Are We Forgetting Things Faster?

futurelab default header

“The bubble bursts faster and faster with each passing year. We are losing interest in the past more rapidly.” Erez Lieberman Aiden


An interesting snippet picked up in the latest issue of Wired talking about Google’s NGram viewer which enables anyone to mine the data held in Google’s database of over 5 million digitised books to reveal cultural changes over time. Jean-Baptiste Michel and Erez Lieberman Aiden of Harvard’s Cultural Observatory, who worked with Peter Torvig at Google to create the viewer, say that we are forgetting things faster. Where it typically took 30 years for mentions of a particular topic to halve in 1880, this had compressed to just ten in 1970. Makes me wonder what it is now.

Image via flickr

Original Post: