Web Searches Reveal What People Want

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    Aug 19, 2014 3:18 PM GMT
    NYT: In the hardest places to live in the United States, people in large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon search about health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing “hell” and “rapture” also make the top 10.

    In the easiest places to live, people spend a lot of time thinking about the Canon Elph and other digital cameras. Apparently, people in places where life seems good, including Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and much of the large metropolitan areas of the Northeast and West Coast, want to record their lives in images.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/upshot/inequality-and-web-search-trends.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=1
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    Aug 19, 2014 10:44 PM GMT
    These aren't the most popular search terms in those areas, and may not even be particularly popular at all.
    They are the terms in the database that seem to correlate with the NYT Happiness index which boils down to education & income vs obesity and disability. (The other two terms in the index are employment and life expectancy.) They don't tell you how the terms are weighted, so it might all be dominated by just one or two of those terms.

    (For example, NYT seems to give "college education" more weight than "income." I was surprised by some of the "red" (hard living) counties on the map, which I know have small populations and lots of new income from wind power farms. They have higher incomes but lower % bachelor degrees than adjacent counties that are rated "neutral." The other measures are mostly identical. icon_neutral.gif I'd call that easier living, by any rational measure. )

    No big surprise that half of the terms that correlate with obesity and short life expectancy are health-realted. (The other half seeming to relate to violence and religion.) "Dog benadryl" surprises me a bit.

    The terms correlating with wealth are about toys and software. (And Zoolander. WTF?)
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    Aug 21, 2014 1:12 PM GMT
    I bet I know what the top search was:

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    Aug 22, 2014 6:20 AM GMT
    How in the hell is Houston, texas not one of the hardest places for gay guys to live? What the hell? Where is this list from? Oh, but I'm a black gay guy in Houston, so may be my view is a little different from yours. Sorry for the interruption. lol.
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    Aug 22, 2014 1:16 PM GMT
    declansloan saidHow in the hell is Houston, texas not one of the hardest places for gay guys to live? What the hell? Where is this list from? Oh, but I'm a black gay guy in Houston, so may be my view is a little different from yours. Sorry for the interruption. lol.


    This is people in general, isn't it? But I think even a city in TX would be easier for our folks to survive than Appalachia. Imagine if there was no gay bar or even friendly business for hundreds of miles?