In a FASCINATING EXPERIMENT, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a doctoral candidate in economics at Harvard University, has compared Google search results with presidential election returns to track racism in America:
Can we really quantify racial prejudice in different parts of the country based solely on how often certain words are used on Google? Not perfectly, but remarkably well. Google, aggregating information from billions of searches, has an uncanny ability to reveal meaningful social patterns. “God” is Googled more often in the Bible Belt, “Lakers” inLos Angeles.
The conditions under which people use Google — online, most likely alone, not participating in an official ...