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Science, Culture And The Google Ngram Viewer

Thanks to Bala for the link.

Scientific study of cultural trends involves years of training and preparation, followed by a few additional years of data compilation, ending with spending a major chunk of one’s life analyzing all that data collected.

With Google’s new Ngram Viewer application you can become a scientific researcher on cultural trends without having to leave your room!

Here’s how it works. Google has archived tons of books in a few different languages, going back a few centuries. This archival material can be subjected to Google’s search algorithms, given various criteria. The result is that this vast database of information can be scanned for specific words, and this information presented in useful graphical comparisons.

Comparison of books containing the word "science" vs those containing "religion".

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