[ by Charles Cameron — ISIS advertizes! — and riding on Berger & Stern’s coattails at that — sad ]
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:
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:
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.