David Rozado—Peak Wokeness?

Back in 2019, David Rozado published a chart he compiled of the frequency of 100 words associated with “social justice” and “woke” causes in the news and opinion articles of the New York Times from 1970 through 2018. This reminded me of the “Prime Radiant” developed by Hari Seldon from the science of “psychohistory” in Isaac Asimov’s science fiction Foundation series. Rozado’s charts provided a “dashboard” of contenders for the Current Thing among the “opinion leaders” of the legacy media and an early warning of events such as the “great awokening” around 2013.

Now, David Rozado, in a post on his Substack site, “New York Times Word Usage Frequency Chart – An Update” has updated the dashboard to cover the years 1970–2022.

Here, for comparison, is the original chart covering 1970 to 2018.

Note how many of the curves that appeared to be rising to the sky in 2018 now seem to have peaked and, in some cases, declined precipitously. Does this mean we’ve passed the point of Peak Woke and may now be headed toward a new constellation of Current Things which the Prime Radiant dashboard has not yet picked up as their own exponentials head for the steep and giddy part? Balaji Srinivasan offers an unsettling interpretation (click to read complete Twitter thread, including a discussion of “left-deviationism” in the Soviet Union).


Rozado notes that it isn’t just the New York Times, but a coordinated phenomenon across regime media.


What will be the next Current Thing?


No. It’s just gone to “Maximum Plaid” with new terms like “whiteness”* and “equity” being used (note the former has not dipped and the latter did not make the list). And there is no indication of absolute size. Thus, the increase in “whiteness”, “equity”, etc., may exceed drops in others.

Note they listed “hateful” twice in the first graphic.

  • I find the long use of “whiteness” odd. It seemed to have come out of nowhere, but I must be wrong.