Online Rubber-Necking

Seth Godin tells everyone to cut it out:

Someone is in a horrible car wreck, so what happens? People slow down to look.

Leaving aside the time tax they place on the people behind them (once I was in a three hour jam due to rubber necking of a death on the other side of the road, across the median), what are these people doing? People who wouldn't dream of paying money to watch a snuff film are indulging their curiosity to see carnage on the side of the road and paying with their time and attention.

You know the punchline: the Net is suddenly filled with rubberneckers. People who spend their time at work watching flame wars or indulging their desire to act like trolls, just to get a response. They race to post about plane crashes or server crashes, and they have no trouble investing an hour in debating something that just makes them feel sick.