I’ve been playing around with the Google Labs NGram book viewer, and you can do some pretty big picture stuff with it.
I mean really big picture: As the NYTimes reported, Its a “mammoth database culled from nearly 5.2 million digitized books available to the public for free downloads and online searches, opening a new landscape of possibilities for research and education in the humanities . . . It consists of the 500 billion words contained in books published between 1500 and 2008 in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Russian.”
Just punching in a few key terms over the past century yields some pretty interesting results:
Main Street vs Wall Street (1920-2008)
Wall Street seems to get mentioned more after massive crashes — 1929, 2000 (above)
Check out the Deflation focus around 1930s, and the Inflation focus in the 1970s thru 80s:
Inflation vs Deflation(1920-2008)
The peak interest in Gold was around 1935, and rising again in 200s — with Oil getting lots of buzz around WWII and the 1980s.
Gold vs Oil (1920-2008)
England completely dominated for centuries:
Uh-oh, there is a new kid int he neighborhood :
Russia,Germany,China,England, United States (1700-2008)
Here’s a fascinating one, from 1500–2008 — were those 17th and 18th century mentions of Jews all anti-semitic remarks? (or did we Jews certainly start publishing more books?)
Christians, Jews, Muslims (1500 – Present)
Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.