The Futility of Spam

I’ve often pondered how a sufficient number of people could be so stupid as to make spam email profitable. And let’s face it, if it wasn’t making money, it would dry up overnight. So someone is sending these goobers cash. Well, it appears that I dramatically underestimated how few stupid people are required. Bottom line, we’re doomed.

UC Berkley and San Diego scientists have studied the actual reply rate of spam. It turns out that only about 1 in 12m people actually purchase something solicited by spam. This sounds innocuous, but given that billions of spam messages are being generated, the responses are able to reap the spammers about $7k/day in income, even at the low response rate. Hell, for $7,000 a day I should think about launching my own spam business. Maybe I could bag up lawn clippings and sell them as an herbal libido enhancer.

The cruel reality is that for spam to go away, we need to get the idiocy rate down well under 1 in 150 million people. Like I said, we’re doomed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to a Nigerian Prince who requires my help.

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