Friday, September 23, 2005

Who Amazon Thinks I Am

(originally posted at

I spent some time tonight trying to train Amazon to understand my taste.  Futile.  It seems Amazon has a tendency - whether built-in or learned from user habits - to take a specific case and generalize it.

Because I like some cartoon shows, doesn't mean I like them all.  Because I like some britcoms, doesn't mean I like them all.  Because I've bought some books on technical subjects doesn't mean I need to be recommended the exact same material from a different publisher.

Perhaps the weirdest thing is that Amazon seems to think I'd like books that teach you how to take advantage of people, win people's trust, read body language, diffuse arguments, become an effective public speaker, conceal motives, tell when someone's lying, trick someone into revealing a hidden truth, analyze situational dynamics (whatever the fuck that means)... the list goes on.  I was amazed at how many books have been written that basically boil down to "charisma is the art of being a bastard... for dummies!"

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