The moment a person on the other end of the telephone line picked up, I heard a cheery voice quickly identify me and my telephone number followed by the query: "Will we be having a large, deep-dish whole wheat crust sausage and pepperoni pizza tonight?"Big Brother is not the all-seeing government monitoring our thoughts. Big Brother is the giant machine of commerce recording our buying habits as it tries to glean our deepest unfulfilled materialistic desires.One of those big, online retail sites greets me with "Hello, Robert" and displays of items I've recently viewed plus recommendations on similar items I might like. Another says, "Welcome, Robert," as soon as I show up.All very personal, except no on has called me Robert since high school -- no one other than the credit card companies. They're not Texan. They don't like people to go by their initials, such as being called R.G.In case you have doubts about whether you are feeding the details of your materialist soul to the Big Brother of the Internet, consider this from Google:"The ads that appear on Google Search are targeted based on your search queries. If you type 'cheap flights,' for example, into Google, you will probably see sponsored links at the top of the page and on the right hand side showing ads from travel companies."In other words, if you search for "shawl collar sweater," you're going to get ads on where to buy them, not how to knit them. And Google profits from your curiosity.A search for "nuclear bomb" under "shopping" on Google will turn up a book entitled How to Build a Nuclear Bomb and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction," as well as a search return called, "Shop for nuclear bomb at nearby stores." Google thinks I should look for nuclear bombs at Walmart and Target.Then there's the big data trap: Facebook.We tell Facebook who we are, where we went to school, what our hobbies are, who are our friends, even our political leanings.Sure, Facebook makes a big deal out of not selling our data to advertisers, but they do use our data to sell targeted ads to retailers. An advertiser's targeting options, Facebook says, are: "Choose the location, gender, age, likes and interests, relationship status, workplace and education of your target audience."I didn't go to my high school reunion last year, but I did join the reunion page. So now I get ads from companies that want to sell me reunion connections.Every now and then, from the lonely tranquility of my glowing computer screen in the dead of night, I like to mess with The Man -- that is, the Big Brother of Internet commerce. I do random postings on Facebook to see what kinds of ads will be generated.Here's my post from January 3: "Vinyl records, bad banks, tai chi, .357 magnum, Magnum P.I., birding, swamp gas, aliens, UFOs, blue ocean, global warming, do it yourself auto repair, hiking, Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock, ghost writer, LBJ. Well that list is weird enough."It wasn't long before I got sidebar ads for The Roswell Incident, Jewelry for Meditation, Learn Chinese and a Mind-Body-Soul Retreat. A friend thought I should add Naked Ladies to my list, while another thought if I became a student of Mind Mastery I could just make Naked Ladies appear.Not long after I started a Facebook message exchange with a former Fort Worth Star-Telegram colleague, I received a sidebar invitation to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.Perhaps it is just coincidence, but a couple of hours after I posted a photograph of my very sad-looking Golden Retriever, Max, an ad appeared for a company that will come to my house to scoop poop.I'd rather mess with the advertising algorithm.R.G. Ratcliffe is a writer in Austin.