The Bactra Review   Atlas of the European Novel
A mis-placed affection. It's not impossible to get useful information from a time-series; it's even easier than making a silk purse from a sow's ear, usually. It helps if you've got a nice fast computer with nothing better to do, heaps of high-quality data, and a pretty heavy mathematics. This is why time-series analysis is a very active area of research, and the Handbook of Econometrics is four volumes on the order of a thousand pages a piece. More to the present point, it's why Edward Tufte never tires of anathemizing time-series in his books on the visual display of quantitative information. Those who want to learn about causal relations (like Moretti, who wants to understand how social factors affect literary forms) would have to work hard to find a worse way of representing their data. (So of course I'm researching the best way of squeezing causal models from time-series: like blood from stones...)