August 18, 2009

New 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:

Brief: Do Asians consume boat loads of carbohydrates? In order to see whether Asians consume lots of rice or carbs in general, as many believe, I look at USDA international data on grain consumption per capita for India, Indonesia, South Africa, Iran, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Australia, Hungary, Canada, and the U.S. I've broken down each country's consumption by grain in two tables, as well as make a graph of total grain consumption per capita for an easy comparison. Grains studied include barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, and wheat.

6. The rate of invention from 0 to 2008 A.D. I've found a book with 1001 world-changing inventions, and I've transcribed the dates and plotted the number of inventions over time, by century, half-century, decade, year, and a 10-year moving average of the yearly data. I've written before about the slowing pace of innovation since Bell Labs and the DoD were broken up in the mid-1980s, using a dataset of 100 modern inventions, so this allows for an independent test of that claim. (And the new post obviously gives a clearer picture since there are 10 times as many data-points.) It also puts recent trends in larger historical perspective. I discuss some plausible genetic and institutional causes for the rise of invention. There is not only a trend that stretches across centuries, but an apparent cycle on the order of human generations.

1 comment:

  1. You transcribed 1001 inventions?!? Wow. I found the task of recording 100 data points horribly tedious.


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