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An associative algorithm from teh Amazon

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — ISIS advertizes! — and riding on Berger & Stern’s coattails at that — sad ]
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The artificial intelligence behind Amazon‘s selection of books he might be interested in surprised JM Berger — co-author with Jessica Stern of the excellent ISIS: The State of Terror — today, by recommending Be Happy Like ISIS: The secret to success that will change your world view (The Code Breakers Book 1) as something that might interest readers of his book.

Unbelievable. I checked my own Amazon account, and found this:

isis-book-dq

That’s from the “Sponsored Products Related To This Item” section of the Amazon page on JM’s book. Right at the bottom of that screenshot, I found this:

sponsored

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See also:

  • Of Anwar al-Awlaki and Bold Christian Clothing
  • The intelligence of algorithms
  • On the foolishness of some current algorithms
  • As I said recently in Japanese joinery: DoubleQuoting with wooden blocks:

    One of my own aims has been to generate — or begin the generation of — a similar anthology of “DoubleQuotes” (conceptual twinnings) illustrating the methods of associative connection available in the realms of language and the aural and visual arts.

    So here’s another example, belonging in another category — a commercially-sponsored algorithm linking two books it “believes” might of of interest to a common audience. One is a rigorous examination of ISIS history, use of online propaganda, and apocalyptic rhetoric. The other is an example of that propaganda, skilfully contrived with keywords like “happy”, “secret to success” — and even “code-breakers” — in its title, to propagate itself on Amazon despite its pro-terror slant. Puerile.

    Feh!

    On the foolishness of some current algorithms

    Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — shouting caveat lector in a crowded theater ]
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    I don’t know what a wise algorithm is, whether any such algorithms exist, how they would qualify for that title, what the definitive definition of wisdom is, and so forth. Some algorithms in contemporary use, however, strike me as foolish.

    Tablet DQ 600 algorithms

    Sources:

  • WaPo, Three days after removing human editors, Facebook is already trending fake news
  • Fusion, Facebook recommended that this psychiatrist’s patients friend each other
  • It is in this context that we might wish to read:

  • NY Times magazine, Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine
  • .
    Readers who clicked through to the story were led to an external website, called Make America Great Today, where they were presented with a brief write-up blended almost seamlessly into a solid wall of fleshy ads. Khan, the story said — between ads for “(1) Odd Trick to ‘Kill’ Herpes Virus for Good” and “22 Tank Tops That Aren’t Covering Anything” — is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood and a “promoter of Islamic Shariah law.” His late son, the story suggests, could have been a “Muslim martyr” working as a double agent. A credit link beneath the story led to a similar-looking site called Conservative Post, from which the story’s text was pulled verbatim. Conservative Post had apparently sourced its story from a longer post on a right-wing site called Shoebat.com.

    Uh-oh!

    I wouldn’t trust Shoebat as far as I could bat a shoe. But then, how much does it matter whether we’re led by the left ear or the right ear?

    This has been an addendum to Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

    Trend-watching humor

    Saturday, June 25th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — the Brits, Google & Brexit, plus some arcane religious info for netizens ]
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    A Brit response to Brexit results: Google!!

    No, really!

    **

    And while we’re at it — you’ve probably seen this before —

    Wondering which religion to choose? Google!!

    **

    Somewhere, a couple of machine learning algorithms are laughing at us.

    On myth, magic, rare canned meats, and mathematics

    Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — a tale of Guru Nanak — & the things you can buy on Amazon these days ]
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    boy_nanak
    Painting by PM Wylam of Guru Nanak Dev Ji as a young boy

    It is said that in his schooldays, young Nanak who, as Guru Nanak, would go on to found the Sikh religion was in math class when the numbers one, two, three and so forth fourth were explained, and objected when the teacher began to talk about two, on the grounds that he hadn’t yet fully grapsped the number one.

    Respect.

    **

    Putting that another way, the number one is at least as fascinating in its own possibities as it is with the series of integers that follows it — you may recall my earlier discussions of one and its possible opposites in earlier posts:

    OppositeOne

    **

    Here the conversation takes a completely different turn..

    It’s in the spirit of that kind of mythematical — or perhaps better in this case, mathemagical — thinking that I offer this equation:

    Unicorn plus dragon meat

    I’m inclined to think they’d somehow cancel, or at the very least balance, each other out. I wonder whether Amazon has an algorithm that knows that, yet.

    Really, I had no idea one could buy dragon’s meat in a can, nor that of unicorns.

    **

    I found out about canned unicorn and dragon while while reading up on Tactical Bacon in a spell of NSFW research on the Malheur business:

    tactical bacon

    Oy, the world we live in.


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