Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Daily 2%

It occurred to me yesterday that spam--of the email variety, not the potted meat--might actually have a useful function.

It is estimated--by folks who ought to know--that 98% of all email traffic is spam. Even with all the spam that we have grown 'used' to getting, at first glance, this figure seems astonishing. After all, I manage to get a lot 'done' with email. I hardly pay attention to all that spam, thanks to the very effective filters in Gmail. I do still get a lot of spam though. Often I empty the 'spam box' two or three times a day, and when I do, the numbers are ridiculously high in comparison to my actual messages: something like two or three hundred to one. Right now there are 360 spam messages waiting for disposal. I suppose I could wait for them to automatically be discarded, but there is something I find satisfying about deleting them daily; sort of a virtual sweep and mop.

That sweep and mop is not confined to my email. Email offers an interesting statistical model and potential measure of the 'real world. It seems to me that the 98% number--or better, the 2% that remains when the crap is deleted--could be used to describe the experience of being conscious itself. If you really think about it, it seems obvious that most of the information that flows over, around and through us is simply wasted energy, the spam of the physical world.

This ratio may be exaggerated, but I think that 2% sounds about right when it comes to measuring the useful information that I get and am able to make use of every day.

So, where is my 2% today?

3 comments:

valhere said...

i am here - you should listen to me MORE ;>

Greyghost said...

Yes dear! ;^)

d2 said...

1/2 of 1%... here you go!