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A Piece of Spam That Economists Will Love

There was a nifty article in the New York Times Magazine a while back about “literary spam,” junk e-mail that includes passages from literary classics, in the hopes that legitimate text would fool spam filters. (Apparently, it doesn’t.)

I just got a piece of spam that’s even niftier. Its subject line: “yipping econometrica psychophysiology flourish.” Considering the kind of messages we regularly get here at Freakonomics, I was sure this was a legitimate e-mail.

Unfortunately, it was just a pharmaceutical come-on.

Still, as a non-economist who first came across the journal Econometrica while learning about the now-famous decision-making research of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, I was pretty tickled to see this subject line, and applaud the high standards of this particular spammer.

And yes, my spam filter did catch this e-mail: but, just as I very much enjoy reading newspapers and magazines for the information gleaned from certain ads, I also occasionally like looking over my spam to see what it says about the world.

FWIW, a man who is reportedly among the world’s most prolific spammers was just arrested. I wonder if he’s responsible for any of these zombie networks.