The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Google Correlate: what do unemployed people search the net for? Body piercings

My uber-conservative friend Ricardian Ambivalence has harnessed Google Trends to forecast Australia's unemployment rate (first chart), which he does quite successfully, and then turns his considerable cranium to using Google Correlate to work out what search terms Australia's unemployment rate appears to be--perhaps spuriously--most closely associated with...And guess what, it turns out to be pictures of body piercings, which is not entirely surprising (see second chart)!