It’s one thing to live in the present and another to live without a sense of future and past. If there wasn’t so much going on today, that would be clear.
Culturomics attempts to make things clear by analysis of word usage from over five million books going back more than two centuries. Of all the words people have bothered to write down, how do the days of the week rate? That’s just one of many questions you can answer with Google’s Ngram Viewer.
Try ‘ape, con, myth‘ and you find the story of the lowly ape witnessing the slow demise of the con and the rise of the myth.
For something more down to Earth, you can found out who is playing second fiddle between ‘peanut butter, jelly’ and ‘beer, wine‘ or check out the historic temporal attitudes of prose writers with ‘yesterday, today, tomorrow‘…
Turns out today wasn’t such a big deal in the 1800′s. … Nor was life expectancy.
If you come up with a good search, please share it in the comments.