Thursday, March 26, 2009


I so hate to say anything about The Mill that might be construed as positive, and risk ruining my reputation as a miserable person. But I feel the need to share with you something that just occurred on my way to shutting down the computer for the night (and derailed that goal completely). It would be enough to just paste-and-go, but don't you really come by for the backstory?

My life of late has been immersed in Taxonomy. Like Br'er Rabbit, I pleaded with The Boss not to throw me in the brier patch of a new, radically different, quite possibly ahead-of-itself search technology, because I like nothing more than classifying things -- except perhaps figuring out how other brains are classifying things.

This "genome" approach to taxonomy (as refers to it) is beginning to show up in the oddest of places. And at the rate the Company is going, by the time we throw out our approach, it will no longer seem new and weird. And maybe that's for the best.

This week, worlds collided as conceptual searching showed up on my beloved Netflix. Yours too, I suppose.

Netflix would like you to begin classifying your tastes to a degree that allows them to better recommend movies you will like. Our old friend Search & Match. Netflix being Netflix, though, the taxonomy includes phyla you didn't even know a list of movies would need.

Monkey. I often/sometimes/never enjoy movies about MONKEY. Not even MonkeyS. Monkey is now a movie theme. If I answer OFTEN for Bollywood, Monkey, and Raunchy, what on earth will Netflix recommend? I am sad to tell you that I may sit here all night finding out.

My home page now says "Netflix recommends the following Critically Acclaimed Cerebral Drama," taking "more like this" and throwing it right into the rubbish bin.

This has been academically interesting enough in the usually dull language of my workplace. On Pandora, it was a kind of Easter Egg hunt to see how long before my personalized radio station branched its way to "Sister Golden hair," where it always seems to land no matter where you start.

But applied to The Movies, I may never get enough of this. I just changed TV Channels, Story Source and Sub-Cultures and got

African-American Political Dramas and Critically Acclaimed Witty Movies from the 1980s.

AND... the big chart pre-selects some answers based on my account history and previous ratings. Now THAT is a search/match I can get behind.

More proof I should be working for Netflix, I think.


  1. I'm laughing out loud as I picture you actually finding and watching a Raunchy Bollywood Monkey movie! LOL!

  2. And I still say your brain has more honeycombed cells than anyone on the planet. Talk about your hard drive being full!! Just wait until you have a recall problem!! M.

  3. While Brer Rabbit fought the tar baby an Brer Bear got caught in a snare "... but Brer Fox, he laid low."

    I learned in the Navy peer rating process that the sailor who is rated neither the top or the bottom by his peers is given a peer rating just a point Above Average.

    Enjoy the brier patch, and Lay Low.

    Your wise old uncle Fred


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