Fun with Ngrams – Art, Science, Programming

A recent gift from Google Labs – the NGram viewer, a fascinating tool that searches the Google Books database for words and phrases, and charts their relative frequency. For example – let’s take some of the themes of this blog …

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Apparently, Art and Science have grown closer, and enjoy a somewhat parallel existence together. Design (Inspiration) started strong, had a bit of a lull, but is enjoying a bit of a renaissance (as it were). And unfortunately, “management” is spiking in recent year – not sure if that’s good or bad.

Sense of Self

Code jockeys generally don’t like the term coder, that’s for sure – but it looks like after a peak in the mid-80’s, Programmers are losing their mojo to the Developers.

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Although I was a little surprised at the results of this one – who knew Pascal was apparently still going strong? Nothing on this page made me think I am suffering from some ambient data noise …

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Buzzword Bingo

Here’s an interesting one; LinkedIn recently published a list of over-used profile buzzwords; I wondered how recent these buzzwords truly were. Dynamic appears to be the outlier …

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… so we toss that one out to see that innovation is a child of the 60’s, and entrepreneurs are apparently less common than we might think.

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More Examples

A number of other folks have been publishing insightful comparisons over the last few days …

Information is Beautiful shows The spirit of inquiry over the ages (what, when, why, how), The Battle of the Brains (Plato vs. Aristotle), and others.

Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media gets into some interesting insights into the nature of language.

Scott Berkun investigates Innovation vs. Usability, and then descends into the inevitable blue humor.

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