Attention dating deficit disorder
Put simply by Matthew Crawford, "Attention is a resource—a person has only so much of it." Attention is focused mental engagement on a particular item of information.Items come into our awareness, we attend to a particular item, and then we decide whether to act. 20) A strong trigger of this effect is that the mental capability of humans is limited and the receptiveness of information is hence limited as well.This is done, for instance, by creating filters to make sure the first content a viewer sees is relevant, of interest, or with the approval of demographics."..an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes.Digital media and the internet facilitate participation in this economy, by creating new channels for distributing attention.
Sending huge numbers of e-mail messages costs spammers very little, since the costs of e-mail messages are spread out over the internet service providers that distribute them (and the recipients who must spend attention dealing with them).
In economics an externality is a by-product of a production process that imposes burdens (or supplies benefits), to parties other than the intended consumer of a commodity.
For example; air and water pollution are ‘negative’ externalities which impose burdens on society and the environment.
Thus sending out as much spam as possible is a rational strategy: even if only 0.001% of recipients (1 in 100,000) is converted into a sale, a spam campaign can be profitable (Mangalindan 2002).
Spammers are demanding valuable attention from potential customers, but they are avoiding paying a fair price for this attention due to the current architecture of e-mail systems.