Category Archives: Cultural Memory

The Harmonious Society

In Law as a Social System, Luhmann wrote, A functionally differentiated society is anything but a harmonious society with inbuilt guarantees of stability. (481) One could argue that the Chinese Communist Party’s emphasis on the “Socialist Harmonious Society,” which is … Continue reading

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The Legal System and Property Rights

This is more global brain wave research. When looking deeper into the legal system, in addition to human rights, another 2-gram we can look at is property rights. Rights and property were among the five terms used to chart the legal … Continue reading

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Politics, War, and Law

This research thread is related to the recently published article on “Futures of a distributed memory: A global brain wave measurement (1800–2000)“. Consider these two Google Books ngrams, which represent the top words associated with the political system and the … Continue reading

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Futures of a distributed memory. A global brain wave measurement (1800–2000)

As Steffen Roth, the lead author, noted on Facebook, the final version of this article with full bibliographic details is now available online and for free on ScienceDirect: (official link expires May 27, 2017; see thereafter).

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Ngrams and Cultural Memory

Google Ngrams are one way to track cultural memory. In systems theoretical terms, cultural memory is carried by the mass media, which includes books. Below is a search of Chinese terms in Google Books, 1900-2008. Politics 政治 is blue. Economy 经济 is … Continue reading

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The Rise of Politics

Here is a Spanish Google Ngram for law, politics, religion,economy, and the press. These kinds of graphs don’t necessarily show what was most important to most people, but do they show what writers and readers of books were interested in, or … Continue reading

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Ten Function Systems from 1800-2000

This post is a sort of response to Steffen Roth (2014) “Fashionable Functions: A Google Ngram View of Trends in Functional Differentiation.” Here is a Google Ngram tracking the frequency of the terms government, law, health, education, art, science, economy, … Continue reading

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