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Author Topic: Benford's Law  (Read 4013 times)

• Charter Member
• Joined in 2005
• Posts: 13,291
• Tell me something you don't know...
Benford's Law
« on: February 28, 2008, 07:46 AM »
This is WIERD!

30.1% of all numbers have "1" as the leading digit! (Ignore 0's (they cannot "lead") and sign, e.g. -0.03892 has the leading digit "3". Think in scientific notation and it's easier.)

It follows through nature and just about anything!

Who are you?

The new number 2.

Who is number 1?

You are number 6.

I suppose that #1 is the true "leader"!

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

jgpaiva

• Global Moderator
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Re: Benford's Law
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 07:54 AM »
That's pretty interesting, renegate!
Thanks for posting it

tomos

• Charter Member
• Joined in 2006
• Posts: 11,963
Re: Benford's Law
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2008, 08:00 AM »

odd last paragraph there, after putting so much effort into explaining it all,
they more or less say - in a very throwaway manner - dont worry it's all rubbish
Tom

• Charter Member
• Joined in 2005
• Posts: 13,291
• Tell me something you don't know...
Re: Benford's Law
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2008, 08:46 AM »
Solution #1 is here.

There's more there as well. Ignore the heavy math stuff though. That's not as much fun!

The funny thing is that it took 80 years and a huge amount of math to show that Benford's Law is false!

But the really fun part is the last paragraph:

Lastly, this discussion would be incomplete without mentioning the practical applications of Benford's law Next time you file your income tax return or other financial report, consider what happens to the distribution of leading digits if you fabricate some of the numbers. I'm not going to help you cheat, so I won't give the details away. Simply put, the numbers you make up will probably not follow Benford's law, making your fraudulent report distinguishable from an accurate one. I'll let you imagine who might be interested in this.

Hehehehe!
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

tomos

• Charter Member
• Joined in 2006
• Posts: 11,963
Re: Benford's Law
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2008, 10:27 AM »
oops, didnt realise there was more
Tom