What Do U.S. Oil Production and Mick Jagger Have in Common?
They both peaked in the late 1960’s.
You can infer that, anyway, from this handy chart at the blog OverthinkingIt.
It should go without saying that correlation does not prove causation, and there are many caveats to OverthinkingIt’s analysis. But this slightly whimsical correlation raises at least two interesting questions.
First: Is the declining quality of pop music primarily a problem of limited reserves, or of inefficient extraction? In other words, is pop music — particularly rock — simply exhausted as a form, leaving today’s musicians with little room for innovation; or have the systems used by popular culture to discover and extract good songs from good musicians just broken down?
Second: What other spurious claims of causation through correlation come to mind?
We don’t mean to pick on Mick Jagger, whose contributions to American music will resonate for some time to come.
And after all, as Dubner pointed out, Mick is a would-be fellow economist.
(Hat tip: Mark Lee)