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Just Unsubscribe

21.10.2012

A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention

Herbert Simon, 1971

 

 

Today, I received an email from Taco Bill. I wade through about 20-30 junk emails per day, so one random email is nothing unusual.

This one caught my attention simply because I wondered how it got there.

Some senders are serial spammers, such as CANAD1AN PHARM4CY, a business that promises stupendous results on just about any medical ailment. Other heartfelt messages come from Mr Soloman Ignatius and his ilk, who have tragically passed away from an incurable disease of the big toe and have kindly bequeathed their $6.4 million fortunes to me.

So far, I’ve inherited a whopping $49.3 billion in deceased estates. I plan to use this money to:

a) end world poverty;

b) inject massive funds into creative arts education; and

c) buy out Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer so we no longer have to listen to their richcrazydrivelspeak.

But Taco Bill is not the sort of business that subscribes to spam tactics. It stumped me. How did my email address make it onto their subscription list? I don’t want their emails, and certainly don’t need them.

As I scrolled through my junk mail, I wondered what need I had for any of this stuff. I barely open, let alone read, any of it. These emails are nothing but clutter.

(Kind of like the 10 unread weekend newspapers stacked on my beanbag – I’m determined to skim at least the interesting bits before I throw them out).

Filtering through unnecessary and unwanted information wastes an incredible amount of time. Our attention is in demand, and is increasingly in short supply. We are bombarded with sensationalist news reporting, pestering sales tactics at dinnertime, and in-your-face-24-7 advertising campaigns, complete with 2am text messages.

Whew! Anyone would think we’d all developed a sort of sensory numbness. (Watch out for CANAD1AN PHARM4CY’s latest product: the Total Attention Pill (TAP) – for those who suffer from Attention and Information Maladjustment/Lacking Energy Shock Syndrome (AIM/LESS).)

My uninvited email from Taco Bill has prompted me to reconsider every newsletter, report and e-zine that I receive, and unsubscribe from all but the most interesting and relevant.

Cure AIM/LESS. Just unsubscribe.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 14.05.2013 5:21 PM

    I’m doing just that at the moment. Pretty much every mail / newsletter that comes in lately has been subjected to the unsubscribe treatment. Blogs are the exception, although I really should be more selective about who I follow and how often I read them….

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