Interesting – I hope there will be some sort of accurate filtering against white noise, otherwise our era will be remembered for Beiber and Gaga, is that really representative of this generation?
Originally posted on Digital History @ UW:
According to Google’s new n-gram tool, when researching history, words count.
By analyzing over 500 billion words from 5.2 million books in Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish, the n-gram tool allows users to track the usage of words from 1500AD onwards.
The implications of this tool in terms of historical and cultural research are just beginning to come to light. In the article “Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books,” Jean-Baptiste Michel and his fellow researchers suggest that Google’s n-gram can be used to track the emergence of diseases, state censorship and the relative “celebrity” of a given person.
There is no doubt that the n-gram is, and will continue to be, an extremely useful tool in historical inquiry. However, there are some limitations that need to be addressed.
Firstly, the Google n-gram is limited in regards to language. Most of the collected works…
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