Cloudy, with a Chance of Algorithm

Photo credit: by jshj on Flickr (CC/Attribution)

We just received a package. I know, because I heard the thud.

I’m old enough to remember when a delivery person rang your doorbell and asked you to sign something, but now, what with drone-deliveries and scheduled paper-towel-updates, the cardboard boxes just land on the stoop, or in the yard.  

We ordered one of those extend-grabbers for getting boxes off the roof, but it hasn’t arrived yet. Instead, we received a…

Just musing over the possibilities of algorithm-driven shopping experiences, with no human involvement.  Back to work, as you were. Nothing to worry about…

I wonder what kind of stories my pals can spin from this? Take the idea and run with it, or not – if you do, let us know where we can find the story. Or you can read some things:


    • That Facebook scam is an update of one from the early days of the ‘net that flung out the same “poor child dying of cancer/kidney failure/airplane glue” and requested bombardment of some particular email address or URL in support. There was, of course, no child, no support program, etc. The thing circulated for years, yet people still bought into it even when the date on the “letter” clearly showed this. There is a type of internet denizen whose embracing to fake petitioning emails increases with the shrillness and number of exclamation points. “Oh, my God, Obama is building concentration camps to put all the Tea Party in after the election!!!!!” There…now run along and play.

  1. 1. “We ordered one of those extend-grabbers for getting boxes off the roof, but the delivery drone dropped it onto the roof.”

    2. I’ve been working on the FCC challenge to end robo-calls, and it’s stunning how many calls say they are collecting for charity (kids with cancer, very popular) but are just collecting money for the scammer.

    3. People-free ordering/delivery is a transitional step. I expect that in a decade I’ll be able to order something, and the delivery mechanism will be “push the plans to my 3D printer.”

    3a. Guess I should get in on the ground floor of selling “ink” cartridges now.

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