The Law Of First Digits
Recently I had my first introduction to the Benford Law.
For you more mathematically inclined it’s probably old news.
For a virgin like me, it was an amazing head trip.
Meditating on it, once the shear bewilderment at the concept wears off,
it does feel like sort of connection between the number thing and nature itself makes sense,
but it’s weird just the same. I don’t have the tools to play with this the way a mathematicians can,
hell just trying to grasp the reality of the concept, still I can feel the fun in it.
I bet it ties in with fractals, be fun to see that formula
(From “The First-Digit Phenomenon” by T. P. Hill, American Scientist, July-August 1998)
Benford’s law predicts a decreasing frequency of first digits, from 1 through 9.
Every entry in data sets developed by Benford for numbers appearing on the front pages of newspapers, by Mark Nigrini of 3,141 county populations in the 1990 U.S. Census and by Eduardo Ley of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1990-93 follows Benford’s law within 2 percent.