Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Amazing Amazon: Surprise Me

Amazon is hilarious. In a bad way in this case.

I found this puzzle book that looked like it might make a good present for a geeky friend, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t filled with “Train Alpha leaves Station Zed heading East at 35 miles an hour, Train Beta leaves Station Yankee heading 16 million miles a year. At what time do things become silly?” style puzzles.

I did the “preview this book” thing to make sure. It starts you out at the cover page and (so far as I know) you only get to see so many pages before they won’t show you any more.

I hit the “Surprise Me” button and thought, “Wouldn’t it be surprising if it sent me to the index in the back?”

And that’s exactly what it did. I thought, “Well, there’s 704 pages in this book. Statistically speaking the next one surely won’t be an index page.” I hit “Surprise Me” again.

Index page.

Now, at this point I thought, “It would be nearly the most surprising thing ever if they took me to an index page a third time!”

And lo, I was surprised. But not stupid. Nosiree.

No. this time, I hit the “First Page” button. I was only slightly surprised when it took me to the first page of content instead of the first page of the index.

The preceding was based on a true story. There were no innocents to protect.

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