HOT BLAST: Read this and very good things will happen
Aug 19, 2013 | 1449 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Spam is one of those words that means something very different from how it was commonly understood, say, 20 years ago. To wit:

Spam, in all of its myriad forms, is essentially an attempt to capture and redirect a user’s attention, if only momentarily. Whether that tiny portion of attention is turned toward a sales pitch, a phishing scam, or an incomprehensible bit of algorithmic verse, the basic function of spam is the same. Finn Brunton’s new book Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet offers the first sustained look at the relationship between attention and community in online spaces. According to Brunton’s calculus, spam presents a direct threat to the very fabric of online community; each unsolicited ad for male potency pills slowly bleeds a community of valuable bits of human attention. For believers in the democratic promises of online community, spam is therefore an abomination: a usurper of the net’s most important resource. (I doubt that the novelist Bruce Sterling is being hyperbolic when he refers to spam as “a great human evil” on the book’s dust jacket.)

From a Los Angeles Review of Books examination of Finn Brunton's new book, Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet
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