Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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Google Hacks - Land Geist  
Land Geist: "Land Geist is a combination of Googles Zeit Geist, Google Mind Share and Visited Countries. For keywords like 'war', 'poverty', 'party', this project shows which country (names) have the highest relative scores (google shares). I.e. 35% of all pages with the word Iraq on them, also contain the word War, making Iraq leader for war, just after Afghanistan and North-Korea. The axis of evil appear therefore in red.

One conclusion I drew early in this project, is that Google was not my search engine of choice for this project. Google doesn't count very well, which bodes ill for measuring mind share. Google claims that 8% of all pages on the internet that contain 'united states', also contain 'cheese', which is about 8 times as high as other search engines.

So I settled for AllTheWeb, a search engine I use when Google doesn't do what I want. I created the scripts, ran the measurements, but the results were kind of weird. Iraq scored very well on war and povery, which is explainable, but also on sex. Something was weird. You can check the results of this experiment out your self.

I thought it probably had to do with the fact that Iraq suddenly had become very popular, so it would appear on less serious pages, but Hjalmar Gislason mailed me with a better explanation: Iraq appears a lot on big pages with lots of comments, because people have opinions about the country, so a lot of other words also appear on these pages. He suggested using the NEAR keyword, to count only the 'sex' occurences that were near Iraq.

Neither AllTheWeb, nor Google supports the NEAR keyword, but Altavista does. So I retooled the thing to use Altavista and you can view the results below. If you would like a keyword to be added, drop me a line. The whole thing takes 10 minutes, so doing it online is probably not a good idea."

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