your ex-partner for all they're worth is a similarly non-universal trait.

Further, some people simply don't have this mentality or a single retributory bone in their body. Those are the people you marry.

Guess you'd better be psychic enough or psychologist enough to be able to assess someone's "retributory bones" ...or their ability to grow them when they feel aggrieved against you.

Psychic or just being a perceptive partner in a long term relationship heading toward a life-long commitment.

People can change over time in ways you wouldn't anticipate, but if you marry someone only once you know them deeply (and if you don't, you deserve what you get), you should be reasonably confident of what sort of person they are or could become.

> People can change over time in ways you wouldn't anticipate, but if you marry someone only once you know them deeply (and if you don't, you deserve what you get), you should be reasonably confident of what sort of person they are or could become.

"Reasonably confident" is a remarkably weak threshold for putting half of one's future wealth on the line. What else does one deserve to get, as "punishment" for not being sufficiently perceptive of a future spouse's character?

> "Reasonably confident" is a remarkably weak threshold for putting half of one's future wealth on the line.

Half of your wealth is very very small compared to losing custody of your kids. If she leaves, the legal system will almost always make sure she gets the kids. Unless you have kids, it's difficult to understand how horrible this is for dads.

I don't think blaming Elon Musk for not being a perceptive guy makes sense. If it's too hard for someone smart like him to be sufficiently perceptive to avoid this problem, then it's a huge risk for almost everyone.

It's quite possible that his attention was focused elsewhere, like say on Tesla and SpaceX, and that is why he's getting divorced now.

Smart people aren't universally smart. They're smart at the things that they choose to be smart at. I know a few brilliant people that are geniuses at their chosen field and yet wouldn't notice if their spouse went off to Vegas without them.

It can be a risk. But a good partner can also be an asset. In the book The Millionaire Next Door, many of the interviewees credit their spouses (usually a wife) for helping them succeed and keeping expenses low.

You still have to pick the right partner, but if you can do that, it could be a big plus.

But hey, I'm getting married next month, so take what I say with a grain of salt ;)

> But hey, I'm getting married next month, so take what I say with a grain of salt ;)

I'm happily married (6 years in October) and I believe my wife is a great asset to me. However, I believe that marriage remains a major financial and emotional risk.

>marriage remains a major financial and emotional risk

Things that genuinely make your life better typically are.

Yes, like entrepreneurship.

Get romantically married, but don't sign a contract with the government! By not singing some paperwork you can both avoid of alot of problems (but not all). Frame it like this: honey, I want to get married with you, not sign a business contract with you. Or I want to get married with you, not with the government too!

No hospital visitation rights, insurance benefits, etc. Just saying.

That's like an old southern saying, "I'll meet you at the church. But I ain't going through the door with you"

But hey, I'm getting married next month, so take what I say with a grain of salt ;)

Congratulations :) In spite of the subject matter of this story, let's send well-wishes ahead of a joyful and successful marriage for you both.

Thank you, I appreciate it :)

We've been together 7 years and living together over a year, so I don't feel like it's too much of a gamble.

Risky, yes. But worth every bit of it if you marry a good one.

Have you been divorced and milked out of your hard earned money? If not, how would you know if it's worthed?

Have you been married to a wonderful spouse and had your life enriched beyond belief? If not, how would you know the risk is not worth it?

I didn't argue either for or against marriage, he is the one who said its worthed. The assumption you take out from someone when he says something is worthed, is that they have experienced both extreme of the experience.

As for me, no I have not been married to a wonderful spouse and I am sure for every bad experience like Elon's you will find 4 good experiences (my parents have been married for 40+ years). But to answer your question, if its worthed to be married to someone for 10+ years and then getting divorced and finding out that she is sucking the last penny out of you for the rest of your life is NOT worthed; AFAI am concerned. I don't care how much bliss you had for that 10 years or so.

For every bad experience like Elon's you will find around .7 good ones. Statistically, anyways.

> for every bad experience like Elon's you will find 4 good experiences (my parents have been married for 40+ years).

You are mixing up duration and quality.

Ok let me rephrase that for you:

My parents have been happily married (to the best of my knowledge) for the last 40 years. If they are not happy, they are damn good at hiding it and goes way out of their way to make sure the kids never find out

"The legal and accounting bills for the divorce total four million dollars so far, which is an average of roughly $170,000 per month for the past 24 months."


The lawyers always win.

He is paying for both party's so she has no reason to skimp on legal fee's. But assuming a 50/50 split it works out to ~500$ / hour * 40 hours a week, for each of them. Which is probably just 1 full time layer + some part time help for each of them.

Serious question, does a divorce like that really require 2 years of full time work for each party?

If you think you can get hundreds of millions of dollars out of a divorce, of course you'll spend tens of millions of dollars of legal fees to get it.

Especially if some of those tens of millions of dollars essentially pay someone else to tell you you'll get hundreds of millions of dollars out of it.

To be honest I have never been what you would call a huge Elon Musk fan but this was a very well laid out case. The amazing part of course is even though he had a prenup, the judges and lawyers have allowed this to go on so long he has huge legal fees. I have seen this happen to several entrepreneur friends of mine--in fact (true story)-- I know what entrepreneur who had a prenum and divorced and remarried the same woman TWICE. Got soaked both times even w/ prenup. People should be able to get married in the United States without the risk of massive wholesale wealth transfer.

> I know what entrepreneur who had a prenum and divorced and remarried the same woman TWICE. Got soaked both times even w/ prenup.

That doesn't sound too clever to me. Once bitten twice shy right ?

The guy married her before his first startup...sold it for 800m...she divorced him. He was on is back. Did another startup--remarried same woman. Divorced again. Taken to bank both times. Prenup thrown out both times. It ain't right.

>even though he had a prenup

He didn't have a prenup. If he did the case would probably already be over.

Prenups can be disregarded for all types of reasons. The main one I've heard is when one spouse makes, whats considered to be, unreasonable conditions, ie., "Sign this contract or I won't marry you".

That's why Elon put in their that little line that witnesses and council were there for the postnup. If one spouse has council and the other doesn't when they sign a prenup. that prenup is toast.

> unreasonable conditions, ie., "Sign this contract or I won't marry you".

I'm confused. Isn't this kind of the point of a pre-nup?

If this "threat" weren't hanging over every pre-nup, why would one ever be signed in the first place?

You'd think someone as smart as Elon Musk would have followed the advice of Felix Dennis: "If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it.. it’s cheaper in the long run."

My girlfriend has been an amazing source of support while I've been working on my business. I won't say I couldn't've done it without her, but it would certainly be less fun and a bit more challenging.

"My girlfriend..."

So you're following Felix's advice then :-)

Can you end a marriage without requiring the services of predatory divorce lawyers? As in, a wife and husband having a "gentleman's agreement" to divide children and property?

Varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in many places yes (with a caveat). You both show up at the relevant office, fill in some paper work, pay a small filing fee and you're basically done (many places have a separation period between the paperwork being filed and the actual divorce kicking in).

The caveat being that even if you do it this way there is nothing stopping one of the spouses suing the other after the fact for access to the children or more money, so you're not completely off the hook if your spouse later decides to get vindictive.

Would you enter a business agreement in which your partner has the right to break the deal whenever he wants and take at least the half of the things that you brought into the relationship (prior and post agreement)?

Why is this on HN, and the top story no less? Gossip about celebrities is boring, even if the celebrity happens to be a famous geek. I'm not one to bitch about off-topic stories, but I'm genuinely curious why people find this story to be interesting.

Elon Musk co-founded PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk

Yes, I am aware of who he is. Why is his divorce any more interesting because of the companies he has founded?

Perhaps as a lesson to the entrepreneurs on here who are hoping to strike it rich, and who are not yet married?

Or in Musk's case, are married and then strike it rich.

Nonsense, Elon Musk was already a millionaire from the sale of zip2 to Compaq in 1999, he married in 2000.

Whoops, my bad. (I extrapolated the "met in college" quote on his wikipedia entry and the "married young" (which isn't actually true) quote on his ex-wifes).

It's more a lesson to get pre-nup because not only you can get screwed in a divorce, your partners and shareholders could to. So, if your significant other ask why you need a pre-nup hand them that line and it so happens to be true.

Per the article, his wife proposed after he made his first fortune.

Geek Empathy.

Geek empathy, unlike classical celebrity gossip, does not travel through word of mouth or through paper tabloids, but rather is propagated via digital electronic pulses, and is registered via upward pointing triangle receptors (▲).

I believe the divorce proceedings have affected his companies.

Basically it is an intelligent and well-written PR piece. Something to learn from.

As a warning to other entrepreneurs: you can either get married or make a company, but dammed is the poor fool who does both.

That seems like precisely the wrong lesson to draw from this experience.

why is divorce so complicated that lawyers can justify charging so much? at it's simplest it could be a form that the two spouses sign and date, perhaps with witnesses, then you submit it somewhere. i realize there can be disagreements about who gets what and that may take time to negotiate, but why would that require thousands of billable hours by lawyers? This is not rocket science, no programming needed, just people talking to each other, and only 2 needed at a minimum. Plus divorces are so common and have been happening for over a century I imagine, so you'd think it would be highly standardized and streamlined by now. UNLESS perhaps lawyers/lawmakers were themselves trying to keep it complex and manual to preserve job security.

anybody? anybody? grellas?

I feel bad for the guy. I would buy Tesla stocks if I had the money.

Dupe: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1498914

Curiously, neither site says where this comes from.

What do you mean? The Huffington post is written by Musk himself.


The dupe-caller is being downvoted because of incorrectly saying that "neither site says where this comes from," and the replier is being upvoted for pointing that out.

I don't know either, and I don't know why he's getting voted down :S

Anyway, looks like there is a time difference. The Huffington post seems to be from earlier in the day (possibly an original).

The Huffington Post post?

Did he spam this to a bunch of news sites or did he send it to one and the others copied it? Usually there's more attribution. e.g. if BusinessInsider copied it from HuffPo then they should probably give credit.

Musk is an icon I cannot admire enough.

His ex-wife is a gold-digger blogger I cannot hate enough. The least she could do is to leave him alone with his work.

Please don't flame me, but that's the kind of post doesn't really interest me on hacker news. (There are really few of them thought). If all news were like this, I would stop using HN.

By the same token if every story on hacker news focused exclusively on startups/programming and startup related business I think I would spend less time. It's the balancing act that you need to have when you have many different personalities and backgrounds on the site all viewing the same front page. This has over 100 upvotes so I do think a decent amount of people are interested.


Oh, come on. Elon is one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs of our generation and it /is/ news that he's been run through the wringer by Justine. This has to be distracting from companies that are aiming to do truly great things... solar energy, electric cars, privatized space flight. So I'm OK with a little solidarity here, and allowing him to clear his name before a pretty appropriate audience, given the technologies he's involved in and has been involved in.


I get what you're saying. Even this exchange we're having is not productive in the truer sense of the word.

But I do think titles of articles here are for the most part honest and direct, and that should provide some decent filter for avoiding tech gossip. Like, "Correcting the Record from my Divorce" on Huffington Post will pretty clearly not link to an article that is edifying in the way that you want.

Funny about the PG article... I've been coworking a bit and some of the guys have put up multiple barriers to accessing Hacker News. I'm moving towards that, too. The illusion that I'm getting things done by reading tech related articles a couple hours a day is, er, being disillusioned.

No disrespect intended -- I don't entirely disagree with you -- but:

> Nothing that makes me a better programmer...


> ...nothing that makes me a better entrepreneur...


> ...something that satisfies my intellectual curiosity...


HN is simply not the very best source for any of those things you listed. I don't think reading any amount of blogs will improve your programming ability or entrepreneurship as much as simply practicing, or (maybe) reading a good ol' fashioned book on the subject.

I learned exactly how f'd up our legal divorce process is, and it reinforced the notion that we need a better solution for legal disputes.

I should have just seen that this was from Huffington Post and not bothered clicking.

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