Data Mining 101

Finding Subversives with Amazon Wishlists by Tom Owad. A little geeky, but worth reading to see how authorities might infer intentions. About six years ago, I used similar techniques to scrape auto sites on the web to find inventory on a new VW Golf TDI diesel (indigo blue, standard shift) within 500 miles of my house. In one afternoon I had all the info I needed to negotiate and purchase the exact car I wanted, which I did the next day, at a dealer about 120 miles from my house. My local dealer said that there were no cars of that spec, and wanted to sell me one off the lot. Power to the people, or to the authorities, as the case may be.
I have intentionally used “authorities” to distinguish the Bush administration from what would normally be called the “government.” There’s not a lot of governance happening right now in the US, but plenty of authority assertion. Politics is a friggin’ black hole for blogging; my apologies.