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Quarter Lifer

Quarter Lifer: Amazon.com & Sperm: A Guide to gift giving

12/05/2005

Amazon.com & Sperm: A Guide to gift giving

I love Amazon. It is the great dumping ground for all kinds of things I want from books to movies to whatever. I keep my wish list as Amazon as sort of my wish list for the web. Anything I want but can't find in a store around my house is on that list: Strange independent foreign films, offbeat political shit, weird sex books....It's all on there and so much more.

One of the nifty things about Amazon is they point you at other items you might be interested in & provide recommendations based on past purchases. I thought this was a brilliant plan until I recently checked out my recommendations over at Amazon UK. There are a handful of things that are much harder to find in the US but are readily available from the UK. I am pretentious enough to order a book from another country if my country is too uptight or stupid (I can never tell which) to think it should carry a book I want.

Sometime ago I purchased a book titled Sperm Wars from Amazon UK. I'm sure I am one of the few people who felt a pressing need to own this, but it is really good stuff. The book is a pop culture friendly version of sociobiological research done by two British scientists, Robin Baker & Mark Bellis. Their research started with a simple question: Why is there a wet spot after sex? It then spun off to include all you never wanted to know about sperm, fertility, cheating on partners, rape, etc.
So what does this have to do with gift giving? Since Sperm Wars is the only book I have bought from Amazon UK it is the only thing they have to base my recommendations on. I know this because after every recommendation it says "Recommended because you purchased Sperm Wars"

Apparently my strange fascination with sperm competition also means I am into the following:
1) Half Empty, Half Full: How to Take Control and Live Life as an Optimist
Synopsis:
How do you see the glass: half empty, or half full?; A bestselling psychiatrist explains how to achieve optimism; Proven processes to fool your brain into looking on the bright side; Ever wondered why some people always look on the bright side of life?
My response to Amazon: Anyone who knows me knows I see the glass as neither half empty or half full. As a matter of fact I dropped my glass on the floor sometime ago & am just trying not to step on the shards.

2) Cube: Keep the Secret
Synopsis:
If you're interested in astrology and/or the Enneagram, you will love "The Cube." In a way your Cube is even more unique to you, and revealing of you, than your horoscope, because YOU create it; you dream it, awake.
MRTA: Umm, I don't even know what the Enneagram is.

3) Palm Reading: A Little Guide to Life's Secrets
Synopsis:
How to read the signs of the palm and to interpret the cards of the Tarot
MRTA: You are right, clearly when not ruminating about the wet spot & things based on scientific research I like to bust out the ouija board.

4) Apple iPod nano Lanyard Headphones
MRTA:
What about my purchase implies I have an ipod of any sort? Clearly my purchase points to me as a reader. So unless I'm missing something I don't actually need headphones to get through a book.

So just a warning to you internet shoppers out there: Much to my disbelief, Amazon does in fact NOT know all.

7 Comments:

Maybe it's a different kind of "palm reading" that book refers to. And perhaps the folks at amazon read your blog and thought you might like to use th eiPod headphones for other things ...

Either that, or their recommendations just suck.

-- david

6:39 PM  

I happened upon your blog via BlogExplosion...have very much enjoyed it. I am continually amazed at the "leaps" Amazon.com makes when making "recommendations". Some of them seem completely random. Sperm Wars to headphones....c'mon. LOL!

8:15 PM  

Yeah, it's quite odd. Perhaps they're going on a "things that go into, or come out of bodily orfices" kick. Weird.

10:50 PM  

that's funny.....i always wonder about some of the ones I get from the books I've purchased for work...

7:34 AM  

Sounds like they just pulled some random crap and threw it at you... I always get a kick out of those, too.

10:42 AM  

What a comprehensive and colorful way to warn holliday shoppers of Amazon's flaws.

Who would have thought a companies marketing department doesn't know who there customers are.

3:10 AM  

Yup.

I buy crime fiction and philosophy from amazon - from the US, from the UK and from Germany (since US doesn't offer any German-language books). My recommendations never contain crime fiction or philosophy ...

Pi.

7:44 AM  

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