Wednesday, July 06, 2022


As you know, information about you is mined by Google and Microsoft. This is to better serve you. Consequently the image that either one of those have about you (and me) is quite likely batpooh crazy. Microsoft Start tells me that, based on my 'shopping interests', I will probably like (in order) a knee brace for sporting people, a room heating device, a power bike, big-ass outdoor barbecue, angle-adjustable twin beds, lawn trimmer, table saw, canoe, chairs, tables, standing lamps, Pac Man, Dick's Sporting Goods, and comfy indoor footwear.

Well golly. Based on my shopping interests?

I've bought pipe tobacco.

The last time I sported was in high school, I know about sweaters, biked in Holland many years ago and loathe American bicyclists especially in Marin, I have no garden or patio to barbecue on, there's no signifother for the twin bed, or lawn for the trimmer, and hell will freeze over before I go canooing on the Bay. We've got furniture. I often wear slippers.

Table saw?

Microsoft Start may have an image of pipe smokers based on a nineteen fifties magazine.
I'm surprised that they didn't also select Van Heusen shirts and a stationwagon.
Clearly the algorithms need to be adjusted to more accurately reflect reality. The modern urban pipesmoker, like most sensible people in San Francisco, lives in a smallish apartment near Chinatown with an apartment mate, has bookshelves full of dictionaries, linguistic stuff, and Vladimir Nabokov novels, indulges in tea regularly, does not "sport" at any time, likes hot condiments, and occasionally talks to himself, the Indonesian wayang dolls in the corner, or several obstreperous stuffed creatures.

On Wednesdays he has lunch at a chachanteng, does a spot of grocery shopping, then heads over to a Chinatown bakery and has tea and a biscuit. He does not canoe with tablesaws on a spacious lawn or patio. Ever.

I think I can speak for all of us.

Please get it right.

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