I live in the Styx so I use Amazon. Internet shopping is a big deal to me; it significantly improved life in the middle of nowhere. If I had to limit my purchases to the scant selection within an hour’s drive or so I’d feel like a caveman banging two rocks together. Life would be like this:
“Hi, I want to buy a hard drive for a laptop, book of Medieval history, a spice grinder, a bag of good coffee, and a spark plug for a Stihl.”
“Tough shit. Here’s a mouse, People magazine, a crock-pot, a can of Folgers… and a spark plug for a Stihl.”
So yeah, I order a lot of stuff from Amazon and like the service. But sometimes they’re idiots and that piss me off. Right now they’re driving me nuts!
Last weekend I had an “issue” with a “PAWIRNEATT” and posted Crowdsource Question: Do I Need A Thickness Planer? The answer came back… yes. (OK it was more complicated than that. There were caveats and pros and cons. A few options were explored and a few alternatives came to light. But the clear consensus was “there’s a tool designed to solve the problem you’re bitching about, so come to your senses and buy it”. Sometimes I can think myself into stupidity and I thank my readers for the reality check.)
So I started researching. I posted a followup with an uncreative name; Crowdsource Question: Do I Need A Thickness Planer? Followup. Meanwhile I was finding out all I could, reading specifications of planers, reviews, comparing models, etc… I did this on line as well as meatspace. (What an unpalatable word!)
Then I made my decision. I bought a planer. Mission accomplished! I posted Crowdsource Question: Do I Need A Thickness Planer? Conclusion and figured I was done with it.
Elapsed time? About a week.
But now I’m doomed. Amazon won’t stop trying to sell me a Goddamn thickness planer! Every fucking web page, every blog I read, every time I click anything anywhere some douchebag is putting an ad in my face: “Wanna’ buy a planer?” “You won’t believe these photos of a planer.” “Planers on sale at planers.com.” “Free shipping on planers.” “Back to school sale on planers.” “Lonely planers in your area looking for companionship.” “This time Trump really did something crazy, and here’s an ad for a planer.” Planers, planers, planers.
Christ on a cracker… it’s enough to make me set the wifi antenna on fire!
Occasionally I get spam-like email from Amazon (we have a Prime account). This week’s junk mail is a fucking text AI machine driven ode to thickness planers. I clicked on Amazon to buy a pen and it showed me photos of planers. “People who bought this pen also liked… planers!” On my Kindle (resistance is futile) I’ve been reading Lawdog; every time I turn it on there’s an ad for a damn thickness planer.
I probably will never buy another planer in my life, or at least not for many years. Amazon’s AI hasn’t figured this out and it’s going to annoy the living shit out of me until either I research some other object or I change my name and move to a mud hut in Botswana.
This is how I know true AI ‘aint just around the corner. Amazon’s algorithms are pretty powerful by current standards and all they’ve got is “this guy looked at a toaster… hurl toaster ads at him until his ears bleed”. Jerks!
P.S. Before you bury me in internet security advice be aware I do all of that stuff. (Or most of it.) I can and do access the internet in ways that make algorithms go “who are you stranger, would you like to buy something generic like the a book about Sparkly vampires that is popular generally but would make you specifically retch?” (Old example.) This clearly indicates that useful profiles, cookies, tracking, etc… are missing or at least hampered. It’s just that AC the blogger finds Amazon’s marketing as subtle as a sledge hammer and expects better.