THE ROMANCE NOVEL INDEX….Via Abu Aardvark, who has an unhealthy fascination for this kind of thing, Aqoul has compiled a chart using rigorous data mining techniques that shows a surprising surge in the popularity of sheikh-themed romance novels. The number of novels peaked in 2002, which makes a 9/11 connection seem obvious, but the upward trend started in 2000, which seems….odd.

But here’s my theory: this is yet another way in which we can use open source data to predict major world events. Sort of like using Halloween masks to predict winners of presidential elections. Somebody should be tracking the themes of romance novels and using that data to forecast future world trouble spots. Maybe the Able Danger folks could look into this?

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