When you fire up Netflix, you're looking at it...and it's looking back at you. Which is weird, right? Even though you already paid for Netflix's entire service, and even though it shouldn't matter to Netflix how you spend your time there, every image you see is calibrated to sell you what they've decided you want. Did you know that process is going on? And did you know they might know some things about you that'd surprise you?

On this week's episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (better known as David Wong) to explore Jason's latest column, their shared Netflix histories, and what that system means for every one of us. They'll examine the burgeoning new-ish field of data science, its laughable limitations, and its about-to-explode future. They'll dig into businesses that already stick entire segments of the population with lousy choices, just because the businesses decided those people are A Specific Segment. And they'll consider the inevitable world of number-crunched choices we could all get stuck with if companies don't treat us like actual people.

Footnotes:

The Alarming Way Netflix Customizes Itself To Our Tastes (Cracked)

The thumbnails are always changing on Netflix because you're being tested (The Verge)

This is how Netflix's top-secret recommendation system works (Wired UK)

For 'House Of Cards', Using Big Data To Guarantee Its Popularity (New York Times)

Kevin Spacey scandal: A complete list of the 15 accusers (USA Today)

Arrested Development's Jessica Walter talks Jeffrey Tambor's harassment - with Tambor there (Vox)

Claritas Prizm Segmentation List

How Companies Learn Your Secrets (New York Times Magazine)

Did Target Really Predict a Teen's Pregnancy? The Inside Story (KDnuggets)

Red and Blue Brands: How Democrats and Republicans Shop (Time)

In a Data Deluge, Companies Seek to Fill a New Role (MIT Technology Review)

Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century (Harvard Business Review)

Ozymandias (Adrian Veidt) using his TV screen-based trend-tracking powers, in Watchmen (1986-1987)

George Harrison using his Beatles-based coolness powers, in A Hard Day's Night (1964)

HUD Hits Facebook For Allowing Housing Discrimination (NPR)

Netflix's sci-fi thriller 3% is helping viewers conquer their fear of subtitles (The AV Club)

Join us for our next LIVE Cracked Podcast! It's happening Saturday, September 15th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Alex Schmidt is joined by writers/comedians/legends Demi Adejuyigbe, Haley Mancini, and Dana Gould for an evening of Emmy Awards We Wish Existed. Get your ticket here!

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