I just finished reading another article about how “preference engines” are brilliantly anticipating my tastes and future purchases.

I’ve been reading this sort of stuff for years, but I have yet to really experience it.

Amazon only recently stopped recommending Chutes and Ladders because I bought Candyland for my son back in 2001. Currently they are recommending the vinyl version of a CD I purchased as a gift, and a 2 GB memory card in a different format than the 2 GB memory card I purchased last fall.

I had higher hopes for the new iTunes Genius, just because of the name. After a few tries, a heuristic began to reveal itself:

  • If the selected track is very obscure, then recommend the most popular downloads (Katy Perry, Jason Mraz, Katy Perry feat. Jason Mraz, etc.)
  • Otherwise, recommend David Bowie.

Logical, but hardly Genius. Maybe they should have called it Genial.

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