One theory is the it’s because it takes a while to absorb the knowledge of your predecessors.
Scientists spend ages 5 through 18 in school, and then ages 18 through 30ish getting their academic degrees. Then a few years of learning on the job, and presto! . Meanwhile, scientific breakthroughs tend to be less common in old age because we invest less in learning as we get older, and our skills gradually become less relevant.
Personally, I’m not sure I buy the explanation of the drop-off.
And the age continued to get older over the 20th century.
Type in any name and see how popular it was across the USA over the past 60 years. (blog post explaining methodology)
Based on an analysis of 4,191,533 flights and 1.3 billion air fares, “in 2013 the best time to buy a domestic airline ticket was 54 days in advance, or 7 1/2 weeks on average.” Check out the related article for other insights.
Artist Loren Munk has created many beautiful interpretations of art history, genres, and incubators.
My personal favorite:
Facebook analyzed peoples online interactions zeroed around relationship status events. It turns out (not surprisingly I suppose) that relationship changes track closely with online interactions.
and what kind of posts they are interacting with:
Here’s what a breakup looks like:
The below is a pretty fabulous interactive chart of how porn usage is affected by global events:
And how the 2013-14 winter’s Polar Vortex temperatures have affected Porn usage:
The nice thing about reddit sourced graphics like this one is that they often include conversations with the author, and revisions to correct mistakes or make improvements.
According to this Harvard study, on average people today are just as likely to be better off than our parents than the generation 50 years ago was. I wonder if they adjusted incomes for debt? (I’m too lazy to check).
I’m not sure why it took the Washington Post six months longer than the NYT to do an article and map about this. NYT’s interactive map/chart combo helps grasp what they’re measuring:
Popularity of genres today, based on how many Google Play Music users have those artists or albums in their libraries. It takes a second to wrap your head around the temporal aspects of it – it’s basically looking at music that is in most people’s playlists now and telling you when it was made. It’s hard to tell if this is thus revealed preference of how good each genre was at each time, how popular, how enduring, or how old people are (whose music collections go back further?). Ok, I’m not sure exactly what this means. Haha!
Each stripe on the graph represents a genre; the thickness of the stripe tells you roughly the popularity of music released in a given year in that genre. (For example, the "jazz" stripe is thick in the 1950s since many users’ libraries contain jazz albums released in the ’50s.) Click on the stripes to zoom into more specialized genres.
Muzak used to try to systematically lift your mood to encourage shopping – basically they were shopping DJs. I have several of the old albums – pretty funny stuff. Here’s a great article about the history of Muzak.
It’s important to know the difference between correlation and causation when using charts. Duh. Below is a good example of why.
An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.