Benford’s Law
Posted by kiwiscanfly on April 23, 2007
Benford’s Law Explained
Benford’s law says that the odds of obtaining 1 as the first digit of a number are much higher than obtaining any other digit. (See Figure 2) And nobody can really explain why! Creeeepy. But the coolest thing is that the broader the sampling of numbers, the more accurately they conform to Benford’s law. For example, if you only examined the numbers in a New York City phone book, it wouldn’t fit with Benford’s law because your data would favor 2s and 7s (because of the popular area codes 212 and 718). But mix a phone book’s numbers with an almanac’s numbers with an encyclopedia’s numbers and without a doubt you’ll start seeing a “Benfordian” distribution. Didn’t I tell you this 


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