Monday, March 28, 2011

Johnny Boy on Klausner

Hurried Klausner "reviews" something called One Night Is Never Enough, which produces a number of comments, one of which, by "Johnny Boy", is especially right on the money. Johnny says (click to enlarge):

The only things I'd add are:
(1) most likely, Klausner did not read even in 1999 when her current account starts, and that I suspect because she'd worked in a similar area earlier — she had probably been producing these accursed blurbs since forever, it's just that before 1999 she didn't post them on Amazon (under this account, at least; I can't remember when Amazon reviews started, but Amazon itself started in 1995, initially without reviews; people do report seeing "a customer" reviews signed "Harriet Klausner" from earlier that 1999; myself I haven't seen them).

I suspect this "career" of hers began when she was, as she claims, an acquisitions librarian — which is not a librarian, really, but more like a buyer for a store (bookstore/library in this case). She was probably put in a position to determine or recommend what gets purchased, and there being no shortage of commercial entities eager to have their stuff purchased, you can bet your you know what, the Klausner postion could be profitably exploited — and that would have to be well before the advent of the internet and Amazon.¹

As far as how much she "read" back then, too bad we can't now go back to the beginning of her record and see: about a year ago Amazon made it impossible (earlier you could scroll through the whole thing; now it'll let you about a year back and then give you an error message that is made to look like something intermittent, "temporarily-unavailable-please-try-later" sort ot thing, which is a lie: in reality you can try later till you're blue in the face, but it'll never let you past the last year's worth of reviews in anyone's record. I do remember (from before that change) that the first review on the current Klausner account was from the second half of November 1999. But with Amazon's newly introduced hiding of traces we can't check a reveiwer's reviewing pattern anymore. Very smart of them, 'cause I was just about to start on a piece of software that would produce a reviewer's statistics from his reviewing history; now I can't get to this history, of course; they nipped the very idea in the bud before they even knew there was a bud. Pretty smart, eh?²

(2) About your

Did she read anywhere near as much as she posted? Of course not. That's impossible. Nobody, and I don't care how good of a reader you are or how much time on your hands you have, can read 90 books in one day or even two days. It's mathematically and scientifically impossible, unless you were literally to go nonstop (no bathroom breaks, no eating, nothing), which I am about 99.99999% sure Harriet cannot do.
Are you saying that you could read 90 books in a day if you never took a leak? This is crazy, my man. I'm sure it's just a rhetorical slip on your part, but let's be clear about one thing: Harriet Klausner is a preposterous insolent fraud — no ifs and buts and taking or not taking a leak. That's what makes her the well-deserved No.1: while with many reviewers it's possible that they're dishonest, with Harriet it is absolutely impossible that she's honest. Nothing a simple mortal could possibly resort to could enable one to achieve what she claims to have achieved: she's been posting, on average, six reviews a day since November 1999! Taking (or not taking) a leak, posting subhuman gibberish, idiot proliferation of non-existing subgenres, endless errors of fact — things like that do matter, but they add very little to the fundamental fact that no human can read six books a day every day of every month for eleven years. And this six-a-day is the overall average: her shorter-term averages are far higer sometimes.
1. Actually, Krapusner writes on her own site:
I was born in the Bronx where I obtained a Masters in Library Science. My thesis topic was the Impact of Science Fiction Reading by High School Seniors on Standardized Reading Scores. I met my spouse Stan when he read my palm in a Bronx outdoor cafe. [let's skip a bit of this nauseating marivaudage and get to the chase] [...] where [Harrisburg, PA] I worked in the local bookstore and provided some limited book reviewing services. [...]
That was, as you can imagine, quite some time ago, well before Amazon's shill enablement and Harriet's taking advantage of it in the late 1999.

2: Now, think of it, for people that smart, how hard would it be to disallow mass-posting of crap a la Klausner? (Allow everyone ten book reviews a month: this will let every real reader review 120 books a year — more than adequate for a simple mortal, methinks.) Or what about shutting down people who use multiple "verified" accounts to review the same item multiple times or to mass-vote for the same review? Or authors reviewing (five-stars) their own books, openly, posting under their own name? Or using stacks of bullshit, no-purchase accounts to vote on comments and "report this" buttons — a complete free-for-all a casual visitor isn't even aware of? Technically, none of this is difficult to put an end to, yet Amazon doesn't do it, so one must assume their lack of action is political, not technical, meaning that Amazon's reviewing system is defective as it is not by omission but by design: to all appearances, Amazon loves shills; enabling their massive attack on the consumer has probably been part of their "understanding" with vendors who sell through Amazon.
Unrelated: btw, yesterday I decided to conduct my semiannual test of the Klausner Voting Shield: I negged a review of hers. I was pleased to see the vote show up upon the next refresh, but yet another refresh showed the vote removed: which is a sign of active vote filtering. Once more, to those who don't know: I never vote on Klausner reviews (other than a test like this; previous took place near a year ago) and so I cannot possibly qualify as her "fan", negative or positive (we talked about this before). So why is Amazon protecting Harriet? No wonder she's clawing back up in rank lately. (More on that in our Does Harriet Klausner have a special dispensation from Amazon?.)

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