Hemorrhaging the Neural Net

So this evening I went to the New York Public Library to pick up one book that’s waiting for me.

I wound up leaving with six books.

I didn’t go there seeking anything other than a single book. Nor did I expect to leave with more than that solitary volume.

Then I thought I should check their online catalog, LEO, to see if they’d gotten in anything else by K.A. Bedford (they hadn’t).

Then I thought I should give the shelves a quick browse. And, in different places, in areas unrelated to specific subjects, making Dewey himself spin in his resting place, I came up with just one more book I wanted to borrow.

In all, it’s about five pounds of weight. But I don’t want the weight, I want the weightless information.

Which brings us to a problem all ebook vendors must face: How can this experience be replicated online?

Microsoft, which loves to torment, uh, challenge interviewees, can use this as a test to discover the best code-jockeys for stochastic programming.

Devise an algorithm for a library of ebooks that will result in a patron leaving with the following titles:

Little New York Bastard: A Memoir by M. Dylan Raskin

Center Square: The Paul Lynde Story by Steve Wilson and Joe Florenski

West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief by Steven Kotler (who I heard on The Joey Reynolds Show)

False Profits: Seeking Financial and Spiritual Deliverance in Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes by Robert L. Fitzpatrick and Joyce K. Reynolds

Indecision (A Novel) by Benjamin Kunkel

The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth by Fred Reichheld

Now the tragic ending of this wee tale is this: Microsoft would indeed use something like this. Someone somewhere there will grok the concept. Sadly, the place that needs it right now won’t.

Hello, ebooks.connect.com!

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