By Felix Salmon
December 17, 2010
this or this -- Google Labs

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The Books Ngram Viewer is amazing, see eg this or thisGoogle Labs

Tyler Cowen’s advice for planning a wedding — MR

“From the standpoint of publicly funded art, the censors have won.” — NYRBlog

“The Corporation’s primary goal with respect to this transaction is to accelerate de-risking” — BusinessWire

Is it not possible that Citigroup hired Orszag to recover the Raifuku Maru, or become an international ghost hunter? — HuffPo

If you’re still eating industrially raised pork (or chicken or beef or fish for that matter) – get real — Bittman

Primack on Zipcar — Fortune


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“From the standpoint of publicly funded art, the censors have won.”

A foolish quote that makes little logical sense. This quote exhibits a dim failure to understand what censorship is and isn’t. It is not censorship for the public to decide it doesn’t want to pay for something. That’s just democracy. It would be undemocratic for the public to be forced help underwrite something it doesn’t want to pay for. Felix, suppose that art consisted of ants crawling over a statue of Mohammed? Would you have the same view? Is art to be financially supported by the public just because it is contemptuous of Christianity?

No, this is not censorship, just democracy. Censorship would be if private individuals were barred from showing their art. Nothing of the sort has happened here. This art that is understandably offensive to many Americans can be freely shown all over America, just not on the public’s dime. Does that seem like censorship to you?

Posted by DanHess | Report as abusive

Orszag did what he had to do to save the day, so the revolving door is the reward…

No one even raises ane yebrow anymore, let alone express outrag. Here in Canada they skirt the scrutiny by calling it private consulting, before they take the leap to steady payback … ooops I mean paycheck…

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive

@DanHess, the exhibition was funded with private, not public, money.

Posted by FelixSalmon | Report as abusive


The Ngrams tool is case-sensitive. Run the NYC/Washington search with the terms both capitalized, and you’ll find that New York has maintained a steady dominance. What’s risen over the last two decades is merely the relative frequency with which people fail to properly capitalize the name of the capitol.

Posted by Cynic | Report as abusive