This is just amazing. Google N-gram searches through over 5.2 million digitized books published from 1800-2000 to plot the frequency of whatever word(s) you want. My first thought was to see how popular Keynes vs. Hayek or Friedman have been over time. Apparently Friedman blows past Keynes in the late 60s - and Hayek barely even registers, despite being who I thought was Keynes’ most popular critic. My second thought was to see when really antiquated words/spelling like to’morrow were actually popular, and when we stopped using them. Turns out it’s popularity jumped up and down every 20 years or so, then a huge spike in the late 20s, early 30s, and now, obviously, it’s virtually gone. Crazy!
Check out the Google’s user guide to “culturomics” here.
I haven’t been able to check out the TED talk yet because I’m at work… and I’m obviously busy … working. But definitely check that out as well.
Thank you Brett.