Professor Jonathan Zittrain at Harvard Law School has been known to refer to the Internet as "autistic." No, he's not talking about your average Wikipedia editor with Aspergers who wears sweatpants to a job interview and subsists on Flutie Flakes, Mountain Dew, and old Wolfenstein ROMs. True, there are people on the Internet who could fly themselves to Mars and back if only we had invented an engine that runs on awkward, but that's not the point here.

What Zittrain means is that on the Internet, you don't have a sense for what is going on around you. Even though there are many people on the web, it's been hard to visualize them as experiencing the same sites you do, since when you visit a website or query Google it feels like you're the only person looking for ladyboy manga porn at that one time. At least, I know I do, and it's a lonely feeling. I myself usually try to surpass this sense of loneliness by only searching for ladyboy manga porn in the company of other people, but I had to give this up too after I gave gramma a heart attack and almost ruined Christmas.

But there is a new tool out there for those people who are interested in searching what everyone else is searching for, and finding something potentially horrible or absurd about their collective fellow man in the process. In this week's Goldmine, the forums goons take a look at some of the funny, interesting, or absurd trends in people's search patterns. It's cool, although it makes me wonder what James Surowiecki would think if he knew the wisdom of crowds was so focused on anal sex and Ireland. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some googling to do.



rottingcorpse
I found some search queries on Google trends brings up some interesting results. Try it yourself and post any interesting trends you find.

Depression:


Interesting how it goes down during the summer months then dips sharply around Christmas.

Shopping


Obviously goes up at Christmas but there seems to be three other spikes. One must be when people want more clothes for the summer, not sure about the other two.

War



Seems to be a pattern each year. Why does war become less interesting in the middle of the year then peak near the end before dropping down again before the year ends?

IRS


Is this when you Yanks give your tax return in?



Loretta Trampface





big dig

This is kinda surprising. I wonder what happened in 2006?


Also, Czech Republic is by far the biggest region for these searches.


Ryzic

AIDS


AIDS is interesting, probably corresponding to an AIDS awareness day. Also noting that the spikes decrease in magnitude.



Depressing Drawers

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The Comedy Goldmine examines the funniest and most creative threads from the Something Awful Forums. Although the Comedy Goldmine has changed authors many times over the years, its focus on the Something Awful Forums is still the same. Includes hilarious Photoshops, amusing work stories, parodies, and other types of oddball humor.

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