Say what, Amazon?

Over the last decade and a bit[1], I’ve bought quite a lot[2] of stuff[3] from amazon.co.uk. And as I’ve bought and rated lots of stuff, they’re able to make some often quite useful recommendations – these are far from perfect, but they’re often the way I first realise that something I want is available, so I do take a look through them from time to time, and click the relevant thingies to tell them which items I already have, and which I have no interest in.

It all seems to work on the basis of “people who bought item A also bought item B, you’ve bought item A, so you might like item B”. And this actually works a lot of the time – though it occasionally pops up some delightful oddness. For instance, because I gave a high rating to Necrophenia by Robert Rankin, apparently I should be really keen on this:

Can opener. Not by Robert Rankin.

Can opener. Not by Robert Rankin.

One of the finest examples of Artificial Stupidity[5] I’ve seen lately.

[1] I’m not quite sure how long this has been going on, but it’s certainly over ten years
[2] Major understatement time
[3] Books, CDs, DVDs, a TV, my MacBook, bin liners[4], cables, lenses, my lovely lovely Kindle and probably some other stuff I can’t recall right now
[4] Technically, those might have been from a seller on Amazon Marketplace
[5] Rather like Artificial Intelligence, only much more common