: I’m not a conspiracy theorist because I believe that people are rarely so well organized that they can conspire effectively.
I am also not a privacy paranoid because I don’t believe that data bases are so well constructed that they can aid conspirators against us.
Today’s hilarious Wall Street Journal story about TiVo and Amazon profiling gone haywire — mirroring experience we all have had (I don’t want to tell you what Amazon thought about my life) — is proof of the latter point:
Mr. Iwanyk, 32 years old, first suspected that his TiVo thought he was gay, since it inexplicably kept recording programs with gay themes. A film studio executive in Los Angeles and the self-described “straightest guy on earth,” he tried to tame TiVo’s gay fixation by recording war movies and other “guy stuff.”
“The problem was, I overcompensated,” he says. “It started giving me documentaries on Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Eichmann. It stopped thinking I was gay and decided I was a crazy guy reminiscing about the Third Reich.”
Take comfort in the knowledge that organizations and technology are still F’ed up.