August 24, 2009

News at the data blog

Detailed info on my for-purchase data blog / e-book in progress is on the right sidebar, along with a full table of contents to see what you're getting. Purchases can be made with the PayPal button at the top. Here's what's come out in the past week:

7. The changing social climate of young people from 1870 to present. I quantitatively search through the archives of the Harvard Crimson (the undergrad newspaper) to see how the zeitgeist has changed over time. Young people typically leave very little written record, let alone over such a long stretch of time, so this presents a uniquely fine-grained picture of the social forces they faced. The topics include identity politics (with five topics and a composite index), religion (also five topics and a composite), and generational awareness. There are some things that everyone knew, but there are quite a few surprises, such as when the obsession with racism or sexism peaks. There are large swings up and down over time, supporting a cyclical view of history. I discuss what kinds of processes or models are necessary to explain such patterns.

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