Friday, July 01, 2016

Two Unrelated Notes

The Battle of the Somme

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. On the first day of the 5-month battle, the British incurred 60,000 casualties. An example of "attrition warfare," when the battle was over, combined casualties exceeded 1 million men, and the battle line had advanced 6 or 7 miles.

The French and British generals should have been court martialed for their incompetence, but it was considered unpatriotic to point that out.

My Amazon Profile has Changed

I am working on a book about Emily's mother's escape from Nazi Germany at the age of 10. In the course of my research, I came across the name of a man who was Hitler's "idea man" when it came to anti-Semitic conspiracies and theories. I made one Amazon search to see if his opus magnus (said with a sneer) is available at a reasonable price.

Since then, Amazon has been offering to sell all sorts of anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying books to me, "based on your interest" in Holocaust denial. But, hey – it's just an algorithm, right?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The word itself, "algorithm" brings up bad Karma for me. It is essentially an opportunity for the powers that be to choose anything they want without explanation. After being a contestant in the "Capture Minnesota" Photo contest for two years, and actually purchasing the books, I was amazed at the utter crap their "algorithm" chose. Sour grapes? You bet. But having an image uploaded the day the contest ended win a place in the book with 3 views seemed a little fishy to me.