In the past few months, I’ve received an ever-increasing volume of requests to subscribe to this blog.  This would be flattering, if they weren’t all spammers.

If you do not have your own blog, or haven’t been doing this for a while, then your first thought might be that attention from spammers is a form of flattery, because it wouldn’t make sense for spammers to target unpopular or abandoned blogs.  You might think that they would only want to focus their limited energies on blogs where their spam would receive a wide, gullible audience.

My readership is neither wide nor gullible, but the spammers don’t care.  They are not even aware of my existence in any ordinary sense; their computers make all the decisions and do all the work, and it is so inexpensive to add another blog to their stable that economists aren’t sure whether it makes sense to try to measure it (yes, there are economists who study spam — as if the dismal science wasn’t already dismal enough!), particularly when the computers, network connections, and power are usually stolen anyway.    Their computers tirelessly scan the web, looking for blogs where they can post their undisguised advertisements.  I’m sure you’ve seen them: comments of the form “I think you are making a good point.  You might also find this interesting: (link to a site that sells something).”

Somewhat perversely — either due to a bug in their scripts, or perhaps due to a heuristic to prefer sites where the owner doesn’t seem to be paying attention — these scripts appear to target sites that have not been updated in a long time, and I suspect that this is part of the reason why I am seeing such an increase in “people” who want to subscribe and post comments on this blog.

Hence this posting.

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