Amazon Indoctrinates

Without me asking, wanting or provoking this in any way with my searches or reading choices, Amazon decided that I’m in need of being indoctrinated into a fashionable ideology.

This looks seriously creepy. And the worst part is that they think I’d inflict this garbage on my child.

33 thoughts on “Amazon Indoctrinates”

  1. I studied “Between the World and Me” at university. Have you read it?

    Some of the books may be good, but I understand why you find the sudden avalanche creepy.

    I think the solution to this riddle is simple: because of the ongoing situation, Amazon started offering books on to all educated readers. Probably to all users, but the educated ones are more likely to buy them, and the algorithm has to understand this.


  2. Liked this Russian post summarizing and analyzing American events:

    Black lives matter и унижение белых

    He is a super popular blogger, so my respect for Russian blogosphere is rising.


    // В штате Иллинойс одного мужчину обвинили в том, что он раздавал протестующим взрывчатку и призывал кидать её в полицейских. Он сам транслировал это в прямом эфире в своем аккаунте в фейсбуке. При обыске полиция действительно нашла в его машине несколько взрывных устройств.

    В Филадельфии во время столкновений с протестующими пострадали как минимум 13 полицейских, также недовольные сожгли по меньшей мере четыре полицейских автомобиля. Из-за массовых беспорядков и погромов в городе перестала работать благотворительная акция по снабжению продуктами малоимущих семей во время пандемии. В результате примерно 16 тысяч семей остались без еды.


    1. The Russian blogosphere is fantastic. They have an incredible amount of talent. Crowds of people who write extraordinarily well. I always said Russian-speaking blogosphere is vastly superior to the English-language one. And so is the Russian-speaking Facebook. The Spanish-language blogosphere and social media, on the other hand, are extraordinarily primitive.


      What I find extremely curious in this post is that it transmits A narrative as if it were THE narrative. There’s no shadow of a realization that there might be a different narrative, let alone that it might be more fact-based.

      I’m not blaming this blogger, of course. I had lived in the US for a decade and didn’t have any inkling that there might be anything out there than THE narrative. It was pretty much by complete accident that I stumbled across the competing narrative and was absolutely stunned to discover that not only is it very logical and coherent, it’s more rooted in fact than THE narrative we are being constantly fed. It was a big shock.

      It’s very much like living in the USSR and completely believing the official ideology (although I never met anybody this dumb back there) and then suddenly discovering that it’s all complete bonk.

      I discovered that in that “lost decade” I was actually interacting with quite a lot of people, including teachers, mentors, who knew about “the other narrative” but they were afraid to mention it. And now they are going, “oh, thank goodness, finally! We couldn’t wait for you to figure it out! Now let’s talk! Here’s some samizdat literature!” And the hilarious part is that the “forbidden to know about” literature I’d exactly what the forbidden literature was in the USSR. It all feels so familiar!


      1. // What I find extremely curious in this post is that it transmits A narrative as if it were THE narrative.

        It was pretty much by complete accident that I stumbled across the competing narrative and was absolutely stunned to discover that not only is it very logical and coherent, it’s more rooted in fact than THE narrative we are being constantly fed.

        I am very surprised by your description of his post since I assumed varlamov already presents the other ‘hidden’ narrative by criticizing activists for giving cover to criminals and, most importantly, by drawing attention to class rather than race in his analysis.

        What is a competing narrative about the riots that varlamov fails to present? I am very curious now and think other readers would enjoy to read your thoughts too.

        As somebody not from US, which books and bloggers would you advise one to start reading to get acquainted with the other narrative? It is a kind of hobby to me, but I don’t want to waste time on bad books. There are so many, so would be grateful for several recs.


        1. That’s precisely how it works. Remember the Soviet movies like “Garage”? It’s a great work of art and it was a favorite of the Soviet intelligentsia because it seemed to be subversive in its criticism of the Soviet reality. But it was the exact opposite. It was the perfect distillation of the Soviet propaganda that was leaving a little escape valve for the pent up anger and channeling it against the convenient figures of the nasty director of the farmers’ market and the spoiled rich kids of the new bourgeoisie.

          It’s the same thing here. The only critique of the narrative that is allowed has to adopt the foundational principles of the narrative. In “Garage,” the academics aren’t suffering for lack of garages because the system doesn’t allow them to make a good living and buy their own garages in the free market. They suffer because an evil corrupt and uneducated торгашка is subverting a system that would be just and would work otherwise.

          And it’s the same with this post. There is no questioning of the idea that there is a widespread problem with police brutality, that Republicans are racist, that these protests are motivated by racial grievances, etc. The author accepts the structure as unquestionably true and only criticizes small segments inside it. If the segments are corrected, it follows, then the narrative will become completely perfect.

          If you are looking for an alternative narrative on race issues, Shelby Steele is a great author.


          1. Thank you for recommending Shelby Steele. He has 3 books: “The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America,” “A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America” and “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Era.” The third one seems the most interesting; hope it does not matter if one reads it first, does it?

            Wanted to ask a general question: you seem to have transformed in many ways through the years I’ve been reading your blog, and some of the changes may be interpreted as suiting the popular narrative of married women with kids or / and all people with age becoming more conservative. One commenter here asked you about homeschooling, while you’ve previously been abhorred by the idea. Don’t say you are for it now, but you don’t seem to feel as strongly against it as you’ve previously done. (Hope I worded it fine. I only read your blog; unfortunately, we’ve never met and the question is personal and requiring deeper knowledge than one may get from the text sometimes.)

            May people change at their core with age? I have always been me and the inner character hasn’t changed from childhood, as long as I remember myself.

            Have your values moved a bit, or has the Democratic party changed? Or neither, since the change happened merely in the depth of your understanding of the American society, and new insights have naturally led to changing reactions from the same person one has always been?


            1. I actually think nobody really changes from what their core is. Whether that’s good or not, I don’t know. The problem is, we don’t know who we really are until some really bad shit starts happening to us. If you want to know what one really, really is at their core, look at them in a time of great personal hardship. Most people don’t even know that about themselves and end up being quite surprised, in a good way or in a bad one.

              I was 15 when an older and very brilliant lover of my aunt said to me, “you have an amazing quality that will help you in life a lot. You very easily accept your mistakes and it doesn’t hurt your self-esteem to recognize you were wrong.” I was 15 and thought he (and every adult) was full of shit but now I know he was spot-on. This is who I am.

              I have experienced great hardship in life and what it revealed to me about myself is pretty great. But I also discovered that I’m stronger than I thought I was. As you might have noticed, I have stopped password-protecting posts except for the few that have Klara’s photos. I’m a lot less afraid of being rejected by everybody in my world so I can be a lot more honest about what I believe. I just don’t care as much any more.

              But I’m still not into homeschooling. 🙂


              1. As someone who’s looked up to you or a long while as a person, exemplar even, of academic bravery, I like hearing you’ve decided to drop the password-protected posts – never been a fan.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. What a sweet thing to say! I’m still closeted at work, though. It’s hard to come out, though, because no matter what I say, people can’t let go of the idea that it’s impossible for a good person to disagree with the dogma and since I’m clearly a good person, I can’t possibly disagree.


              3. I’m like a person who keeps saying, “Mom, I’m gay,” and Mom refuses to hear and keeps setting him up with nice girls.


  3. When you are not apologizing for racism you should be educating yourself on racism, you know?
    I’m wondering how many life-long racist this whole circus will create.


    1. “wondering how many life-long racist this whole circus will create”

      That’s the goal, to build up walls of resentment between different ethno-racial and/or religious groups.


    2. I seem to remember an alt-right guy once saying that social-justice liberals are doing his job for him. All this stuff just keeps people thinking in racial terms. He claimed that once people identify as white, it is just a short step to convert them to white pride and white nationalism.


  4. All Are Welcome was pushed by my kids school. Written by a Brooklyn mom. Absolute drivel. No story. Just preaching.


      1. You can say that again. Most assigned reading is boring and moralizing. It’s as if no one had ever met a kid or ever asked any what they liked to read.


  5. It’s probably just as well you keep Klara away from screens and you don’t watch the local news or kids channels or have basic cable.


    1. We do have cable. I’m a TV addict. But we definitely don’t turn it on around the kid. I used to turn on Tucker every once in a while but not for a long time because the visuals have gotten very heavy for obvious reasons.


      1. This aired on June 2nd, 5 pm EST and PST on:
        Comedy Central
        Paramount Network
        Pop TV,

        Nickelodeon is a kids network with programming aimed at kids that’s been around for over forty years.

        I’m surprised you haven’t canceled your cable and started homeschooling Klara already, given how you feel about screens and where you tilt politically. How many nanny blockers and passcodes do you have ready to set up on your tv, computers and cell phones?


        1. Good question about nanny blockers. I’m blessed with a very intelligent, reasonable kid. Even when she was a baby, she always asked permission, even pre-verbally before grabbing something or putting something in her mouth. We tried childproofing when she became mobile but it turned out to be unnecessary. We also have a huge credit of trust with her because we never lied to her. As a result, she doesn’t disobey. If I say no, she doesn’t do it. She can get upset, angry, throw a rare tantrum. But she won’t disobey. Even though we don’t do punishments or timeouts or anything like that. So I’m absolutely not worried she’ll do something I don’t want her to do. Obviously, I don’t think this will last until she’s 15, and I wouldn’t want it to because it’s unhealthy.

          As for brainwashing by the schools and the media, I know for a fact that there’s absolutely nothing that can make the slightest dint in what a parent teaches IF the parent is a figure of intellectual authority and can maintain a dialogue. I hope we all understand that this is the definition of who I am.

          As for homeschooling, we do remember I have a job, right? Besides, she’s a single child. Subjecting her to being alone all day with such an overbearing and all-consuming personality as mine would be torture.


          1. At this point I’d seriously be considering whether it’s worse to subject a kid to her parents’ personalities all day (who assumed just you would homeschool her? ) or socialization with other kids designed to turn her into a woke OCD inmate of a Mr. Clean commercial. You were horrified by the social distancing playground circles.

            I don’t like that this just shifts the definition of extremely online even further.

            “I’m being attacked by something online or in my phone or tv.”
            “Can’t you turn it off and go outside!”
            “It’s not safe to go outside!”
            “Germs! Riots! Police!”
            “I can’t cut school!”

            I hope this is temporary but a year (let’s say) in a six year old’s life is a bigger chunk than a year in a middle aged person’s.


            1. I’m running on 4 hours of sleep so I’m not too sharp. If both parents have full time jobs, who’s left to homeschool?

              I agree with your larger point but neurotic parents will subject kids to their neurosis no matter what. My kid’s been having playdates and running around with a gang of kids in the neighborhood almost throughout the quarantine. It’s different for some poor kids I know who haven’t been out of the house since March because mommy is a neurotic. But I’ve spent $20,000 on psychoanalysis. I’m all cured. 🙂


  6. I got a whole strip of BLM related recommendation in my Prime Video. I assume everyone has. It’s funny that not all of those movies/shows are free with Prime, which Amazon could’ve easily done if they wanted to show how virtuous and BLM supportive they were. No, this content is being pushed, but you’re still supposed to pay extra for it. God forbid that a chance to make a buck is passed up for the common good.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. There are some good and free articles about the riots:

    // Diane Francis: This is why America burns
    Until this nation creates equal social services that create equal opportunities, the American Dream remains a crock

    America is a great country to live in as long as you’re not old, sick, black or poor.

    The United States is the richest country in the world, but has an underclass of at least 100 million people, the size of a Third World country, who are disenfranchised economically, educationally, socially and medically. It’s a virtual “Brazil,” with wealthier citizens living behind gates, security guards or in suburbs, away from poor neighbourhoods and their teeming populations of impoverished people. This is partly what the riots currently sweeping across the U.S., as they did two generations ago, are about, not just racism.

    Adding fuel to this outrage is the damage wreaked on America’s unprotected underclass by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, the virus has disproportionately devastated elderly, poor and black communities. This is because they often lack access to health care, live in squalor and are crowded into substandard housing, nursing homes and congested neighbourhoods.

    Worse, the lockdown “cure” was worse than the disease for them.


  8. I went to check out my amazon page, to see. It just has the BLM solidarity header at the top. Followed by an Alexa ad. But since I clicked on your amazon link to Berenson yesterday, my whole page is in Spanish! (I can still navigate it OK, but I’ll probably want to switch it back sometime)


  9. Would you like to read this book? I loved it and many things about my country rang true.

    // Catch the Jew! recounts the adventures of gonzo journalist Tuvia Tenenbom, who wanders around Israel and the Palestinian Authority for seven months in search of the untold truths in todays Holy Land. With holy chutzpah, Tenenbom boldly goes where no Jew has gone before, at times risking his life as he assumes the identities of Tobi the German and even Abu Ali in order to probe into the many stories in this strange land and poke holes in all of them.
    From the self-hating leftists in Tel Aviv to the self-promoting PLO execs in Ramallah, from the black-clad Haredim of Bet Shemesh to the glowing foreign human rights activists in Beit Hanina, from Jewish settlers and the Christians who come from abroad to toil with them to ardent Jerusalem monks and Bedouins in surprisingly glorious shacks, Tenenbom takes on the people of the land, getting to know them and disarming them as he breaks bread and mingles with anyone and everyone.
    Does Palestinian wife number one hate the Jews more than she hates wife number two? Who finances cash-rich NGOs pursuing a Judenrein Israel? Who sets Palestinian olive groves on fire and why? What is the emotional gravity that pulls idealistic human rights activists from other countries to Israel and only to Israel? Who are the flaming feminists who sacrifice their lives for the rights of polygamists? Whose land is this, anyway?
    By turns poignant, enraging, and laugh-out-loud funny, this unique travelogue lays bare the intensity of this turbulent land in an unprecedented, eye-opening education, person by person, city by city, and meal by meal. You will never look at Israel the same way again.


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