I’ll take a break from my travel blogging to mention Applefritter’s astonishing article Data Mining 101: Finding Subversives with Amazon Wishlists.
Individuals’ public Amazon “wishlists” are, collectively, essentially a gigantic aggregate of data, waiting to be mined, and in this post, Tom Owad details how he used the wishlists to track the reading preferences of over a quarter of a million readers. Owad’s point is that the U.S. government can just as easily (but probably not as cheaply!) do the same thing, in order to track down Americans reading subversive material.
Now if only the terrorists would create wishlists at Amazon!