There was a sad article in Salon this week about how the savvy video store clerk is becoming an endangered species, replaced by algorithmic recommendations developed by companies like Netflix and Amazon. This article is depressing on a personal level, because I spent some formative years behind the counter of a video store, but also depressing because Netflix recommendations are FAR from accurate.
How do I know this? Because a movie called Sarah’s Choice ended up as one of my Netflix recommendations at some point. Now, due to the amount of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine I watch, I’ve always assumed that Netflix thinks I’m a gay man with a crush on Dr. Bashir (which isn’t too far off from the truth). But somehow this anti-choice abortion drama slipped through the cracks.
A properly-trained video store clerk would never have let this happen. And more importantly, they would have never let me watch it, even for comedy purposes. Alas, I am alone. So let’s do this. Read the rest of this entry