True, but useless

Facts can be true, but useless because they are not relevant to the discussion at hand, or because there’s no way to change or influence them.

I first came across this concept in Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard, where it was described as part of a story about an aid worker for Save the Children who had just 6 months to address childhood malnutrition in Vietnam during the 1990s.

Malnourishment affected nearly half the children in Vietnam due to a convergence of poor sanitation, inadequate educational system, lack of food distribution, poverty, and lack of access to clean water.

With only six months for his project, the aid worker, Jerry, knew that he was unlikely to impact any of those large roadblocks: He called them True, but useless.