Yair points us to this page full of wonderful graphs from the Stephen Wolfram blog. Here are a few:
And some words:
People talk less about video games as they get older, and more about politics and the weather. Men typically talk more about sports and technology than women—and, somewhat surprisingly to me, they also talk more about movies, television and music. Women talk more about pets+animals, family+friends, relationships—and, at least after they reach child-bearing years, health. . . . Some of this is rather depressingly stereotypical. And most of it isn’t terribly surprising to anyone who’s known a reasonable diversity of people of different ages. But what to me is remarkable is how we can see everything laid out in such quantitative detail in the pictures above—kind of a signature of people’s thinking as they go through life.
Of course, the pictures above are all based on aggregate data, carefully anonymized. But if we start looking at individuals, we’ll see all sorts of other interesting things. . . .
Good stuff, and I like the flexible, open attitude. And great graphs. That’s why I’m posting this, in order to spread the word, to inspire others to do this sort of statistical exploration. Follow the link for lots more.
By the way . . .
I wonder who did the analysis, who made the graphs, and who wrote the text. No authors are listed. It’s posted on the Stephen Wolfram Blog, but Wolfram is known for contracting out his research. It’s certainly possible that he did all the statistical analysis, computing, graphics, and writing himself, I just have no idea. It’s funny: in academia, allocation of credit and attribution of authorship is huge. In industry, not so much. As an academic, I’d like to give credit to whoever made these pretty graphs, but perhaps from Wolfram’s perspective, whoever made the graphs is just doing a job, just like whoever sweeps the floors in the lab or whoever cleans the erasers in the classroom. In any case, I give Wolfram credit, no joke. Even if he didn’t do any of the work on this, it takes skill to hire the right people to do the job.