is amazon just lucky or is this a little scary?

Though I’m aware that i’ve leveraged my privacy online in unintentional ways for benefits like internet shopping suggestions, I like to think that at least my information is dispursed. In many ways influenced by the internet classic EPIC 2014, which anticipates a future of the internet (from the position of ~2004) dominated by Googlezon’s “GoogleGrid,” my view is that this tactic of diversification prevents crime of opportunity-esque aggregation. I know that i’ve put a lot out there that someone could bring together to construct a profile relatively easily, but I am willing to hedge with the bet that avoiding populating any one cloud too much is just enough to preserve some incoherence in my cyberspace identity.

So I was really creeped out when I saw this on the front page of Amazon tonight:

a sidebar on my amazon.com homepage

a sidebar on my amazon.com homepage

Last night, I was looking for some new sneakers online with some friends. I spent most of my time on an apparently low-budget site and spent about half an hour surfing around. But I never visited Amazon. I’ve never shopped for shoes on Amazon. I can’t remember ever even stopping by their clothing section(s).

Now I’m sure that sneakers are probably a pretty popular category online, so it may just be a coincidence. But juxtaposed against what else they’re trying to sell me – e.g. For Marx and Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions – it’s quite unsettling.


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