Friday, December 17, 2010

Harvard, Google join in study of books from past 200 years - The Boston Globe

The search for terrestrial intelligence continues…

Books already tell stories, but when their words are combined and analyzed with computational tools, they tell bigger tales. By studying billions of words that appeared in books published over the last 200 years, the researchers found that references to God have been dropping off since about 1830. People are becoming celebrities earlier in life now than in the past, but their fame is more fleeting as their names drop out of the lexicon. References to past years are dropping off more quickly as cultures shift their focus to the present. And censorship leads to discernible shifts in a person’s or event’s cultural footprint, as evident in tracking Tiananmen in Chinese books, or the Jewish artist Marc Chagall in German books from the Nazi era.

Harvard, Google join in study of books from past 200 years - The Boston Globe

Post a Comment