It started innocently enough. I was at the local library and picked up a complimentary copy of Book Page. They also have a website bookpage.com for those who have never heard of libraries. On pages 22-23 in the non-fiction book reviews were two titles of interest to me. And now we get to the synchronicity part.
After attending a film at the local cinema, I headed home and went to Amazon ‘s website to learn more about the books and see how many reviews they garnered. I typed in “Andy Warhol was a Hoarder,” a book by Claudia Kalb in which she covers 12 different people of fame, who, shall we say, had some idiosyncrasies, and whether there is some correlation between madness and genius. I have not read the book, but I think there might be. But not full blown madness you understand. But I will read the book at some time.
But what caught my eye is that the next two books listed on Amazon under the Andy Warhol book were two more titles, totally unrelated to Warhol , hoarding, genius or any sort of mental aberration. But both of those books were listed on the same pages in Book Page as the Warhol book.
We on the outside world, the world of nerds and geeks, we who know nothing of algorithms (let alone the ability to spell it) at least have a basic understanding of what it means. So are we now in some supernatural Amazon algorithmic universe where book titles in a thin, little, complimentary, eclectic magazine magically appear on the same Amazon page? Does Amazon, like a computer that I have heard is in existence, reads a persons brain waves? No longer do you have to say anything to Siri, or to Cortana. You just have to think what you want and the computer will react and do what you wish. Beware what you think. If your wife is standing behind you, don’t think porn.
The other two books were David Denby’s “Lit Up” about his year of observing a high school literature class for one year to see if today’s students actually have an interest in serious literature, and the other was “On My Own,” by NPR talk show host Diane Rehm. It is about the loss of her husband and non-compassionate choices of health care. These were the three books on pages 22-23 that showed up on the same Amazon page when I typed in the Andy Warhol title. Will it happen again? I am to afraid to try.
But I know in telling you about this synchronicity that I have been pixilated into Amazon’s algorithmic math. Otherwise how could I have written this blog and mentioned these books on Amazon. Somehow Amazon drew me in against my will and left me feeling like an alien abductee. We are doomed. The algorithms are after all of us. Forget Reptilians, forget the grays, forget the walking dead. Beware the algorithms.